Skip to main content

Bosnia: Depleted Uranium

Volume 461: debated on Thursday 21 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) how many civilians in (a) Bosnia and (b) Kosovo have been reported as showing signs of depleted uranium contamination during the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement; (143984)

(2) what efforts the Department is making to monitor the effects of depleted uranium on civilians in (a) Bosnia and (b) Kosovo.

While the UK has not used depleted uranium munitions in the Balkans, we maintain a watching brief on related scientific developments.

The Ministry of Defence carried out depleted uranium environmental monitoring surveys in Kosovo in 2001 and in Bosnia in 2002, Only limited and localised depleted uranium contamination was detected and the reports concluded that there is no foreseeable way in which this could present a radioactive or toxic risk for the environment or human health. These findings are in line with those of the UN environment programme's reports on the Balkans, and, under World Health Organisation recommendations, do not indicate a need for systematic monitoring of the civilian population.