Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formattingExcerpt from Term Paper:
Studies of the aftereffects of the Gulf War determined that every single U.S. 120 mm tank shell resulted, on average, in approximately five pounds of radioactive Uranium
Oxide dust. Likewise, each of the nearly one million 25 mm and 30 mm canon shells fired (mostly) by U.S. aircraft contributes a proportional share of Uranium Oxide dust per unit volume (Peterson, 2003).
Unlike the depleted Uranium itself (which emits mainly Alpha particles), the Uranium Oxide produced by the intense explosive heat of ordinance impact releases both Alpha particles as well as much more dangerously radioactive Beta particles (Fahey, 2000). Another very disturbing finding after the 1991 Gulf War was that Uranium Oxide aerosolized into extremely minute particles capable of ingestion both orally by physical transference, and by inhalation (Peterson, 2003).
Furthermore, several studies undertaken in the affected areas established that radioactive dust produced by the use of DU ammunition was capable of remaining airborne long enough to travel up to forty kilometers, thereby contaminating large areas of land populated by civilians (Fahey, 1999). Predictably, civilian medical records, both in the Middle East and in Europe illustrate the environmental harm posed by use of DU ammunition in wartime. The most recent data from Iraq in the aftermath of Operation
Iraqi Freedom only further corroborate those earlier findings (Peterson, 2003).
Environmental Observations After Wartime Use of Depleted Uranium Munitions:
Alarmingly, the U.S. undertook no effort, either during the 1991 Gulf War or the subsequent NATO engagements in Bosnia or Kosovo, to warn local civilian populations of the dangers associated with radioactive contamination from expended ordinance (Fahey, 1999). Similarly, according to the Christian Science Monitor (2003), Iraqi civilians routinely come into contact with Intact fragments of expended 120 mm U.S.
A tank shells and 30 mm ammunition. More disturbing than the radiation readings one thousand times normal level of background radiation in the proximity of the remnants of U.S. DU ordinance is the complete lack of awareness among the populace of the dangers of radioactive Uranium Oxide dust on their food harvests. On the other hand, U.S. troops are warned "constantly" of the dangers of contact with radioactive fragments, and of the pressing need to avoid accidentally ingesting fine particles indirectly through physical transference (Peterson, 2003).
Consequently, Iraqi children handle and play with artillery fragments and almost certainly ingest radioactive particles internally, both via contaminated food and also via inhalation. Numerous instances of radiation poisoning and dramatic increases in birth defects and infant mortality not attributable to any other conceivable source in Iraq (Peterson, 2003) have demonstrated the aftereffects of widespread, uncontrolled dispersion of so much depleted Uranium.
Cancers of all types, including Leukemia and lymphomas have more than quintupled in Iraq since 1991, with comparable rises in mutations and birth defect observed in livestock and other indigenous animals (Fahey, 1999).
The graph immediately below represents congenital malformations per 1,000 births recorded at Basra Hospital, in an area heavily affected by the use of DU ammunition in Operation Iraqi Freedom. (Wilcock, 2004)
In this regard, additional evidence came in the form of U.S. And British troops with both acute radiation poisoning and characteristic symptoms of radiation sickness (Fahey, 1999). The data consists of survivors of friendly fire incidents involving DU munitions, and also troops who were often exposed to aerosolized radioactive particles in conjunction with their post-hostility security assignments and the forensic examination of the wreckage of Iraqi armor. Similar observations of NATO personnel and citizens of the Balkan states afflicted with mysterious symptoms following the use of DU ammunition in the Bosnian conflict provide additional confirmation.
One of the most insidious aspects of DU ammunition in civilian areas is the extreme ease with which radioactive Uranium Oxide dissolves in liquid, including water eventually used for drinking (USDE, 2007). Combined with the extremely long half- lives of the radioactive isotopes involved, the prediction for the future of civilian health in areas heavily subjected to wartime deployment of DU ordinance is ominous.
Civilian nuclear power has provided tremendous benefits in the form of economical power generation. As fossil fuels become more scarce, nuclear power may very well enable us to decrease reliance on declining supplies of natural resources.
Similarly, environmental implications of global warming may further accelerate our eventual increased dependence on nuclear power plants to meet our energy needs.
Current indications suggest that NASA may soon employ advanced versions of the compact nuclear reactors already in use in U.S. Navy aircraft carriers and submarines to further our efforts to explore outer space.
However, nuclear power also presents many dangers at various stages from the mining of natural Uranium ore and its enrichment to the complex reprocessing of the spent reactor cores from nuclear reactors. The same nuclear reactions that provide efficient and comparatively safe energy also generate toxic byproducts that have the potential to contaminate large areas of land, rendering them unusable, for all intents and purposes, indefinitely, by virtue of the extraordinarily long half-lives of nuclear isotopes.
The dangers of fissionable nuclear weapons are so well-known and their almost unimaginable potential for destruction so great that the concept of Mutually Assured
Destruction (MAD) prevented the Cold War from becoming "hot" for no less than four decades. By comparison, until the last decade of the twentieth century, the dangers of wartime use of depleted Uranium ordinance were largely unknown.
