SYMPTOMS. Fatigue, fever, night sweats, diarrhea, memory and concentration problems, chronic pain, erectile dysfunction, etc. the symptoms still affecting American veterans returning from the Gulf War in 1991 are legion: more than fifty have been listed. And they are very far from being an isolated phenomenon which would only concern a handful of the soldiers sent into the theater of operations.
The most common explanation concerned exposures to depleted uranium (DU) munitions, the conflict having been the first to employ them. However, we will have to look for another person in charge according to a study conducted by two epidemiologists and doctors, Randall Parrish (University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom) and Robert Haley (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, United States), and published in the review Scientific Reports. Without a shadow of a doubt, the researchers conclude that there is no incriminating element of AU in the health concerns of veterans. To do this, they employed the ultimate in detector: a highly sophisticated mass spectrometer. The goal: to try to find traces of this isotope in the body of sick people.
No link could be demonstrated
By-product of uranium enrichment plants, DU has been used since the 1990s by the US military. Very dense, it considerably strengthens projectiles, making them capable of piercing tank armor. Only, on this occasion, there was an intense explosion, vaporizing in the air clouds of microscopic shrapnel which could be inhaled by the soldiers on the spot or enter their body in the form of an aerosol via the skin. And about 300 tonnes of DU ammunition was used in Kuwait and Iraq …