Atlantic Free Press, April 19, 2010
Eleven Years After The Balkans Bombings: Depleted Uranium in NATO Bombs Remains Deadly
by Ljubica Vujadinovic
A leading Serbian expert in the field says the NATO's use of depleted uranium ammunition in it's aggression on Serbia has caused enormous increase in cancer rates and number of newborn with malformations.
“Depleted uranium is not only radioactive, as any other heavy metal, it is very toxic as well,” explained doctor Radomir Kovacevic, from the Institute for radiology protection “Dr. Dragomir Karajovic” in Belgrade.
“It is nephrotoxic, so it primary affects kidneys, then liver and spleen. In other words, once the depleted uranium enters a human body the whole organism is poisoned.”
The DU is known as a “bone-seeker” - in the human body it tends to get permanently attached to the skeleton. As the time goes by, it provokes mutation of the cells and leads to different diseases, including cancer.
The data published by the Public Health Institute of the city of Vranje, a densely populated area in southern Serbia surrounded by four known DU contaminated locations (Pljackovica, Bratoselce, Reljan and Borovac), has shown that a number of newly registered cancer cases has more than doubled – from 185 in the year 2000 to 398 new diagnosis in 2006.
According to Dr. Kovacevic, four studies conducted so far, on both civilians and those who worked on the spots' decontamination, have shown that the DU exposure causes typical and specific changes on genetic material.
In Vranje area, a number of newborn with malformations has increased from 21 cases in 1998, to 73 in 2008. The total number of newborn didn't change – it was from 800 to 1000 babies per year.
”DNA molecule is very sensitive on aggression - in this case it is radioactivity,” told Dr. Kovacevic to Provoices. “And the changes on the genetic material caused by DU contamination will affect many future generations.”