The 1991 Gulf War, NATO operations in the Balkans during the Bosnian conflict, and most recently, the extensive use of DU cannon fire from Coalition aircraft and artillery shells have transformed large civilian-populated areas of Eastern Europe and Southern Iraq into virtual laboratories for cataloguing the effects of the use of DU ammunition on non-combatants persisting long after their deployment in hostile operations against enemy forces.
Studies of war veterans subjected to relatively long-term exposure to war materials and areas contaminated by DU ammunition, both in Europe and in the Middle
East, strongly suggest a correlation between DU use in wartime and human destruction besides that intended in their use during hostile operations. Even more dramatically, studies of civilian populations, particularly in Iraq, establish a virtually conclusive link between DU ammunition and the increased incidence of Leukemia and other cancers, in addition to congenital birth defects and even deformities observed in livestock in those areas.
The most disturbing implications of all concern the discrepancy with which nuclear waste is handled and regulated to ensure its relative safety in the U.S. compared to the complete disregard that is apparent on the part of U.S. authorities in charge of occupied Iraqi territory. As the leader of global philanthropy and human rights throughout the world, the U.S. has a moral obligation to minimize the unintended environmental and human impact of its weapons of war on noncombatants. It may very well be the case that the use of DU ammunition is a necessary evil of 21st Century conflicts. Nevertheless, the moral imperative that is part and parcel of its justified use in wartime is to minimize, rather than ignore its lasting effects after cessation of hostilities.
Bertell, R. (1999) Gulf War Veterans and Depleted Uranium.
Diehl, P. (1999) Depleted Uranium: A by-product of the Nuclear Chain.
Fahey, D. (1999) Depleted Uranium Weapons: Lessons from the 1991 Gulf War.
Goodman, O. (2002) Nuclear Waste on the Highways; the New York Times Apr. 21/02. Accessed October 22, 2007, at http://www.mindfully.org/Nucs/Nuclear-Road-Goodman28apr02.htm
Gundersen, P. (1999) the Handy Physics Answer Book.
New York: Barnes & Noble.
Jackson, R. (2003) Modern Military Aircraft. New York: Barnes & Noble.
Jackson, R. (2006) the Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft. London: Parragon.
Peterson, S. (2003) Christian Science Monitor; Remains of Toxic Bullets Litter
Iraq.(May 15/03). Accessed October 22, 2007, at http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0515/p01s02-woiq.html
Rennie, R. (2003) the Facts on File Dictionary of Atomic and Nuclear Physics.
New York: Checkmark Books.
U.S. Department of Energy. (2007) Depleted UF6 Guide: An Introduction to Uranium…[continue]
"Environmental Impact Of Depleted Uranium" (2007, October 25) Retrieved October 24, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/environmental-impact-of-depleted-uranium-34890
"Environmental Impact Of Depleted Uranium" 25 October 2007. Web.24 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/environmental-impact-of-depleted-uranium-34890>
"Environmental Impact Of Depleted Uranium", 25 October 2007, Accessed.24 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/environmental-impact-of-depleted-uranium-34890
On the largest scale, the U.S. population is disproportionately responsible for the depletion of fossil fuels and other natural resources in that Americans consume approximately one-quarter of those valuable energy resources despite constituting less than five percent of the entire global population (Attfield, 2003; Poiman & Poiman, 2007). Besides consuming such a disproportionate amount of natural resources, another major environmental ethics issue arises in connection with the deliberate export of
Health and Environmental Issues in the Middle East and Third World Countries The World health organization states that "More than three million children under five die each year from environment-related causes and conditions. This makes the environment one of the most critical contributors to the global toll of more than ten million child deaths annually..." (The environment and health for children and their mothers) This report serves to illustrate the fact
7 times as dense as lead, and when the shell hits the target, it burns and releases uranium oxide into the air (Eco pp). "The poisonous and radioactive uranium is most dangerous when inhaled into the body, where it will release radiation during the life of the person who inhaled it" (Eco pp). According to Robert Fisk, "there is evidence that the depleted uranium residue left in Iraq is responsible
alternatives to traditional fossil fuels, and evaluate them based on their relative availability, renewability, and known environmental impacts. We begin with a baseline characterization of fossil fuels, and outline some of the factors contributing to their current market and industry dominance. We then examine three of the current most prominent and viable renewable alternatives to fossil fuels, including the controversial nuclear energy technology and two emerging technology areas, wind
This can merely be helpful on local level but not at all on the global level. Radioactive materials in low quantities are present in fossil fuels, chiefly in coal and using them in heavy amounts can have more hazardous effects on the environment causing radioactive contamination globally. This is a much more pressing concern when compared to the radioactive contamination within a nuclear power station as the noxious waste in
In the final analysis, heavy metals are like many other substances found in nature; oxygen, for example, is essential for life but can be enormously harmful and even deadly if present in sufficient concentrations. Likewise, heavy metals were shown to be essential for many human endeavors, but a growing body of evidence suggests that long-term exposure to such substances can have significant adverse health consequences. References Baos, R., Blas, J., Bortolotti,
Air Pollution The air that surrounds us is a mixture of 78% nitrogen; 21% oxygen; less than 1% of carbon dioxide, argon, and other gases; and varying amounts of water vapor. Any other particles, gases or unoriginal constituents hanging in the air which are not part of its original composition are called 'Pollutants' and this kind of air is called Polluted Air. Even inhaling small amounts of such air pollutants can