Depleted Uranium

Defence written question – answered on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Parliamentary Leader (Westminster), Spokesperson (Constitutional Affairs; Treasury), Leader, Scottish National Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment his Department has made of the effect of depleted uranium shells on (a) current and (b) former (i) personnel of his Department and (ii) soldiers; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Ivor Caplin Mr Ivor Caplin Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence

The Depleted Uranium Oversight Board (DUOB), an independent committee established by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is measuring uranium in the urine of personnel who served in the first Gulf Conflict 1990–91 and in the Balkans Operations. This work includes personnel who have been discharged from service as well as those who are still serving. Similarly, under MOD's biological monitoring policy, the Defence Radiological Protection Service (DRPS) is assessing uranium in urine of both military personnel and MOD civilians on operations—including Operation Telic in Iraq—where there is potential for exposure. Depleted Uranium in urine is also being measured in a sample of personnel from across the battlefield as part of a wider study into the physical and psychological health of Operation Telic participants by King's College, London.

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