§ Yvette Cooper
[holding answer 26 March 2002]: The Department has no plans to ask the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) to carry out research specifically into illnesses possibly caused by exposure to depleted uranium. However, NRPB does undertake research that is relevant to the assessment of the risks to health from such exposures. In particular NRPB has carried out extensive research into the distribution of uranium in body organs, its retention and excretion, following inhalation of a wide range of uranium compounds. It has also developed computer models that enable the concentration of uranium in the various organs and resulting radiation doses to be calculated. Depleted uranium is mildly radioactive, and NRPB's research programme on the effects of ionising radiation in general is therefore relevant to assessment of the radiological risks from exposure to depleted uranium.