Armed Forces: Depleted Uranium

House of Lords written question – answered on 5th January 2010.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their response to the Rule 43 report of HM Coroner for the Black Country District of 18 September in the case of Stuart Raymond Dyson deceased; and what action they propose to prevent further deaths from ingestion of, or exposure to, depleted uranium by military and civilian personnel in areas of conflict.

Photo of Baroness Taylor of Bolton Baroness Taylor of Bolton Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Defence and Security) (also in the Ministry of Defence), Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (International Defence and Security) (also in Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

I will place a copy of the department's response to the Coroner for the Black Country District's Rule 43 report in the Library of the House.

In line with reports by independent expert bodies including the Royal Society, International Atomic Energy Agency and World Health Organisation it is the Government's view that depleted uranium (DU) is both weakly radioactive and chemically toxic to about the same extent as lead.

In relation to the use of DU munitions we base our risk assessments on the best available scientific advice and routinely monitor developments in the scientific literature.

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