|Author (Person)||Frost, Laurence|
|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.9, 1.3.01, p7|
EXPOSURE to depleted uranium used in NATO weapons poses no significant risk to human health, a panel of nuclear experts will tell the European Commission.
The working group is putting the final touches to its report, which will boost the alliance's determination to resist calls to stop using the radioactive material.
The study suggests there is no need for new protection measures against depleted uranium (DU) and plays down fears of 'Balkans Syndrome', which has been blamed for the cancer deaths of six Italian soldiers and one from Portugal who served in the region.
The report concludes that the doses that individuals might receive on the ground would have no effect on health.
American planes fired 31,000 armour-piercing DU rounds during the 1999 campaign to drive the Yugoslav army out of Kosovo. DU ammunition is also included in the arsenal of weapons pledged for use by the Union's planned rapid-reaction force.
The EU experts' findings will anger groups campaigning for further research and medical screening of soldiers. Their report also appears to cast doubt on claims of a 'Gulf War Syndrome' following the 1991 war in Kuwait - and linked to DU weapons by some theories.
Campaigners say they are not satisfied with the panel's findings, and will wait for a study being prepared by the UN. "I wouldn't buy it without hearing from other researchers in the field," said Heidi Hautala, leader of the Greens in the European Parliament. "There are other experts who don't make the same assumptions."
In January, the Parliament called for a moratorium on DU weapons until more was known about their health consequences.
Exposure to depleted uranium used in NATO weapons poses no significant risk to human health, a panel of nuclear experts will tell the European Commission.
|Countries / Regions||Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia|