Reporting by Al Jazeera says that one of the lasting legacies of war in Iraq is elevated cancer rates among the local population, possibly attributed to Depleted Uranium (DU) used as munitions by U.S. forces during more than two decades of war in the region.
According to the reporting:
Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the First Gulf War in 1991, the rate of cancer cases in Iraq was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the increasing trend continuing.
The article also cites an epidemiological study entitled Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009, which "involved a door-to-door survey of more than 700 Fallujah households."
The reporting also quotes a researcher examining birth defects among residents of Fallujah, Iraq, one of the areas of heaviest fighting following the 2003 invasion by the U.S.:
Dr Alani has visited Japan where she met with Japanese doctors who study birth defect rates they believe related to radiation from the US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
She was told birth defect incidence rates there are between one and two per cent. Alani's log of cases of birth defects amounts to a rate of 14.7 per cent of all babies born in Fallujah, more than 14 times the rate in the effected areas of Japan.
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