|Iraqi doctors believe depleted uranium from US military equipment used in the 2003 invasion is spreading cancer through the population.They are recording a shocking rise in the number of cancer victims south of Baghdad, they claim. Outraged, they have demanded an investigation be held into the matter.
Cancer rates in the province of Babil have risen almost tenfold in just three years.
In 2004, 500 cases of cancer were diagnosed there. That figure rose to almost 1,000 two years later. By 2008, the number of cases had increased sevenfold to 7,000.
Many Iraqi doctors say radiation has caused this alarming increase in cancer rates and birth defects among Iraqi children.
Over 300 sites across Iraq are said to be contaminated by depleted uranium.
Inside Iraq is joined by Jawad Al-Ali, a consultant oncologist, and Christopher Busby, a radiation expert.
National Meeting on Radiological Pollution in Iraq:
By Hadi Al-Rubaiay
The national meeting for the preventive measures from radiological pollution have been conducted in the presence of the high Consultants Commission in the Cabinet, high education ministry, Science and Technology Ministry, Environmental Ministry, and Health Ministry in Mansur Melia Hotel in Baghdad.
Mr. Thamir Alghadban, chairman of the Consultants Commission emphasized in his speech that efforts that have been spent to improve the radiological pollution situation that have been resulted from the military operations of 1991 and 2003. Specific attention was given to Southern Oil Fields contamination where many cancer cases appeared among the workers of these oil fields.
Later on the Environment Minister, Mrs. Nermeen Othman, in her speech explained the importance of confining this radiological pollution which have been blown out of proportion by many political opponents in Iraq. She then explained the efforts of her ministry in setting the plans and programs related to protect the people from this pollution………
Then she gave the results of the environmental radiological assessment that have been conducted recently in Northern and Southern Oil Fields in Iraq, like in Rumaila Oil Fields where 48 sites were found radiologicaly contaminated. She also added that among the 17 station of Northern Rumaila Oil Fields, eight sites were found contaminated with radioactive radionuclides.
The results of the radiological EIA of Iraq were presented. Phase one of the assessment showed 264 radiologicaly contaminated samples and as follows:
In Samawa area 202 sample. 71 of them are soil samples, 10 water samples, 106 dust smear sample. And one vegetation cover sample. Contaminated samples were 36 sample.
In Zubair area, 62 sample. 41 of them contaminated.
In Basra area, 103 sample. 62 samples were radiological contaminated.
In Nasrya area, 153 sample. 49 of them were contaminated.
Rise in birth defects in Samawa.
Samawa, Jasim Faisal Al-Rubayae
A medical source in Muthana Obstetricians and Children Hospital warned of the increase of birth defects rates among new born children in Samawa. Dr Aamal Al-Saidy, in charge of SONAR in the hospital said that “there has been large increase in congenital malformations that needed to be explained by other MDs in the hospital”. Dr Alsaidy explained that the doctors in the hospital have never seen or exposed to such cases. She also cleared out that most of these deformities are from Al-Warkaa area.