Potential effects in the health when exposed to Depleted Uranium

  • The proximal tubules located in the kidneys are the main site where the damage from uranium toxicity can occur. The proximal tubules are the primary filtering parts of the kidneys. There are not enough data to show to what extent the effects of uranium are to the human kidneys or the time it takes for the kidneys to function again after being exposed to increasing levels of uranium.
  • In many studies regarding miners of uranium, there is an increased risk for them to acquire lung cancer but this is not attributed to the exposure from any radon decay products. The lung tissues are damaged and this leads to an increase of risk to develop lung cancer as the radiation dose is also increased. Because DU dust is mildly radioactive, large amounts of DU dusts should be inhaled to detect an exposure to DU. Leukemia and other radiation-induced cancers have lower risks than lung cancer when exposed to DU dusts.
  • Erythema or the superficial skin inflammation and other skin effects are not likely to happen even when the skin has been in contact with the DU for prolonged period of time.
  • There are no confirmed or consistent unfavourable effects of uranium on the liver or skeleton.
  • There are no developmental or reproductive effects of uranium on humans.
  • The uranium in embedded fragments in the skin can build up in the nervous system and in some human and animal studies, they can only suggest that it can be difficult to pin point what the exact effects of uranium are to the nervous system.

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