Thursday, June 17, 2004

Depleted Uranium Genesis Document 1943

Depleted Uranium Genesis Document 1943
RESPIRATORY TRACT: Dr. Wollan has estimated that an accumulation of 10-3 curies of high-energy beta-ray active material would produce an exposure of about 100 r/day to the lungs. Unfortunately, there is no experimental data bearing directly upon the deposition of f products nor on the action of the beta-rays on the bronchial and alveolar surfaces.

Particles larger than 1µ[micron]in size are likely to be deposited in nose, trachea or bronchi and then be brought up with mucus on the walls at the rate of 1/2 - 1 cm/min. Particles smaller than 1µ [micron] are more likely to be deposited in the alveoli where they will either remain indefinitely or be absorbed into the lymphatics or blood. The probability of the deposition of dust particles anywhere in the respiratory tract depends upon respiratory rate, particle size, chemical and physical nature, and the concentration in the atmosphere. Hence the probability of f products causing lung damage depends on all of these factors.

While only fragmentary information is available, it is felt that the injury would be manifest as bronchial irritation coming on in from a few hours to a few days, depending on the dose. It would not be immediately incapacitating except with doses in the neighborhood of 400 or more r [roentgens] per day. The most serious effect would be permanent long damage appearing months later from the persistent irradiation of retained particles, even at low daily rates.

It would seem that chemical gases could accomplish more and do it more quickly so far as the skin surfaces and lungs are concerned. The beta emitters would have more permanent effects -- starting months after exposure.

GASTRO-INTESTINAL TRACT: Beta emitting f [fission] products could get into the gastro-intestinal tract from polluted water, or food, or air. From the air, they would get onto the mucus of the nose, throat, bronchi, etc., and be swallowed. The effects would be local irritation just as in the bronchi and exposures of the same amount would be required. The stomach, caecum, and rectum, where contents remain for longer periods than elsewhere would be most likely to be affected. It is conceivable that ulcers and perforations of the gut followed by death could be produced, even without any general effects from the radiation.

BLOOD STREAM AND TISSUES: Beta and gamma emitting fission products may be absorbed from the lungs or G-I tract into the blood and so distributed throughout the body.

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