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Depleted Uranium home
Source document:
SCHER (2010)

Summary & Details:
Media Consulta

Depleted Uranium

8. Do the data indicate any health risks or environmental risks from DU residues?

DU intake with food and drinking water in areas where DU ammunition has been used is well below agreed tolerable exposure levels, for both chemical and radiological toxicity. In general, studies have shown that general contamination with DU, even in areas of heavy fighting with intensive use of DU ammunition, is very low. In many cases, presence of DU could not be detected at all despite the use of highly sensitive methods.

Biomonitoring for the presence of DU has been performed in military personnel and long-term Kosovo residents. Most of these studies have failed to find increased concentrations of DU in the sampled population. Therefore, SCHER agrees with the conclusions of UNEP and other reports that exposures of the general population to DU from environmental sources after military uses are very low. Due to the very low exposures, which do not significantly increase the body burden of U isotopes, additional health risks are not expected.

Environmental monitoring, which included soil, drinking water and biota, indicates that, except in areas very close to destroyed vehicles and penetrators, DU contamination in the war zones is not widespread and is generally low. For that reason, possible risks for terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems are considered very low.

The GreenFacts Three-Level Structure used to communicate this SCHER Opinion is copyrighted by Cogeneris SPRL.