Thursday, May 31, 2007

Report: 45% of deaths in southern Iraq caused by cancer

Above: A Marine preps an artillery round to be fired during a fire mission in Hit in February. The U.S. military uses 'depleted uranium' for defensive armor plate and armor-piercing munitions. Depleted uranium (U-238) is known from studies to be toxic, especially to the reproductive system and fetus development. Photos widely available on the internet show terrifying birth defects in war-zone babies alleged to be caused by the use of DU munitions.

Recent studies by medical colleges, and statistics from local morgues and hospitals, have shown a higher than expected number of cancer-related deaths in Iraq's southern provinces. According to specialists, the main causes are the increased use of unsafe products in agriculture and the long-term effects of war on health...

"Exposure to radiation from old cluster bombs, the high use of chemicals in agriculture as well as water contamination is having a serious impact on the health of local people, since these factors are important promoters of cancer related diseases. Many of the patients could have been treated but they died because of lack of facilities," Abdel-Kareem added...

"At least 45 percent of deaths in the southern provinces are caused by cancer. Some patients develop related diseases which worsen their condition, leading to a faster death. The statistics are having a serious impact on the health system and urgent funds are needed," said Imad Hassan, a health specialist and member of the commission which produced the study.

Read the rest at Reuters/Alternet

Related Link:
Study: Inhaled dust from depleted uranium munitions increase risk of gene damage, cancer