(WASHINGTON DC) – My last four articles (Veterans Today) focused in on setting the stage to constructively help Veterans exposed to various toxins while serving our country and announce the posting of my new Internet website to assist Veterans facing healthcare issues from Agent Orange and Depleted Uranium (www.docmattson.com). Obviously, like all of us who live in this country, we are exposed to environmental pollutants, household chemicals, and workplace hazards, but what most of us would never imagine is that our employer would, without our knowledge, deliberately expose us to life threatening toxins.
I wrote a series of articles in 2011 on the fact that our government was well aware of Agent Orange and the potential ill-effects of using it. My research took me back to World War II when the United States Army completed defoliant research at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The research was funded in part by a grant provided by the National Research Council to develop a chemical to destroy rice crops in Japan (the major food source of the Japanese). 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange) was the result. A discussion between President Roosevelt and White House Chief of Staff, Admiral William D. Leahy determined that this heinous chemical should not be used. Agent Orange was not used during WWII.
My recent articles on the use of Depleted Uranium (DU) in munitions in the Gulf Wars, shows we are looking at a similar history for the troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. DU is used in a variety of weapons, but the concern isn’t so much on the potential for exposure to radiation that’s my concern, it is the “cook-off” of the DU after an explosion. The cook-off creates airborne byproducts of uranium and other heavy metals. The byproducts are spread over the battle area by the wind current and end up in the sand, on clothing, in the water supply, and eventually in the food supply.
Dr. Asaf Durakovic, physician and expert in nuclear medicine, a former U.S. Army Colonel, and Chief of the Nuclear Sciences Division of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute at the VA, was onto showing a direct correlation between the cook-off of DU and what has become know as “Gulf War Syndrome (or Disease)”, using Spectral Karyotyping. The VA told him to stand down and eventually terminated his employment. He has since taken up collaborative research with McGill University in Canada, and Wayne State University in Michigan as Medical Research Director of the Toronto-based Uranium Medical Centre.