Congress Demands Answers to Allegations US Injected and Fed Radiation to 'Vulnerable People' During Cold War
Three US Congress members have demanded answers from Washington after a new book claims to reveal details of how the government secretly sprayed, injected, and fed radiation and other hazardous materials to "vulnerable" people during the Cold War.
The congressmen's outrage comes in response to the book 'Behind the Fog: How the US Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans,' which is said to have revealed the practices when it was published in August.
Author Lisa Martino-Taylor, an associate professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College, said the radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government at the time.
According to the author, unsuspecting people across the United States - and even in England and Canada - were subjected to potentially deadly material through open-air spraying, ingestion, and injection.
"They targeted the most vulnerable in society in most cases,"Martino-Taylor said, as quoted by AP. "They targeted children. They targeted pregnant women in Nashville. People who were ill in hospitals. They targeted wards of the state. And they targeted minority populations." The testing took place in various locations throughout the United States.
Tests in Nashville in the late 1940s saw 820 poor and pregnant white women receive a mixture during their first pre-natal visit which included radioactive iron, Martino-Taylor said. The expectant mothers were unknowingly chosen to take part in the program.
Blood tests were apparently used to determine how much radioactive iron had been absorbed by the women, and the babies' blood was tested at birth. Similar tests also took place in Chicago and San Francisco, according to Martino-Taylor.
In St. Louis, the government was busy testing a spray which it claimed was for a smoke screen which could shield the city from aerial observation in case of a Soviet attack. However, evidence now shows that the spray included radioactive material, according to the associate professor.
In California, investigators installed a radiation field inside a building at North Hollywood High School in 1961. Similar testing was performed at the University of California Los Angeles and at a Los Angeles Police Department building.