June 9th, 20007. Science Advisor
"Unfortunately, my wife had to go to
London, but let's have a sandwich and soup
for lunch." Professor emeritus at the
University of Sunderland (Medicinal Chemistry),
Dr. Hooper skillfully prepared a meal and
brought it over to the table. Then he began
explaining his involvement with Gulf War
"In 1997, four veterans came to my lab. These young men were in their working prime, what should have been the most energetic time of their lives, but they were walking with canes. They were obviously very sick men." While asking them about their illnesses, I decided to use my expertise to do whatever I could to help them.
Dr. Hooper received a doctorate at the University of London in the chemistry of medicine, which deals with drug development, design, and reactions. Later, he continued his research in biochemistry, pharmacology, and toxicology.
"The Gulf War was the most toxic war in Western military history. The use of depleted uranium (DU) munitions, the exploding of Iraqi chemical weapon storehouses, the oil well fires, and the inadequately tested drugs taken by soldiers to protect them from biological and chemical warfare. Taking these factors singly or in combination, it is impossible to imagine that they are causing no physical damage to human beings."
Dr. Hooper refers to DU munitions as "a
new weapon for indiscriminate mutually-assured
destruction." He points out, "The
government and the Ministry of Defence say
that DU is harmless, less radioactive than
natural uranium, but that's because they
are looking at only one aspect. Especially
when used in weapons, DU presents an extremely
The most dangerous aspect of DU weapons is the particles that are released when the penetrators pierce an object like a tank. On impact, the DU penetrators vaporize and release oxidized particles into the air. This oxidation affects not the 10 or 20% claimed by the British Defence Ministry but up to 70% of the mass. The particles are measured in micrometers (a thousandth of a millimeter). A particle five micrometers or less can lodge permanently in the lungs.
"Most of the particles are turned to a ceramic substance by the high temperature. The biological half-life of such substances, that is, the time required for half of the volume inhaled or ingested to be eliminated from of the body, is ten to twenty years. Natural uranium ingested with food is soluble, so it is washed out with the urine in about twenty hours. However, ceramic particles are not soluble. Theoretically, it would take about 24,000 years for all the particles to be completely eliminated from the body."
DU particles can be carried in the blood and lodge in the lymph glands or bones. They can affect the immune system and the bone marrow, which produces blood. They are washed out of the body, but very slowly, which is why they are still being detected in the urine of veterans.
"The fact that it is being detected
nine years later is evidence that DU is still
lodged in various parts of their bodies.
We know now that it is also contained in
Once Dr. Hooper began associating with the veterans, he heard frequent reports of a burning sensation wives experience during sexual intercourse. He explains this phenomenon as follows.
"The chemical toxicity of DU, perhaps in combination with the influence of other chemical substances the soldiers inhaled or ingested, caused abnormal metabolism during the formation of semen. The veterans' semen contains large amounts of extremely strong amine and ammonia-like substances. Ammonia is a strong organic base that has a powerful and destructive effect on mucous membranes. This highly alkaline semen causes the women to have that burning sensation."
The radioactivity and toxicity of DU, as well as the other toxic substances, undeniably affect the genes. Small wonder that so many children with congenital defects are born to the families of Gulf War veterans.
"DU has robbed Iraqi solidiers and the general public of their health and, in some cases, their lives. But it has done the same to the soldiers of the multinational forces. It generates harmful effects on unborn children. That is why I call DU munitions a weapon of indiscriminate mutually-assured destruction."
At the request from British Gulf War veterans, Dr. Hooper has become their chief science advisor. Recently, he has been travelling throughout Europe warning about the dangers of depleted uranium weapons.
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