2005 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 23 Feb 2005 18:36:22 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] 'Green' munitions linked to cancer
'Green' munitions linked to cancer

Cape Cod Times (MA)
Febreuary 23, 2005

A tungsten alloy used in "environmentally friendly" munitions caused
rapidly growing tumors in laboratory rats, according to a recently
published study.

The results raise concerns about the danger from nontoxic alternatives
to depleted uranium and lead, including the 5.56 mm tungsten-nylon
bullet used at Camp Edwards.

The "green" bullet was introduced on the base in 1999, two years after
the Environmental Protection Agency banned the use of lead ammunition.
The EPA had ordered a massive cleanup of underground pollutants on the
base and believed chemicals from spent rounds could seep into the

The tungsten-nylon bullet - which cost $12 million to develop, and about
800,000 rounds of which have been used at the firing ranges - was hailed
as a solution to community concerns. It was thought to be insoluble, or
incapable of disintegrating and making its way into Cape groundwater.

But now researchers have linked the alloy to cancer clusters in rats.
And a study last year in the Journal of Environmental Forensics showed
the metal dissolves in water faster than lead, raising fresh groundwater concerns.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
c/o PSC, 278-A Hope St., Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650/961-8918 or 650/969-1545
Fax: 650/961-8918
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