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Hawaii, Do Not Be Fooled

September 3, 2010

And our civilians. DU does not discriminate.

Hawaiians, take note.

The communications from the Army discussed in the article below are prima-facie fabrications. Why? Because there is no such thing as a safe level of “depleted” uranium – no, not ever.

For the Army to say that levels of DU, if they are present, are somehow within a minimum acceptable standard is fallacious. Any levels of DU are definitely a problem.

To describe depleted uranium as “a weak radioactive heavy metal” is misleading. “Deadly” radioactive heavy metal would be more accurate.

I’ve just mounted an article to this site on the subject. See footnote 1. It makes these points:

  • Depleted-uranium (DU) weapons, when fired, create a DU aerosol of  ceramic nanoparticles.
  • Ingestion of DU or contact with it debilitates or kills.
  • Simple exposure to unfired DU weapons can contaminate.
  • There is no safe exposure limit to DU.
  • Protective gear does not protect.
  • DU infects spouses/mothers through semen transfer and family members through contact with contaminated objects.
  • DU leads to horrible birth defects in babies.
  • Women and children are the most susceptible
  • DU has a half life of 4.5 billion years.
  • DU travels globally on the winds.
  • DU cannot be cleaned up.
  • There is no known treatment for DU contamination.

So to the people of Hawaii, if you are detecting DU levels of any sort, you already have a problem. And, yes, it is in the Army’s interests to deny it exists or, if it does, that it’s a problem.

Once legal liability for DU poisoning is established, the amount of money it will cost the Army is truly staggering to consider.

Any American soldier exposed to DU could be at risk, as well as their spouses and children. Certainly the civilian populations of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Lebanon, and Sinai, all of which have seen DU weapons used in quantity, are at risk. Populations near American weapons firing ranges, which includes Puerto Rico as well as Hawaii, are also at risk.

Please be aware that in past years the VA has been known to not use tests acute enough to pick up DU poisoning. I think it quite probable – though I do not know – that the VA is under orders to do everything possible not to recognize cases of DU poisoning lest the flood gates of liability and the need to compensate be opened.

I’m sorry for adding my comments in the text but the subject is just too important to allow it to pass without comment.

Dirck has supplied a video from Maj. Doug Rokke, who was sent to investigate DU poisoning in Iraq and himself became contaminated. Thank you, Dirck. Maj. Rokke has teamed up with Leuren Meuret (google) to do much useful research on DU poisoning.

[A copy of this article has been accepted by OpEdNews and is located here.]

Army Downplays Depleted Uranium Risk on Hawaiian Island

Radiation levels safe at Pohakuloa, Army says

by William Cole

Published on Wednesday, September 1, 2010 by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/01-2

The Army said yesterday that the results of a depleted uranium study at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island show radiological doses “well within limits” considered safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. [There are no safe limits.]

The Army studied the potential health risk posed by residual DU in Pohakuloa areas where past and current weapons firing has taken place.

Depleted uranium, a weak radioactive heavy metal, [It is not “weak.” It is “deadly.”] was used in aiming rounds for the Davy Crockett, a 1960s nuclear device intended as a last-ditch weapon against masses of Soviet soldiers in the event of war.

Jim Albertini with the Malu Aina Center for Nonviolent Education & Action said yesterday that the Army was “stonewalling community involvement in seeking the truth about DU radiation contamination at Pohakuloa.”

Albertini said the Army has made unreliable safety claims based on questionable assumptions and scientific methodology and no peer-reviewed studies.

“The bottom line is this,” Albertini said. “The Army does not want to risk having to shut down Pohakuloa if it is determined that the presence of DU and other military toxins pose a threat to the health and safety of the troops who train there and residents and visitors of Hawaii island.”

The Pohakuloa study is the second determination by the Army that DU poses no health threat.

The Army discovered DU spotting rounds at a Schofield Barracks firing range in 2005. Even though the Army said in 2008 that there was no danger, officials said yesterday that the DU at Schofield is being removed because Stryker armored vehicles and soldiers will be training at the Schofield site. [I’m not sure that DU can be “removed.”]

The DU at Pohakuloa will remain in place at the impact site because “one, we’re not finding a lot, and two, there are too many hazards” to its removal, including jagged lava and unexploded ordnance, said Greg Komp, an Army radiation safety officer from the Pentagon. [Any amount is a lot.]

A shipping list showed that at least 714 of the spotting rounds, containing about 298 pounds of depleted uranium, were sent to Hawaii by 1962, but it is “highly probable” that more rounds were fired here, the Army said. [If this is true, it means the site is contaminated.]

Cory Harden, who lives near Hilo, said training requirements called for 2,000 or more of the spotting rounds to be fired at Pohakuloa, but the Army said the number used at Schofield and on the Big Island is unclear.

Fifteen light M28 Davy Crocketts and seven heavy M29 versions were allocated to the Army in Hawaii.

The M101 spotting rounds were about 8 inches long and contained about 6.7 ounces of DU alloy. The firing device was attached to a recoilless rifle that could launch a 76-pound nuclear warhead. Only dummy warheads were used in training in Hawaii.

The warhead could be fired more than a mile but likely would have irradiated the soldiers using it.

The spotting rounds are believed to have been fired mainly at Schofield and Pohakuloa, but the Army said they also may have been used at Makua Military Reservation.

DU was found within the boundary of the Pohakuloa impact area in October 2006. [If so, the site should be shut down. I’m not sure how you would “decontaminate” it.]

