1. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Active Member

    Mick here is a report I saw today on your favorite topic. You probably have Google alerts for this type of thing, but I thought this one might have been missed...



    "A college professor from St. Louis, Missouri has released research claiming that the U.S. Army conducted secret Cold War tests by spraying toxic radioactive chemicals on cities like St. Louis and Corpus Christi.

    Documents showed that the Army used airplanes to drop the chemicals in Corpus Christi, but sprayers were mounted on station wagons and buildings in St. Louis. "

  2. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Hmm, just a new spin on an old story. She's suggesting something radioactive was added, but provides no actual evidence. From her 838 page thesis:

    So the evidence is that it has 226 in the name.
  3. CalPolyFan

    CalPolyFan New Member

  4. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Active Member

    Ah. I'm sorry. I'm unfamiliar with this whole thing of spraying people. I saw the news item and thought it was a recent event.
  5. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    As Mick rightly said, its new spin on an old story.

    From what I understand, the author of this thesis wrongly implies the Zinc Cadmium sulphide used in these Biological Warfare field trials was radioactive just because it was manufactured by the US Radium Corp. Unfortunately she seems to be unaware that the ZnCds used in both the US and UK LAC BW field trials was originally manufactured by the New Jersey Zinc Co. (codenamed NJ 22660) and not the US Radium Corporation. After a company reshuffle, the New Jersey Zinc Co. later became known as the US Radium Corporation and the ZnCds codename changed to 2267.

    (source - A Review of the Use of Zinc Cadmium Sulphide (FP) in Particulate Diffusion Studies G.F. Collins 1999 DERA Porton Down)

    If you want some background to this series of experiments and other US Army Large Area Coverage concept BW field trials I recommend reading Professor Leonard Cole's ground-breaking book - Clouds of Secrecy.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    The report into the toxicity of ZCdS is available here.

    It is pretty long, reasonably well indexed, and with some pages not html formatted. It gives data as to how many tests were performed, where, what areas were covered, calculations as to exposures and sumarises all the known toxicology info for ZcdS known that the time (of the report).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    Thanks MikeC.

    Unfortunately, as you may already be aware, the National Academy of Sciences were not given vital details of many of the tests which is a major concern.

    For instance, the NAS report states:

    "THE CONCENTRATIONS OF airborne fluorescent particles of ZnCdS in the Army atmospheric-dispersion studies were measured with impingement and filtration methods. Two of those methods are thoroughly described by Leighton and others (1965), but the methods used at specific locations are not described in detail in Army risk-assessment documents."

    This is an important admission because, according to Porton Technical Paper No 811 - Loss of Fluorescence by Airborne Tracer Particles (FP), ZnCds particles collected by Impactor (impinger) sampling devices run a great risk of being obscured by local pollution and are not suitable for use in making estimates of particle concentration (and therefore dosage estimates).

    The US Army used two types of sampling devices for particle collection in its ZnCds field trials: the Roto-Rod and the Millipore filter. While the filter device was thought by Porton Down to be able to provide particle counts accurate enough to estimate received dosage, the Roto-Rod was not. It is acknowledged to have low efficiency when sampling particles lower than 10 microns, which is unfortunate as the particle size used in the ZnCds field trials was between 0.5-6 microns. While impactor/impinger samplers were considered suitable for use in tracer trajectory studies, they were not thought to be suitable for providing particle counts suitable for concentration or dosage estimation.

    The Roto-Rod was not used in Porton Down’s numerous ZnCds field trials.

    If the US Army were unable to inform the NAS which sampling device (Filter or Roto-Rod) was used in which trial, then this raises concern about the accuracy of the particle count data provided for the NAS dosage estimates.

    Another concern raised by the report was the lack of available toxicity data concerning the inhalation of ZnCds particles of the size used in these field trials.

