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Depleted Uranium Dust

Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research the Government have (a) undertaken and (b) commissioned into the health effects of inhaling or ingesting depleted uranium dust. [108685]

The Ministry of Defence has not undertaken any research so far into the health effects of inhaling or ingesting depleted uranium (DU) dust.However, as part of our DU research programme, which I announced in the House on 14 March 2002,

Official Report, columns 1179–80W, we will be reviewing the literature relevant to the effects of DU exposure by inhalation on neurocognitive functioning, pulmonary loading and transport to and uptake by the pulmonary lymph nodes. Following review, we will recommend a way forward on these issues, which may include new research.

We do not plan to commission research into the health effects of ingesting DU. Much has already been published relating to the ingestion of DU, and therefore, MOD considers that there is no requirement for further research in this area at this time.