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US Won't clean up DU munitions

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posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 10:46 PM
Allow me to provide some education on environmental law:

Admission of hazard, implicit or otherwise, is not needed to support (often successful) litigation.

In a city in the southern US (and no, I wont tell you which one, so please dont ask), there was recently a lawsuit filed. This sprung from the fact that a municipality owned and operated (in post closure care) a landfill (had been closed for almost 20 years). A family lived adjacent to this landfill, and one of the children developed a disease.

The family filed suit against the municipality alledging that the municipality was negligent and allowed contaminants to penetrate into their house, causing this disease in the child.

In court, the municipality was able to prove:

The disease alledged has never been linked to the contaminants contained in the landfill.

The families house was located over 50 feet above the maximum level of leachate inside the landfill (at least one of the contaminants alledged follows the water table, so would NOT have been able to penetrate into the house unless the house was completely flooded)

There were never any documented readings of such contaminants within the house.

The maximum concentration of contaminants cited in the lawsuit occurred 10 years before the family resided there.

The concentrations of contaminants during the time that the family lived there was almost non detect.

However, even though the municipality was able to prove the above points, the family was still awarded $25 million.

posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 10:58 PM
And quite right too! Was it appealed against, dragon-R?
For interested posters the American Environmental Background Information Center is a fertile source of information and facts.
Here's a good overview:
but is worth trawling in depth if one is interested.

posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 11:00 PM
It is currently under appeal (which is why I am avoiding specifics)

posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 11:13 PM
To be certain Estragon there are some still demanding their mule and acre of land, to be certain they are well within their rights. However, in the case of Depleted Uranium what is good for the Goose does the Gander no good whatsoever. The issue specifically is, does what the common man in the US is exposed to legally with respect to radiation. Constitute a line not to be crossed even under the worst of conditions, with respect to any other person on the planet. Depleted Uranium does have the effect (at the very least) to expose those in contact with it, to levels of radiation equal to those who are assigned to work with radioactive materials every day.

For the sake of argument if asked to work in such an area I would wear some kind of protection. But to be honest if I were painting cars it seems apparent that the protection provided for such work would suffice.

posted on Apr, 17 2003 @ 11:22 PM
For the sake of argument if asked to work in such an area I would wear some kind of protection. But to be honest if I were painting cars it seems apparent that the protection provided for such work would suffice Posted by Toltec

If you wished to do so, and you signed a release of indemnity, you could probably get away with it. However, if you were an employee for a company that I was an environmental manager for under these circumstances, I would do one of two things:

1, I would roadblock any work in the affected area until proper remediation was done (which would be extremely expensive). I could only do this from due to not only a professional committment but a moral one as well.

2, If the work in question was extremely important, and due to time or some other factor proper remediation was not possible, I would make sure that you never set foot on the site unless you were garbed head to toe in tyvek, wore a respirator with micro particulate filtercartridges, and were required to undergo stringent decon procedures after leaving the work site.

posted on Apr, 18 2003 @ 01:13 AM
I take the point, Toltec; but I am aware that - for whatever reasons - we are discussing a litigious nation and we have but recently had obese people suing because fast food was fattening and smokers insisting that they never suspected that cigarettes were harmful. This is also a nation that went into mild insanity at rumours of anthrax.
I certainly agree that there is ample natural radiation (it can however be worrying: there was a great deal of fuss some years back in the property sector of the UK concerning radon in certain areas).
I'm also aware that human beings are quite tough (one recalls the old joke that if California turned cannibal the Californians wouldn't be allowed to eat one another because their bodies contained more than the legallly acceptable level of DDT for meat).
Facts and opinions are out there for posters to check.
However, I feel that the issue is neither the safety nor danger per se but the immense legal costs that might follow.

[Edited on 18-4-2003 by Estragon]

posted on Apr, 18 2003 @ 03:54 AM

posted on Apr, 18 2003 @ 10:03 PM
Well, Dragonrider thank you, you sound like the kind of person who sees safety in the work place a matter of priority.

I respect a person who has convictions (sincerely) at to be certain, my differences with you considerations are not the result of any lacking in respect.

Yes, Estragon assigning Americans the duty of cleaning up the war zone would probably send defense attorneys in this country into a frenzy, bordering on sexual gratification. Viagra stock would plummet and the really good call girls would have nothing to do.

Fact of the matter is what really makes cleaning up those sites so difficult is all the issues presented. By those with no evidence what so ever to there claims. Neither do they seem to be publishing much in respect to those the weapons were used against (perhaps because the effort has as yielded similar results to what is known by our government).

Perhaps if more was done in that sense we would have a better idea and now that Iraq is minus a certain dictator (and good friends) such studies can begin.

posted on Apr, 18 2003 @ 10:44 PM
Why thank you Toltec.

