Depleted Uranium Warfare Causes Birth Defects and Cancer in the Iraqi city of Fallujah

A new study concludes that the high rate of birth defects and cancer diagnoses in the Iraqi city of Fallujah is caused by weapons used by US and UK forces six years ago.

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, confirmed the reports that US and British forces used depleted uranium ammunitions during the US invasion of Iraq in 2004.

The findings indicate that the defects in newborns in Fallujah are 11 times higher than the normal average and rose to unprecedented levels in 2010.

„The high prevalence of birth defects in Fallujah is impairing the population’s health and its capacity to care for the surviving children,“ the research said.

„These defects could be due to environmental contaminants which are known components of modern weaponry,“ the Guardian newspaper quoted the report as saying.

The report shows that 15 percent of the 547 babies born had defects, while 14 percent were spontaneous abortions and 11 percent were born at less than 30 weeks in May of 2010 alone.

„Many known war contaminants have the potential to interfere with normal embryonic and fetal development,“ the findings say. „The devastating effect of dioxins on the reproductive health of the Vietnamese people is well-known.“

The study, which was conducted between May and August, examined 55 families with seriously deformed newborns.

A July joint study by the Environmental Health and Science Ministry in Iraq also found that there are communities near the cities of Najaf, Basra and Fallujah with increased rates of cancer and birth defects since 2004.

The use of uranium ammunition is widely controversial because of potential long term health effects. The United States and Britain used up to 2,000 tons of this type of ammunition during the Iraq war.

Iraq’s Ministry for Human Rights is preparing to file a lawsuit against Britain and the US over their use of depleted uranium bombs in Iraq.

Anti-war activists and human rights campaigners condemned the use of white phosphorous and depleted uranium ammunition by US and British forces in war-ravaged Iraq.

„It is unclear whether its radiation-derived mutational effects or its chemical toxic effects are more relevant,“ the Friday report said, referring to depleted uranium used in Fallujah.