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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31824fe138
Original Articles

Surveillance for Long-Term Health Effects Associated With Depleted Uranium Exposure and Retained Embedded Fragments in US Veterans

Squibb, Katherine S. PhD; Gaitens, Joanna M. PhD; Engelhardt, Susan MS; Centeno, Jose A. PhD; Xu, Hanna MSc; Gray, Patrick PhD; McDiarmid, Melissa A. MD

Section Editor(s): Teichman, Ron MD, MPH; Guest Editor

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Abstract

Objective: To ensure that all veterans with retained embedded fragments are properly monitored for potential health effects of embedded materials.

Methods: Urine biomonitoring and health surveillance programs were developed to gather information about health risks associated with chemicals released from embedded fragments.

Results: Elevated systemic exposure to depleted uranium (DU) that continues to occur in veterans with DU fragments remains a concern, although no clinically significant DU-related health effects have been observed to date. Other metals and local tissue reactions to embedded fragments are also of concern.

Conclusions: Knowledge gained from these programs will help to develop guidelines for surgical removal of tissue-embedded fragments.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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