The following article was published this week on BBC. To read the entire article, see... Afghans' uranium levels spark alert
Here is the opening text of the BBC article: A small sample of Afghan civilians have shown "astonishing" levels of uranium in their urine, an independent scientist says. He said they had the same symptoms as some veterans of the 1991 Gulf war. But he found no trace of the depleted uranium (DU) some scientists believe is implicated in Gulf War syndrome. Other researchers suggest new types of radioactive weapons may have been used in Afghanistan.
The scientist is Dr Asaf Durakovic, of the Uranium Medical Research Center (UMRC), based in Canada. Dr Durakovic, a former US army adviser who is now a professor of medicine, said in 2000 he had found "significant" DU levels in two-thirds of the 17 Gulf veterans he had tested.
In May 2002, he sent a team to Afghanistan to interview and examine civilians there. The UMRC 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." There is no official support for its claims, or backing from other scientists.
It says Nangarhar province was a strategic target zone during the Afghan conflict for the deployment of a new generation of deep-penetrating "cave-busting" and seismic shock warheads. The UMRC says its team identified several hundred people suffering from illnesses and conditions similar to those of Gulf veterans, probably because they had inhaled uranium dust.
To test its hypothesis that some form of uranium weapon had been used, the UMRC sent urine specimens from 17 Afghans for analysis at an independent UK laboratory. It says: "Without exception, every person donating urine specimens tested positive for uranium internal contamination.
"The results were astounding: the donors presented concentrations of toxic and radioactive uranium isotopes between 100 and 400 times greater than in the Gulf veterans tested in 1999.
For more and the entire report, see the BBC article ... Afghans' uranium levels spark alert
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