    “"No toxicity experiments of inhaled ZnCds are available in literature. Because the ZnCds particles used in the Army's dispersion test were so small, the particles could probably be inhaled and deposited in the deep lung. The lack of solubility of the particles suggests that they are not likely to be absorbed from the lung into the blood for systemic distribution. No information is available on the potential toxicity of the particles in the lung.

    It is not known whether ZnCds can be broken down by pulmonary macrophages into more soluble forms of cadmium."

    All in all, the NAS can be said to have done their best, but without access to all relevant data all they could do was to make a guess as to the real dosage received by those exposed in the ZnCds field trials programme.
  8. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    I've seen this sort of misrepresentation before.

    The NAS were well aware of the limitations of their data, so they constructed 3 scenarios to establish the limits of possible toxic effects -

    ZCS simply is not biologically available as many cadmium compunds, because it is insoluble in water!

    Here's the 2nd scanrio - it is actually a "best case" scenario where ZCS is "known" to be completely harmless - and they reject it:

    The 3rd scenario postulates that ZCS is as soluble as a substance for which there is well known data, but which is also certainly more dangerous than ZCS:

    Constructing these scenarios is a perfectly adequate means for establishing the boundaries of the possible toxicology of the substance used.

    At best the implication that the NAS results are somehow inadequate because they could not determine the toxicology of Cadmium is based upon a poor understanding of the information presented.
  9. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    If you know the efficiency then you can take it into account. And if you know that fluorescence is lost at some given rate then you can account for that too.

    These are basic experimental techniques that any high school student would be able to figure out.

    I've seen this nonsense before not so long ago - repeating it doesn't make it right!!
  10. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    You can quote NAS selected scenarios all you want, it doesn't change the fact that the NAS were not working with data suitable for accurately estimating inhaled dosage. Neither were they able to discover any literature concerning toxicity experiments re the inhalation of ZnCds.

    I find this to be of major concern - you don't. We'll just have to agree to differ :)

    Forgive me if I'm wrong, but if you've seen this explanation before, were you person who asserted that 'the rotorod is well suited to measure concentrations'?

    And who went very quiet when proved wrong?
  11. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    Hiya Icewhale. And who never lets context interfere with a good story? I mean, the Cold War, with intercontinental warheads possibly replete with Anthrax and Sarin? THAT context...
  12. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    Care to elaborate on that JazzRoc?

    And why are you using two accounts? I've experienced your unique *ahem* social skills often enough to notice similarities ;)
  13. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    Ah, a judicious edit instead of a reply. Not avoiding my second question are you JazzRoc?

    OK don't be coy - remind me of your contextual problems with my post about these field trials. Spit it out Man.
  14. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    The contextual problem is yours, not mine. You apparently don't know there was a context in the first place. Is this as tight a circle as you want before I prove you deficient to a post-neolithic chinaman??
    • Funny Funny x 1
  15. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Gentlemen, please.

    This is old stuff. And all it really boils down to was that the Army was perhaps not as cautious as it could have been in its choice of tracer material. It's a tiny little thing when you compare it to actual pollution, or things like leaded petrol. Icewhale, with respect, I suspect you've focused rather a lot on this one subject over the years, and perhaps you've lost a bit of the broader perspective? Why exactly is this such a big deal?
  16. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

  17. icewhale

    icewhale New Member

    My apologies Mick.

    But surely it boils down more than just the Army not being as cautious as it could have been in its choice of tracer material? There is also the important issue of the military using populated areas as a giant outdoor laboratory, without informing those who would be exposed to its possible effects.

    And while you might think it a tiny thing compared to actual pollution, whatever that is (surely pollution is pollution, regardless of scale), you must agree that this is probably not a view shared by those exposed in these experiments.

    I agree though that having spent the past 15 years campaigning for the release of further information concerning the UK's involvement in these experiments, and successfully lobbying for two independent reviews, there is a chance that I may not share your perspective on these matters. However I could equally respond that your perspective is influenced by not understanding the true extent of these experiments. ;)

    And you asked 'whats the big deal?' Well there is the fact that the UK Government refuse to rule out conducting larger-scale BW field trials, which involve the use of BW simulants in populated areas, in the future.

