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Gulf and Balkans Veterans: Depleted Uranium

House of Lords written question – answered on 1st May 2002.

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Photo of Lord Burlison Lord Burlison Labour

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made in developing a test for depleted uranium for Gulf and Balkans veterans.

Photo of Lord Bach Lord Bach Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Procurement)

Contracts have been placed with five laboratories to carry out a pilot study to determine a test that will identify the presence of depleted uranium in urine. The pilot exercise will examine a number of different methods and establish whether a suitably accurate, precise and sensitive test is available. Following assessment of the results of the pilot exercise, arrangements for the main voluntary testing programme will be put in place. If a suitable test is identified, the voluntary test is likely to be available in October 2002.

It is extremely important that the method of testing be credible to all parties. This pilot exercise is a vital step in ensuring that the correct test is chosen so that both veterans and the Ministry of Defence can have confidence in the results of the voluntary testing programme.

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