Fw: DU presentation at State Leg

Aloha Kakou,
Below is Dr. Lorrin Pang's critique of the Army's brochure on DU and Col. Killian's presentation given to the Legislature on January 17, 2008.
Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622
email ja@interpac.net
www.malu-aina.org
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 10:26 AM
Subject: DU presentation at State Leg

Aloha Jim,
 
As promised here is my review - but it is hard to understand without access to their brochure which is out but you probably don't have yet.   Please help me forward by E-mail a copy of this response which I PROMISED to Josh Green, Larry Lau and Kyle Kajihiro.  Jim, also feel free to forward to all others concerned who attended meetings and "ten fingers/toes" plays - my computer and E-mail is really messed up now but I have CC'd to some at least.  Spell check in this mode has always been non-existent, sorry.  Linda/Megan I have not forgotten about the tumor registry investigation - which came up at the Senate hearing.  Mr King - please forward a copy to Sec Davis.  I owe him this much for his initial invite to the investigation team. 
 
Thnx,
 
Lorrin
 
 
I have offered to constructively contribute to this effort by joining the investigative committee but this was denied by the Gov.  I can now only criticize what has transpired but will try to remain constructive.
 
It has repeatedly been the community request that a survey be done which will detect markers for all forms of uranium weaponry, both Davey Crocketts( ballast) and penetrators (ballistic, as Army defines).  It has always been pointed out that the ballistic type are far more dangerous - releasing far traveling plumes of oxides and nano-particles, which become inhaled then very slowly cleared from the body with a distinct type of distribution (macrophage/lymphatic system).  Nano toxicity remains unknown. In contrast the ballast forms released metallic U shrapnel of limited migration, risk of inhalation, with rapid clearance (unless permanently imbedded shrapnel) and more of a blood borne distribution in the body.   
 
Initially the Army said they knew of AT LEAST ballast weaponry but now their latest brochure (Information Booklet - Depleted Uranium in Hawaii, no date but distributed at the JUan 2008 Hawaii legislative meeting) implies that they ONLY address ballast, page 12..  I am rather disappointed that the Army is not willing to address the more dangerous from of U radiation based on the "best of their knowledge" which initially proved incorrect with even ballast usage.  A good (epidemiologic and statistically sound) survey for ballistic markers (oxides) at ballistic distances would go a long way to appease the critics.  Is this intended in the final report (item 4 page 10)?  Many of the brochure's claims about minimal migration of U contamination, heavier non migrating particles, claims of safety based on extrapolation from other U experiences, detection at points far from the target zones,  etc. etc seem erroneous until it is pointed  out near the end of the brochure they only address ballast weaponry (page 12 last item).   That only ballast weaponry is addressed should be in the title of the brochure.  The justification for this limited search should be on page 2 - as it is contrary to Army policy for procedures to survey for contamination (which is based on survey rather than the more fallible historical knowledge).   
 
Even IF only ballast weaponry was used - the decades' subsequent conventional explosives used on the target sites could have rendered the initially ballast forms of U airborne with conversion to the more dangerous plumes and oxides.  
 
The public should only be satisfied with comprehensive surveys which will include the search for U Oxides contamination and at distances beyond conventional ballast scattering.  The dust samples form the particulate survey could be used for that.  If oxides or evidence of extensive migration of ANY U compounds are found, regardless of the pruported source, one must set the objective of the survey as one of contamination (comparison to control sites, IAW Army regulation) rather than health threshold set by the NRC (since these may not be extrapolable to nano U or U oxide toxicity).
 
Some to the responses to public concerns are misleading and unscientific - for example page 10 item 5: If there is a questions of the high reading one should question the specificity (possibility of false positive) instead the Army makes the argument that the detectors are insensitive (false negatives).  For a high reading the correct response should have been to see if the reading could be repeated at the same site with more sensitive equipment and greater statistical sensitivity.  Community volunteers perfomed this at the Kona site with tens of thousands of air samples (counts or decays per minute, CPM readings) using the best detectors available to them.  At my own expense and as a private citizen I presented on the Big Island a written analysis with statistical interpretation to the public, Sen Inouye's representative and the media (Army and DOH were invited, though not personally by me, but did not attend).  Most importantly I answered questions from the public on the spot (in contrast to the recent legislative hearing). The results were reassuring. There is an Army/DOH claim that repeated sampling was done with sophisticated equipment.  We have repeatedly asked for details to examine analysis (for example, means vs frequencies of CPM data), statistical power and scheme to insure sensitive (for example wind/dust conditions) sampling sites. To date this has not been made availabe to the public, hopefully it will be presented in the final report.  We seem to always be arguing that it would be wrong to only run the analysis on means.  As cited above this would base the risk on the NRC recommendations for health risks based largely on non oxide U forms from other situations.  But of course if one chooses to ignore the U oxides based on the presumption that only ballast forms were used then we have a self fulfilling "confirmation" of safety.  The argument that General Lee was so concerned seems a bit odd. No one from the Army attended my presentation of the community survey which I presented in Hilo.  He would have been happy with my conclusions and could have presented his survey methods and results at the same time.  Maybe we might have disagreed on how to proceed, maybe not.  
 
To me it seems very strange that all the collaborators (especially the CDC and NRC) would not have raised the above concerns with the brochure.   
 
Again I offered to collaborate up front but was denied this. As I understand it Sec Davis was willing but not Gov Lingle thought there was enough expertise elsewhere.  Allow me at least this constructive criticism before the final report, as I too am a land owner (small vacant plot) on the Big Island.   Finally, I am a stakeholder with no conflict of interest who is trying to uphold federal regulations of safety.  I have been warned by colleagues to "watch my back"  that I am a "marked" man but have told them that whistle blower laws protect me against retaliation.  I have confidence in Sec Davis on this point.   
 
    
 
Lorrin Pang, MD, MPH
(as private citizen)
Retired Army Medical Corp
Best Doctors of America list 2006-8
Consultant WHO (since 1985)
Consultant Glaxo Smith Kline

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