Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

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Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:39 pm

The findings of a new study about the impact of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq on children have just been published. The study focuses on teeth samples which show that Iraqi children are suffering from alarming levels of toxins associated with heavy bombardments by the US warplanes and troops during Iraq's occupation.



And of course the West are such angels and have done nothing wrong it this world.   What a load of crap.

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:49 pm

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10661-016-5491-0

Prenatal metal exposure in the Middle East: imprint of war in deciduous teeth of children

Open AccessArticle
First Online: 05 August 2016
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-016-5491-0
Cite this article as: Savabieasfahani, M., Ali, S.S., Bacho, R. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2016) 188: 505. doi:10.1007/s10661-016-5491-0


Abstract


In war zones, the explosion of bombs, bullets, and other ammunition releases multiple neurotoxicants into the environment. The Middle East is currently the site of heavy environmental disruption by massive bombardments. A very large number of US military bases, which release highly toxic environmental contaminants, have also been erected since 2003. Current knowledge supports the hypothesis that war-created pollution is a major cause of rising birth defects and cancers in Iraq. We created elemental bio-imaging of trace elements in deciduous teeth of children with birth defects from Iraq. Healthy and naturally shed teeth from Lebanon and Iran were also analyzed for trace elements. Lead (Pb) was highest in teeth from children with birth defects who donated their teeth from Basra, Iraq (mean 0.73–16.74 208Pb/43Ca ppm, n = 3). Pb in healthy Lebanese and Iranian teeth were 0.038–0.382 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n = 4) and 0.041–0.31 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n  = 2), respectively. Our hypothesis that increased war activity coincides with increased metal levels in deciduous teeth is confirmed by this research. Lead levels were similar in Lebanese and Iranian deciduous teeth. Deciduous teeth from Iraqi children with birth defects had remarkably higher levels of Pb. Two Iraqi teeth had four times more Pb, and one tooth had as much as 50 times more Pb than samples from Lebanon and Iran.

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:50 pm

Introduction


A pandemic of developmental neurotoxicity affects millions of children worldwide (Grandjean and Landrigan 2014). Prenatal exposures to industrial chemicals, particularly lead (Pb), are among known causes of this pandemic. Given the seriousness of this global health issue, accurate measurement of prenatal exposures has become a scientific priority. Deciduous teeth originate in fetal life and may prove useful in measuring prenatal metal exposures.
In war zones, the explosion of bombs, bullets, and other ammunition releases multiple neurotoxicants into the environment, adding to the burden of childhood exposures. Recent studies in Iraq indicate widespread public exposure to neurotoxic metals (Pb and mercury) accompanied by unprecedented increases in birth defects and cancers in a number of cities (Savabieasfahani 2013). Current knowledge supports the hypothesis that war-created pollution is a major factor in the rising numbers of birth defects and cancers in Iraq.
The Middle East has been the site of a massive environmental disruption by bombardments. In 2015 alone, the USA dropped over 23,000 bombs in the Middle East. Twenty-two thousand bombs were dropped on Iraq/Syria (Zenko 2016). US military bases also produce and release highly toxic environmental pollutants in the Middle East. Though our knowledge is limited, a recent report by Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) offers a conservative estimate of two million killed in the Middle East since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Around one million people have been killed in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan, and 80,000 in Pakistan. A total of around 1.3 million, not included in this figure, have been killed in other recently created war zones such as Yemen and Syria (Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)).
It may seem callous to focus on the “long-term” effects of war while these horrific consequences of war are here and now. Nevertheless, long-term public health consequences of war need to be better examined if we are to prevent similar wars in the future (Weir 2015). To that end, here we report the results of our last samples from a growing war-zone.
Deciduous teeth of children from Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran can show a continuum of high to low war-related-exposures in children. Measurements of environmental samples in the areas of our interest are rare in the literature. Therefore, we deduce that a continuum of high to low war-related exposures can be detected in children of the selected areas based upon the knowledge of the number and length of wars fought in each country in modern times. We do know that Iraq continues to be the target of repeated bombings and military activity, that Lebanon has been the site for multiple wars, and that military activities have occurred in Lebanon intermittently up to 2016 (Haugbolle 2010). In contrast, Iran has been the site of only one war in modern times, which ended in 1988 (Hersh 1992). Our aim is to evaluate deciduous teeth for their suitability to serve as markers of prenatal exposures to neurotoxic heavy metals.
Metals are one of the main components of bombs, bullets, and other weaponry. Buncombe (2011) offers a historic account of the very large number of bombs and bullets that were dropped in the Middle East post-2003. Additionally, 1500 US military bases and facilities—with their associated toxic pollutants—have been erected in the Middle East since 2003 (Nazaryan 2014; Vine 2014). It has been suggested that US military bases are among the most polluting operations on earth (Nazaryan 2014; Broder 1990; Milmo 2014).
In Iraq, there are currently over 500 US military bases (Kennedy 2008; Vine 2014). Pollutants released from these bases have reportedly harmed human health (Institute of Medicine, IOM 2011). Metals are released in the environment in large quantities during and following wars, either by direct bombing or as a result of waste generated and released by military installations (IOM). Metals are persistent in the environment (Li et al. 2014), and their adverse effects on health—especially the health of sensitive populations (i.e., pregnant mothers, fetuses, growing children)—have been established (Parajuli et al. 2013; Grandjean and Landrigan 2014). Public exposure to war-related pollutants intensifies as wars become frequent and as the environmental release of waste associated with military bases increases. Metal exposures and toxicity are frequently reported in children, particularly those living in areas of protracted military attacks in the Middle East (Alsabbak et al. 2012; Jergovic et al. 2010; Savabieasfahani et al. 2015).
As prenatal exposures become more severe and common in war zones, the accurate measurement of those prenatal exposures becomes more urgent. The use of deciduous teeth, which originate in fetal life, as a biomarker of prenatal exposure, is worthwhile (Landrigan 2004) if we are to protect children from such exposures in the future. Teeth have been used as bio-indicators of environmental exposure to metals and to subsequent disease occurrence (Hare et al. 2011; Arora and Austin 2013). For example, Pb levels in primary teeth are accepted indicators of environmental Pb exposure in children and adolescents and have been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders (Arora et al. 2006).
Elemental bio-imaging with laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) is a new method for imaging trace elements in tooth. Based on tooth LA-ICP-MS studies, deciduous teeth have been proposed as an effective past exposure biomarker that can objectively and precisely illustrate the intensity and timing of past exposures (Arora and Austin 2013). Fine-tuning of this method will significantly improve our ability to quantify children’s exposures at different life stages and will enhance the quality of risk assessment studies for children.
War-related metal pollution occurs in varying degrees in Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran (Fig. 1). Children’s deciduous teeth from these areas ought to bear the mark of these variable exposures.