    That to me is a very 'big deal'. ;)
  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I think a part of the problem with the story, and the reason why it has legs, is that it's often framed as "the army experimented ON an unsuspecting public".

    But that's not what happened. The army performed some experiments to see how far things spread in the wind. People would have been exposed to minute quantities of those substances. But the army were not testing those substances on people. They were just seeing how far the wind blew them, and over what area, and in what proportions.

    To me that's no different from emissions regulations at factories and power plants. Say you live upstream of a chemical plant - are you not also part of a "giant outdoor laboratory"? Is it not a calculated risk, a gambled with the health of the people upwind? And are the majority of those people not completely oblivious to the details of that risk?

    In decades past emissions regulations were less strict. There was less concern for marginal unknown risks, and in generally far less known about long term health problems. I think the actual damage done from that lax regulation of industry was incalculably greater than the ZCS trials. But the ZCS gets the press because it's more sexy, with the secrecy, and the exotic weapons. But really it's just a small bit of banal pollution.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    I went very quiet because I couldn't be bothered with disinfo any more.

    Since you bring it up again I have decided a a short, sharp and to the point reply showing why you are still wrong with your condescending dismissal of the NAS report as "well they tried their best" is waranted.
  20. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    By someone not a million miles away.

    Because IT WAS THE COLD WAR, and some Soviet ICBMs were already filled with Sarin and Anthrax.

    No. In a time of war it's actually different when your enemy demonstrates a weapon against which you are unprepared. Your inactivity encourages him to try and use it. And the COLD WAR of the time was continually threatened aggression, with bombers flying constantly towards their targets before being recalled. Remember the Cuban MISSILE CRISIS?

    The military and civil defense systems were tasked with with a correct threat assessment and response, in double-quick time, before the enemy used it. Delay may have enticed him. They were hardly likely to wait until Icewhale gave them the all-clear to use ZCS. Fortunately.

    You don't have to tell Icewhale this. It's what he has relied on all this time. He knows... it's all he knows...

    Meanwhile all those warheads are GONE. They are gone in part because we showed a readiness to defend ourselves by quickly devising a strategy against them.

    And Icewhale is selling matches on the streets - the correct job for someone willing to lie by context transferral.
  21. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    One might also note that during the cold war our militaries turned several atolls and bits of Nevada and Australia into nuclear wastelands, displacing the locals, and increased the worldwide atmospheric loading of radioactive stuff by a bit (forgive my inexactitude) - and most people would recognize there was an argument for doing this in the context of the Russian nuclear threat, even though in a modern context such things would (hopefully) be looked on with horror.
  22. Charlie Primero

    Charlie Primero Active Member

    This is what I've always said about drunk driving. If we consider the large amount of enjoyment, convenience, and economic activity alcohol consumers enjoy from driving drunk, the number of accidents and deaths resulting from it are really a bit of banal nothing.
  23. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Well, except for drunk driving killing thousands of people randomly every year.

    I think a closer thing would be smoking on your balcony. Minute exposure of your neighbors to toxic chemicals, but probably perfectly safe in the grand scheme of things. Still illegal in Santa Monica though.
  24. MikeC

    MikeC Senior Member

    The British assessment of the health risk from cadmium exposure due to their experiments was about the equivalent to living in an urban envoronment for up to 100 days, or smoking 100 cigarettes.

  25. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    Well plug my gusset. That could irritate the constitution. You mean THOSE deaths.... LOL

    That's going too far. (Coughs, reaches for aspirins, disintegrates...)
  26. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

  27. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    I never knew zinc cadmium sulfide was radioactive, mainly because it isn't radioactive. There's the con.

