Yesterday, the Italian Ministry of Defence, Mr. Ignazio La Russa, decided to allocate 3 million €, to be spent in the next 3 years, to indemnify the Italian soldiers who served in peace-keeping missions in the Balkans and in Afghanistan and who contracted diseases like a few forms of cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, etc. when being repatriated at the end of the missions. The Ministry of Defence recognized that the exposure to nanopollution unintentionally created by high-technology weapons based on Depleted Uranium, Tungsten, etc. can be related to the pathologies.
During the blast of this ammunition a very high temperature is developed (in eccess of 3,000°C) and a micro and nano aerosol is generated with a fortuitous chemical composition, never to be found in any natural or technological product, depending on the elements accidentaly present in the explosion volume. The inhalation or ingestion (with polluted food) of those nanoparticles, mainly metallic, are preferential ways of entrance of that nanopollution into the body and its dissemination in all the organs, including the brain and the gonads (see the chapter "War and Nanopollution" in the book "Nanopathology", the health impact of nanoparticles by A.M. Gatti and S. Montanari -www.worldscibooks.com/nanosci/v001.html).
Thanks to the results of our studies, the Italian Government is the first that recognizes the soldiers' pathologies and their correlation with the war nanopollution.
Two issues are to be considered: one is that that sort of pollution is equally shared by soldiers and civilians alike, and the second is that nanopollution is generated by all combustive processes, no matter their nature or aim. It is certainly true that nanoparticle concentration is higher as a consequence of bombing than as the result of many other technological procedures like, for example, waste incineration, but there is no reason to disregard the latter which has the disadvantage of being chronic.
Dr. Antonietta M. Gatti
Member of the CPCM of the Italian Ministry of Defence
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia - Italy