Depleted Uranium and Human Health

Author(s): Armando Faa*, Clara Gerosa, Daniela Fanni, Giuseppe Floris, Peter V. Eyken, Joanna I. Lachowicz, Valeria M. Nurchi.

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 25 , Issue 1 , 2018

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Abstract:

Depleted uranium (DU) is generally considered an emerging pollutant, first extensively introduced into environment in the early nineties in Iraq, during the military operation called “Desert Storm”. DU has been hypothesized to represent a hazardous element both for soldiers exposed as well as for the inhabitants of the polluted areas in the war zones. In this review, the possible consequences on human health of DU released in the environment are critically analyzed. In the first part, the chemical properties of DU and the principal civil and military uses are summarized. A concise analysis of the mechanisms underlying absorption, blood transport, tissue distribution and excretion of DU in the human body is the subject of the second part of this article. The following sections deal with pathological condition putatively associated with overexposure to DU. Developmental and birth defects, the Persian Gulf syndrome, and kidney diseases that have been associated to DU are the arguments treated in the third section. Finally, data regarding DU exposure and cancer insurgence will be critically analyzed, including leukemia/lymphoma, lung cancer, uterine cervix cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer and testicular cancer. The aim of the authors is to give a contribution to the debate on DU and its effects on human health and disease.

Keywords: Depleted uranium, uranium chemical properties, uranium metabolism, uranium toxicity, Persian Gulf syndrome, desert storm.

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Article Details

VOLUME: 25
ISSUE: 1
Year: 2018
Page: [49 - 64]
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666170426102343

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