VA Resident Report: Can depleted uranium rounds cause cancer?

The risk of fatal cancer for the maximally exposed Level I veteran is 1.4% (upper bound of 3.5%). Almost all of the DU-induced cancer risk is associated with the risk incurred for lung cancer. DU fragments are predicted to increase non-respiratory system cancer risks. However, even for the maximum case with fragments included, the risks for all other cancer types are very small.

Table 6. Predicted incremental fatal cancer risks for veterans from internalized DU radiation exposure compared to percentage of all US civilian fatalities from cancer.

Marshall, A. (n.d.). Gulf war depleted uranium risks. Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology., 18(1), 95-108.

US and British forces used depleted uranium (DU) in armor-piercing rounds to disable enemy tanks during the Gulf and Balkan Wars. Uranium
particulate is generated by DU shell impact and particulate entrained in air may be inhaled or ingested by troops and nearby civilian populations. As
uranium is slightly radioactive and chemically toxic, a number of critics have asserted that DU exposure has resulted in a variety of adverse health effects
for exposed veterans and nearby civilian populations.

This entry was posted in VA and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.