Inhaling depleted uranium from exploding munitions did not cause the Gulf War illness (GWI) of veterans deployed in the 1991 Gulf War, a leading UT Southwestern Gulf War leader said. A new co-authored study suggests.Survey results released today Science reportHelps eliminate the long-suspected cause of GWI, which has gained international attention for 30 years.
For the first time in such a study, using high-precision multi-collector mass spectrometry, Robert Haley, MD, director of UTSW’s epidemiology department, and Randall Parrish, Ph.D., professor of isotope geochemistry at the University of Portsmouth, UK. , UT cooperated to investigate a representative sampling of veterans’ urine maintained by the Gulf War Disease Research Program in Southwestern.Their report showed no difference in secretions uranium Isotope ratios from veterans who do not have GWI and those that meet the standard definition of GWI.
“Randy Parrish is a global expert in uranium isotope measurement that he had already consulted in the UK to study Gulf War illnesses,” he said, investigating the GWI for 27 years and holding the U.S. military. Says Professor Haley of Internal Medicine. Forces Veterans Special Chair for Medical Research and Honors Dr. Robert Haley and American Gulf War Veterans.
“Depleted uranium was not present in the body of a person suffering from enough disease to cause the disease, and was never present, so patients suspected that depleted uranium was the cause of the disease It will surprise many people, including, “says Parish.
Affecting about 25% of the approximately 700,000 US and Allied forces deployed in the Persian Gulf War Operations Theater, GWI includes fatigue, fever, night sweats, memory and concentration problems, diarrhea, and sexual dysfunction. It is a chronic disease with the symptoms of. Chronic body pain. Symptoms are comparable to autonomic nervous system abnormalities and dysfunction of the cholinergic system of the brain associated with cognitive functions such as memory, selective attention, and emotional processing.
Since 1998, the National Academy of Medicine has released numerous reports on possible causes of GWI, backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Because Gulf War veterans were at risk never experienced in previous conflicts, a broad list of suspicious criminals over the years includes exposure to the physical and psychological stress of the war, pesticides or nerve agents. Depleted uranium (DU) exposure to military supplies, contains pyridostigmin pills bromide, nerve agents, vaccination against infectious diseases and toxins in theaters, erupting from hundreds of burning oil wells for months Taken by the military to protect against exposure to leeward oil and smoke.
Since the 1990s, the US military has used depleted uranium for tank armor and some munitions due to its high density of invasion of enemy armored vehicles. DU is produced when high-energy uranium isotopes are removed from natural uranium in the Earth’s crust to produce “enriched” uranium suitable for use in nuclear reactors. The remaining uranium is depleted of about 40% of its radioactivity, but retains the same chemical toxicity as natural uranium.
As the DU projectile penetrates the vehicle, a violent explosion releases small particles of DU that can be inhaled or swallowed, as well as large DU debris that can be embedded in muscle and soft tissue. Subsequent adverse effects are believed to be due to heavy metal toxicity and alpha particle radiation from DUs concentrated in the lungs, kidneys, and bones of affected people.
During the Gulf War, approximately 300 tonnes of DU ammunition were fired at targets in Kuwait and southern Iraq, resulting in several friendly fire incidents and secondary aerosol exposure. The Department of Veterans Affairs has now exposed some veterans from the Gulf War, Bosnia, Operation Enduring Freedom, Iraq’s Freedom, and New Dawn to DU in or around vehicles struck by friendly fire. It reports that there is a possibility. Near a burning car; near a fire involving DU ammunition. Or around a damaged vehicle that has been recovered.
Haley and Parish conducted an investigation after noticing that the role of DU in GWI was not well tested. They used a method developed by the Royal Society to calculate the level of DU found in urine over time after varying the cause-causing exposure level.They have an insensitive sector field Mass spectrometry Used to measure DU in urine in previous studies, sufficient to detect DU in a small number of veterans with large fragments of retained debris, but much more common inhalation exposure Or the small amount expected from ingestion is not detected. The type of multi-collector mass spectrometer operated by Parish was at least 10 times more sensitive than the measurements used in previous GWI studies, provided robust results and was able to detect lower levels than expected.
In their study, Parish tested low-level DU in 154. Urine sampleThe GWI includes 106 veterans obtained from veterans who meet the definition of the standard case, and the rest consists of two controls representing Gulf War veterans without GWI symptoms and undeployed veterans. Subjects extracted from a nationally representative sample of Gulf War veterans were studied in a hospital research unit and urine was collected and interfered with 24 hours in a special collection bottle pre-washed with nitric acid. All possible traces of natural uranium have been removed. DU assay.
In all samples, scientific partners found that DU was absent. It wasn’t a sick person, a theater-placed control group, a non-battlefield person, or a sample of the US military. An officer who survived the Friendly Fire incident, which destroyed a Bradley fighting vehicle, inhaled the resulting hot DU-containing gas and sprayed him with shrapnel that was removed months later. Given the sensitivity of the DU assay, the representativeness of veterans in the study, and the typical pattern of GWI, the study detected DU at the expected levels in GWI veterans when DU was the cause. , Was not detected in the control. GWI. If nothing is found for the first time, the link will be strongly rejected.
“These findings essentially rule out the role of DU in causing GWI,” says Haley. “International debate about whether DU is causing illness in other war theaters where DU munitions were used, as speculation that depleted uranium caused GWI first raised concerns about these situations. It also affects. “
“This question about the link between depleted uranium and disease has been bubbling for nearly 30 years, but it’s time to look elsewhere,” Parish added. Between this radioactive material and GWI. By disproving the suspicious relationship, the medical community can focus. More clearly about what the possible causes really are. “
Researchers have found that the most likely remaining cause of GWI is widespread low-level exposure to sarin nerve agents caused by the destruction of Iraq’s chemical weapons storage facility in January 1991. It is probably exacerbated by the use of antinerve agents and pesticides. To prevent Allied insect-borne diseases.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
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