Scientists have used Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry in a study to determine if depleted Uranium contamination could be accountable for an increase in congenital birth anomalies and cancer in Fallujah, Iraq.
In a study published by Conflict and Health, and undertaken by a team at the Fallujah General Hospital, the scientists sought to establish whether the abnormalities were caused by genetic and genomic stress thought to result from depleted Uranium contamination following the battles in the town in 2004.
The team took hair samples from 25 mothers and fathers of children with congenital birth anomalies and used quantitative analysis
processes to test for Uranium and 51 other elements.
A further six women of the group had a long lock of hair analysed in order to determine historic exposures.
"Whilst caution must be exercised about ruling out other possibilities, because none of the elements found in excess are reported to cause congenital diseases and cancer except Uranium, these findings suggest the enriched Uranium exposure is either a primary cause or related to the cause of the congenital anomaly and cancer increases," the study found.