Re: Trib news article

Response to Russell Takata Dept. of Heath
Mahalo Russ.  I appreciate the dialogue.
Here's a proposal.
We ask that you as a DOH official initiate public meetings on the theme "DU at Pohakuloa: Safe or Hazardous?" in East and West Hawaii (Hilo and perhaps Waikoloa) and invite the Army, Cabrerra Services, the NRC, CDC, and yourself) to share data to back the claim of no problem and why live-fire should not be stopped immediately based on the precautionary principle.  I would also suggest a few others on the hazardous side be on the forum including Dr. Doug Rokke, Dr. Lorrin Pang, Kyle Kajihiro, etc.  Maybe Mayor Kim or CD Administrator Troy Kindred could moderate the forum. 
The military says it has no idea how much DU is at PTA. They have no idea if DU spotting rounds involving other n-weapon systems besides Davy Crockett have been used at PTA? The impact area is over 50,000 acres.The Army's map of PTA says all of PTA (now 133,000-acres) "should be considered a dud hazard area."  How many air samples did you and the Army take? Where were they taken?  What were the wind conditions and weather?  Given the precautionary principle doesn't it seem prudent to stop all live fire till additional data is gathered and the extent of the problem is known since live-fire may result in the further dispersal of DU.
In addition, here are a few points people have raised that maybe you can answer immediately.
Can someone please convert from micro Roentgens to CPM?  It  would be nice to know how many points you sampled and IF you averaged them or not.   Are we talking about apples and oranges. It seems that you are saying that cigarette ashes are safe and others are using the ashes as a marker for smoking risk.  Meanwhile finding DU evidence of Davey Crockett rounds does not mean that other DU stuff was not used.  Then we can go further to talk about DOH's air threshold for health risk verus that of inhaled alpha DU oxide molcules. 
What about DOH paying for top of the line human DU tests for a sampling of people who were at the Saddle Road ceremony and protest where the 75 cpm readings were taken to see if we have DU in our systems?
Mahalo for your consideration.
Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:59 AM
Subject: RE: Trib news article


You are right, there are no quotes. After looking at your release, it is the reporter's words.  I will fix that. 


Regarding the 75 cpm background reading, the field instrument in use detects all energies.  It cannot identify DU.  Considering the type of meter used, 75 cpm is about three times the maximum background you would normally expect.  That alone does not constitute a hazard.  It also does not tell you that there are 50 cpm of DU (the difference between the expected maximum background and 75 cpm).


On the Army's statement, the literature on research has not provided an established basis for cause and effect in humans.  DU effects on humans have not been proven.  The results of ongoing cohort studies will answer this question hopefully too long in the future.  However, there has been some validation with lower animal species.


Being on the other side of the fence gives me a lot more insight in how the Army does business.  I assure you their activities and statements are not being taken for granted.  I am more critical than you think.


I believe we can have a good relationship.  Your views are just as important as my views.  Although we may differ in opinion, as any two individuals will differ, I think the issue at hand can be addressed to benefit the community.  As far as my cmts on the article, I'm sorry the bad credit went to you.  I will add another cmt to the article.








Russell S. Takata, Program Manager

State of Hawaii - Dept. of Health

591 Ala Moana Blvd., Rm. 133

Honolulu, HI  96813

Ph. (808) 586-4700  FAX  (808) 586-5838



From: Jim Albertini []
Sent: Tuesday, August 21, 2007 9:19 PM
To: Takata, Russell S.; jason Armstrong
Subject: Trib news article


Aloha Russell,

Someone emailed me your comments to the Trib. 

rtakata wrote on Aug 21, 2007 12:45 PM:

" Mr. Albertini's statement, "unverified readings showed high levels of DU radiation," is incorrect. A high background measurement is not synonymous with a high level of DU radiation, but rather a high level of natural-occurring radiation. "

Russell, please note in the news article they are not my words.  There are no quotes around them.  They are Jason Armstrong's words and it does NOT reflect what I said.

My comments are clear in the press statement  I released.  See below. 

       "I wasn't surprised in the least that the Army found DU at PTA.  Citizen monitoring detected radiation levels adjacent to PTA on May 29, 2007 several times background.  The winds with dust devils clearly visible were coming directly off the live-fire ranges at PTA." 

But let me ask you,  how did you determine that our readings of 75 cpm on May 29th were due to natural-occuring radiation and not related to DU at Pohakuloa?  What is the basis for your statement?

I would suggest that as a health officer you should be concerned about misleading Army statements such as DU "does not pose a health hazard" and the last sentence of Armstrong's article which reads -- DU is considered to be a "chemical health hazard" that has not been known to cause "observable health or reproductive effects," according to the Army's news release. 

