From the May 2004 Idaho Observer:

U.S. army surgeon general acknowledges depleted uranium toxicity

Diagnosis and treatment ordered -- for some

from Dr. Doug Rokke

Depleted uranium munitions are used during combat because they are extremely effective. However, in winning these battles through use of uranium munitions United States Department of Defense personnel have contaminated air, water, and soil. Consequently, children, women, and men have inhaled, ingested, or got wounds contaminated with uranium. Uranium is a heavy metal and radioactive poison.

The toxicity is not debatable as the Director of the U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute stated in a congressionally-mandated report that “No available technology can significantly change the inherent chemical and radiological toxicity of DU. These are intrinsic properties of uranium “ (Health and Environmental Consequences of Depleted Uranium Use in the U.S. Army: Technical Report, AEPI, June 1995).

The primary U.S. Army training manual: STP 21-1-SMCT: Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks states “NOTE: (Depleted uranium) Contamination will make food and water unsafe for consumption.” [Task number: 031-503-1017 “RESPOND TO DEPLETED URANIUM/LOW LEVEL RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS (DULLRAM) HAZARDS”].

Although, existing U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) directives require that prompt and effective medical care be provided to all exposed individuals (Medical Management of Unusual Depleted Uranium Casualties, DOD, 10/14/93) and the thorough clean up of dispersed radioactive contamination (AR 700-48: “Management of Equipment Contaminated With Depleted Uranium or Radioactive Commodities”); United States, British, and Australian officials refuse to comply with these directives.

The U.S. Army Surgeon General, Lt. General James B. Peake issued a memorandum dated April 29, 2004 (available at ] that depleted uranium bioassays will be administered to all individuals with Level 1 and Level 2 exposures and that bioassays would be provided upon request for all Level 3 exposures.

Level 1 is defined as: “Personnel who were in, on, or near combat vehicles at the time they were struck by depleted uranium rounds (to include wounded), or who entered immediately after to attempt rescue.” Level 2 is defined as: “Personnel who rountinely entered depleted uranium damaged vehicles as part of their military occupation or who fought fires involving depleted uranium munitions.” Level 3 is defined as: “Personnel involved in all other exposures incidental in nature, e.g. driving by a vehicle struck by depleted uranium”. [SECDEF 3/30/03: Policy for the Operation Iraqi Freedom Depleted Uranium (DU) Medical Management]


Note: While the surgeon general's directive and information published in Army manuals acknowledge the radioactive toxicity of DU, it excludes diagnosis and treatment of persons whose DU exposure was incurred while being within, near, or after entering any DU destroyed structure or on contaminated terrain. The directive also excludes diagnosis and treatment of noncombatant men, women and children who have no option but to live where DU-coated U.S. munitions have contaminated air, land and water.

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