Gulf War Syndrome

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GWS is the archetypal environmental illness caused by a combination of factors including:

  • Immune insult caused by many different vaccinations (up to 14 in some soldiers) given on the same day;
  • Chemical warfare - organophosphate chemical weapons were used in the Gulf notably sarin;
  • Biological warfare - infectious agents were sprayed onto the troops - the organism was mycoplasma incognito;
  • Pyridostigmine - this is the "antidote" to OP poisoning but is toxic in its own right;
  • Organophosphate pesticides s used for control of sand flies and other insects were weekly sprayed onto tents
  • Fumes from oil well fires;
  • Uniforms were dipped with organophosphates;
  • Depleted uranium resulting in radioactive exposures.
  • Water from drinking and showering was often stored in tanks usually for oil and diesel

This was the most environmentally polluting war in history. Veterans tell me that the chemical alarms were constantly going off but the usual response was to switch the alarm off!

Many of the soldiers who came back from the Gulf War with Gulf War Syndrome are suffering, amongst other things, from a chronic infection caused by mycoplasma incognito. This was developed as part of germ warfare and it may be that many thousands of the veterans are infected. Treatment is with high dose doxycycline 200mgs daily for 6 weeks with further cycles given subsequently. To find out more about mycoplasmal infections, visit the website of the Institute of Molecular Medicine. Testing for mycoplasmal infections is possible, but difficult logistically. Again, more information on the above website.

The symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome are identical to those of CFS. Recently the Ministry of Defence has admitted that Gulf War Syndrome can be caused by organophosphate poisoning. This is not at all surprising to me because the clinical features of GWS are identical to those in my "sheep dip flu" farmers. By taking a careful history I often find evidence of pesticide exposure in CFS patients - often they had not connected the chemical exposure to their symptoms. Examples are woodworm timber treatments, house fumigation, excessive use of fly sprays/Vaponas, pet flea treatments etc.

Depleted uranium

Depleted uranium is used in missiles because it is extremely heavy and when placed in the tips of missiles allows them to penetrate tanks. The problems is that depleted uranium is radioactive. When the missile explodes, the uranium is converted into a fine dust, which is then carried in the air. It can be inhaled by soldiers and civilians, sticks to the lining of the lungs, is taken up by cells of the immune systems and get into lymph glands, bone, brain, hormone producing glands, ovaries and testes. It stays in these organs for many decades and is only very slowly excreted in urine. Uranium produces alpha particles. An alpha particle is heavy, has a very short range and is extremely damaging to cells causing cancer, degenerative conditions and chromosomal defect, resulting in birth defects in the offspring of exposed people. It is estimated that 800 tonnes of depleted uranium were fired in Iraq during the Gulf War.

The Ministry of Defence, of course, have done their best to cover up. They do this in a number of ways. Firstly, they underestimate the amount of depleted uranium used during the Gulf War. Secondly, they do not collect statistics on the health of their Gulf veterans. For example they only know of four cases of motor neurone disease, but actually nine are known to Gulf War Veterans Society, five of whom are still alive. The Ministry of Defence monitor exposure to depleted uranium by looking at urine samples, but only a tiny fraction of inhaled depleted uranium is found in urine – most of it is retained within the body. Furthermore, they choose to ignore or play down the following facts:

  • The Petkau effect (low dose/slow dose phenomenon) – small doses of radiation over a long term of very much more toxic and high doses of radiation over a short time. This was first identified in 1972.
  • Internal radiation is far more damaging than external radiation. It is impossible to estimate internal body stores from urine samples – the ratio of bone to urine depleted uranium concentration is more than 15,000.
  • Health effects on people living in Southern Iraq, Bosnia and Kosovo have been ignored.

The above facts serve to explain the following observations:

  • 22 people sampled in Bosnia and Kosovo were contaminated with depleted uranium, including a BBC cameraman.
  • Lymphomas are more common amongst Gulf veterans and other troops.
  • There is an eightfold increase in lymphoma among Italian troops who served in Kosovo.
  • Three renal cancers (more than twentyfold excess have been reported amongst 3,000 veterans of the Gulf War.
  • There are nine cases of motor neurone disease in British Gulf War veterans.
  • Lymphocytic leukemias appear to be more common amongst gulf veterans – but no data has been collected by the MOD.
  • A fourfold increase in abortion rates exist among U.K. female Gulf veterans.
  • In Iraq there has been a three to sevenfold increase in childhood cancer, birth defects and abortions.

A U.K. study estimates that half a million extra cancers will be produced over 10 years for every 50 tonnes of depleted uranium released.

There has been a 250,000-fold increase in anophthalmos (no eyes) amongst children born in Iraq since the Gulf War.

I am grateful to Professor Malcom Hooper, Emeritus Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, for this information. He is the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Gulf Veterans' Association and his Public Relations Office number is 0191 515 2691. Website:

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