Depleted Uranium Bullets

I have read some conflicting websites about the radioactive affect of Depleted Uranium Bullets. Can anyone clear this up for me.

the radioactivity is next to nothing… stopable by a flower pedal or something. greatly more important is the fact they are poisonous to all get out… the same way all heavy metals tend to be. (lead, mercury,ect)

From here. Seems like a relatively small risk to me.

The US Army Environmental Policy Institute put out a little primer titled HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES OF DEPLETED URANIUM USE BY THE U.S. ARMY back in 1994. It’s a lot meatier than the Guardian article.

I’ve seen web sites which talk about the 4.5 billion year half-life of DU as if one that long makes it more dangerous than an isotope with a shorter half-life. If you see talk like that, you’ll know that it’s a clueless site.

Thanks. I didn’t realise it was the toxicity that was the main problem (even though it seems relatively minor). It seems less harmful than it is made out to be. Why do I get the impression that the army has discontinued usage? And if they have why…the results from the controlled experiments seem like it is doing what it’s meant to do…harm the opposition.

The toxicity of uranium (as opposed to the radioactivity) is a serious issue. Ingestion of either uranium powder or inhaling vaporized uranium can wreak havoc with your kidneys. The way I’ve heard it, you don’t have to worry about the radioactivity because the chemical toxicity will destroy your kidneys long before you have a chance to get cancer.

A quote from

The generally accepted threshold for kidney toxicity set by the NRC in 1959 is still used today. The literature, however, reflects great discussion concerning this limit, particularly in light of recent studies showing toxic effects occurring at lower relative levels in animals.
Another area of uncertainty concerns exposure of female soldiers to DU. At present, there are no definitive studies on the health and developmental effects on fetuses whose mothers have internalized DU. It is important to note, however, that no female soldiers were involved in the friendly fire incidents and none served on the recovery and maintenance teams.

Chronic kidney toxicity and localized radiation effects are the primary health concerns for Desert Storm veterans wounded by DU fragments. Embedded fragments have resulted in elevated levels of uranium in the blood. These veterans are being monitored by the DVA/Army five-year study.
N.B. THIS QUOTE IS FROM A 9 YEAR OLD REPORT could anyone supply a more up to date website for information about the on going investagations?