Birth defects have risen since US Falluja operation

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by J_D, Mar 4, 2010.

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  1. J_D

    J_D LE

    Full article
  2. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    There's plenty if information on the potential issues regarding DU ammunition, and the as-yet unexplained 'Gulf War Syndrome'.

    It may be a legacy of the wars we have got involved in, but then again, it may be completely unassociated with the current level of birth defects.
  3. Is there anything more than anecdotal evidence about this?
  4. Is Fallujah on the A48? That could explain the six finger thing...
  5. Of course the US will have been firing bucket loads of DU rounds, very effective against buildings, soft targets etc, in general the type of warfare and enemy in Faluja.
  6. are they sure it's not everyone marrying their cousins or something?
  7. That's Cinderford you're thinking of.
  8. Biped

    Biped LE Book Reviewer

    I believe the A10 fires DU rounds, and tanks can too, and I also believe that both were used in the attack on Falluja.

    That's not to say that this is the cause of the birth defects, but it might be. On the other hand, you know, war and battles are a time of high stress for civvy women, maybe that's the cause - stress.
  9. This smacks of some Iraqi version of "no win, no fee"
  10. Plagiarism is the sincerest form of smooth-tongued bast4rd!
  11. There is some suggestion that potentially contaminated waste might have entered the water supply after the wreckage was ... bulldozed into the river.

    However, it's also worth remembering that Saddam had a LOT of nasty chemicals industry, and didn't listen to the Health and Safety Executive.

    "Fallujah II was one of Iraq's principal CW precursor production facilities before the Gulf war. In the last few years the Iraqis upgraded the facility and brought in new chemical reactor vessels and shipping containers with a large amount of production equipment. They expanded chlorine output far beyond pre-Gulf war production levels—capabilities that can be diverted quickly to CW production. Iraq sought to purchase CW agent precursors and applicable production equipment and tried to hide the activities of the Fallujah plant.

    Before the Gulf War Iraq depended on importing-specialized equipment-and some chemicals to purify its water supply, most of which is heavily mineralized and frequently brackish to saline. Chlorination normaly is accomplished during several stages of purification, including the inital treatment stage to prevent the equipment from liming and to kill pathogens just prior to storing the fully treated water. The chlorine used in most plants is either sodium hypochlorite, a liquid, or calcium hypochlorite, a powder. If they are equipped with injectors, low-capacity plants can use chlorine gas directly. At the time of the Gulf War, Iraq's plant in Fallujah and the PC-I petrochemical plant at Basrah produced sodium hypochlorite and, as a by-product, caustic soda, which was used to adjust the PH of water supplies. Normally, both locations produced relatively small quantities of chlorine for industrial and some municipal use; chlorine for municipal supplies also was imported. [SOURCE: IRAQ WATER TREATMMENT VULNERABILITIES DIA WASHINGTON DC - 22 JAN 91]

    Some dodgy maps on this:
    suggest that the Fallujah CW plant cluster weren't that far away from the town.
    Inspection showed up a lovely mix of stuff, 'herbicides' ' pesticides', phenols and aniline (strangely carcinogenic, and used in rocket fuel)
    I'd check the local groundwater and wells for dumped chemicals before I'd start blaming DU.

    PS- We ought to know about Fallujah II. We built it in the 1980's!
  12. Thanks Mr D.
    There is some medical research that links these kind of birth defects to agricultural pesticides (not a million miles away from CW agents), but there is also the possibility that there were other things being produced in the area.
    "Fallujah II: This facility produced chemical weapons precursors destined for the Muhanna site. Products included chlorine, phosphorous trichloride and oxychlorode, thiony1 chloride, and with high probability two direct nerve agent precursors. The site was bombed during the Gulf War. Remaining precursors and equipment were transferred to the Muthanna site for destruction under the supervision of the Chemical Destruction Group. Located 65 km WNW of Baghdad."

    Perhaps any industrial chemists in the area should start looking for these in the tap water. This might have been released in the 1990's, and been filtering into the system for years, and only started showing effects in the mid 2000's, coincidentally after the Fallujah battle.
  13. What worrys me is the report from Iran I saw on Aunty Beeb. There was too much supposition and very little substance.

    The one indicator I would have asked for was "What is the RATE OF CHANGE in birth defects", and ask for substantiation. If there is insufficient data from before the battles, tough.

    DU is nasty, but so is the NBC (ok, BC) weaponry that Saddam had at his disposal near to the city.
  14. Some years ago I was involved with a survey in Nepal to do with birth defects, as the Sherpa women drink water that is in most cases Glacier Melt off, now this has none of the nutriants and minerals that we get from our water. So there was a High incidence of cretinisem, and at the time it was common practice to throw any deformed children into the Dhude Kosi river but we had no base line to work from as we had no idea just how many deformed births there were before we arrived,so our findings were not much use so we gave mineral suppliments in the form of injections to as many women as possible who were of child bearing age and this seemed to work,
  15. Well spotted. The problem of rate of change would require reliable stats from the local health organisations. These don't exist, so unless someone starts baselining data, it's all anecdotal and supposition.

    The media are aware of Gulf War Syndrome, and Depleted Uranium, but are ignorant of the other environmental factors, and the impacts of decades of sanctions on public health in the run up to the last war.

    What they have here is a story that might (or might not) be made up of parts of other stories.
    DU might equal birth defects.
    (It probably does. There's lots of research that says so. But so do other things, alone or in combination with DU. DU is radioactive, but it's also a heavy metal. They are toxic in their own right.)

    OR the story could be :
    Birth defects up.
    Caused by: Chemicals, DU, other unknown factors
    Aggravated by: sanctions and the collapse of public health services
    and sanctions, and malnutrition amongst children in that time who are now reaching child bearing age.

    But being media, they aren't qualified or interested enough to look beyond the juicy headline 'Filthy Capitalist USA Radioactive bullets kill babies'.

    Mind you- Once you identify the problem, there's still the next issue: Who clears it up. And- Who pays?