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.
St. Louis Community College-Meramec sociology professor Lisa Martino-Taylor told The Associated Press that her research showed that the Army may have sprayed radioactive particles with zinc cadmium sulfide while claiming that it was testing a smoke screen that could prevent Russians from observing St. Louis from the air.
Those tests were concentrated in predominately-black areas of the city, which Army documents called “a densely populated slum district.”
In 1994, the Army confirmed to Congress that St. Louis was chosen because it resembled Russian cities that the U.S. might have to attack with biological weapons.
“The study was secretive for reason,” Martino-Taylor explained to KDSK last month. “They didn’t have volunteers stepping up and saying yeah, I’ll breathe zinc cadmium sulfide with radioactive particles.”
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.
“It was pretty shocking. The level of duplicity and secrecy. Clearly they went to great lengths to deceive people,” Martino-Taylor observed. “This was a violation of all medical ethics, all international codes, and the military’s own policy at that time.”
“There is a lot of evidence that shows people in St. Louis and the city, in particular minority communities, were subjected to military testing that was connected to a larger radiological weapons testing project.”
Doris Spates lived in one of those impoverished St. Louis neighborhoods as a child and has survived cervical cancer. But four of her siblings and her father weren’t as lucky. All five have died of cancer.
“I’m wondering if it got into our system,” Spates told the AP. “When I heard about the testing, I thought, ‘Oh my God. If they did that, there’s no telling what else they’re hiding.’”
Last month, both Missouri Sens. Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R) demanded that Army Secretary John McHugh come clean about the testing. For its part, the Army refused to comment on the matter until it had responded to the senators, the AP reported.
Watch this video KDSK, broadcast Sept. 25, 2012.