Fig. 1
Map of the study area in the Middle East, Basra, Beirut, and Isfahan are marked in red circles

Basra City, in Iraq, is surrounded by military bases (Fig. 2), and it has been the site of numerous military attacks. Beirut, in Lebanon, has seen a civil war and intermittent bombings and military attacks. Isfahan, a south central city in Iran, has not witnessed any military attacks in recent history. We therefore expected to see high, medium, and low metal exposures in the deciduous teeth of children from Basra, Beirut, and Isfahan, respectively. Elemental bio-imaging of these selected deciduous teeth can improve our knowledge of prenatal exposures to toxic metals.


Fig. 2
US military bases are indicated by . Basra is surrounded by military bases that have been continuously releasing war-related pollutants, including metals, into the Iraqi environment


Material and methods



Tooth donation and sample preparation


In April 2013, deciduous teeth were collected in two public clinics, one in Isfahan, Iran (n = 2; 9, and 12 years old; mean age = 10.5), and the other in Basra, Iraq (n  = 3; 5, 8, and 14 years old; mean age = 9). A private clinic in Beirut, Lebanon, also collected deciduous teeth for this study (n  = 4; 11, 13, 6, and 6 years old; mean age = 9). Prior to tooth collection, parents of the potential tooth donors were informed about our research interest. Parents were made fully aware of the way the children’s teeth will be used in this research. Samples of tooth used in this study were collected from children of those parents who gave their full consent to our proposed research. Parental consent forms were signed at the clinic in the presence of the licensed dentist. The children of Isfahan and Beirut were in good health but the deciduous teeth from Basra were donated by children who had survived various birth defects such as soft tissue anomalies and neural tube defects. They also lived in areas that had been bombed.
Iraqi children who donated teeth to this study confirmed that they lived in homes that were bombed (at least once) and also near a known bombed site. One of the Lebanese participants (the 12-year-old) lived in a home that was bombed and was also located near a known bombed site. Iranian children’s dwellings were not bombed, and they did not live near a known bombed site.
Tooth samples were cleaned of saliva, blood, and other tissue debris. Then those samples were dried at room temperature and wrapped in clean medical gauze. Each tooth was then placed in a clean autoclaved paper envelope. After closing the envelopes, identification information was pasted on each envelope. Closed envelopes were mailed, in batches, from each country, to the corresponding author. Iranian and Lebanese teeth were in better condition upon arrival, compared to Iraqi samples.
Longitudinal sections were made of teeth after resin embedding for Basra and Isfahan teeth. Deciduous teeth from Beirut were not embedded in resin for sectioning. The sections were polished with 1-μm diamond paste and washed in Milli-Q water prior to analysis.


Image processing


Elemental images of 7Li, 25Mg, 43Ca, 52Cr, 55Mn, 66Zn, 88Sr, 138Ba, 208Pb, 232Th, and 238U in tooth were generated. Quantitative information is based on previously published single-point calibration (Hare et al. 2011).
Elemental maps were made of the sections using laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). Elements scanned for were 7Li, 25Mg, 43Ca, 52Cr, 55Mn, 66Zn, 88Sr, 138Ba, 208Pb, 232Th, and 238U. 43Ca was used as an internal standard (all elements normalized to Ca). Laser parameters were chosen to yield pixel size of about 35 × 35 μm. The certified glass standard NIST 612 was used for semi-quantification of trace element levels in the samples.

Laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry


Operating conditions for the optimized LA-ICP-MS system, including variable parameters, plasma power, argon gas flow rates, sample depth (and thereby residence time of analytes in the plasma), lens voltages for ion beam focusing, and integration times for the mass spectrometer, have been reported earlier (Hare et al. 2011).

Results and discussion


Quantitative element maps of trace elements in deciduous teeth were created by the single-point calibration LA-ICP-MS method (Hare et al. 2011). Color index represents the range in metal levels from low (dark blue) to high (red) Fig. 3, Table 1.


Fig. 3
Lead (Pb), magnesium (Mg), chromium (Cr), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), lithium (Li), and uranium (U) in deciduous teeth of children from Iraq (high exposure to war pollutants), Lebanon (intermediate exposure to war pollutants), and Iran (low exposure to war pollutants)

Table 1
Range of metals in samples of tooth from Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran in ppm
[th]Residence bombed[/th][th]Country[/th][th]Child’s age[/th][th]208Pb/43Ca ppm[/th][th]25Mg/43Ca ppm[/th][th]52Cr/43Ca ppm[/th][th]55Mn/43Ca ppm[/th][th]66Zn/43Ca ppm[/th][th]7Li/43Ca ppm[/th][th]232Th/43Ca ppm[/th][th]238U/43Ca ppm[/th]
BombedIraq50.17–0.8794–5401.03–5.20.10–0.521.8–4.50.022–0.080–0.20–0.13
BombedIraq81.9–48288–14080.77–2.20.16–0.551.1–5.50.006–0.060–0.090–0.06
BombedIraq140.13–1.35192–14080.77–1.650.22–1.11.1–5.00.011–0.080–0.090–0.06
Not bombedLebanon70.034–0.34Data unavailableData unavailable0.24–1.68.0–4000.007–0.150–0.10–0.1
BombedLebanon120.05–0.68Data unavailableData unavailable0.16–1.22.4–160.004–0.070–0.10–0.1
Not bombedLebanon130.034–0.34Data unavailableData unavailable0.24–0.801.6–4.00.007–0.070–0.10–0.1
Not bombedLebanon140.034–0.17Data unavailableData unavailable0.16–0.640.8–4.00.015–0.150–0.10–0.1
Not bombedIran90.043–0.4394–5631.16–3.220.19–1.031.3–7.70.016–0.080–0.20–0.1
Not bombedIran120.039–0.19256–16640.44–1.430.11–0.551.1–5.50.017–0.080–0.090–0.06
Lead was consistently found in enamel and in dentine and in dentine-pulp junction (DPJ). Lead concentrations increase in the dentine when approaching the pulp cavity, and it remained high along DPJ. A narrow band of high Pb was evident on the surface of the enamel. The width of the band was variable. Lead appeared at similarly high levels in both the enamel surface and the DPJ. However, DPJ showed larger Pb deposits. Variation in Pb concentration was negligible across the band on the surface of the enamel and also in the DPJ. Maximum Pb levels were consistently detected in the Iraqi samples (1.9–48 ppm). The lowest Pb levels were found in the samples from Iran (0.039–0.19 ppm). Pb was highest in teeth from children with birth defects who donated their teeth from Basra, Iraq (mean 0.73–16.74 208Pb/43Ca ppm, n = 3). Pb in healthy Lebanese and Iranian teeth were 0.038–0.382 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n = 4), and 0.041–0.31 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n  = 2), respectively. Lead levels were similar in Lebanese and Iranian deciduous teeth. Deciduous teeth from Iraqi children with birth defects had remarkably higher levels of Pb. Two Iraqi teeth had four times more Pb, and one tooth had as much as 50 times more Pb than samples from Lebanon and Iran.
Elemental magnesium (Mg) images were created only for samples from Iraq and Iran. Mg consistently appeared in the dentine. Magnesium concentration markedly increased in the dentine when approaching the pulp cavity. The highest Mg levels were found in samples from Isfahan, Iran (256–1664 25Mg/43Ca ppm).
Chromium (Cr) was highest in deciduous teeth from Iraq (1.03–5.2 52Cr/43Ca ppm), and it appeared along the enamel surface and in the dentine region of all teeth. Cr in dentine appears to increase when approaching the pulp cavity and then decrease again near DPJ. Cr was also evident along a vertical line that started from the tooth surface and continued through the dentine, reaching the pulp.
