[R-G] UK: First award for depleted uranium poisoning claim
info at cinox.demon.co.uk
Wed Feb 18 23:20:54 MST 2004
First award for depleted uranium poisoning claim
A Reader, 18.02.2004 19:52
DU has been linked to a leukaemia cluster around the Ministery of Defence
firing range at Dundrennan, near the Solway Firth. Communities close to the
range show the highest rate of childhood leukaemia in the UK.
MARTIN WILLIAMS February 04 2004
A SCOTS ex-soldier has become the first veteran to win a pension
appeal after being diagnosed with depleted uranium (DU) poisoning
during the 1991 Gulf war.
A Pension Appeal Tribunal Service hearing in Edinburgh accepted
medical evidence provided by Kenny Duncan, of Clackmannan, previously
dismissed by the MoD, which revealed he had become ill after service
in the Middle East.
Mr Duncan, 35, a driver with 7 Tank Transporter Regiment, helped move
tanks destroyed by shells containing the poisonous dust.
He says he has evidence that his children's health problems are linked
to his service. Kenneth, 10, Andrew, eight, and six-year-old Heather,
have symptoms similar to those suffered by some Iraqi children,
including deformed toes, and low immune systems making them
susceptible to asthma, hay fever and eczema.
Mr Duncan has suffered increasing breathlessness and aching joints
which he has linked to DU.
During the conflict, US and British troops fired an estimated 350
tonnes of DU weapons at Iraqi tanks.
Doctors in southern Iraq have reported a marked increase in cancers
and birth defects, and suspicion has grown that they were caused by DU
contamination from tank battles.
DU has been linked to a leukaemia cluster around the MoD range at
Dundrennan, near the Solway Firth. Communities close to the range show
the highest rate of childhood leukaemia in the UK.
Mr Duncan's appeal was launched after he was awarded only about #40 a
week, half the full pension, when he retired from the Army through ill
health in 1993 after nine years' service. His pension will now be
The National Gulf Veterans and Families Association (NGVFA) said the
tribunal decision added weight to its call for a full independent
inquiry into Gulf war illnesses and supported its view that the
government should do more financially to help the victims.
Mr Duncan's case relied on blood tests carried out by Dr Albrecht
Schott, a German biochemist, which revealed chromosome aberrations
caused by ionising radiation.
Dr Schott's research formed part of a study of 16 British veterans of
conflicts in the Gulf, Bosnia, and Kosovo, which found that they had
14 times the usual level of chromosome abnormalities in their genes,
raising fears that they will pass cancers and genetic illnesses to
The test results were dismissed by the MoD as "neither well thought
out nor scientifically sound".
Mr Duncan said yesterday: "It is just a huge relief to have someone in
authority say that you have been poisoned by this stuff and that you
are not telling lies. It is now time for the MoD to tell us what went
"For all those veterans who have been going to the doctor with these
ailments and are being told there is nothing wrong with them, this is
for them, and I hope it will help them.
"I doubt that I will benefit much financially from this, but it wasn't
about the money, it was about the principle of the thing."
The ministry said yesterday: "Once we have seen the decision, we will
consider the implications it might have on the MoD."
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