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VETERANS FOR PEACE
Humboldt Bay Chapter 56

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DU TESTING
WHO SHOULD BE TESTED?

             
SERVICEMEMBERS AND VETERANS of the Gulf Wars; Iraq, Afghanistan or the Balkans, or where Depleted Uranium munitions were used, SHOULD BE SCREENED AND TESTED by the DU Follow-Up Program.
TO INITIATE SCREENING AND TESTING BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS DU FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM click here: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/depleted_uranium/followup_program.asp

The screening process determines who will be tested. All current tests use a bioassay of urine. The Program recognizes 3 levels of DU exposure. DU Bioassays are required by regulation for all personnel with level 1 and level 2 exposures. If requested by individuals with level 3 (incidental) exposures, the test is also required. Most eligible soldiers & veterans don’t have enough information about potential DU exposures to know they can ask for screening or testing.

The 3 LEVELS of DU EXPOSURE are defined on pages 3 & 4 of the DOD’s POLICY FOR MANAGING DU EXPOSURES, located here: http://fhp.osd.mil/du/medicalFollowUp.jsp

DESPITE CONCERNS with the VA’s DU Follow-Up Program, we recommend their process because it defines and documents the following:
·        Your history of DU exposure.
·        Your current medical status and complaints.
·        Enrollment in the DU Registry and DU Follow-Up Program.
Registry members are 'in place' for re-testing if future policy calls for new and better testing methods.

Proper epidemiology and other research may someday confirm a link with DU exposure (low-level ionizing radiation & heavy metal toxicity) to specific health & medical conditions, like those associated with Gulf War Syndrome.
We conclude testing with the DVA offers some advantage, but seeking DU testing from a civilian lab, using the best test available, should be considered.
For scientific information on the difference between the best method to detect DU in urine, and the one currently used by the DVA, see this resource:
Health Physics – The radiation Safety Journal, Feb 2006, Vol 90, Issue 2 Paper title:           Determination of 238U/235U, 236U/238U and Uranium Concentration in Urine Using SF-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS: An Interlaboratory Comparison, by Parrish, Randall R.; Thirlwall, Matthew F.; Pickford, Chris; Horstwood, Matthew; Gerdes, Axel; Anderson, James; Coggon, David           http://journals.lww.com/health-physics/Abstract/2006/02000/Determination_of_238U_235U,_236U_238U_and_Uranium.3.aspx
This Health Physics article includes a link to one of its authors, Dr. Randall Parrish, who heads the lab that uses the BEST TEST in the world today. His UK address and email link is in the article if you wish to consider private testing for DU in urine.

HELPFUL LINKS ~
HOW TROOPS ARE EXPOSED TO DU http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/fahey.htm
DEPLETED URANIUM (DU) QUESTIONAIRE; DD FORM 2872 TEST, Feb 2004 http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/infomgt/forms/eforms/dd2872t.pdf

CONCERNS WITH THE DVA’s CURRENT DU TESTING METHOD AND DU FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM.
The DVA testing method requires a sample within 180days of exposure, or the test “may not support the documentation of level 2 & 3 exposures to DU”[1]. The VA does not use the best testing method available [2]. Their testing method may produce false negative results lending to statements like, “as far as we know DU is safe”.

[1]Army Guidelines Acknowledge Limitations of Current Testing Method. U.S. Army Medical Command, “Medical Management of ArmyPersonnel Exposed To Depleted Uranium (DU)”, 5March2005.

[2] HEALTH PHYSICS – The Radiation Safety Journal, Feb 2006, Vol 90, Issue 2. PMID:16404170 [PubMed-indexed for Medline].
And
Summary of Depleted Uranium Test Results for Iraq War Vets, by Dan Fahey, 17Mar2006 http://www.wise-uranium.org/pdf/dutrdf06.pdf

The DU Program is not considered a proper scientific study of the safety of DU exposures precisely because so few exposed veterans have been examined.”
The Department of Veterans Affairs DU Follow-Up Program, by Dan Fahey, http://www.danfahey.com/VA-Memo-1991.pdf
And
Summary of Depleted Uranium Test Results for Iraq War Vets, by Dan Fahey, 17Mar2006 http://www.wise-uranium.org/pdf/dutrdf06.pdf
And
“National Academy of Sciences Slams Pentagon’s Studies of Uranium Weapons Health Effects” http://www.nukewatch.com/quarterly/fall08/page5.pdf