Manganese (Mn) was highest in teeth from Beirut, Lebanon (0.24–1.6 55Mn/43Ca ppm). Comparable levels of Mn existed in samples from Iraq and Iran. High Mn levels were detectable near the incisal tip in the region of the prenatally formed dentine. Mn was also evident in the form of a thin band on enamel surface, the width of the band varied.
Tooth zinc (Zn) levels were highest in Beirut, Lebanon. Maximum Zn concentration varied from 1.1–5.5 ppm to 8.0 to 400 ppm. In all samples, Zn concentrations in enamel were lower than in the dentine. Within the enamel, the highest Zn levels were seen at the outer edge with the inner enamel having very low concentrations. In the dentine, Zn was concentrated at the dentine-pulp margin and in the cervical dentine.
Uranium and thorium were not detected in any of the samples. Detection limits for U and Th are estimated to be in the ppb range for LA-ICP-MS analysis. Concentrations of U and Th in human teeth have been reported as <1 ppm.
Knowing that an estimated 1000 to 2000 metric tons of depleted uranium was fired during the 2003 war in Iraq (UNEP 2007 Annual Report), we had expected to detect uranium in deciduous teeth of children from Basra. However, surprisingly, U was undetectable in samples from Basra.
Our original hypothesis that increased war activity coincides with increased metal levels, including Pb, in deciduous teeth is confirmed by this research. Recent studies have used neonatal line as a reference point to determine prenatal or postnatal timing of exposure (Arora et al. 2014). Neonatal line is a histological feature formed in enamel and dentine at birth. Location of the prenatal line, which represented approximately 12–15 days of dentine deposition around birth, can provide a landmark to distinguish prenatally formed parts of teeth from those formed postnatally. Prenatal line appears as a distinct line in a light micrograph. The same study found that Pb levels in dentine formed at birth were significantly associated with cord blood Pb. This suggests that micro-spatial measurements of Pb in dentine can be used to show Pb exposure timing over the prenatal and early childhood periods and that secondary dentine has the potential to estimate long-term exposure up to the time the tooth is shed.
In Iraq today, an epidemic of birth defects is unfolding in many cities (Al-Sabbak et al. 2012). A variety of birth defects, some never seen before, are observed in hospitals routinely by researchers and physicians. Current knowledge is clear in that prenatal metal exposure can lead to birth defects. A comprehensive study of birth defects as related to the type of prenatal metal exposure (determined by the use of in deciduous teeth) can contribute to our understanding of how metals cause birth defects in humans. It may then become possible to answer questions regarding prenatal exposures to specific metals which are more frequently associated with certain birth defects.
Finally, it is important to mention that this current study concerns children's exposure to Pb during the military bombardment and occupation of Iraq. We present this article during an extraordinary period of public awareness concerning children’s Pb poisoning in Flint, Michigan. This Pb poisoning in Flint occurred at a time when the elected city government was effectively deposed by emergency state administrators. They eliminated Flint’s safe water source in favor of an inexpensive but hazardous water source. This has generated scholarly and mass media coverage, creating a global awareness of Pb poisoning and its dangers to the most vulnerable part of the population, namely children. An American Public Health association publication by Hanna-Attisha et al. clearly states the current knowledge about Pb poisoning in children and that Pb “… is a potent neurotoxin, and childhood Pb poisoning has an impact on many developmental and biological processes, most notably intelligence, behavior, and overall life achievement. With estimated societal costs in the billions, Pb poisoning has a disproportionate impact on low-income and minority children. When one considers the irreversible, life-altering, costly, and disparate impact of Pb exposure, primary prevention is necessary to eliminate exposure” (Hanna-Attisha et al. 2016).

