Depleted uranium contaminationPublished on November, 44 2016
Afghan National Army soldier stands atop his HMWV in the early morning providing security for fellow soldiers during training on a live fire range. The security is also for the protection of civilians who surround the range. Credit: NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan MC2 David Quillen-Public Affairs/Wikimedia Commons.
By Cathy Deppe, participant, IPB Conference, Berlin 2016, and WILPF member, Los Angeles, CA
Located off the coast of Italy, the bucolic island of Sardinia hosts the largest NATO firing range in the world. For 50 years, the Salto Di Quirra range has been used by military and arms manufacturers for testing weapons, among them uranium weapon projectiles. The resulting environmental destruction was highlighted at this year’s annual International Peace Bureau Conference in Berlin. The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW) reported lead in the water, contamination of local food products, and the heavy metal “thorium” found in the bones of several local shepherds who died from leukemia. Sardinians are demanding the evacuation and closing of all military bases, the rehabilitation of contaminated areas, and compensation for all victims.
Uranium weapons have the potential to cause disease for generations to come. All those who were and are being exposed to uranium weapons are entitled to direct and comprehensive information about the targets, locations, type of weapons, and amounts of radioactive material used. The USA must provide details of their previous use of uranium weapons, particularly in Iraq, the Balkans, and Afghanistan. And now, with reports coming in to the campaign that depleted uranium is being used by the US in Syria, we are asked to contact Senator Dianne Feinstein, a member of the Subcommittee on Department of Defense Committee, to demand the truth. To contact the campaign, visit PAX. Ask for a copy of the report Laid to Waste: Depleted Uranium Contaminated Military Scrap in Iraq. And, California voters especially, please contact Senator Feinstein as soon as possible.