Overview of the Capstone depleted uranium study of aerosols from impact with armored vehicles: test setup and aerosol generation, characterization, and application in assessing dose and risk

Health Phys. 2009 Mar;96(3):207-20. doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000290626.64569.ee.


The Capstone Depleted Uranium (DU) Aerosol Characterization and Risk Assessment Study was conducted to generate data about DU aerosols generated during the perforation of armored combat vehicles with large-caliber DU penetrators, and to apply the data in assessments of human health risks to personnel exposed to these aerosols, primarily through inhalation, during the 1991 Gulf War or in future military operations. The Capstone study consisted of two components: 1) generating, sampling, and characterizing DU aerosols by firing at and perforating combat vehicles, and 2) applying the source-term quantities and characteristics of the aerosols to the evaluation of doses and risks. This paper reviews the background of the study including the bases for the study, previous reviews of DU particles and health assessments from DU used by the U.S. military, the objectives of the study components, the participants and oversight teams, and the types of exposures it was intended to evaluate. It then discusses exposure scenarios used in the dose and risk assessment and provides an overview of how the field tests and dose and risk assessments were conducted.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis*
  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive / analysis*
  • Body Burden*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Firearms*
  • Gulf War*
  • Humans
  • Military Personnel
  • Models, Biological
  • Motor Vehicles*
  • New Mexico
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis*
  • Radioactive Waste / analysis
  • Relative Biological Effectiveness
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Uranium / analysis*


  • Aerosols
  • Air Pollutants, Radioactive
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Uranium