Say what?  Saying DU does not pose a health hazard is like saying cigarettes don't pose a health hazard.  As long as cigarettes stay in there box and are not smoked or burned that is true. As long as tobacco stays as a decorative plant --no problem.   As long as DU stays in big chunks no problem.  But if it is burned or exloded into tiny particles and carried by the wind into peoples lungs, there can be problems. Below is Lorrin Pang, MD statement about DU health hazards

Russell, I hope we can keep a good working relationship but when you criticize me for words that were not mine yet fail to criticize the Army for their at best misleading statements, I think you are showing a bias and perhaps have a blind spot due to your long connection with the military.  Please try to be aware of that.  Mahalo.

Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622

Those who assure us that DU at current levels are safe are overlooking the aerosolized forms (oxides and nano particle) released during live firing.  Half the weight of the warhead is vaporized and plumes can travel dozens of miles.  Internalized (inhaled) alpha radiation from DU compounds is the most damaging of all forms of radiation.  Furthermore the pharmacokinetics (absorption, distribution, clearance and metabolism) of the aerosolized forms is determined by chemistry with the oxides persisting as insoluble particles in the lungs/body for decades.  They are picked up by macrophages and disseminated in the lymphatic system.  Their behavior is quite different than the more widely studied soluble metalic forms of DU.  Furthermore there is only now developing the field of nano toxicity - surprising, unpredictable toxicity when heavy metals are aborsorbed on a molecular basis.  I am waiting to hear from physicians willing to risk their license by claiming that compounds associated with DU weaponry a safe.  The Gulf War syndrome has not been proven to be caused by aerosolized DU compounds, but neither has this cause been exlcuded...we simply have not been conscientious enough to perform good studies on the vast numbers of ill veterans and civilians from war zones.  


Lorrin Pang, MD, MPH

retired Army Medical Corp

as private citizen

America's Best Doctors list 2006-8     email



Press Release

Aug. 20, 2007

further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622, email


Today, the Army has confirmed the presence of Depleted Uranium (DU) at the Military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) on Hawaii Island through aerial observation of the impact area.  News stories will be in the press.


Statement by Jim Albertini: 

     I wasn't surprised in the least that the Army found DU at PTA.  Citizen monitoring detected radiation levels adjacent to PTA on May 29, 2007 several times background.  The winds with dust devils clearly visible were coming directly off the live-fire ranges at PTA.   All live-fire training at PTA, Schofield Barracks and other military ranges in Hawaii should be stopped immediately. Live-fire can result in the further dispersal of DU small particles which are especially hazardous when inhaled.  Dr. Lorrin Pang E-mail Address:  can speak to the medical problems associated with DU. 

     The Army's confirmation through direct observation rather than through Army records shows poor Army record keeping to say the least.  It's been citizen group pressure that brought the DU issue to light and forced the Army to look further after the Army first denied using DU in Hawaii.  Our elected leaders have been asleep on the DU issue.  It's time they wake up and protect the public and the environment.  It's time for military clean-up not military build-up!  The military is the world's greatest polluter.  It leaves a toxic stew wherever it goes.  DU is one of many military toxins.  It's time to stop the Strykers and all military expansion.


     I recommend Dr. Lorrin Pang to be part of further Army DU monitoring. I also recommended Ku Ching, who has a background in nuclear work, and someone from the peace movement to be monitors of the monitors -- all to insure transparency and the confidence of the community in the process of further  investigation.


Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622



Physicians for Social Responsibility says DU weaponry should be "withdrawn from military arsenals, until a risk analysis can be undertaken."

The World Health Organization says inhaled uranium particles may damage the

There may be "increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU" --study titled "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols" by Hindin, Brugge, and Panikkar, August 26, 2005


Findings of DU at Schofield, and now Pohakuloa, after years of denials by the military, demonstrate that the Army failed to tell the truth--or failed to research its repeated claims of no DU in Hawai'i.

Military falsehoods are nothing new. They appear to be standard operating procedure--the military agenda is front and center, and the health and welfare of the people take a back seat.

Some history in Hawai'i--

*The military secretly tested germs and nerve gases at Waiakea Forest Reserve in the 1960s.

*The military dumped over 8000 tons of chemical munitions in shallow oceans off O'ahu about 1940 to 1970. The Army told the public only recently, and says there is no need to remove them.

*5 million gallons of low level radioactive waste were discharged in Pearl Harbor in the 1960s and 1970s.

Standard operating procedure is starting to include stifling of dissent: no public speaking at recent Navy and Stryker scoping hearings.

What other military hazards are being kept under wraps?


Generations of children at Kilohana Girl Scout Camp may have been exposed to DU.

Children go to Pohakuloa on tours.

For military people, Hawai'I is a temporary duty post. For us--it's home.


General Shinseki added, "I would say if you look at the brigade identifications and locations, geographically they're postured towards the Asia Pacific theatreĀ…This is adding a little balance and looking at the importance, the growing interest and challenges in the Asia Pacific theaterĀ…" From Stryker Draft SIES




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