Abstract Title:

Depleted Uranium. Is it potentially involved in the recent upsurge of malignancies in populations exposed to war dust?

Abstract Source:

Saudi Med J. 2012 May ;33(5):483-8. PMID: 22588807

Abstract Author(s):

Hamdi H Shelleh

Article Affiliation:

Dermatology Department, Najran General Hospital, PO Box 8931, Najran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel. +966 551086030. Fax. +966 (7) 5421932. E-mail: [email protected]


Due to its extreme density, depleted Uranium (DU) has recently entered the warfare industry and became a major pollutant to the biosphere. Although DU is less radioactive than natural Uranium, it still retains all its chemical toxicity. Limited data exists regarding the long-term hazards of DU on humans, however, it is suspected to be a major toxic and mutagenic agent. Literature review reveals the scarcity of the World Health Organization's knowledge regarding related DU-malignancies. Battlefield reports documented a steady rise of malignancies and newborn malformations after war, that is, leukemia in the Balkans, and congenital anomalies and Kaposi sarcoma (KS) in Iraq. Kaposi sarcoma in Iraq has a quite aggressive behavior compared with the classic KS before, suggesting a potential relation with DU, and possibly a different DU related KS-type. Children are more susceptible to radiation than adults. This enlarges the responsibility of the medical communities for an evidence-based attitude towards DU, and to ban its use until proven otherwise. We, as medical bodies have a human approach - stand with man not to be mistreated, and with green norms, which veto all suspected pollutants of the planet. Until further notice, DU should be thoroughly checked for safety, before it kills.

Study Type : Review

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