I-Team: The Army’s secret Cold War experiments on St. Louisans
By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter 7:12 AM, Sep 25 2012
St. Louis (KSDK) – Lisa Martino-Taylor is a sociologist whose life’s work has been to uncover details of the Army’s ultra-secret military experiments carried out in St. Louis and other cities during the 1950s and 60s.
She will make her research public Tuesday, but she spoke first to the I-Team’s Leisa Zigman.
The I-Team independently verified that the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide did take place in St. Louis on thousands of unsuspecting citizens. What is unclear is whether the Army added a radioactive material to the compound as Martino-Taylor’s research implies.
“The study was secretive for reason. They didn’t have volunteers stepping up and saying yeah, I’ll breathe zinc cadmium sulfide with radioactive particles,” said Martino-Taylor.
Army archive pictures show how the tests were done in Corpus Christi, Texas in the 1960s. In Texas, planes were used to drop the chemical. But in St. Louis, the Army placed chemical sprayers on buildings and station wagons.
Documents confirmed that city officials were kept in the dark about the tests. The Cold War cover story was that the Army was testing smoke screens to protect cities from a Russian attack. The truth, according to Martino-Taylor was much more sinister.
“It was pretty shocking. The level of duplicity and secrecy. Clearly they went to great lengths to deceive people,” she said.
By making hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, she uncovered once-classified documents that confirm the spraying of zinc cadmium sulfide.
Martino-Taylor says the greatest concentration was centered on the Pruitt-Igoe housing complex, just northwest of downtown St. Louis in the Carr Square neighborhood. It was home to 10,000 low income people. An estimated 70 percent she says were children under the age of 12.
“This was a violation of all medical ethics, all international codes, and the military’s own policy at that time,” said Martino-Taylor.
In 1994, then-Congressman Richard Gephardt (D-St. Louis), asked the Army to open its records and explain the St. Louis testing.
At the time Rep. Gephardt said, “We want to make sure nothing went on that would harm anyone, and that all the fact are out on the table.”
Documents released in the 90s showed the Army placed sprayers on a former Knights of Columbus building on Lindell and in Forest Park. The Army always insisted the chemical compound was safe. Martino-Taylor believes documents prove otherwise.
“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,” she said.
For the first time, she links the St. Louis testing to a company called US Radium, a company notorious for lawsuits involving radioactive contamination of its workers.
“US radium had this reputation where they had been found legally liable for producing a radioactive powdered paint that killed many young women who painted fluorescent watch tiles,” said Martino-Taylor.
While the Army admits it added a florescent substance to the zinc cadmium compound, details of whether it was radioactive remains secret.
Documents uncovered to date indicate the Army never conducted follow-up studies to see whether the compound caused long term health issues.
In 1972, after years of crime, poverty, and decline, the government destroyed the Pruitt -Igoe housing complex.
Click here to see Martino-Taylor’s research and the unclassified government documents.
U.S. Law Allows Chemical and Biological Testing On Populace
The Intel Hub Shepard Ambellas July 23, 2011
The following document is horrific — a public law that allows chemical and biological agents to be tested on the U.S. populace. See the full document: U-2.S. Law Allows Testing of Chemicals and Biological Agents on Civilian Population.
How do you feel about being a human test subject?
PUBLIC LAW 105–85—NOV. 18, 1997 111 STAT. 1915
(2) The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item:
‘‘985. Persons convicted of capital crimes: denial of certain burial-related benefits.’’.
(b) APPLICABILITY.—Section 985 of title 10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), applies with respect to persons dying after January 1, 1997.
SEC. 1078. RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FOR TESTING OF CHEMICAL OR BIOLOGICAL AGENTS.
(a) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.—The Secretary of Defense may not conduct (directly or by contract)—
(1) any test or experiment involving the use of a chemical agent or biological agent on a civilian population; or
(2) any other testing of a chemical agent or biological agent on human subjects. (b) EXCEPTIONS.—Subject to subsections (c), (d), and (e), the prohibition in subsection (a) does not apply to a test or experiment carried out for any of the following purposes:
(1) Any peaceful purpose that is related to a medical, therapeutic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, industrial, or research activity.
(2) Any purpose that is directly related to protection against toxic chemicals or biological weapons and agents.
(3) Any law enforcement purpose, including any purpose related to riot control. (c) INFORMED CONSENT REQUIRED.—The Secretary of Defense may conduct a test or experiment described in subsection (b) only if informed consent to the testing was obtained from each human subject in advance of the testing on that subject.
(d) PRIOR NOTICE TO CONGRESS.—Not later than 30 days after the date of final approval within the Department of Defense of plans for any experiment or study to be conducted by the Depart- ment of Defense (whether directly or under contract) involving the use of human subjects for the testing of a chemical agent or a biological agent, the Secretary of Defense shall submit to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives a report setting forth a full accounting of those plans, and the experiment or study may then be conducted only after the end of the 30- day period beginning on the date such report is received by those committees.
(e) BIOLOGICAL AGENT DEFINED.—In this section, the term ‘‘biological agent’’ means any micro-organism (including bacteria, viruses, fungi, rickettsiac, or protozoa), pathogen, or infectious sub- stance, and any naturally occurring, bioengineered, or synthesized component of any such micro-organism, pathogen, or infectious sub- stance, whatever its origin or method of production, that is capable of causing—
(1) death, disease, or other biological malfunction in a human, an animal, a plant, or another living organism;
(2) deterioration of food, water, equipment, supplies, or materials of any kind; or
(3) deleterious alteration of the environment. (f) REPORT AND CERTIFICATION.—Section 1703(b) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994 (50 U.S.C. 1523(b)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
10 USC 985 note. 50 USC 1520a.
Reports.111 STAT. 1916
49 USC 303 note.
Applicability. 8 USC 1440 note.
10 USC 111 note.
PUBLIC LAW 105–85—NOV. 18, 1997
‘‘(9) A description of any program involving the testing of biological or chemical agents on human subjects that was carried out by the Department of Defense during the period covered by the report, together with—
‘‘(A) a detailed justification for the testing;
‘‘(B) a detailed explanation of the purposes of the testing;
‘‘(C) a description of each chemical or biological agent tested; and
‘‘(D) the Secretary’s certification that informed consent to the testing was obtained from each human subject in advance of the testing on that subject.’’.
(g) REPEAL OF SUPERSEDED PROVISION OF LAW.—Section 808 of the Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act, 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1520), is repealed.