The main hazards of uranium are fire, toxicity, and radioactivity.
Uranium in larger chunks ignites at 500 deg C, while in finer form it
self-ignites and burns spontaneously in the air. Heavy metal uranium
forms oxides that are as toxic as arsenic compounds, particularly
affecting the renal system. Inhaling and swallowing a high dose of
uranium oxides entering nose and throat could pose a serious risk, as
could happen in an acute exposure to explosion dust and debris from a
uranium weapon. Prolonged exposure in a contaminated environment would
lead to similar effects. As in the toxic hazard, radioactive risks
arise by inhaling uranium dust in the air and ingesting it from dust in
the mouth, water, or food. Inhaled particles under 2.5 m enter deep
into the lungs. The body removes insoluble uranium oxides very slowly,
halving their amount in 10 to 20 years. Some particles may move from the
lung to the lymph nodes and bone. U-23...