Research and analysis

Depleted uranium (DU): nephrotoxicity and urinary excretion

This report (HPA-RPD-025) describes studies concerning potential exposures to DU and its effects on the kidney.



Measurements of urinary excretion were used to assess previous potential exposures to DU following its use in conflicts. High concentrations of uranium in kidneys are known to affect their function, and some studies of uranium biokinetics in rats have shown changes in the ratio of uranium urinary excretion to kidney concentration, at high uranium kidney concentrations.

A review of the scientific literature was carried out with particular attention paid to human experimental studies in which uranium solutions were intravenously injected. This report complements reports considering uncertainties in the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) respiratory tract model as applied to depleted uranium and the ICRP model that describes the behaviour of uranium after entry to the blood.