There are still more questions than answers about the health and environmental impacts of DU munitions. Nonetheless, it appears that upon review and comparison of most of the published literature that the effects of DU are more serious than public officials would like to admit, but less harmful than asserted by activists.
Based on the body of publicly available scientific evidence, several tentative conclusions can be drawn as to depleted uranium's health effects:
* Exposure to DU can cause kidney damage in humans.
* DU was shown to have cytotoxic, genotoxic and carcinogenic effects in animal studies (PMID 7694141, PMID 16283518)
* Epidemiological evidence suggests that uranium aerosols could possibly have reproductive effects in humans.
* It has been shown in rodents and frogs that water soluble forms of uranium are teratogenic or able to delay the metamorphosis (through animal experimentation) (PMID 16124873).
* Evidence of human health effects caused by DU is inconclusive, due largely to the fact that the health status of only a few dozen people with verified exposures has been assessed;
* After DU munitions have been used in combat, the presence of DU and DU compounds in soil and water, or on equipment and in buildings, may – depending on a variety of factors – present short- and long-term hazards to the health of local populations.