This propaganda is expertly crafted to avoid directly stating that Depleted Uranium (DU) munitions are as safe as tungsten, while belittling the (valid) belief that DU is incredibly dangerous, and implying that the reader thinks the sound of the term “depleted uranium” is scary because it’s a big scientific word, or something to that effect– not because we know that DU and all forms of uranium are highly toxic.
But what would we expect from the same government that thought it was ok to feed plutonium and other radioactive metals to pregnant women and children?
This is from: http://www.america.gov/conspiracy_theories.html
As a powerful force in society, the military is naturally feared, and fear plays a major role in conspiracy theories.
Uranium evokes very powerful fears. It is associated with atomic weapons, mass annihilation, radiation sickness, cancer and birth defects. Depleted uranium evokes these same fears, despite the fact that it has been depleted of much of its radioactivity. Fear-based associations can be more powerful than logic and facts. Compare how you feel about tungsten to how you feel about depleted uranium. Both are heavy metals, but “depleted uranium” might sound scarier to you.
Yes both uranium and tungsten are heavy metals, but they have very different properties and toxicity. DU bullets burn on impact, resulting in a spray of molten metal and radioactive dust that contaminates surrounding soil and water for over 4 billion years (the half-life of DU).
Uranium is incredibly dense– 2x denser than lead, which makes it ideal for heavy bullets to penetrate armor. It’s also used to make armor, by sandwiching a layer of DU between sheets of steel. The US military has used DU munitions and armor extensively in the Middle East and Bosnia, with incalculable cost to the health of local populations and the world.
Spent tungsten bullets just sit there and slowly oxidize. Tungsten is also dense, but very hard and not incindiery. It does not disintegrate and ignite on impact like DU, and most importantly, it’s not radioactive.
DU is in fact much more dangerous than tungsten. It may be depleted of most of the highly radioactive isotopes of uranium, but it is still radioactive enough to cause cancer and birth defects [Radiation hazards of DU- Wikipedia] [Human lung study, PubMed]. Not only is it carcinogenic (causes cancer) and teratogenic (causes birth defects), it’s also chemically toxic to human and animal tissue [Rothstein 1949] [Jacob 1997] [Stokinger 1953] [McDonald-Taylor 1992] [Kurttio 2002].
The issue here is that it’s more effective at penetrating armor than tungsten, and the US government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the health of its own military, let alone innocent children.
This America.gov “conspiracy theory” propaganda is sophomoric, but that doesn’t make it any less offensive. The genes of entire populations are being irrevocably harmed by the release of thousands of tons of toxic nuclear waste (literally), contaminating land, water, and air. This is truly the definition of genocide. The damage will be generational. Effective clean up will be impossible with current technology.
Here’s an informative documentary about the effect DU is already having in Iraq: Silent genocide – Depleted uranium
18 Responses to “US Government web site psyop promoting depleted uranium munitions [updated]”
The hypocrisy and doublespeak of the military industrial complex and its servant government should be exposed.
Good on you for shedding light on this sly whitewash of depleted uranium.
What I think would be convincing evidence that DU is worse then Tungstan would be some comparative studies with rats or mice. Until I see a study like this or some other form of obvious and overwhelming evidence I will remain skeptical.
The only people who woud even dare compare the toxicity of tungsten to uranium are military industrial complex propagandists. The toxicity of both of these elements are so well known I’d be surprised if anyone would bother doing a comparative study. It would almost be pointless, it’s so absurd. If anything, it would feed into the myth that these 2 elements might have somewhat comparable toxicity, which they don’t.
Until I can find some of those comparative studies, you can continue to use your uranium filament light bulbs without concern. I’ll also try to find some studies that compare the toxicity of iron and mercury. After that maybe we can determine whether the moon is made of swiss or gorgonzola cheese.
Sorry… I jest. I will actually take your suggestion seriously. People will use any excuse to deny the most obivous fact if it contradicts their contrived philosophies. Studies would be helpful. There are some links to studies about DU in the Wikipedia section I linked to above:
Depleted uranium has *more* neutrons than natural uranium, consisting almost entirely of U-238, with a very small amount of the more radioactive U-235. Depletion refers to the removal of the U-235, used to make nuclear fuel.
Both isotopes are very toxic though, of course.
Thank you. I had it in my head that the “depleted” one had fewer neutrons. But you’re totally right and I’m making a correction. I believe DU has ~ .3% of the highly radioactive U235. Still a significant amount.
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