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The radiation exposure at the A-Bomb test sites and health of Mr Gwilym Pritchard Supplementary report Sept 8th

2009 Dr Chris Busby Castle Cottage Aberystwyth SY231DZ Background On 8th Dec 2008 I provided an account of my expert opinion in the matter of the pensions tribunal appeal by Mrs Dawn Pritchard against a refusal to provide a war widows pension in respect of her husband Gwilym Pritchard whose death she believed to have been caused or partly caused by exposure to radioactive fissionproduct fallout and uranium whilst he was stationed at Christmas Island. The Tribunal reference is: ENT/00039/2008; NINO YB720872B as far as I can determine from the handwritten document. In early 2009 I received a letter which informed me of the decision taken by the tribunal on 18 March, a meeting which unfortunately I was unable to attend and give personal evidence before. The appeal had been adjourned and I was asked to provide details of my availability and also to provide some answers to two specific questions asked by the tribunal. This is did, but unfortunately the letter I sent seems to have gone astray and so I am providing this short supplementary report to cover these questions. The questions were: 5. Dr Busby should be asked to provide a supplementary report explaining the observations he makes in para 10 of the report with particular reference to the comment that the peculiar damage to the kidneys is easily explained. 6. Dr Busby may wish in so doping to comment on the relationship between his opinion and the post mortem report. Response 1. My arguments and supporting evidence, principally from my analysis of the AE Oldbury report on the airport contamination at Christmas Island in 1963, that the main contaminant was Uranium, mainly U238 in terms of mass. The uranium will have been part of the bombs employed, used a reflector, and as fuel. The uranium dust and oxide particulates in the atmosphere will have been resuspendable and respirable and the concentration significantly higher than those high concentrations found by Oldbury some five years after the last bomb had been tested. The veterans stationed nearby will have been exposed through inhalation and ingestion. None of this exposure will have been detected by the film badges employed on those wearing them since the material is not a gamma emitter.

2. One of the main targets for uranium is the kidney. Part II of the Royal Society Report The Health Hazards of depleted Uranium Munitions (RS2002) states: It is well established, from animal studies, and from human exposures, that the kidney is the organ most susceptible to the toxic effects of uranium. . . the chronic levels of kidney uranium that lead to minor kidney dysfunction in humans are not well established but are considered to be at least ten-fold less than the value of 3 micrograms uranium per gram kidney that has often been used as the basis for occupational exposure limits. 3. These statements are based upon mean kidney concentrations of soluble uranium and cannot be applied to exposure to sub-micron or nanoparticle uranium of the kind produced when pure uranium burns or in air, the type produced by nuclear weapons which are mostly made of uranium metal. The local high molecular concentration near such particles would have more harmful effect to local organelles or membranes where such particles lodged. 4. If such particles were being excreted by the kidneys, they would necessarily find there way into the filtration system where they would a priori be expected to cause significant damage by three mechanisms: Alpha particle radiation damage Photoelectron damage from background radiation amplification Chemical toxic effects on DNA and enzymes 5. It would therefore be expected that there would be kidney damage in an individual exposed to such uranium. IgA nephropathy (Bergers disease) was apparently diagnosed in 1996. Prior to this and following service Mr Pritchard had developed diabetes. His death was from pneumonia following various consequences of kidney disease. IgA nephropathy has no known cause but it is biologically plausible to postulate that inflammation of the kidney and urinary system following acute/chronic exposure to uranium nanoparticles and molecular uranium would result in immunological responses related to activation of mucosal defenses and IgA antibody production. 6. The post mortem results describe an individual who has suffered the long term consequences of kidney damage and diabetes. 7. In my first report I drew attention to the wide range of illnesses found in those exposed to radioactivity and referred the tribunal to tables in ECRR2003 where it is seen that the conditions suffered by Mr Pritchard are also risk elevated in Chernobyl victims and those of the Japanese A-Bomb. All the conditions suffered by the late Mr Pritchard are also found in nuclear workers according to a study of workers at British Nuclear Fuels recently published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (McGohegan et al 2008). In this study of non cancer mortality in 6500 individuals employed by BNFL between 1946 and 2002 the authors found statistically significant excess risks of diabetes, Circulatory diseases, Ischaemic heart diseases, cerebrovascular diseases and respiratory diseases in the nuclear workers despite there being a pronounced healthy worker effect.

8. A man who brought the war home with him. The high levels of cancer in Bosnia after the Balkan war has been referred to by me elsewhere. There was a sharp increase in cancer and leukemia/lymphoma recorded by the Sarajevo cancer registry. I have ascribed the cause to the heavy use of uranium weapons. These were believed to be depleted uranium weapons. However, more recent work by me in the Lebanon and Gaza has showed the presence of enriched uranium in air filters. (Busby UN 2009). Mr Pritchard was exposed to enriched uranium from the fallout at Christmas Island. A very interesting and relevant paper was recently published in The Lancet (Ballardie et al 2008). The authors were able to show that their patient had been exposed to environmental (enriched) uranium and was suffering from a range of serious symptoms, including high levels of IgE and IgA proteins. I attach a copy of this important and relevant paper. 9. I am sorry that once again I am unable to appear at the tribunal. Although I did say in May that this week in September would be clear, my appointments fill up and I was only informed of this date about a week before it happened. By this time I have agreed to go to Latvia where I have other research commitments. I hope that I have been able to respond to the questions of the tribunal satisfactorily, and would be happy to appear before the tribunal if a date can be agreed. Chris Busby Sept 7th 20089 Busby C (2009) Depleted Uranium. Why all the Fuss? Geneva: United Nations UNIDIR www.unidir.org/bdd/fiche-article.php?ref_article=2755 Mg Goghegan D, Binks K, Gillies M, Jones S and Whaley S (2008) International Journal of Epidemiology 37 506-518 The Lancet, Volume 372, Issue 9653, Pages 1926-1926 F. Ballardie, R. Cowley, A. Cox, A. Curry, H. Denley, J. Denton, J. Dick, J. Guerquin-Kern, A. Redmond (2008) A man who brought the war home with him. The Lancet 372 1926