The gravest consequences of NATO’s bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 and harmful effects of depleted uranium on human health are thyroid gland disorders, malignant diseases, and the Gulf / Balkan syndrome which affected both soldiers and civilian population.
This was concluded at yesterday’s conference titled “The consequences of NATO aggression on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia”, which was organized by the Eurasian Security Forum and took place at the Institute for International Politics and Economy. The conference participants also pointed out that the soldiers from the Western countries had been reporting health problems after being deployed to the Persian Gulf.
Professor Svetlana Zunic, from the Center for Nuclear Medicine of the Clinical Center of Serbia, says that Serbia’s territory had been contaminated for about three decades now, not only during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and nearby territories, but also during all the Gulf War wars in the Middle East.
According to the available data, about 3,000 tons of depleted uranium were used in those conflicts, of which about 15 tons were used in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.
“Of that, six tons of uranium 235, which would be enough to construct 170 replicas of a nuclear bomb that was thrown at Hiroshima which had 35 kilograms of uranium 235, were contained in the missiles thrown on Serbia in 1999“, Professor Zunic said.
She added that the missiles containing depleted uranium caused global contamination of the environment, which leads to climate change that was manifested by temperature extremes, including frequent fires.
According to Dr Radomir Kovacevic, from the Dr Dragomir Karajovic Institute of Occupational Medicine, after the NATO aggression, the consequences of using bombs with depleted uranium on the health of the population and the environment were much more serious than reported so far.
He noted that research conducted by experts from different profiles showed that 20.7% of the population in Serbia had chromosomal disorders, which are believed to be the result of bombing. “These chromosomal abnormalities are now ten to twenty times more common”, Dr Kovacevic underlined.
As for decontamination of the land, the state does not have enough funds to decontaminate all areas that are were affected by the NATO bombing, therefore, it is necessary to establish an international fund that would raise money for this purpose – the conference participants concluded.
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