I do take my job seriously, and since my job is to protect the health and safety of those who may be working in my project area, I have to be thorough.

I agree, even with DU, incidental exposure, or casual exposure is unlikely to prove harmful. However, if exposed on a regular basis, in which particles are airborn, it is a true threat to health and safety. The radiation is essentially a non-issue with DU as far as I am concerned: I am much more concerned with the exposure and bodily absorbtion of particles that will lead to cumulative buildup in the body eventually resulting in heavy metal poisoning.

I will certainly grant you that there are a good number of environmental myths foisted upon the people. Probably the greatest one is asbestos. Only chrysitille asbestos is toxic, and even then, the only cases diffinitively linked to cancer are from asbestos mines and processing facilities, where large doses of asbestos were inhaled on a daily basis for years. The most commonly encountered form of asbestos in residential structures is in siding called "transite". My department considers it a concern, simply because of the *percieved* liability in case someone alledges that they were exposed. In reality, all the asbestos fibers are locked up in solid plates, and unless you were to file it down with a belt sander and concentrate an inhale the dust, it cant hurt you.

Same thing with lead: I kind of laugh at lead based paint. If someone is brain dead enough to eat paint chips, they wont last in this world for long anyway. In lead impacted soils, lead is very heavy (DU is much heavier), and just walking in the area is not a problem. However, if you start serious excavations, working where you get this soil all over you, get it airborn and start inhaling it, then it can become a concern. At the very least, if you start excavation and dig up large amounts of lead impacted soils and have to get rid of it, what do you do with it? Do you go reuse it on another project, and essentially contaminate what would otherwise be a clean site?

posted on May, 23 2003 @ 08:14 PM
After the 1991 Gulf War, many U.S. soldiers came home with what came to be called Gulf War Syndrome. No cause for the debilitating condition has ever been proven, although guesses have included chemical weapons, smoke from burning oil wells, vaccinations and pesticides. Now researchers think it's caused by uranium dust from U.S. weapons, because a group of Afghan civilians who have the same symptoms have "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), is a former U.S. army colonel who is now a professor of medicine. He says that in 2000 he found "significant" DU levels in two-thirds of the 17 Gulf veterans he tested. In May 2002. he sent a team to Afghanistan to examine civilians there and found similarly high levels of uranium. However, no traces of depleted uranium (DU) from weapons have been found in Afghanistan, leading scientists to conclude that a new kind of radioactive weapon may have been used there. Durakovic says, "Independent monitoring of the weapon types and delivery systems indicate that radioactive, toxic uranium alloys and hard-target uranium warheads were being used by the coalition forces." He thinks much of this came from the new generation of "cave-busting" and seismic shock warheads.

posted on May, 23 2003 @ 08:44 PM
Dragonfire this article presents that Afgans have been exposed to Uranium Isotopes

ronunciation: 'I-s&-"tOp
Function: noun
Etymology: is- + Greek topos place
Date: 1913
1 : any of two or more species of atoms of a chemical element with the same atomic number and nearly identical chemical behavior but with differing atomic mass or mass number and different physical properties
- isotopic /"I-s&-'t-pik, -'tO-/ adjective
- isotopically /-'t-pi-k(&-)lE, -'tO-/ adverb

Pronunciation Key

2001 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
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The actual source could come be several even contaminated food

posted on May, 23 2003 @ 08:48 PM
The actual source could come be several even contaminated food Posted by Toltec

I would agree. Due to the nature of the deposition (spalling into a powder on impact, airborn dispersal) the vectors into the body are numerous. Although skin absorbtion is unlikely, in extended exposure settings, you will still manage to get a good deal of exposure through any exposed soft tissue/mucus tissue.

posted on May, 23 2003 @ 08:59 PM
The article is interesting and along with your link found these other two which were attached not exactly related but interesting as well.

I would say the DR has a case worthy of investigation.

posted on Apr, 30 2008 @ 02:02 PM

Crews moving contaminated sand from ship to rail

Tuesday, April 29, 2008 9:07 PM PDT

The sand became contaminated with low levels of depleted uranium following a fire at Camp Doha during the first Gulf War in 1991, according to Hyslop and Army sources. The Army then discovered potentially hazardous levels of lead in the shipment. More

DU contaminated sand heading for landfill in Idaho.

After denying a problem exists in Iraq, we're still cleaning-up Kuwait...17yrs after the fact. Apparently this event isn't considered newsworthy outside of the local port city: Longview Washington.

April 15: Contaminated sand from Gulf War to pass through Longview

April 22: Arrival of toxic sand delayed until Thursday

April 24: Kuwaiti sand bound for Longview has high levels of lead; extended stay likely

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