Conclusion


Our previous work in Iraqi cities confirm that, as in Flint, Iraqi children have been exposed to comparable Pb, as well as other neurotoxic metals, many in utero (Alsabbak et al. 2012; Savabieasfahani et al. 2015). Cleanup and preventive measures are critically needed in Iraqi cities which have endured a huge burden of contamination created by war.

Acknowledgments

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Manish Arora for the laboratory analysis and reporting. We also thank Ms. Yalda Hakim and Melanie Marshall of the BBC World News for the sample safekeeping, transport, and delivery.

References


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[/list]

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:58 pm

Good grief, you are ignorant.

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:01 am

When the United States revealed in January that it is testing a more nimble, more precise version of its B61 atom bomb, some were immediately alarmed. General James Cartwright, a former strategist for President Obama, warned that “going smaller” could make nuclear weapons “more thinkable” and “more usable.”
However, what is little known is that for the past 25 years, the United States and its allies have routinely used radioactive weapons in battle, in the form of warheads and explosives made with depleted, undepleted, or slightly enriched uranium. While the Department of Defense (DOD) calls these weapons “conventional” (non-nuclear), they are radioactive and chemically toxic. In Iraq, where the United States and its partners waged two wars, toxic waste covers the country and poisons the people. U.S. veterans are also sick and dying.
Scott Ritter, a former Marine Corps officer in Iraq and United Nations weapons inspector, told me, “The irony is we invaded Iraq in 2003 to destroy its non-existent WMD [weapons of mass destruction]. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties.”
The weapons were first used in 1991 during Desert Storm, when the U.S. military fired guided bombs and missiles containing depleted uranium (DU), a waste product from nuclear reactors. The Department of Defense (DOD) particularly prized them because, with dramatic density, speed, and heat, they blasted through tanks and bunkers.
Within one or two years, grotesque birth defects spiraled—such as babies with two heads. Or missing eyes, hands, and legs. Or stomachs and brains inside out.
Keith Baverstock, who headed the radiological section of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Center of Environment and Health in the 1990s, explained why: When uranium weapons explode, their massive blasts produce gray or black clouds of uranium oxide dust particles. These float for miles, people breathe them, and the dust lodges in their lungs. From there, they seep into the lymph system and blood, flow throughout the body, and bind to the genes and chromosomes, causing them to mutate. First, they trigger birth defects. Within five or more years, cancer. Organs, often the kidneys, fail.
At one Basra hospital, leukemia cases in children up to age 14 doubled from 1992 to 1999, says Amy Hagopian, a University of Washington School of Public Health professor. Birth defects also surged, from 37 in 1990 to 254 in 2001, according to a 2005 article in Environmental Health.
Leukemia—cancer of the blood—develops quickly. Chris Busby, a British chemical physicist, explains: “Blood cells are the most easily damaged by radiation and duplicate rapidly. We’ve known this since Hiroshima.”
Dai Williams, an independent weapons researcher in Britain, says the dust emits alpha radiation—20 times more damaging than the gamma radiation from nuclear weapons. The military insists the dust is harmless because it can’t penetrate the skin. They ignore that it can be inhaled.
Fast forward to 2003. When the United States reinvaded Iraq, it launched bunker-busting guided bombs, cruise missiles, and TOW anti-tank missiles. It also fired new thermobaric warheads—much stronger explosives with stunningly large blasts. Many of these, says Ritter, contained some type of uranium, whether depleted, undepleted, or slightly enriched.
Williams says thermobaric weapons explode at extremely high temperatures and “the only material that can do that is uranium.” He adds that while today’s nuclear weapons are nominally subject to international regulations, no existing arms protocol addresses uranium in a non-nuclear context.
While the U.S. government has cleaned up some contaminated sites at home—such as a former uranium munitions plant in Concord, Mass.—it has yet to acknowledge the mess in Iraq.
“Iraq is one large hazardous waste site,” Ritter says. “If it was the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency would declare it a Superfund site and order it be cleaned.”
We invaded Iraq to destroy its non-existent weapons of mass destruction. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties.
 
Left behind in Fallujah
Fallujah (pop. 300,000) is Iraq’s most contaminated city. The U.S. military attacked it twice in 2004, and in the November siege, troops fired thermobaric weapons, including a shoulder-launched missile called the SMAW-NE. (NE means “novel explosive.”)
Ross Caputi was there with the U.S. 1st Battalion 8th Marines. He told me, “We used the SMAW-NE and guys raved about how you could fire just one round and clear a building.” Concrete bunkers and buildings were instantly incinerated and collapsed. The DOD was not disappointed.
Cancers in Fallujah catapulted from 40 cases among 100,000 people in 1991 to at least 1,600 by 2005. In a 2010 International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health article, Busby and two colleagues, Malak Hamden and Entesar Ariabi, reported a 38-fold increase in leukemia, a 10-fold increase in breast cancer, and infant mortality rates eight times higher than in neighboring Kuwait.
Busby sampled the hair of Fallujah women with deformed babies and found slightly enriched uranium. He found the same thing in the soil. “The only possible source was the weapons,” he states.
These numbers are probably low. “Iraqi women whose children have birth defects feel stigmatized and often don’t report them,” says Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, a Michigan-based environmental toxicologist who won the 2015 Rachel Carson Award.
Besides the cancers and birth defects, an Irish pathologist (who asked for anonymity) said an unusually high number of children have cerebral palsy (CP) near the city of Hawija. “I was skeptical when Iraqi doctors told me, but I examined 30 and saw it was classic CP. I don’t know what caused this, but the increase is almost certainly war-related.”
It is often argued that uranium occurs in nature, so it’s impossible to link soil and other samples to the weapons. But, Ritter told me that when experts examine a site, they take samples, study them in a special lab, and can easily tell the difference between uranium that is natural and that which was chemically processed. “The idea that you can’t link soil samples to weapons because of the presence of natural uranium is simply ludicrous. It’s done all the time by experts in the International Atomic Energy Agency and within the nuclear programs of all major nuclear powers,” Ritter says.
 
