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tainties in its validity, because it is the most conservative or protective approach (that is, it yields the highest estimated risk for a given exposure or dose).

In the context of the committee’s work, a key element of the examination of the possibility of adverse health effects of depleted uranium was the presence (or absence) of direct scientific evidence relevant to Gulf War veterans that could support the adoption of a no-threshold model for depleted-uranium cancer risk. The validity of the linear no-threshold model, especially for radiogenic cancer, is of greatest uncertainty at doses below 25 rem, the very range of doses to Gulf War veterans considered here. Thus, although a no-threshold model is used to estimate risk to a population, especially at higher doses, and would imply risk related to any level of depleted-uranium exposure, the committee chose to focus on direct evidence rather than a conservative, theory-driven approach in making its final determinations even while it remained mindful of the issues described here.


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