Thirteen Years of Denied Medical Testing
|By Dr. Doug Rokke, PhD|
http://traprockpeace.org/rokke_du_army_policy.html a 2004 article]]
April 29, 2004
Commentary by Doug Rokke
Finally after 13 years of denied medical testing, denied medical care for the majority of depleted uranium casualties, numerous requests for medical care, and continued use of uranium munitions Colonel Paula K. Underwood, M.C., in the U.S. Army Office of the Surgeon General has distributed the following official U.S. Army policy dated 4/29/04 regarding testing for depleted uranium exposure.
Level 1 is defined as: "Personnel who were in, on, or near combat vehicles at the time they were struck by depleted uranium rounds (to include wounded), or who entered immediately after to attempt rescue."
Level 2 is defined as: "Personnel who rountinely entered depletd uranium damaged vehicles as part of their military occupation or who fought fires involving depletd uranium munitions."
Level 3 is defined as: "Personnel involved in all other exposures incidental in nature, e.g. driving by a vehicle struck by deplted uranium". (SECDEF 3/30/03: Policy for the Operation Iraqi Freedom Depleted Uranium (DU) Medical Management)
The acknowledgement that medical care is required for level 1 and 2 exposures and should be an option for level 3 exposures agrees with the conclusion of a U.S. Army Environmental Institute report (6/95) that: "No available technology can significantly change the inherent chemical and radiological toxicity of DU. These are intrinsic properties of uranium." indicates that mediical care must be provided to all casaualties and individuals affected by U.S. Department of Defense manufacture, testing, and use of uranium munitions.
However, I must ask if U.S. Department of Defense officials who willfully manufactured, tested, and used uranium munitions will provide this same testing for all individuals who were exposed to uranium contamination to include residents of Iraq; the Balkans; Vieques, Puerto Rico; Okinawa; Afghanistan; locations through out the United States, England, Canada, Germany, and all other locations where depleted uranium or in reality uranium weapons were manufactured, tested, or used? If a uranium radiobioassay is now required for all level 1 and 2 exposures and is available upon request for level 3 exposures to all U.S. service members as result of confirmed or possible uranium contamination exposures then this testing must be made available to all individuals in our coalition nations and to all individuals who were affected by the U.S. military's willful use, testing, or manufacturing of uranium munitions at any location.
Thousands of children, women, and men were exposed in the first Iraq war. Many are sick, yet all but 262 have been denied testing and medical care. Will these individuals be provided care and compensation base on presumption and denial of previously mandated testing?
Dr. Doug Rokke, Ph.D.
Major (retired), USAR
former 3rd U.S. Army Gulf War 1 DU team health physicist
former U.S. Army Depleted Uranium Project director