Age Related Uranium (mcg) Exposure
Uranium is genotoxic and carcinogenic and is
associated with a whole range of harmful health effects.
The medical and environmental consequences of contamination with uranium compounds present both a moral and professional responsibility to the medical profession. The increased use of uranium compounds in industry, and more recently in warfare in the form of depleted uranium, necessitates a further look into the complex biomedical aspects of internal contamination with uranium and its toxicological consequences, both as a heavy metal and radiological hazard.
Uranium is a lustrous, silvery, heavy, radioactive and polyvalent metallic element found extensively in nature which eventually disintegrates into lead. It is present in air, water, and food, and thus most people come into contact with it, and consume tiny amounts of it daily. Uranium is a heavy metal similar to tungsten, lead, mercury, and cadmium. Its toxic chemical characteristics as a heavy metal are independent of its radiological characteristics. Thus all isotopes of uranium exhibit the same chemical behavior (reactivity) and possess identical physical characteristics, such as melting point, boiling point, and volatility. Because naturally occurring uranium, enriched uranium, and depleted uranium vary only in their isotopic mix, they are chemically identical and exert the same chemical effects on the body. It is very important to note that depleted uranium (DU) oxides formed at high temperatures from the use of DU armaments are not the same as DU metal or any other metallic form of uranium.
The uranous ion produces a toxic effect on the living cells by inhibiting the processes of metabolism of carbohydrates by the inhibition enzyme systems, particularly hexakinase at the sites of ATP surface-building through magnesium-hexokinase mechanism. Early studies (Gmelin 1824) at the University of Tübingen on the biological effects of uranium indicated that uranium salts given by mouth present a hazard as a mild poison causing death only after intravenous injection.
Intravenous administration of 600 mg of uranyl nitrate
or 180 mg of uranyl chloride killed a dog within a minute.
There have been 2,000 nuclear detonations on our planet since Hiroshima; over five hundred of them conducted above ground casting uranium and other radioactive substances into our atmosphere. Then there are events like Three Mile Island and the huge disaster at Chernobyl. Though these accidents and above ground tests seem to be far removed from the present they are not. Background radiation levels have increased and many of the harmful medical effects are still waiting to manifest. Radiation does its dirty work quite slowly when it comes to low level exposures, but its effect is cumulative. New exposures amplify the biological vulnerabilities already created by older exposure.
Also there are the nuclear power sites around the world, which are more than accidents waiting to happen. They are back holes on our world, locations destined to be shut down after sixty or seventy years of use and ordained to be surrounded by millions of tons of concrete in an effort to seal them off from the rest of the environment. Already at these sites are ever increasing mountains of radioactive substances that no one on earth has found a safe way of disposing of.
However, as we have seen, the American and British governments think it’s safe to take some of this radioactive waste and put it into conventional armaments, and shoot them at people. And unbeknownst to the public, is that even when these plants are operating normally they are spilling radiation into the environment. Most of us though are conditioned only to worry about a nuclear accident, a melt down or a nuclear fire. The cost to big government is going to be a great deal higher than anyone has ever imagined when the full nuclear tab comes due. Through the ages and generations to come, people will curse the extreme shortsightedness of our present crop of leaders who have led us to the gates of atomic hell.
The Russians had first hand experience with atomic hell when on April 26, 1986 a region populated by about two million people in Chernobyl, Ukraine, was devastated by an explosion and meltdown at their nuclear power plant. The Chernobyl accident contaminated large parts of the Soviet Union and Europe. Radioactivity was ultimately detected everywhere in the northern hemisphere. Mobilizing the military and evacuating hundreds of thousands of residents, the emergency cleanup effort involved nearly 750,000 soldiers and firemen. Of those many emergency workers, some say over half are now dead, and over 250,000 more are dying from various types of cancer. Greenpeace has estimated that the total death toll total was 100,000. This epic human tragedy led the Soviet society on a desperate search for ways to detoxify and protect their people from radiation poisoning, yet we find even the Russian authorities trying to deny the staggering cost in human terms. The total amount of radiation emitted from the explosion was 200 times that of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The European Committee on Radiation Risk
In 20 years it has become clear that not tens, hundreds or
thousands, but millions of people in the Northern hemisphere
have suffered and will suffer from the Chernobyl catastrophe.