Burn pits and toxic clouds
In addition to the weapons’ lethal dust, Iraqis and coalition troops were exposed to poisonous smoke from huge open burn pits, some stretching 10 acres. From 2003 to 2011, U.S. military bases burned waste in the pits around the clock—spewing toxic clouds for miles.
Two were near Fallujah. Caputi says,“We dumped everything there. Our plastic bottles, tires, human waste, and batteries.”
Rubber, oil, solvents, unexploded weapons, and even medical waste were also tossed into the pits. As a 2008 Army Times article noted, Balad Air Base burned around 90,000 plastic bottles a day.
When plastic burns, it gives off dioxin—the key ingredient in Agent Orange, which caused malformations and cancer in Vietnam. Burn pits also produce hydrogen cyanide gas, Ritter says, which U.S. prisons used in their execution chambers from the mid-1920s until 2010, and which Nazis used at the Auschwitz and Majdanek concentration camps. Moreover, pits burning uranium-tinged debris produce uranium oxide dust.
When U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) inspectors visited bases in 2010, they found much to criticize. Contractors running the pits—U.S. companies such as KBR and Halliburton—didn’t collect data on what they burned. (KBR said it wasn’t in their contract.) Few separated out toxic materials. Most burned plastics, although banned by regulations.
The GAO wrote that the fumes could irritate the eyes and lungs, damage the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system, and cause cancer, depending on how much is inhaled and for how long. Troops breathed them 24/7 during their tours, which were usually one year. Iraqis breathed them for eight years.
The now-closed Balad Air Base burned up to 200 tons of waste a day, and many U.S. troops stationed there now have diseases that mirror the diseases suffered by the Iraqis. Some have already died from brain and lung cancers, or leukemia, says Rosie Torres, who started burnpits360.org, when her husband, an Army captain, returned in 2008 with severe breathing problems.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) x-rayed Captain LeRoy Torres’s lungs and diagnosed a disease of “unknown etiology.” When more veterans presented similar symptoms, the DOD asked Dr. Robert Miller, Vanderbilt’s Chief of Pulmonary Diseases, to study them. Dr. Miller told me, “We biopsied 200 veterans’ lungs and found they had constrictive bronchiolitis, a very debilitating disease. The DOD didn’t like that we biopsied them and that we found the disease was caused by what they were exposed to—which included the burn pits. After that, it didn’t send us more veterans to evaluate.”
Even as evidence mounts, the DOD and VA steadfastly deny the health effects of the weapons and pits. The Defense Health Agency website states, “No human cancer of any type has been seen as a result of exposure to either natural or depleted uranium.”
From 2003 to 2011, U.S. military bases burned waste in the pits around the clock— spewing toxic clouds for miles.
Further, in a 2011 DOD report, Exposure to Toxins Produced by Burn Pits, the VA adds: “The effects from burn pits are only temporary and the negative health effects dissipate once a soldier is removed from the source.” In 2014, the VA website assured veterans that “So far, no health problems have been found in veterans exposed to DU.”
While the military admits it used DU in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, it has downplayed the extent. U.S. Marine Corps Captain Dominic Pitrone told The Washington Spectator, “The only weapons with DU in the USMC inventory were 120mm tank rounds.” As for the new SMAW-NE warhead, he said it “does not contain uranium.”
But Ritter says these claims are disingenuous. Though other DU munitions, such as aerial bombs and 25mm cannon rounds, may not have been in the USMC inventory, they were still “available to and used by USMC units in Iraq.”
And while the USMC may not label the SMAW-NE and thermobaric Hellfire missile as uranium weapons, Ritter says that “this doesn’t resolve whether the shaped-charge warheads [inside them] make use of uranium-enhanced liners.”
U.S. coalition partners—such as Britain, which also used uranium weapons—echo the denials. So too do the WHO and the Iraq Ministry of Health, which concluded in 2012 that Iraq had fewer birth defects and cancers than developed countries.
But Hagopian says the ministry surveyed households instead of using hospital records. Finding this unscientific, a 2013 Lancet article called for a new study. Last November, the American Public Health Association asked the military to ban burn pits and fund research on their health effects. It also asked the WHO to rethink its conclusion.
Researchers tell of attempts by authorities to quash investigations. In 1991, for example, the United States tried to keep the WHO from “surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers,” Hans von Sponek, a former U.N. official, told the Guardian.
Karol Sikora, a British oncologist who headed WHO’s cancer program in the 1990s, told me his supervisor (who focuses on non-communicable diseases) warned him that they shouldn’t speak publicly about the cancers and birth defects “because this would offend member states.”
Similarly, Baverstock says, “I was on a WHO editorial committee and I warned about the uranium weapons’ geno-toxicity effect on DNA. My comments were rejected—probably because the WHO monograph didn’t include this.”
Those who persist fare badly.
Horst Gunther, a German physician, went to Iraq to study the spiking diseases. He saw children play with DU shells on Basra’s battlefield, took one to Germany to study, and found it was extremely radioactive. He told German authorities and was arrested for possessing it.
In 2003, Chief Justice Y.K.J. Yeung Sik Yuen of Mauritius, a delegate to the U.N. Sub-Commission on Human Rights, wrote of “the cavalier disregard, if not deception, on the part of the developers and users of these weapons regarding their effects.” After he refused to reverse his position that DU weapons are illegal and violate the Geneva Convention, the U.S. and Britain campaigned against his reelection to the subcommission. He lost.
Hagopian says researchers can’t study the uranium weapons’ effects because “the U.S. won’t fund the work.”
Why can’t the DOD, VA, Iraq government, and WHO come clean?
Ritter says, “The DOD doesn’t want the public to know about the toxic dust, because of the liability. As for Iraq, it will agree with the U.S. as long as it depends on the U.S. for financial and military support. As for the WHO, the U.S. contributes more to U.N. agencies and the WHO than any other country.”
Williams adds that there’s growing international concern about uranium weapons, since they’re radioactive. As early as 1991, Army Lt. Col. Ziehm warned in a memo that because DU weapons “may become politically unacceptable,” after-action reports must “keep this sensitive issue at mind.” In other words, don’t tell.
Media coverage of uranium weapons and the spiraling sickness has been meager. Malak Hamden said when she and colleagues published the 2010 Fallujah study, “CNN said something, but no newspapers touched the story.” A BBC reporter told Williams the public doesn’t want to know about uranium weapons.
In the meantime, the United States continues to build them. Williams notes that U.S. Patent Office records show Lockheed Martin and Raytheon hold patents for enhanced bombs and cruise missile warheads that include uranium options.
Today, with the U.S., Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, and Russia bombing Syria, and with the Saudis bombing and the U.S. firing drones into Yemen—with some of the same kinds of weapons unleashed in Iraq—it is likely that the people living there, along with fleeing refugees, will suffer just as the Iraqis and veterans have.
As Busby notes, uranium oxide dust is like a bomb that keeps going off. “People’s genes are damaged for generations. Scientists found this in 22 generations of mice, after Chernobyl. The only way mutated genes disappear is when carriers don’t have children.”
Barbara Koeppel is a Washington D.C.-based investigative reporter


