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The searches generated about 3,500 titles and abstracts, which were examined to identify articles that appeared to be relevant to the committee’s task, that is, articles on health outcomes of exposure to uranium (including both natural and depleted uranium). Examples of types of articles that were excluded during this step are environmental studies (that is, effects on wildlife), engineering studies of nuclear reactors, studies of the treatment and disposal of uranium, studies of naturally occurring uranium concentrations in various locations, bioremediation studies, and studies of nuclear-plant safety. After examination of the titles and abstracts, about 1,000 articles remained in the committee’s reference database. The data sources listed above were searched on a monthly basis through December 2007 and relevant articles were added to the reference database.

To gather further information, the committee held a public meeting on June 28, 2007, in Washington, DC. The topics discussed are shown in Box 4-1. Four speakers gave presentations related to health effects of exposure to depleted uranium and uranium in human populations, including the veteran population. Another presenter discussed toxicologic studies of uranium. After the formal presentations, the floor was opened to members of the public who wished to make comments.

BOX 4-1

Open-Session Presentations, June 28, 2007

Depleted Uranium Exposure and Health Effects in Gulf War Veterans

Melissa McDiarmid, Department of Veterans Affairs Depleted Uranium Follow-Up Program

Outcomes of the UK Ministry of Defence–Sponsored Depleted Uranium Research Programme

Nicholas Priest, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Canada (formerly with Middlesex University, UK)

Depleted Uranium and Veterans’ Health: A Flawed Testing Process and an Undersized, Politicized Study Limit Evaluation of Exposures and Effects

Dan Fahey, Board Member, Veterans for Common Sense, and PhD candidate, University of California, Berkeley

Current NIOSH Research on Uranium-Exposed Workers

Mary Schubauer-Berigan, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

Toxic and Radiologic Effects of Uranium: Animal Studies

Fletcher Hahn, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute

Department of Defense Health Databases

Kenneth Cox, Department of Defense

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