- Dr. Alexey V. Yablokov
- Russian Academy of Sciences
More than a third of Britain is still contaminated by radioactivity from the Chernobyl disaster two decades ago, and children are getting cancer as a result. An Independent on Sunday investigation published in London on April 22, 2006, shows that at least 34 per cent of the country will remain radioactive for centuries as the result of the accident. In Britain, about 81,000 sq km (31,000 sq miles) – mainly in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the west of England – were contaminated above 4,000 bequerels per square metre. The report says the radioactive caesium – and the doses of radiation it gives Britains – will only “decline slowly over the next few hundred years”.
Greenpeace has reported that during these last 20 years there have been 200 “near misses” to melt downs cited in US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) documents, eight of which were considered significant risks of core meltdowns. Greenpeace says, “As U.S. corporations contemplate building more nuclear reactors, it is important that our government regulators remember Chernobyl and speak honestly and forthrightly about the very real dangers posed by splitting atoms. Nuclear reactors are, by their very nature, inherently dangerous. Each reactor has the potential to devastate the state or region in which it operates.”
The medical community must acknowledge that there are powerful winds of denial regarding uranium exposure and its dangers, just as there have been with other toxic substances like mercury, lead, arsenic and fluoride. This is a world wide phenomenon that was spearheaded by the American government and the industrial corporations that stood behind it. In the 1950′s the U.S. government, under the administration of Dwight Eisenhower, started a large propaganda campaign to show the world that nuclear weapons, radioactivity, and radiation were not harbingers of death, but were instead powerful, benign servants offering almost limitless benefits to humankind. The “Atoms for Peace” program was born, explicitly aimed at convincing Americans and the world that these new technologies were full of hope, and that nuclear power reactors should be developed with tax dollars to generate electricity. The promise of this newest technical advance seemed too good to be true — electricity “too cheap to meter.”
Thomas Edison abandoned the new field of radiology
quickly, when he recognized the risks involved.
The great majority of us were fooled by the government. Those who were not, have done their homework and are tapping us on our shoulders telling us that these reactors, even during normal operation, are spilling radiation into the environment, and that this ‘safe’ or ‘non-existent’ radiation is killing kids with cancer. A new study by Joseph Mangano was announced in Trenton NJ on March 28, 2006. The study, published in the International Journal of Health Services, finds that childhood cancer is linked with normal reactor operations.
Cancer in children living near the Oyster Creek nuclear reactor rose after increased levels of radiation entered their bodies. Study results were obtained by comparing trends in Ocean and Monmouth County cancer incidence rates of children under age 10 and radioactive Strontium-90 found in baby teeth of children. Lab measurements in over 300 New Jersey baby teeth were used in the study. “These findings document a link between reactor emissions entering the human body and increased cancer incidence. It also reaffirms the well-established principle that there can be a short period between radiation exposure to the fetus and infant and the appearance of cancer,” says study author Joseph Mangano of the Radiation and Public Health Project, a New York-based research group, which has published 22 articles on radiation health risk.
In the normal operations of nuclear plants, the evidence is there for rising infant mortality and damage to the newborn. “Infant mortality is the most sensitive indicator of radioactive pollution,” according to Leuren Moret who is part of the group studying such frightening things. Moret reports that when the nuclear plant at Rancho Seco was shut down, children’s mortality dropped 20 percent, and when the Diablo Canyon plant was turned on the local population was exposed to enough radiation to drive up the childhood cancer rates in the local area by 80 percent. Cancer rates increase most sharply in areas closest to the nuclear reactors demonstrating clearly that a wrong turn was made that threatens not only us but future generations to come. When one looks at breast cancer statistics plotted out geographically one also sees this disaster in focus. The nations nuclear reactors are leaking and women are losing both their breasts and their lives for it and the medical establishment says nothing still worrying, as it usually does, only about viruses.
