18, 1999, Gazette)
University researcher Pat Horan will soon finish groundbreaking
work on depleted uranium and its effects on war veterans suffering
from Gulf War Syndrome. Ms. Horan said the results of her analysis
of the urine of war veterans who are ill with Gulf War Syndrome
should be finished in about a month.
Earth Sciences, gained international prominence last spring when
she found proof that a Dutch fireman had been exposed to depleted
uranium while cleaning up the crash site of an Israeli EL-AL
cargo plane. The plane crashed into an apartment building when
it went down in Holland in 1992.
Ms. Horan says people have started getting sick.
The clean up crew started getting sick, the people in the
apartment complex, there has been more infant mortality and infants
born with defects. People (like the fireman) are dying of rare
cancers and other weird diseases they didnt see up until
now and people want to know why.
A Dutch environmental
watch group out of Amsterdam, called Stichting Visie, originally
contacted Ms. Horan to find out if there was DU in the dust collected
from the hangar where the remains of the plane were stored.
says when she released her results of the hangar dust analysis
in September 1998, there was a huge reaction in Holland. The
findings proved that the fireman who died from a rare form of
cancer had been exposed to DU through the dust during the clean-up.
The results also showed that the majority of uranium in the dust
was DU from the crash.
initial results showed DU in the dust, the same group sent her
the cremated remains of the fireman to analyze, soil from the
apartment complex, as well as dirt from the chemical dump site
where they believe the depleted uranium was disposed of after
Ms. Horan is now completing her examination of the firemans
remains to help gauge the effect the exposure to the DU had upon
the mans body before his death in December 1998.
geochemist said one of the reasons she was asked to look for
the depleted uranium is because prior to the mid-1980s, it was
commonly used as ballast in the tails and wings of most airplanes,
including the Boeings.
DU is the
result of taking uranium 235 out of uranium oxide to make fuel
rods for nuclear reactors. According to Ms. Horan it was a great
way to get rid of a nuclear plant byproduct, it takes up little
space, and yet is heavy enough to make excellent ballast.
uranium is quite hard and is also used in military weaponry because
it will pierce tanks easily, quickly ignites and destroys the
inside of the tank. So when the plane crashed everything burst
into flames including the depleted uranium, creating a great
cloud of ash, smoke and chemicals. The depleted uranium was also
stuck to the plane wreckage.
admitted there were other chemicals on the plane including DMMP
dimethyl methylphosphonate, a main component of serin nerve gas.
But as doctors begin to understand the effects of DU exposure
on the human body, the work continues to determine if these rare
cancers are caused by the presence of DU in the body.
says uranium eventually complexes with the phosphates in the
bone, settling in the bone after making its way through the body,
so she has spent intense time-consuming effort in developing
an accurate and precise technique of analyzing depleted uranium
in the bone as well as in urine, organs and cremated ash.
is recognized and recommended by prominent nuclear physicists
across the United States.
says much of her work is confidential and the results belong
to the group requesting the research. She is not at liberty to
discuss or release the information to the public unless it is
the groups intention.