TEAM TO INVESTIGATE DEPLETED URANIUM AND OTHER TOXIC
SUBSTANCES IN KOSOVO
As a follow up to a
request coming from the Special Representative of the Secretary
General United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK),
the World Health Organization (WHO) is sending an expert mission to
Kosovo to support the UNMIK response to the claims regarding the
possible risks to the health of the population associated with
exposure to depleted uranium radiation as well as other environmental
The mission comprises a team of experts in
environmental health and will make a first assessment of the
requirements and needs, and make recommendations, in order to:
- Collect information on population exposure to depleted uranium
and other toxic substances as a consequence of the military
operation in the Balkans.
- Verify the available data on cancer and leukaemia incidence, and
other conditions, in the Kosovo population, which might be related
to environmental exposure to DU and other toxic agents.
- Identify potential health risks to people who may have been
exposed to these agents which may require medical monitoring and
The mission will also permit WHO to advise UNMIK on the following:
- Recommended short-term measures to prevent further exposure, if
any, to toxic agents.
- Recommended possible medium or longer-term actions and a draft
- Useful information to be provided to the general public.
- Other matters that would benefit from taking immediate action.
The team visiting Kosovo is appointed by the WHO
Regional Office of Europe and, while in Kosovo, will report to the WHO
Head of Mission in Pristina. It will consist of four people: a
chemical toxicologist, an environmental epidemiologist, an
environmental health expert and a radiation epidemiologist.
It is expected that this initial mission will last
For further information, please contact Mr Gregory
Hartl or Ms Melinda Henry, Office of the Spokesperson, WHO, Geneva.
Telephone (+41 22) 791 4458/2535; Fax (+41 22) 791 4858; Email: email@example.com
All WHO Press Releases, Fact Sheets and Features as well as other
information can be obtained on Internet on the WHO home page http://www.who.int