SAT scores plunged in the early days of above grown nuclear testing showing neurological effects and even autism can be linked, in part, to nuclear generated power. We in the autism area have mostly plotted out the dramatic rise in the 1990s to sharp increases in the use of mercury containing thimerosal in vaccines. But at the same time radiation levels were increasing. Such plagues as autism and the dramatic rise in learning disabilities are fueled by a multitude of converging causes. The principle ones being heavy metals like aluminum, lead and mercury, combining with fluoride and aspartame and a myriad of other toxic chemicals – all interacting with uranium, and ionizing radiation in the bodies and cells of our beloved children. Human cells exposed to uranium bond with it and these other heavy metals and the resultant biochemical reaction can cause genetic mutations, which in turn can curtail cell growth and potentially trigger cancer.
All of this has slammed head on into a nutritional disaster that has our kids severely malnourished even while they are eating plenty. This all comes together in synergistic fashion to create a poisonous field of such potency its amazing any child lives through it. It seems lost on the federal government that no nation can survive in the long run if it continuously damages the mental ability of its newborn children. But it continues to do this like a beast eating its own young, destroying its own future, as it continues to say these toxic metals and radioactive substances and atomic plants are safe when they are not.
The primary cause of death from acute radiation injury is usually infection by normal pathogens during the phase of manifest illness. Even minimally symptomatic doses of radiation depress the immune response and dramatically increase the infectivity and apparent virulence of biological agents.
Thus it is said that biological weapons may be significantly more devastating against an irradiated population. This depressive influence on immune response is the same influence that complicates other heavy metal toxicity as mentioned above.
According to Dr. Boyd Haley, “Several biological finds have supported the hypothesis that early exposure of infants to Thimerosal was the major exacerbation factor in the increase in autism-related disorders since the advent of the mandated vaccine program. These initially included the observations of a genetic susceptibility impairing the excretion of mercury and the increased retention of mercury by autistic children. This was followed by data indicating that autistics have low levels of the natural compound glutathione that is necessary for the biliary excretion of mercury, possibly explaining the genetic susceptibility.”
Both mercury and uranium sit in the environment like invisible clouds that have spread out everywhere. With mercury we have doctors and dentists taking it upon themselves to expose people to huge increases of mercury by either injecting it directly with vaccines, or using it as a dental filling. With uranium we have the United States and Britain blowing the ‘stuff ‘up in distant battlefields only to have the radioactive poisons drift around the world.
According to Leuren Moret, the famous Livermore Lab nuclear whistle blower, a case is easily made for radiation causing the geometric rise of cancers in the US.-1 in 3 Americans compared to 1 in 20 before the Second World War It is also, in part, responsible for the rise in autism, learning disabilities, chronic immune deficiency disorders (chronic fatigue syndrome, Epstein-Barr and so forth), higher rates of infant mortality and the general weakening of the public’s health. The difficulty lies in isolating one poisonous cause from another since there has been a great rise in thousands of chemicals that are all mixing together in peoples’ and even newborns’ blood streams.
It should be clear though, that everything done with radioactive substances is dangerous to mankind. (See next chapter)The newest risk is coming from depleted uranium (DU) weapons and the huge tonnage of material already spilled across four battlefields. Though greatly concentrated in local war theatres recent evidence demonstrates that it is being carried in the high winds to distant lands. With the different radioactive substances having half lives measured in thousands, millions and even billions of years, and with modern medicine in the first world depending increasingly on diagnostic machines with their own high levels of radiation, humanity is increasingly threatened by rising radiation levels as it is with rising levels of mercury and other toxic chemicals.
If depleted uranium enters the body it has the
potentiality of causing serious medical consequences.
The associated risk is both chemical and radiological.
- U.S. Army Report 1995
Two major health concerns are related to the use of DU in military applications: heavy-metal toxicity effects and radiation effects. For both health issues, many factors will determine whether a health effect may result. These factors include the toxicological dose (how much and how long), route and magnitude of exposure, and location of embedded fragments or vapor particles. In addition, other factors including age, sex, diet, family history, health status, and lifestyle may affect the overall health effects of exposure. Lastly is the heavy metal contamination from other metals. The synergistic effect between chemicals and heavy metals is the single greatest reality that burdens each of us today.
