Assessing the renal toxicity of Capstone depleted uranium oxides and other uranium compounds

Health Phys. 2009 Mar;96(3):343-51. doi: 10.1097/01.HP.0000338421.07312.ed.


The primary target for uranium toxicity is the kidney. The most frequently used guideline for uranium kidney burdens is the International Commission on Radiological Protection value of 3 microg U g(-1) kidney, a value that is based largely upon chronic studies in animals. In the present effort, a risk model equation was developed to assess potential outcomes of acute uranium exposure. Twenty-seven previously published case studies in which workers were acutely exposed to soluble compounds of uranium (as a result of workplace accidents) were analyzed. Kidney burdens of uranium for these individuals were determined based on uranium in the urine, and correlated with health effects observed over a period of up to 38 years. Based upon the severity of health effects, each individual was assigned a score (- to +++) and then placed into a Renal Effects Group (REG). A discriminant analysis was used to build a model equation to predict the REG based on the amount of uranium in the kidneys. The model equation was able to predict the REG with 85% accuracy. The risk model was used to predict the REG for soldiers exposed to depleted uranium as a result of friendly fire incidents during the 1991 Gulf War. This model equation can also be used to predict the REG of new cases in which acute exposures to uranium have occurred.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aerosols / analysis*
  • Air Pollution, Radioactive / statistics & numerical data*
  • Algorithms
  • Beta Particles
  • Computer Simulation
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gulf War
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Military Personnel
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Oxides / analysis
  • Radiation Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Radiation Monitoring / methods
  • Radioactive Waste / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uranium / analysis*


  • Aerosols
  • Oxides
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Uranium