About this Publication on Depleted Uranium
- Source for this Publication
- The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).
- Background to the SCHER opinion on depleted uranium.
- Specific questions put to the SCHER by the European Commission
1. Source for this Publication
The texts in level 3 are directly sourced from
“Environmental and Health Risks Posed by Depleted Uranium”, a report produced in 2010 by the SCHER (Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks) of the European Commission.
Levels 1 and 2 were written by Dr Jon Turney
2. The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER).
The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks is one of three independent non-food committees which gives scientific advice on consumer safety, public health and the environment. It was set up by the European Commission to give opinions on pollution and other environmental hazards. It sets up working groups on particular topics, which include external experts as required.
For further information on the SCHER see: http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/environmental_risks/index_en.htm
3. Background to the SCHER opinion on depleted uranium.
There has been long-standing concern about possible health effects of depleted uranium (DU), particularly from its use in armour-piercing munitions, since the first Gulf War in 1990-91. .
Earlier studies which found no conclusive evidence of hazard are disputed.
In 2008 the European Parliament called for more scientific studies on depleted uranium, and for an environmental inventory of DU.
The SCHER was asked for an opinion on the environmental and health risks posed by DU, especially after use of DU munitions.
4. Specific questions put to the SCHER by the European Commission
In its report, the committee was asked:
- for an opinion building on an evaluation of available reports as to the environmental and health risks posed by DU.
- to assess those risks that may arise from exposure to DU in contaminated areas following military activities with weapons containing DU.
- to take into account both the chemical and radiological toxicities of DU and, if appropriate, their possible synergistic relations