Study Claims Sarin and Pesticides, Not Depleted Uranium, ‘Most Likely’ Causes of Gulf War Syndrome

About a quarter of a million of the 697,000 US troops who took part in the 1991 Gulf War have reported suffering from Gulf War Syndrome – a chronic disorder with a broad range of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, diarrhea, muscle and joint pain, respiratory problems, neurological problems and excess risk of cancer.

Low-level exposure to pesticides and sarin nerve gas, not depleted uranium (DU) munitions, are the most likely causes of Gulf War Syndrome, researchers from Britain’s University of Portsmouth and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center believe.

For the study, researchers were said to have developed a new tool to detect DU in urine samples with an extremely high level of sensitivity, which enabled them to determine there was “no difference in the 238U/235U ratio in veterans meeting the standard case definitions of GWI versus control veterans.” They also detected no heightened 236U levels associated with DU. The study is based on the samples of 154 US Gulf War veteran test subjects.

“These findings show that even the highest likely levels of DU inhalation played no role in the development of GWI, leaving exposure to aerosolized organophosphate compounds (pesticides and sarin nerve agent) as the most likely cause(s) of GWI,” the study concludes.

Dr. Randall Parrish, the study’s lead author, told media that the findings were highly significant, closing the book on the hypothesis that DU was the main cause of Gulf War veterans’…

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