Many scientists and the government itself strongly deny any ill effects from depleted uranium, and one almost has to be a physicist to join the discussion and take an educated position. What seems a universal characteristic about the denial is, that the true characteristics of depleted uranium when used on the battlefield, is dramatically changed after the uranium is burned at high temperatures and turned into a number of different oxide compounds of incredibly small size. We shall see more of this in the following chapter.
It’s not dangerous until it blows up. Depleted uranium is pyrophoric.
When depleted uranium burns, it releases a radioactive gas.
It behooves us to look at what causes radiation poisoning. There are four kinds of radioactive materials. They are alpha particles, beta particles, gamma rays, and neutron rays. You may be exposed to any of these materials accidentally, either in a purposeful act, or as a dirty bomb.
Alpha particles: Alpha particles lose energy very quickly in the air. By the time they are an inch or two (2-5 centimeters) away from their source they have become harmless. Alpha particles only go through skin with open cuts or sores. Alpha particles are stopped by any clothing or even a piece of paper. If alpha particles are breathed in, swallowed, or get into a cut or sore on your skin, they may harm you. Uranium produces alpha particles. An alpha particle is heavy, has a very short range and is extremely damaging to cells causing cancer, degenerative conditions and chromosomal defect, resulting in birth defects in the offspring of exposed people. The big and unreported danger of alpha particles is from ingested uranium for the uranium particles emit their radiation directly into the local cell tissues.
Beta particles: Beta particles can travel several feet (1 meter) in open air. They can burn your skin because they can go through skin for up to about an inch (2 centimeters). Beta particles are easily stopped by any solid material, including heavy clothing. Beta particles are most dangerous if they are breathed in, swallowed, or get into a cut or sore on your skin.
Gamma rays: Gamma rays are higher energy. They are not particles. Gamma rays travel at the speed of light. They can travel hundreds to thousands of yards (meters) before their energy is gone. Gamma rays can pass through many kinds of materials, including human beings. Gamma rays are stopped only by distance, or very dense materials like lead. Like alpha and beta particles, gamma rays can be inhaled from the air or swallowed with a food or water source. Gamma rays may affect organs like the liver and stomach, and other parts deep in your body. These rays destroy tissue and cause sickness and death.
Neutron rays: Neutrons are usually the result of fallout. Fallout happens after an atomic blast. The ground absorbs a lot of radiation after an atomic blast. The exposed radioactive ground then rises as a cloud (fallout) and neutrons are carried by winds to other places. Neutrons can be inhaled from the air or swallowed with a food or water source. Neutron radiation damage does not appear to be dose-rate dependent.
The US State Department and the Department of Defense categorically state that there is no link between DU and the diseases veterans, who have been exposed during the recent gulf wars, are suffering from. These governmental departments conveniently choose to omit the fact that Alpha emitters (radionuclides that emit alpha radiation) are classified as carcinogenic by all nuclear regulatory and environment health agencies.
Cellular effects of radiation are basically the same for the different kinds and doses of radiation. The simplest effect is cell death. With this effect, the cell is no longer present to reproduce and perform its primary function. Changes in cellular function can occur at lower radiation doses than those that cause cell death. Changes can include delays in phases of the mitotic cycle, disrupted cell growth, permeability changes, and changes in motility. In general, actively dividing cells are most sensitive to radiation. Radiosensitivity also tends to vary inversely with the degree of differentiation of the cell.
Thus Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, head oncologist at the Saddam teaching hospital in Basra reported, “Children in particular are susceptible to depleted uranium poisoning. They have a much higher absorption rate as their blood is being used to build and nourish their bones and they have a lot of soft tissues. Bone cancer and leukemia used to be diseases affecting them the most, however, cancer of the lymph system, which can develop anywhere on the body, and has rarely been seen before the age of 12 is now also common.”
Once a radionuclide is absorbed it is distributed throughout the body. The rate of distribution to each organ is related to organ metabolism, the ease of chemical transport, and the affinity of the radionuclide for chemicals within the organ. The liver, kidney, adipose tissue, and bone have higher capacities for binding radionuclides due to their high protein and lipid makeup.
