Background A small group of Gulf War I veterans wounded in depleted uranium (DU) friendly-fire incidents have been monitored for health changes in a clinical surveillance program at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Baltimore since 1994. Methods During the spring of 2015, an in-patient clinical surveillance protocol was performed on 36 members of the cohort, including exposure monitoring for total and isotopic uranium concentrations in urine and a comprehensive assessment of health outcomes. Results On-going mobilization of U from embedded fragments is evidenced by elevated urine U concentrations. The DU isotopic signature is observed principally in participants possessing embedded fragments. Those with only an inhalation exposure have lower urine U concentration and a natural isotopic signature. Conclusions At 25 years since first exposure to DU, an aging cohort of military veterans continues to show no U-related health effects in known target organs of U toxicity. As U body burden continues to accrue from in-situ mobilization from metal fragment depots, and increases with exposure duration, critical tissue-specific U concentration thresholds may be reached, thus recommending on-going surveillance of this veteran cohort.
- DU bio-monitoring
- Health surveillance
- Uranium toxicity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Environmental Science