MINI SYMPOSIUM on Depleted Uranium
in the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB) and the
Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, SCK*CEN 26 Oktober 2000
"The Gulf war, the conflict
in former Yugoslavia and the crash of the
El Al Boeing in the Bijlmermeer in Amsterdam seem to have induced
similar health problems among exposed people. There is a great
controversy concerning both the nature and the origin of those problems
but a potential link between the observed health problems and the
toxic effects of depleted uranium, both radiological and chemical has
In several involved countries,
initial efforts undertaken to study this
potential link have encountered strong opposition. It became
increasingly difficult to separate facts from rumours or fiction, fuelled
by both genuine victim associations and opportunistic pressure groups.
Taking the suffering of the
victims into account we want to bring the
subject out of the subjective controversy and back in the realm of
scientific and clinical research. hence the important role which both
the VUB and SCK*CEN can play as neutral centres of excellence
in their respective fields".
*Welcome by Prof. B. Van Camp, Rector VUB
*The toxicity of Uranium, Henri Metivier
*Presence of Uranium in Gulf War veterans, Asaf Durakovic, USA
*The Kosovo situation from a Belgian standpoint, Martin Zizi
*Uranium measurements in human biosamples, Christian Hurtgen
*Discussion chaired by Frank Deconinck
Background of the speakers:
Henri Metivier is research director at the French
"Institute de Protection et Surete Nucleare". IPSN and a member
of the ICRP.
Asaf Durakovic, MD is nuclear medicine specialist, currently at the
King Faisal Hospital and Research centre, Nuclear Medicine and
PET Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He recently presented a paper
on the presence of uranium isotopes in Gulf war veterans at the
European Association of Nuclear Medicine meeting in Paris.
Martin Zizi is professor of neurophysiology at VUB and staff
officer with the Belgian military medical service.
Jos Uyttenhove is professor of physiscs in biomedical sciences at
RUG (Rijks Universiteit Gent).
Christian Hurtgen is responsible at SCK*CEN for the quantitative
measurements of radionuclides in biological samples.
The chairman of the discussion was Frank Deconinck, professor of
medical physiscs at VUB. He is chairman of the board of governors of
With kind regards,
Hans de Jonge