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Armi che causano il cancro
- Subject: Armi che causano il cancro
- From: rossana <rossana at comodinoposta.org>
- Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2009 13:02:07 +0100
- User-agent: Thunderbird 18.104.22.168 (Windows/20081209)
Palline di lega di tungsteno per armamento sono state impiantate in 92
ratti. Secondo l' Istituto di ricerca di Radiobiology in Maryland in
cinque mesi tutti gli animali hanno sviluppato un cancro raro denominato
rabdomiosarcoma. Vi è un rapporto completo. Si è controllato con il
Dott. Mark Witten dell'Università dell'Arizona come si sono sviluppate
le cose. Il Dott. Witten continua a studiare i collegamenti fra
tungsteno e la leucemia per tutta una serie di armamenti.
Cancer Worries for New U.S. Bombs
The U.S. military is working on a small, precise bomb that could hit
targets "previously off limits to the warfighter." The problem is, it
might cause cancer.
Dense Inert Metal Explosive
(DIME) is one of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s responses to the
challenge of fighting in an urban environment without hurting innocent
bystanders in the process.
Recent news <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12909608/> about an airstrike
which may have killed civilians, as well as Taliban fighters, highlights
the problem. Similar situations have occurred repeatedly in Iraq and
Afghanistan; sometimes targets could not be engaged, because of the risk
of harming nearby civilians. One option is to use smaller weapons.
Another is dropping inert bombs, filled with concrete rather than
explosives, to minimize collateral damage.
But what's really required is something which is just as lethal as a
standard bomb, but keeps its lethal zone to a minimum. This is exactly
what DIME delivers.
DIME is used in the Low Collateral Damage
version of the Small Diameter Bomb
currently under development. This has a carbon fiber casing which turns
into dust rather than creating dangerous fragments. The bomb is filled
with explosive mixed with tungsten powder, which becomes micro-shrapnel.
The small-sized tungsten particles drag to a halt at about 40 charge
diameters. In the case of the SDB, that gives a destructive radius of
about 25 feet.
The result is an incredibly destructive blast in a small area, what the
Air Force Term "Focused Lethality." The AFRL Munitions Directorate
provided this picture of a DIME test, but were unable to discuss the
topic. However, I talked to others who have worked in this area. They
were consistently awed by the destructive power of the mixture, which
causes far more damage than pure explosive within the near field. The
impact of the micro-shrapnel seems to cause a similar but more powerful
effect than a shockwave.
Early blasts even destroyed test instruments
/Unfortunately, the high-velocity, high temperature inert metal
particles found in DIME fills have proved to be extremely damaging
to traditional pressure measurement instruments. Hence, new
measurement diagnostics had to be developed to investigate DIME
Because there are no large fragments, Focused Lethality Munitions should
not cause a hazard at any great distance. The standard Small Diameter
Bomb is claimed to be lethal out to 2,000 feet or more
the Focused Lethality version will have a smaller but deadlier footprint
- a 12-gauge compared to a rifle.
Little has been released on the exact effects of DIME explosives, but
it’s interesting that a presentation
<http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2001munitions/masiello.pdf> on future
munitions illustrates focused lethality with a tank which had been
turned on its side by blast. Aimed accurately, it looks like it would be
capable of destroying a building completely without damaging the rest of
Metal powders -- typically aluminum -- have been added to explosives for
many years. But those are reactive metals, making the blast even
stronger. Tungsten, on the other hand, is inert. So it remains in
metallic form and absorbs some of the energy of the explosion. DIME
originated in work to increase the density of the explosive mixture,
improving the penetrating power of bunker busting bombs. But the bonus
effect of the micro-shrapnel proved to be more significant than the
The Air Force's focused lethality munition had an enthusiastic write-up
in the /Wall Street Journal/
<http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06096/679996-84.stm>. The US Navy's
Surface Warfare Center at Dahlgren is also working on DIME munitions
According to the Air Force’s FY 2007 Unfunded Priority List
the focused lethality munitions "will be able to prosecute targets
previously off limits to the warfighter."
This suggests that they will be used in close proximity to civilians or
friendly forces. The only collateral damage may be stray tungsten
particles – clumping, or larger particles in the mix might mean some
effect outside the focused zone. Would grains of inert tungsten present
a problem? According to /New Scientist/
/In a study designed to simulate shrapnel injuries, pellets of
weapons-grade tungsten alloy were implanted in 92 rats. Within five
months all the animals developed a rare cancer called
rhabdomyosarcoma, according to John Kalinich's team at the Armed
Forces Radiobiology Research Institute <http://www.afrri.usuhs.mil/>
92 out of 92 - "tumor yield was 100%" - is a significant result. The
full report is here
I checked with University of Arizona cancer researcher Dr. Mark Witten
quoted in the /New Scientist/ story, to see how things have developed.
Dr. Witten is investigating links between tungsten and leukemia, and is
concerned about its possible use DIME or other munitions:
/"My opinion is that there needs to be much more research on the
health effects of tungsten before the military increases its usage."/
We don’t know whether a Focused Lethality Munition is likely to result
in tungsten particles striking anyone outside the lethal area. Nor do we
know the possible environmental impact tungsten powder left afterwards.
But given that the Focused Lethality munition will be used in situations
which are likely to produce media attention and political repercussions,
these should be addressed.
The aims of the Low Collateral Damage program are worthwhile. But unless
the issues around tungsten are resolved we could see a repeat of the
depleted uranium <http://www.defensetech.org/archives/001960.html>
story. Instead of decreasing controversy, the new weapon might create