United Nations Declares DU an Illegal Weapon (alternate: local copy)
"In addition to failing the four- part weapons test, DU weaponry fails the “rule by analogy”
test.....Use of the rule by analogy buttresses the argument that weapons containing depleted
uranium (DU) are already illegal... DU weapons could be viewed as “poison” or
“poisonous” and thus banned by The Hague Convention of 1907, Regulations Article XXIII (a).
...In a similar vein, the 1925 Protocol on
Gases may ban DU weapons because they are analogous to those specifically mentioned in the
treaty. And regardless of whether one considers DU weapons “conventional,” “nuclear” or
radiological”, the 1980 Conventional Weapons Convention, Protocol I prohibits weapons
producing fragments not detectable by X-rays. If one considers DU weapons “conventional” then this provision directly applies. If one considers DU weapons nuclear or radiological, then
this provision prohibits them by analogy because DU particles are not detectable by x-rays."
In 2002 the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights declared that depleted uranium was a weapon of mass destruction, and its use a breach of international law
"The U.S. military's deadliest ammunition is now packed with depleted uranium -- radioactive waste left over from [enriching] nuclear bombs and reactors. These so-called "hot rounds" penetrate armored tanks like a needle pierces burlap, vaporizing steel... Unlike tungsten, the armor-piercing metal used since World War II that "mushrooms" when it hits a target, depleted uranium actually sharpens itself like a pencil as it bores into tanks. Flaming radioactive particles shear off in every direction on impact, igniting fuel tanks and whatever explosives the target might be carrying. With virtually no public oversight, radioactive weapons have replaced conventional weapons as the cornerstone of American military might. Whenever U.S. troops go to war, depleted uranium supplies the shock and awe." [Read more]
*note: We edited out some misinformation in this paragraph and added the [enriching] comment. DU metal ignites at 170 degrees C (338 degrees F). Powdered DU can ignite explosively at room temperature (68 degrees F). It burns at a much lower temperature than indicated in this article where the author has apparently confused rapid oxidation (burning) with nuclear fission. Explosive nuclear fission is impossible with depleted uranium.
DU is a Weapon of Mass Destruction
Depleted uranium (DU) weaponry meets the definition of weapon of mass destruction in two out of three categories under U.S. Federal Code Title 50 Chapter 40 Section 2302.
US Army Regulation 700-48
"The MACOM commander has the responsibility for determining the likelihood of significant exposure from
contaminated equipment to any individual. Individuals that the command determines may have been exposed will be
sent to a medical treatment facility for appropriate screening (i.e., individuals did not follow the personal protective
measures outlined in DA PAM 700-48 and AR 40-5 or any of the recommended handling procedures as outlined in the
relevant regulations and technical manuals)." [Read more]