The kidneys though are considered the primary target organs for uranium chemical toxicity. Nephrotoxicity is a chemically related risk associated with uranium exposure, and has been documented in animal studies at high exposure levels. Like mercury, cadmium, and other heavy-metal ions, excess uranyl ions depress glomerular function and tubular secretion of organic anions. According to the National Academies, “Type 2 diabetes is reported to be increased in Native American populations. A disproportionately high fraction of uranium miners were Native Americans. The complications of diabetes include CRD (Chronic Renal Disease), which cannot be differentiated clinically from effects of high doses of uranium in the kidney.”
Once the uranium is solubilized in the blood, the kidney will excrete some of it in urine. Uranium not excreted distributes to bone and soft tissue, including the kidney, liver, lung, fat, muscle, and then, to some extent, to all other organs. Although uranium in the body distributes to all organs with the main reservoir being the skeleton, the target organ is the kidney, where functional change is observed. One of the biggest problems though, to looking at the health damages done by uranium exposure, has been the government’s blatant refusal to acknowledge any damage done to the body until it shows up as renal dysfunction.
The December 2000 Science for Democratic Action — from the Institute for Environmental and Energy Research (IEER) — reports that, “Some [DU] particles remain in the body where they can build up in lung [tissue], or enter the blood stream where it can accumulate in bone tissue.” Internal exposure, the IEER article says, “increases the risk of leukemia and lung, bone and soft tissue cancers, particularly when inhaled or ingested.”
Iraqis and Kuwaitis aren’t the only ones showing signs of
uranium contamination and sickness. Gulf War veterans,
plagued by a variety of illnesses have been found to have
traces of uranium in their blood, feces, urine and semen.
Dr. Jawad Al-Ali reported that there are nine people with cancer in his wife’s family. At a conference in Japan in 2004 he stated, “Two strange phenomena have come about in Basra which I have never seen before. The first is double and triple cancers in one patient. For example, leukemia and cancer of the stomach. We had one patient with 2 cancers – one in his stomach and kidney. Months later, primary cancer was developing in his other kidney–he had three different cancer types. The second is the clustering of cancer in families.” These types of multiple cancer cases are being reported in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, all nuclear battlefields where DU armaments were used.
For the leadership in the United States the thought of Iran getting the bomb sometime in the next decade is an excuse for war today, because when all is done, these elite decision makers are going to protect themselves, their companies, their profits, etc. And if it takes killing another 50,000 children or a million to protect their estates they probably would not think twice since most of their money is blood money, money created on the suffering of others. What difference is it to them if they poison people slowly or more quickly with radiation released during nuclear war? When war eventually breaks out in Iran you will be wishing that you had read up on everything to do with radiation poisoning and what to do about it, because nuclear war has been reclassified as conventional with the use of depleted uranium weapons. Every war now fought by the United States will be a nuclear war. Since there is no credible source indicating that we are entering a phase of history where wars will not be fought we have a lot to worry about.
There is nothing easy about the diagnosis of heavy metal poisoning and medical authorities have been known to make fun of doctors who test for heavy metals, and design treatment programs to chelate out these metals including uranium. In following chapters we will talk about chelation and introduce a natural product called Chelorex that has been thoroughly tested for the safe removal of many of the heavy metals including uranium. In reality there is something we can do about the increased toxicity every human being is being exposed to and this book will explore the most natural of these methods, which can include even the increased use of something as simple as miso.
Below is a list of diseases possibly caused by depleted uranium, which was compiled by Leuren Moret from interviews with Gulf War Vets and their families. The problem here is that all of these veterans received a massive number of vaccines bearing dangerous chemicals. There is though a central medical theme, soldiers are being poisoned, first as they leave for the battle field with up to 17 vaccine shots, and then on the battlefield with deadly radiation. Put the two poisoning sources together and medicine has to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the effect. Unfortunately for veterans suffering from the below list of diseases (Gulf War Syndrome) medicine is so afflicted.
