In Fallujah, a city just 50 miles from Baghdad, life has never been the same since April 2004, when U.S. Marines declared the entire area a free-fire zone and proceeded to do what Marines do best. Packing the most destructive weaponry in the world, American soldiers laid siege to the city, deploying depleted uranium munitions, white phosphorus and tons of conventional ballistics.
Operation Vigilant Resolve went on for a full month. Though U.S. forces allowed an estimated 70,000 women, children and elderly leave the city, to this day the campaign to recapture Fallujah is beset with allegations of war crimes.
In the wake of America's "shock and awe" bombing campaign to take Baghdad, radiation detectors as far away as the United Kingdom noticed a fourfold spike in radioactivity in the atmosphere. At the time, the Department of Defense bragged that the substance, a nuclear byproduct with a fraction of the radioactivity as standard uranium, is commonly ingested by Americans, in food, drinking water and the air, allegedly with no ill effects. Officials went on to say its use would cause "no impact on the health of people and the environment."
Today, according to a study by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health [PDF link], rates of cancer, leukemia, infant mortality and sexual mutations in Fallujah are higher than those reported in the aftermath of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear detonations...
One major difference, of course, is that American soldiers are breathing this stuff too.
But then again, it wouldn't be the first time the Company used GIs as guinea pigs right along with civilian populations.