At the average size of 0.2
microns, one linear meter
contains 5x106 particles
app. 2.8 million kilograms of uranium were used in all forms of DU
weaponry till 2005
surface measures 5.1x1014 square meters.
The earth's troposphere where the major air circulation takes place (that also contains 75% of the global air mass), extents between 8 to 15 km above the surface of the earth (12 km average). If the DU particles are spread evenly throughout the troposphere close to 3000 DU particles are contained in every cubic meter of the earth's atmosphere.
A human being inhales typically 0.5 litters of air per breath, or 2000 breaths per cubic meter. This means that a person will inhale on average 1.5 DU nano-particles with each breath. At a rate of 25 breaths per minute, that adds up to 54,000 inhaled particles per day, of which it it takes only a single one to start a lung cancer or cause genetic mutation.
The actual figure, of course, may vary by location. Also, as a global average figure it may well be substantially less than the computed figure since half of the exploded DU particles are larger than the wavelength of light. On the other hand, the Aldermaston report also states (page 10) that 31% of the DU particles by mass are believed to be smaller than 0.18 microns, with some being possibly substantially smaller, so that actual total may be much larger than the one computed. Nevertheless the computation is useful for the purpose of illustrating the approximate extent of the global pollution that has already been created with the use of DU weaponry.
With a radioactive pollution of the above rate, averaged throughout the entire planet, every single person would be dead by now if the biological world had not developed defences against heavy metal pollutants. In fact, the human body has remarkable defence mechanisms built into its biological systems. Most of the uranium that enters the human body becomes collected by the defensive processes and is quickly excreted, primarily through the urine. The entire cleansing cycle is typically completed within a few days. The human body is efficiently designed to be self-cleansing. It has to be that way, or else we wouldn't exist. Mankind has lived with low level radiation for its entire existence, because that's the natural condition of our planet. Uranium is a native element in the earth's crust.
However, something new has been added to the environment with the use of DU weaponry and thermonuclear bombs. This new factor is evidently something that slips past the body's defences. The new factor may be the minute particle size that results in the intense heat of the DU explosion at the point when a DU weapon penetrates a barrier. Uranium particle that are significantly smaller than the wavelength of light appear not to exist in the natural environment. They appear to be an exclusively manmade phenomenon, created in the engines of war in very large quantities. It stands to reason therefore that every once in a while one of these tiny manmade alpha radiation emitters get stuck somewhere in the biological cleansing process and remains stuck there in the body for a long period where it keep on firing off its salvos of clusters of protons and neutron as a rate of 12,000 rounds per second extended for months and years. Over time their damage can cause major havoc, causing cancers and other defects of the kind that have indeed been experienced.
We do not know what specifically causes only a few of the 54,000 inhaled particles a day to slip past the body's natural defences over the course of months or years. We only know that this happens. With the introduction of these manmade nano-sized particles we appear to have come upon a boundary condition where unpredictable results can occur. With over 500,000 soldiers that served in Iraq being subjected to permanent medical disability, while the numbers are mounting up, we are facing obvious evidence that the introduction of the DU weaponry has put us the human biology into a boundary zone where the traditional protective systems are beginning to fail. When the human birth defects increase 10-fold in a polluted area, and cancer rates 30-fold as reports from Iraq indicate, we are a looking at a type of radioactive invasion of the body that is completely new on this planet. These large increases should cause a worldwide alarm, and they may in the future if the 6-fold increase in lung cancers that is reported in the USA turns out to be a global trend with destructive potentials that we can't foresee as yet. It may also be the case that the birds of the air may be more immediately affected by the same phenomenon than is generally assumed. The birds live in the air that is now heavily pervaded by nano-sized radio-nucleotides that never existed before. The mutation of viruses that caused the H1N5 bird flu might well have resulted from alpha radiation damage that the new uranium enriched air makes increasingly likely in the bird's native environment.
Since the super-small uranium particles have the kinetic properties of a gas, they may remain suspended in the air for extremely long periods, if not forever, like the homogenous suspension of pollutants in waters, especially when the waters are constantly being stirred up. The global air mass is constantly in motion with circulation patterns extending throughout the troposphere, both vertically and laterally. With the injection of the vast amounts of uranium nano-particles that have already been produced by DU weaponry, a new type of air-environment has been created that never existed before. The new environment comes with consequences attached that have no precedent in history, which we might use to judge their potential impact against, on the biosphere in which we live and are a part of. Since the biosphere of the earth is our home and the only one we have, and the current pollution of it cannot be reversed, the only thing we can do to protect of home and our existence on this planet, is to assure that the already planned increase of the pollution of our planet, and any future increase, will be actively prevented. That essential goal evidently requires the development of a new love in mankind for its humanity as the brightest gem in the development of life endowed with the potential to uplift life itself, rather than to destroy it.