by Martin Williams / The Herald (Scotland) –
SCOTLAND (February 04 2004) — A Scots ex-soldier has become the first veteran to win a pension appeal after being diagnosed with depleted uranium (DU) poisoning during the 1991 Gulf war.
A Pension Appeal Tribunal Service hearing in Edinburgh accepted medical evidence provided by Kenny Duncan, of Clackmannan, previously dismissed by the MoD, which revealed he had become ill after service in the Middle East. Mr Duncan, 35, a driver with 7 Tank Transporter Regiment, helped move tanks destroyed by shells containing the poisonous dust.
He says he has evidence that his children’s health problems are linked to his service. Kenneth, 10, Andrew, eight, and six-year-old Heather, have symptoms similar to those suffered by some Iraqi children, including deformed toes, and low immune systems making them susceptible to asthma, hay fever and eczema.
Mr Duncan has suffered increasing breathlessness and aching joints which he has linked to DU. During the conflict, US and British troops fired an estimated 350 tonnes of DU weapons at Iraqi tanks.
Doctors in southern Iraq have reported a marked increase in cancers and birth defects, and suspicion has grown that they were caused by DU contamination from tank battles. DU has been linked to a leukaemia cluster around the MoD range at Dundrennan, near the Solway Firth. Communities close to the range show the highest rate of childhood leukaemia in the UK.
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