UN finds radiation in Kosovo

The United Nations says it has found radioactive contamination at sites in Kosovo where Nato aircrafts fired weapons containing depleted uranium in 1998. A spokesman said there was sufficient evidence to call for safety precautions when dealing with such locations. The alarm was raised this week when Italy, France, Belgium and Portugal called for an urgent investigation into cases of leukaemia among soldiers who had served in Bosnia and Kosovo. But Nato has denied that there is a health danger from depleted uranium, which is used to tip armour-piercing shells. A team of UN scientists from several different countries visited 11 out of 112 Nato bombing sites in Kosovo. At eight of the sites, they found either remnants of depleted uranium (DU) or evidence of increased radioactivity around the impact points left by the raids. Depleted uranium is only mildly radioactive but, on impact with a solid object, it burns off in a spray of fine dust, which some scientists believe can cause cancer, BBC reports.