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'US DU weapons: high kill, low cost'

An interview with Lawrence Davidson, professor at West Chester University
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Depleted uranium is radioactive and extremely destructive to humans - with a half-life of 4.5 billion years. In other words, it takes 4.5 billion years for one kilogram of depleted uranium to reduce to a half a kilogram - the US has forever contaminated the Middle East."
A prominent professor says that despite the deadly effects of depleted uranium on humans, the US has chosen to use this weapon because of its low manufacturing costs.

Numerous UN human rights commissions have prohibited the use of depleted uranium on humans - including during military conflicts - because it causes congenital deformities and cancers.

However, the US government has notoriously used weaponized depleted uranium on humans, including: 340 tons during the first [Persian] Gulf war in 1991; every missile used during the 1998 Yugoslavian invasion; at least 1,000 tons in Afghanistan in 2001; and 2,400 tons in Iraq in 2003.

Depleted uranium is radioactive and extremely destructive to humans - with a half-life of 4.5 billion years. In other words, it takes 4.5 billion years for one kilogram of depleted uranium to reduce to a half a kilogram - the US has forever contaminated the Middle East.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Lawrence Davidson, professor at West Chester University, to further discuss the issue. The following is a transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Why such a move by the US in using depleted uranium?

Davidson: It's cheap. It's cheap and plentiful. Depleted uranium is a by-product of uranium enrichment after a certain percent.

So, it's stockpiled not only here in the United States but in other places where this process goes on like in Russia and China, and what have you. So you've got it there.

It has certain qualities that lends it to military use, for instance the projectiles that you can make out of this depleted uranium have a very high density. And when you fire it from a canon or a machine gun or an airplane, its penetrating capacity is very great.

And then you can design the projectile so that upon penetration it disintegrates and bursts into flames. So, let's say it penetrates an armored vehicle, it sets the inside of the vehicle on fire.

And this then creates a powdery residue. And the powdery residue can be airborne and it can sit around for a very long time. And when it's disturbed it goes airborne again and you can inhale it. The typical result is if you get enough of it is fatal kidney damage.

Press TV: Mr. Davidson, you've mentioned a couple of points, you said [these are] stockpiled by Russia and China. What about some reports of these weapons used by US led forced also affected neighboring countries such as Pakistan and Iran?

Davidson: Well, I think that if you certainly use it in a border area it might very well go over the border. And I don't know if they're using it in the drones.

But again, it has certain qualities that make it a favored kind of dense metal for military purposes and, therefore, it's very possible that they might be used in the drones.

Press TV: In your opinion, if used in the drones, it does affect neighboring countries?

Davidson: Well, we know the drones are used in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

But I want to say that this is used all over the place; in other words, in the two [Persian] Gulf wars, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Bosnia, in Kosovo. It's probably being used in Chechnya and other places like that. So, you know, it's all over the place.

GMA/JR

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