Depleted Uranium Health Concerns
What is depleted uranium?
Depleted uranium is a form of metal that has been used by the United States military in fairly recent wars and operations. This heavy metal is used to armor tanks and incorporated into bullet casings to penetrate enemy armored vehicles. The introduction of this heavy metal being used by the military started in the Gulf War between the years 1990 and 1991. These bullet cases and armored vehicles are derived from depleted uranium that is a result of the manufacturing of uranium in nuclear reactors.
When used in bullet casings and armored vehicles, these metals have a high withstand rate because of their extreme density (estimated to be 19.1 g/cmᶟ.) Depleted uranium is also used in aircrafts as counterweights and commonly seen in hospitals and medical centers are radiation shields. It is estimated that this form of depleted metal has a 40% lower radioactivity level than natural uranium, but high and long-term exposure can cause serious and long-term health concerns.
Health Concerns Regarding Uranium
There are numerous health concerns regarding depleted uranium usage in the military. Military personnel involved in the Gulf War, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom may have been exposed to depleted uranium. When the shrapnel of a depleted uranium bullet penetrates a vehicle or the side of a depleted uranium tank, there is a high chance that these small pieces of radioactive metals can lodge into soft tissue and cause serious complications with the individual. If shrapnel or bullets remain within the body for an extended period of time, significant damage may be placed on the kidneys and radiation poisoning may occur.
These toxic metals can be found not only in armored vehicles and bullets, but multiple studies have shown that depleted uranium has been found in ground soil on Army bases in Hawaii as well as California, potentially as a result of transported vehicles coming to and from deployments to Iraq. As stated before, inhalation of shards or ingestion of pieces of this uranium have long-term health effects and may cause birth complications and environmental concerns.
Eligibility for Benefits
If you were exposed to depleted uranium or you know that you are suffering from complications pertaining to the exposure of, ingestion, inhalation or internal fragments of depleted uranium, you need to work with a trusted veteran's disability attorney. Veterans may be eligible to receive compensation and be monitored for health benefits in the event of an exposure. Contact McElreath & Stevens, LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation and speak with a trusted Atlanta veterans disability attorney today.