Friday, March 5, 2010

Birth defects rise reported by Fallujah doctors

Doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah are reporting a high level of birth defects, with some blaming weapons used by the US after the Iraq invasion.

The city witnessed fierce fighting in 2004 as US forces carried out a major offensive against insurgents.

Now, the level of heart defects among newborn babies is said to be 13 times higher than in Europe.

BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson visited a new, US-funded hospital in Fallujah where paediatrician Samira al-Ani told him that she was seeing as many as two or three cases a day, mainly cardiac defects.

Ya know, that's what happens when you use depleted uranium in munitions. I wonder how many "insurgents" we've inspired with this one.
The use of DU in munitions is controversial because of questions about potential long-term health effects.[4] Normal functioning of the kidney, brain, liver, heart, and numerous other systems can be affected by uranium exposure, because in addition to being weakly radioactive, uranium is a toxic metal.[5] It is weakly radioactive and remains so because of its long half-life (4.468 billion years for uranium-238). The aerosol produced during impact and combustion of depleted uranium munitions can potentially contaminate wide areas around the impact sites or can be inhaled by civilians and military personnel.[6] During a three week period of conflict in 2003 in Iraq, 1,000 to 2,000 tonnes of DU munitions were used, mostly in cities.[7]


Jamie Gaughran-Perez said...

Talk of DU was really just starting when I left the arms control world... sorry to see that banning that hasn't caught on.

Aside: check out the piece from Fresh Air on 3/4 (yesterday) with the Army Times reporter that was embedded in "the hardest hit unit in Iraq."

Justin Sirois said...

Will do.

Man, this video says that 25% of all infants in Fallujah have some sort of birth defect.