Depleted Uranium found on Big Island

Advertiser story and Star-Bulletin story that the Army yesterday confirmed that depleted uranium from a 1960s weapons system has been found at Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island. Update: Also covered in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, where you can comment on the story as well. Update 2: And the AP article got picked up by the International Herald-Tribune and also by the Army Times. It is worth noting that this story says "The Army has said it did not use depleted uranium at the training range." They denied the presence of DU there, and then, oops! What do you know!?

Here's a press release received via email...

From: Jim Albertini <>
Sent: Tue 8/21/2007 4:06 AM
Subject: Press Release on DU found at Pohakuloa Hawaii Island

Press Release
Aug. 20, 2007
further contact: Jim Albertini 966-7622, email

Today, the Army has confirmed the presence of Depleted Uranium (DU) at the Military Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) on Hawaii Island through aerial observation of the impact area. News stories will be in the press.

Statement by Jim Albertini:

I wasn't surprised in the least that the Army found DU at PTA. Citizen monitoring detected radiation levels adjacent to PTA on May 29, 2007 several times background. The winds with dust devils clearly visible were coming directly off the live-fire ranges at PTA. All live-fire training at PTA, Schofield Barracks and other military ranges in Hawaii should be stopped immediately. Live-fire can result in the further dispersal of DU small particles which are especially hazardous when inhaled. Dr. Lorrin Pang E-mail Address: can speak to the medical problems associated with DU.

The Army's confirmation through direct observation rather than through Army records shows poor Army record keeping to say the least. It's been citizen group pressure that brought the DU issue to light and forced the Army to look further after the Army first denied using DU in Hawaii. Our elected leaders have been asleep on the DU issue. It's time they wake up and protect the public and the environment. It's time for military clean-up not military build-up! The military is the world's greatest polluter. It leaves a toxic stew wherever it goes. DU is one of many military toxins. It's time to stop the Strykers and all military expansion.

I recommend Dr. Lorrin Pang to be part of further Army DU monitoring. I also recommended Ku Ching, who has a background in nuclear work, and someone from the peace movement to be monitors of the monitors -- all to insure transparency and the confidence of the community in the process of further investigation.

Jim Albertini
Malu `Aina Center For Non-violent Education & Action
P.O. Box AB
`Ola`a (Kurtistown), Hawaii 96760
Phone 808-966-7622

More from the press release on the dangers of DU in the extended entry...


Physicians for Social Responsibility says DU weaponry should be "withdrawn from military arsenals, until a risk analysis can be undertaken."

The World Health Organization says inhaled uranium particles may damage the lung.

There may be "increased risk of birth defects in offspring of persons exposed to DU" --study titled "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols" by Hindin, Brugge, and Panikkar, August 26, 2005


Findings of DU at Schofield, and now Pohakuloa, after years of denials by the military, demonstrate that the Army failed to tell the truth--or failed to research its repeated claims of no DU in Hawai'i.

Military falsehoods are nothing new. They appear to be standard operating procedure--the military agenda is front and center, and the health and welfare of the people take a back seat.

Some history in Hawai'i--

*The military secretly tested germs and nerve gases at Waiakea Forest Reserve in the 1960s.

*The military dumped over 8000 tons of chemical munitions in shallow oceans off O'ahu about 1940 to 1970. The Army told the public only recently, and says there is no need to remove them.

*5 million gallons of low level radioactive waste were discharged in Pearl Harbor in the 1960s and 1970s.

Standard operating procedure is starting to include stifling of dissent: no public speaking at recent Navy and Stryker scoping hearings.

What other military hazards are being kept under wraps?


Generations of children at Kilohana Girl Scout Camp may have been exposed to DU.

Children go to Pohakuloa on tours.

For military people, Hawai'I is a temporary duty post. For us--it's home.


General Shinseki added, "I would say if you look at the brigade identifications and locations, geographically they're postured towards the Asia Pacific theatre. This is adding a little balance and looking at the importance, the growing interest and challenges in the Asia Pacific theater." From Stryker Draft SIES

Posted: Tue - August 21, 2007 at 03:21 AM    
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Published On: Aug 22, 2007 10:49 AM
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