A report recently surfaced about clandestine chemical and biological tests conducted on low-income residential areas in St. Louis, Mo., during the Cold War.The Army has admitted to conducting these tests, which took place primarily during the 1960s and 1970s. However, it denies that any of the tests posed a danger to the population. These tests over St. Louis and other cities may have been the precusor to or part of an operation called, "Project 112/SHAD."
According to official government reports, the Army dusted several American cities and other areas with a compound called zinc cadmium sulfide. The secret tests were reportedly conducted to observe the behavior patterns of sprayed biological and chemical warfare agents. This compound was purportedly used due to its resemblance to certain chemical/biological agents.The compound, according to the Army, is a chemical and bio-weapon simulant and posed no threat to those exposed to it. It should also be noted that Project 112/SHAD also used real biological weapons on service members as well as the simulant.According to Medical Countermeasures, "Project SHAD, an acronym for Shipboard Hazard and Defense, was part of a larger effort called Project 112, which was conducted during the 1960s. Project SHAD encompassed tests designed to identify U.S. warships' vulnerabilities to attacks with chemical or biological warfare agents and to develop procedures to respond to such attacks while maintaining a war-fighting capability."
The site also said that, "Land-based tests took place in Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland, Florida, Utah, Georgia and in Panama, Canada and the United Kingdom." Perhaps the most disturbing of these reports is the one conspicuously missing from the official Project 112/SHAD roster. St. Louis Community College-Meramec sociology professor Lisa Martino-Taylor has done research into allegations that the U.S. Army also conducted similar tests as early as the 1950s. Martino-Taylor's research suggests that the Army conducted these tests using radiological material mixed in with the zinc cadmium sulfide compound. Martino-Taylor's research also points out that these particular tests were confined to the poor and predominantly African-American neighborhoods. Although Martino-Taylor concedes she has no direct evidence that radiological materials were used, she has uncovered enough evidence to get the attention of Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt. McCaskill and Blunt have called for further investigation into the matter.
Although the official documents may be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, there is no mention of any test related to Project 112/SHAD being conducted in St. Louis. However, the National Academies cites a press release from 1997 concerning testing in St. Louis and other U.S. cities and in Canada. According to the release, no residents purportedly received any dangerous exposure to the zinc compound.
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