INTRODUCTIONDepleted uranium (DU), a man‐made material, possesses the same chemical toxicity as natural uranium (U) metal, but has 40% less radiation, having had much of its higher specific activity isotypes removed. In inhalational models in animals and in humans involved in occupational accidents exposed to U hexafluoride, respiratory system health effects include pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, interstitial inflammation and fibrosis, and emphysema. These effects, however, are thought to be related to hydrogen fluoride toxicity. Uranium miners and millers chronically exposed via inhalation to insoluble U metal compounds also are known to face increased risks of respiratory disease; however, concomitant exposure to silica, diesel exhaust, and cigarette smoke also contribute to this increased risk in this population exposed to U. The clear potential for U‐related respiratory health effects still suggests a need for surveillance, particularly in populations with ongoing exposure.During Gulf War I, the United States military first used DU metal as a munition due to its armor piercing and pyrophoric properties and as armor on U.S. tanks and vehicles due to its high density. A cohort of Gulf War I veterans who sustained exposure to depleted uranium (DU) following friendly fire incidents in 1991 undergoes biennial surveillance supported by the
American Journal of Industrial Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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