Albertini, who lives on the Big Island, is concerned that DU particles can be ingested from the soil or inhaled as airborne dust and cause adverse health effects.  [Yes, they can be. Or in water runoff.]

According to the World Health Organization, “very large amounts of dust” would have to be inhaled for there to be an additional risk of lung cancer. [Not true. The smallest dose would present a serious problem to the individual.]

Harden complained that a news conference at Pohakuloa yesterday was not open to the public. The Army has been invited to attend a public forum to answer questions about DU, and “they just keep putting us off,” she said.  [I can understand why.]

Russell Takata, program manager for the state Health Department’s Noise, Radiation and Indoor Air Quality Branch, downplayed the danger of DU at the Big Island military training range.

“It’s a very minimal risk,” he said. [Not so.]

The health study will be available at the website www.garrison.hawaii.army.mil/du, the Army said.

Footnotes

(1) Steve Beckow, “Why We Must Not Go to War with Iran,” OpEdNews, Sept. 3, 2007, located here. Read anything by Maj. Doug Rokke or Leuren Meuret on the subject.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. richard fitts permalink
    September 6, 2010 6:29 am

    My understanding is that ALL military and industrial and power-generating radioactive materials, such as DU, are man-made miscreations based on naturally occuring radioactive minerals “on steroids” (naturally-radioactive minerals can be in fact healthy, Google “Radiation Hormesis”) So Steve is correct. I don’t know how to make DU safe but I believe Brown’s Gas and certain micro-organisms called EM can render some radioactive materials safe.

  2. September 4, 2010 5:00 am

    Hi Steve,

    I know this blog message is about Hawaii, but DU has been a threat to the whole Earth’s eco system and its population. I also guess you have heard about “La Isla Nena” of Puerto Rico. Viequez, where tests of ammunition and war exercises took place for a long time; there IS plenty of info on this.

    Bravely our people got together in protests and the US Navy was force to leave the island, but the island of Viequez is still cover with dangerous explosives. The last thing they were trying to do to clean up the place was, to explode those bombs that were still there. I guess that was their last gift to us.

    We are all been affected by this DU and people have been sick forever and many have died from the contaminants and the effects produced by such a terrible practice. We are carrying a scar in our hearts that still hurts, but maybe someday we will be able to enjoy a DU-FREE WORLD.

    “”While DU use has been mostly confined to the Gulf and to the Balkans, there are other incidents of DU use that are worthy of note. In April, 1999, the U.S. Navy accidentally fired hundreds of DU rounds on Vieques, Puerto Rico, which has only exacerbated already tense relations over other issues with the U.S.””

    http://www.vieques-island.com/navy/du.html

    • September 4, 2010 5:16 am

      I hear you, Luz. I did not know about Puerto Rico before you told me.

      I hear that your hearts are scarred. To say that the Navy “accidentally” fired off DU weapons is a fabrication. The armed forces have known since 1947 about the devastating effects of DU.

      DU is perhaps the most deadly contaminant that I can think of and, if they fired off weapons in your country, the nanoparticles will also be carried in the wind all over the region and the world. No one will escape DU contamination. Dr. Rosalie Bertel once called the use of DU weapons “omnicide.”

      The use of DU will some day be judged as a war crime. The large numbers of deformed babies being born around the world will be a testament to the cruelty of all who use these weapons – Americans, British, Israelis, Russians and everyone else.

      Namaste,

      Steve

  3. dirck floris hagers permalink
    September 3, 2010 10:37 pm

    Steve this is an excellent video…it tells one a lot about the start of Gulf l War and Du Clean up

    • September 4, 2010 4:20 am

      And Gulf War II, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Sinai. Another good source, besides Rokke, is Leuren Meuret.

      BTW, there is no such thing as a “DU cleanup,” as Doug found out in Iraq. There is no known way to safely remove DU contaminants.

      Thanks, Dirck.

      Steve

  4. Bradley L. Duell, Ph.D. (Kau'ila) permalink
    September 3, 2010 9:27 pm

    Thank you for this post. At this time I cannot claim expertise in DU or in the technical aspects of DU dispersal in areas where it is fired.

    But I CAN say this…I am a resident of the Big Island. I live in Captain Cook, about 30 miles (a 60 mile drive) from Pohakuloa. The training facility is on a road called “Saddle Road”, because it travels on the “saddle” formed by the geography between Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa. “It extends up the lower slopes of Mauna Kea to approximately 6,800 feet in elevation and to about 9,000 feet on Mauna Loa.” (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/pohakuloa.htm).

    I do know it is part of what is called the “Hawai’i Dryland Forest” (http://www.hawaiiforest.org/reports/dryland.html). “Dryland” means “dry”. Any projectile fired into these areas can kick up dust, which can be carried by the sometimes vigorous trade winds to other parts of the island, even to other islands. If the projectile contains DU, then that will also be carried with the dust.

    But most important, is the principle of “Malama i ka ‘Aina”…”Cherish the Land”, by which true Hawaiians (and all native cultures) have always lived. The practice of using of the Big Island as a military training facility, including bombing and live-fire, and occasionally with the use of DU munitions, is, in my heart, one of the greatest violations ever wrought to the sacredness of this land.

    But know this for certain…our galactic friends are here. Many many have seen them with eyes, and felt them, with heart. They are here. They know and are assisting all of us here.

    And if you come to this place, if you go to Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Saddle Road, Kilauea (the active volcano), you will KNOW that sacredness. You will feel it. You will smell it. You will breathe it. And you will forever be changed.

    My personal sense is that the military dis-respecting of this island is soon to end.

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