 Toxicologically speaking, there is a difference between uranium oxide and uranyl nitrate. Uranyl nitrate, including the hexahydrate form, is soluble in water and moderately soluble in the body. This means that if ingested or inhaled, it will readily be transported to the rest of the body. It can also be absorbed through the skin. Its high toxicity is largely manifest in irreversible kidney damage. Uranium oxide, on the other hand, is largely insoluble. Only respirable particles deposited in the pulmonary region of the lung are retained for long enough for the radiological consequences to manifest themselves. The concentration of uranyl nitrate required to deliver the radiation dose limit for soluble uranium compounds is larger than the toxicity-based concentration limits. Therefore, for soluble uranium compounds, health consequences of exposure are primarily due to their chemical toxicity. For insoluble compounds of uranium, health consequences (e.g., fibrosis and/or carcinogenesis of the lung) are primarily due to irradiation of pulmonary tissues from inhaled respirable particles.
 Hodge HC, Maynard EA, Downs WL. Antidotal action of polyphosphates in uranium poisoning. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1951;101:17-8.The adsorption process results in the sixth glucose carbon atom interacting with a phosphate atom of ATP, with negatively charged glucose-6-phosphate re-entry inhibition through a negatively charged point of entry at the cell surface. A uranyl ion replacing a magnesium ion binds the ATP molecule to hexokinase. ATP-uranyl-hexo- kinase complex blocks the release of phosphate to glucose, inhibiting its first step of metabolic utilization with non-metabolized glucose in the extracellular environment
 Gmelin CG. Versuche über die wirkungen des bartis strontians, chroms, molybdäns, wolframs, tellurs, titans osmiums, platins, iridiums, rhodiums, paladiums, nikels, kobalts, urans, ceriums, eisens und mangans auf den tierishen organismus. Journal für Chemie und Physik (Halle) 1825;43:110-5.
 The “Nuclear Fuel Management and Disposal Act” (S. 2589) was introduced in the Senate in April of 2006 by Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and would eliminate health and safety laws and regulations for licensing and operating the controversial nuclear dump site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. No one on earth has found a safe way to store nuclear waste but already we have the government removing limits on the amount of nuclear waste to be buried at the dump.
 Arjun Makhijani and Scott Saleska, THE NUCLEAR POWER DECEPTION; U.S. NUCLEAR MYTHOLOGY FROM ELECTRICITY “TOO CHEAP TO METER” TO “INHERENTLY SAFE” REACTORS (New York: The Apex Press, 1999) ISBN 0-945257-75-
Radiation and Public Health Project. http://www.radiation.org/press/index.html
One of the main problems with radiation exposure is the loss of glutathione enzyme which then results in greater retention of toxic chemicals in the fatty tissues of the breast. These are environmental pollutants like PCBs, pesticides, and various lipid soluble chemicals. As these chemicals become involved in the mitochondria’s enzyme production processes, the oxidative stress to the cell rise leading to the failure of the “2-5A RNase L” enzyme that control pathogens within the cells. As this enzyme fails various viruses and mycoplasma’s take over the cells and produce their own cytokines that promote blood vessel growth and rapid cell multiplication. This becomes the cancer tumor.
Most internal contamination is a result of inhalation. The skin is impermeable to most radionuclides. Wounds and burns create a portal for any particulate contamination to bypass the epithelial barrier. All wounds must therefore be meticulously cleaned and debrided when they occur in a radiological environment. Any fluid in the wound may hide weak beta and alpha emissions from detectors.
The main renal site of action of uranium is the proximal tubule where proton secretion degrades the bicarbonate complex of the uranyl ion, permitting the uranium ion to react with the apical cell membranes of the tubular epithelium. This view is supported by the observation that alkalinization of the urine increases urinary uranium excretion.
Daily War News for Tuesday, April 18, 2006; http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m22680&l=i&size=1&hd=0
Leuren Moret is an independent scientist who works on radiation and public health issues with communities around the world. She earned her B.S. in Geology at U.C. Davis in 1968, and her M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from U.C. Berkeley in 1978. She has completed all but her dissertation for a PhD. in the Geosciences at U.C. Davis. After working 5 years at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and two years at the Livermore nuclear weapons lab, she left Livermore and now dedicates her life to revealing and understanding the actual health effects of radiation exposure. Ms. Moret works with the Radiation and Public Health Project [http://www.radiation.org], a group of independent scientists who have written ten books on low level radiation and public health.