    Coupled with that massive corruption of forensic data, and a whole load of plausible deniability, this guy should go far - towards bad style.
  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The claim is that Radium 226 was added. this is based on some pretty circumstantial evidence. This thread explains it.
  29. Jazzy

    Jazzy Closed Account

    (Wakes up). Oh, yes, 226. Bad luck, letting those numbers be used somewhere else. A dead giveaway, that. (Bites lip, nods off).

    ZCS was chosen for its lack of solubility, like barium sulfate used for x-rays. This suggests that care was taken to avoid harm. Why would anyone bother to render harmful something they had already attempted to make harmless?

    ZCS fluoresces in UV light, which means that its presence, even in tiny amounts, may be constantly and precisely monitored. It is already a good tool for measuring wind-borne dispersion (which is its task), and needs no tweaking.
  30. deejay

    deejay Banned Banned

    nobody claimed the cadmium sulfide was radioactive - in fact, it is specifically stated NOT to be so.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2013
  31. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    Really? Then why did you say...

    So which "radioactive compounds/materials" are you talking about there deejay?
    • Like Like x 1
  32. neverknwo

    neverknwo Member

    They had the airborne experiments in more places than Texas and St. Louis.
    The housing addition I lived in was built in the 50's and was used as one of 2 locations in town.
    I remember back in the mid-90's when the local news reported it and after that I've been able to connect the dots.
    There's no proof the military caused the biggest per-capita cancer related deaths from it and it's not in the water.
    But of course no one's going to admit it either that by some remote coincidence the same exact addition they targeted with toxic chemicals was in fact 50 plus years later the highest per capita cancer death rate place in the state.
  33. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Is there any epidemiological evidence of harm? Anything of statistical significance?
  34. neverknwo

    neverknwo Member

    Yes, but those stats were all used for Radon to Asbestos and debunks any thought of it being connected to the military.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  35. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    What is that map supposed to demonstrate? It seems entirely unrelated to the topic.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    • Like Like x 1
  36. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    neverknwo, Your own source debunks your comments.

    • Like Like x 1
  37. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    There was a toxicologic assessment (written in a 386 page report) of those dispersion tests that concluded exposure levels were way too low to have caused anyone to develop adverse health effects.



    According to the report, since the first of the year most of us have inhaled as much cadmium as the most heavily exposed area, St. Louis.
  38. neverknwo

    neverknwo Member

    I'll take it off, since it has no bearing on the topic, but I was looking for some sort of stat to answer your question to Anything of statistical significance.
    Which I took time trying to search for anything connected to cancer mortality rates I found anything from Radon to Asbestos as the cause.
    I don't have a clue what the map demonstrates, because I don't know how they can accurately map radon cancer deaths from asbestos cancer deaths.
    But supposedly this is some sort of map for the housing addition I lived in showing those who died from cancer caused by asbestos and these asbestoes removal companys need some sort of visual to show why you need their services.
    I didn't know their was some kind of way yet to even prove how they even get cancer yet but as I just learned after trying to answer your question, it's pointless.
    I guess having lived here and watched relatives, girl friends, and just buried a buddy of mine last thurs. It's really hard trying to explain it when it seems like everybody ends up with cancer who lived in that addition. I can't produce the stats showing what they showed on the tv news about that addition being one of the highest cancers rate per captia in the state but I do remember seeing a stat for it.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2013
  39. Oxymoron

    Oxymoron Banned Banned

    So what is the point of spraying 'virtually nothing anymore than general pollution' or at least 'nothing toxic' to test the results?

    I think Jazzy should have volunteered as the guinea pig to aid the war effort.
  40. solrey

    solrey Senior Member

    They were testing dispersion of airborne particles, not toxicity. Zinc Cadmium Sulfide is visible under an ultraviolet light and that quality makes it easily identifiable in particle dispersion tests.

    Asbestos causes Mesothelioma, which is one way of identifying asbestos related mortality.