2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: kc2th@aol.com
Date: 29 Jan 2002 14:39:05 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: RE: [CPEO-MEF] DU Munitions
With regard to Ms. Gibbon's puzzlement over the "angry" refernce to Ms. 
Gawarecki's posting, I can only note that there is often more to a 
posting or its response then the single specific event referenced. 

Having not met Ms. Gawarecki personally to my recollection, I will only 
state that sometimes people speak from a scientific perspective in a 
manner that can come across as authoritarian or condescending to some, 
even though it may not have been meant that way. 

For example, Ms. Gawarecki may not have intended to, but certainly when 
someone responds to a posting with such text as:

"We'd be better off focusing our energy on real problems, then trying to 
spread disinformation about non-problems in the name of a politically 
correct cause,"

it is highly likely that it will be taken as offensive. Intended or not, 
such language suggests another person was only politcally motivated and 
spreading lies.

Thus, I can clearly see why someone else, particularly someone who 
dedicates a great deal of volunteer time, would not respond kindly to 
such a posting.

Lastly, while I was going to let it slide I should note that Ms. 
Gawarecki's comments about DU were a little off the mark - at least 
based on my limited, but supportable knowledge of DU. 

First, DU toxicity is as much, if not more of a concern, than it's 
radiological properties. Thus, the reference to DU ore in the ground 
being more of a concern than a pyrophoric DU penetrator hitting a tank 
is misleading. Furthermore, I wonder how much true study there has been 
of lung cell death or carcinogenesis as a result of both a simultaneous 
heavy metal and radiological assult provided by DU. And I will admit 
that I have not kept up with the DU literature in recent years, but 
given that we have studied lead for decades and are still learning about 
its toxicity, I suspect we have a long way to go with regard to DU.

Second, on the exposure pathway front, the reference to DU not traveling 
far is highly questionable. Many of us are aware of Dr. Deitz' paper on 
the DU particles being found 26 miles from a New York plant. This is 
emperical datum that is hard to argue. 

Given the heat and energy associated with a DU impact, I wonder how far 
such volatilized particles might travel? I am not aware of any study of 
such an event, but certainly would be interested in it if anyone has 
done it. 


Ted Henry

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