A copy of this was sent to my local newspaper, The Staten Island Advance.  Regards, Debra Anderson

Feb. 2006

Our National Guard Soldiers are being exposed to Radioactive Depleted Uranium

Since 1991, the U.S. has deployed artillery and tank munitions made from radioactive depleted uranium, exposing countless civilians plus U.S. Soldiers to excessive radiation. It is used in projectiles and built into vehicles such as armored tanks. The word depleted is a misnomer, it is a radioactive poison and can be harmful to the human body when inhaled, skin contact or ingestion. Most exposure is due to inhalation of dust particles so small, 0.5 to 2 micron (1/1000 of a millimeter) they are able to pass through the most sophisticated respirators, so there is no protection available. Once it is in the lungs, it stays there. Particles can travel anywhere in the body causing high rates of cancer and birth defects. DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years. The only protection is to stop its use and clean it up!

When a Depleted Uranium Projectile hits its object it burns up and releases DU particles into the air. Even if troops aren't close to the blast these particles are carried downwind and inhaled by innocent troops and Iraqi civilians.

"Depleted Uranium is the Agent Orange of this War" More than half Gulf War I vets are suffering undefined illnesses and over 10,000 have died from mysterious causes at early ages. Spc. Gerard Matthews who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom became very sick while in Iraq. His wife became pregnant soon after and gave birth to a daughter with severe hand anomalies (those seen in babies born in Iraq) Gerard was one of 10 National Guard soldiers tested with the help of Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News.

According to the US Army Environmental Policy Institute- If DU enters the body, it has the potential to generate significant medical consequences.

Our Soldiers serving in war have done so in service to our country. Shouldn't we do what is necessary to protect them now? Please educate others and get involved by contacting your state representatives and senators and ask for a testing/care/registry law and Task Force for our National Guard Soldiers. They are only in place for Connecticut, Louisiana and bill #A-9116 is being proposed for NYS.

Debra Anderson
Military Families Speak Out and
Member of NO DU Coalition