9. DU screening programs for Gulf and Balkan veterans

UMRC’s reviews of reports by NATO countries outlining their screening programs for Gulf and Balkan veterans show that the programs are not technologically capable of detecting and measuring Depleted Uranium in their veterans. Given the long elapsed time since exposure, the Gulf War radiological screening programs are using laboratory equipment with detection limits unable to conclusively identify or rule out, DU, NDU or transuranic contamination in their veterans.

Currently, the Canadian Department of National Defense has provided a voluntary screening program to Gulf War veterans through government contract laboratories and Royal Military College. A review of the program’s published report shows that the screening program does not employ sufficiently sensitive equipment and analytical methods capable of identifying trace levels of uranium contamination in veterans at this late date after exposure. The DND laboratories have admitted this limitation in a peer reviewed paper published in the Journal of Health Physics, April 2002: An Examination of Uranium Levels in Canadian Forces Personnel Who Served in the Gulf War and Kosovo, E.A. Ough et al.

The US Department of Defense published an Information Paper, November 2002: Impact of Laboratory Performance of Urine Uranium Analysis on Exposure Evaluations for Gulf War Veterans. Based on the poor performance of DOD’s own laboratories, DOD questions the results of independent and non-governmental studies. The report concluded that the laboratories are not able to identify reliably and consistently, trace amounts of uranium in the urine of exposed veterans later than a few weeks following the date of exposure.

These Canadian and U.S. reports indicate the inability of defense departments’ to measure or identify the types of uranium found in veterans’ urine. The absence of the correct methods of preparing biological samples for analysis, the failure to properly use their equipment (or select the best equipment) and the faulty assumptions about the metabolic processes of internally incorporated uranium have prevented veterans from receiving reliable radiological bioassays..