http://washingtonspectator.org/irradiated-iraq-nuclear-nightmare/

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by sassy on Fri Aug 12, 2016 12:09 am

What it speaks is I'm going to bed and don't have time to educate you.  Night

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Re: Teeth of Iraqi children show high level of toxins caused by US air raids

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 12, 2016 1:45 am

I'll preface my interjection into this discussion from this POV:
I've never believed that my nations aggressive actions into Iraq during Desert Storm {circa 1991} nor the return aggressive LIE perpetrated by GWB and his cronies as anything but BS and heinous! The things done to those civilians caught in the crosshairs between a heinous dictator and the avenging warriors equally able to do horrible war crimes upon their persons/their land/their livelihood.
clipped from the OP'd opening article >

Abstract

In war zones, the explosion of bombs, bullets, and other ammunition releases multiple neurotoxicants into the environment. The Middle East is currently the site of heavy environmental disruption by massive bombardments. A very large number of US military bases, which release highly toxic environmental contaminants, have also been erected since 2003. Current knowledge supports the hypothesis that war-created pollution is a major cause of rising birth defects and cancers in Iraq. We created elemental bio-imaging of trace elements in deciduous teeth of children with birth defects from Iraq. Healthy and naturally shed teeth from Lebanon and Iran were also analyzed for trace elements. Lead (Pb) was highest in teeth from children with birth defects who donated their teeth from Basra, Iraq (mean 0.73–16.74 208Pb/43Ca ppm, n = 3). Pb in healthy Lebanese and Iranian teeth were 0.038–0.382 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n = 4) and 0.041–0.31 208Pb/43Ca ppm (n  = 2), respectively. Our hypothesis that increased war activity coincides with increased metal levels in deciduous teeth is confirmed by this research. Lead levels were similar in Lebanese and Iranian deciduous teeth. Deciduous teeth from Iraqi children with birth defects had remarkably higher levels of Pb. Two Iraqi teeth had four times more Pb, and one tooth had as much as 50 times more Pb than samples from Lebanon and Iran.
I in no way will excuse what my country has done to these people; via our bombing/drone attacks/bio hazard open pits burning/burying other toxins in the soil/destroying livelihoods and farming communities.
But - BUT ...there was a wealth of prior history that was going on long before the USA entered into Iraq's borders - even before 1991 and our Desert Storm invasion.

A.) 'Chemical Ali' - Saddam Hussein's cousin

Al-Majid was involved in a campaign in which
182,000 Iraqi Kurds were killed March 1988 [EPA]
January - 5,000 Kurds, gassed  
In March 1988, Iraqi jets swooped over the village of Halabja and sprayed it with a deadly mix of mustard gas and the nerve agents Tabun, Sarin and VX.
Three-quarters of the victims in the five-hour assault were women and children. It is thought to have been the deadliest gas attack ever carried out against civilians.
Dabbagh said in a statement that al-Majid was not subjected to any abuse during the execution, unlike when Saddam Hussein was hanged in December 2006.
http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2010/01/201012514645847464.html


