September 2, 2003

DEPLETED URANIUM FEARS: A case of the dishonest preying on the credulous, according to this link-rich and heavily-footnoted post by Michael McNeil. And he’s right. It’s a heavy metal (like lead), and thus it can be toxic (like, er, lead), but the radiation fears are hype. As with, er, lead, the real hazard lies elsewhere. As CPO Sparkey comments: “The most hazardous DU anyone will ever face is the one coming their way at 3,650 fps.” Or as physicist Robert Park puts it: “I always figured it would be a lot better to be shot with a uranium bullet than a dum-dum — it should make a good clean hole. Physicists don’t spend much time worrying about natural uranium, and DU is even less radioactive by about 40 percent.”

In other words, you can relax, Howard. That these stories get any play at all is a testament to, well, dishonesty and credulousness.

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