Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah 'Worse than Hiroshima'
Since 2005, doctors in the Iraqi city of Fallujah have reported an overwhelming number of babies born with serious birth defects, and a sharp rise in cancers. A survey of 4,800 individuals, carried out in January and February 2010 confirmed that that city had experienced a four-fold increase in cancer, and a 12-fold increase in cancer for children under 14. Additionally, Fallujah’s infant mortality rate is more than four times that of neighboring Jordan’s, and a staggering eight times higher than that of Kuwait, Iraq’s neighbor to the South.
The types of cancer reported are “similar to that in the Hiroshima survivors who were exposed to ionizing radiation from the bomb and uranium in the fallout.” While Hiroshima survivors showed a 17-fold increase in leukemia, researchers in Fallujah found a 38-fold increase, accompanied by a 10-fold increase in female breast cancer, and significant increases in lymphoma and brain tumors. Doctors are also shocked and concerned by the speed with which various cancers are affecting the population.
Dr Chris Busby, a visiting professor at the University of Ulster and one of the authors of the survey, said that the extent of genetic damage suffered by inhabitants suggests the use of uranium in some form. Fallujah was besieged and bombarded by US Marines in April of 2004. Eight months later, the Marines stormed the city with artillery and aerial bombing. They later admitted that white phosphorous and other munitions were used in the attack. Busby said that he couldn’t be sure of the type of armaments used by the Marines, but guessed that “they used a new weapon against buildings to break through walls and kill those inside.”
Cockburn, Patrick, “Toxic Legacy of US Assault on Fallujah 'Worse than Hiroshima,'” The Independent, July 24, 2010.