B.)Infant Mortality Rates - Pre USA INVASION 
The last decade undoubtedly saw a great reduction in infant mortality rates, not only over pre-invasion levels, but even compared to the early 1980s, when about 80 infants died per 1,000 live births. By the year 1990, this figure was down to 50, and decreased further to 31.9 in 2011, according to a 2012 government report monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Still, this rate remains more than double the national target of 17 per 1,000 by 2015; and while Iraq’s rate in the early 1980s was among the best compared to other countries in the region, today, it is among the worst.
The mortality rate of children under five also dropped from 42.8 per 1,000 births in 2000 to 37.2 in 2011, well ahead of 1960s levels, but far off the national target of 21 by 2015, according to the government report, which monitored MDG indicators at the governorate level. The percentage of births attended by skilled personnel also rose from 72.1 percent in 2000 to 90.9 percent in 2011, according to the MICS.
(WHO shows a similar trend of decrease in mortality rates, but its statistics are quite different, showing a much larger drop in infant mortality from 108 deaths per 1,000 in 1999 to 21 per 1,000 in 2011, and a decrease in child mortality from 131 in 1999 to 25 in 2011.)
Government expenditures on health have increased in the last decade. From a high point in 1980s, they dropped significantly due to the 1991 Gulf war and sanctions. But spending jumped from 2.7 percent of GDP in 2003 to 8.4 percent in 2010, according to the World Bank. According to Yasseen Ahmed Abbas, head of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, government allocations for health spending have risen from $30 million a year under former president Saddam Hussein to $6 billion a year today.

http://www.irinnews.org/feature/2013/05/02/iraq-10-years-war-leaves-lasting-impact-healthcare


C.)Mixed blessings
In the early 1980s, Iraq was regarded by many as the most developed state in the Arab world. The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, the Gulf War of 1991 and subsequent years of sanctions took a heavy toll on developmental indicators, yet Iraq continued to have strong state institutions, even if they were used repressively to maintain Hussein’s power. For example, even after 10 years of an international embargo, the system of food ration distribution operated effectively.
The US invasion and subsequent civil conflict changed this, said Maria Fantappie, Iraq analyst at the International Crisis Group, as violence and de-Baathification drove away the human resources needed to run effective institutions. In many ways, the country has yet to recover.
“In 2003, that heritage of an efficient Iraqi state was completely lost,” Fantappie said. “We have the consequences of this until today… We are not yet at the level of state institutions that can deliver services equally to all citizens."
Iraq is the only country in the Middle East where living standards have not improved compared to 25 years ago, the World Bank says. In areas such as secondary school enrolment and child immunization, Iraq now ranks lower than some of the poorest countries in the world.
“The war is just such a series of mixed blessings,” said Ned Parker, a former fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and long-time Iraq correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. “For every positive development, there’s a negative development that counters it.”
Looking at the data
IRIN has taken a look development and humanitarian indicators for Iraq, which show a decade of fits and starts, with progress in one area met by stagnation in another.
Of course, statistics in Iraq are often “wrong, simply not available or politically misused,” as one researcher put it. While a wealth of information and data exists, it comes from a multitude of sources using different methodologies, and much of it is based on relatively small sample sizes. The UN’s Information and Analysis Unit said in a [url=http://www.japuiraq.org/documents/491/Stocktaking of existing indicators and information 13 March 2008.pdf]2008 report[/url]: “As is typical in volatile working environments, data reliability in some instances is questionable, contradictory figures exist, and geographic coverage of the indicators is often compromised for either security or political reasons.”
There are also huge discrepancies when national statistics are broken down by region, with the capital Baghdad and the autonomous Kurdish region in the north often the only governorates ranking above national average in measures of development. As Médecins sans Frontières wrote in a recent article in the Lancet journal,  “Much more attention needs to be given to remote areas, where the reality for Iraqis has not substantially improved over the past 10 years.”
What is more, much of the progress is seen in indicators tracking inputs, like how many children enrol in school, rather than outcomes, such as how much they actually learn, said Sudipto Mukerjee, deputy head of UNDP in Iraq.
But even with these caveats, the best available data offer a complex portrait of a country that has seen improvement over the last decade, but is still largely struggling. For example, a recent overview of Iraq’s headway towards the Millennium Development Goals found great strides in the eradication of poverty over 1990 levels, but slower progress on primary education enrolment, which still lags behind 1990 levels.
A million Iraqis remain refugees, and over a million are internally displaced; sectarianism holds sway over political institutions; and healthcare is undermined by a lack of medical personnel, unreliable utilities and fragile national security. Women and girls, who once enjoyed more rights than other women in the region, now regularly find themselves excluded from school and work opportunities, though great progress has been made towards gender equality in recent years. While living conditions, clean water access, poverty rates and education levels are all disappointing compared to historical highs in the 1980s, they are greatly improved from the years Iraq spent under sanctions. And increased decentralization of power has offered some hope for the future.
No easy narrative can be accurately applied to the country’s experiences over the past 10 years, and in many ways, the direction the country has taken may only become clear over the decade to come.
http://www.irinnews.org/report/97895/iraq-10-years-humanitarian-overview

*******************************

While I'm 'NO MEDICAL/SOCIAL/BIOLOGIST' professional ...by any means of the imagination ...but as a plain ole farmer/common sense human No

IMO, the amount of contaminates and the number of warring factions that have gone on across those acres of meager crop production lands has had to leave some horrid chemicals behind and those young 14 year old and young that were used as the 'test studies' were digesting food primarily grown in that highly contaminated soil and high lead content water!
That has to be factored into their genetic make up ...their bone density comes from the nutrition of the mother during gestation - or the lack there of.

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