Depleted uranium has become a staple of the Western arsenal. Twice as dense as lead, "DU" is prized for its armor-piercing capabilities. The U.S. military used 320 tons of DU rounds in Gulf War I. In the second Iraqi conflict, M1 tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and A-10 planes all fired "DU" projectiles.But there have long been concerns about health risks from DU, which is made from uranium after it's been processed for fuel or weapons. DU has been linked to a variety of ailments, from so-called "Gulf War Syndrome" to increased cancer risk. Nothing's been categorically proven.But 45,000 British soldiers returning from Iraq will now be offered tests to see if there is DU in their bodies, the BBC reports.The U.S. Defense Department has not announced a similar program.THERE'S MORE: DU isn't what's behind Gulf War illnesses, the Pentagon says; pesticides are. According to the Associated Press, a Defense Department "report released Thursday said it is likely that at least 41,000 service members may have been overexposed to combinations of pest strips, sprayed pesticides and fly baits during the 1991 war."
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