In Brief

Depleted uranium report says children face highest risk

A WHO report published at the beginning of May recommends careful follow-up of children who may have been exposed to depleted uranium (DU) while playing in a conflict zone. Based on a review of the scientific literature on uranium and DU, the report, Depleted uranium: sources, exposure and health effects (available at radiation/depleted_uranium.htm), also details situations involving possible exposure of workers and members of the general public to DU and outlines the potential health risks posed by this heavy metal. (see WHO News story in the Bulletin, p. 274, vol. 79(3), March 2001).


Norplant® contraceptive safe and effective also in developing world

A 5-year post-marketing study involving 16 000 women in eight developing countries has found the levonorgestrel contraceptive implant Norplant® as safe and effective as intrauterine devices (IUDs) and sterilization, WHO’s human reproduction research programme (HRP) has announced. No major adverse effects were observed. The annual pregnancy (or failure) rates for all three methods were less than 1 per 100 women. The full report of the study, which was conducted in collaboration with the Population Council and Family Health International, was published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, 97(4), April 2001. For more information contact Mr Jitendra Khanna, HRP (

World Health Organization Genebra - Genebra - Switzerland