BIOLOGICAL WARFARE AND TERRORISM PREPAREDNESS
compiled by Dee Finney
All fall down
One hundred kilograms of anthrax spores could wipe out an entire city
in one go.
In order to form an immaculate member of a flock of sheep one must,
---- Albert Einstein
|Question: What is biological warfare ... biological terrorism?
Answer: Biological warfare is defined as the intentional use of microorganisms or toxins to produce death or disease in humans, animals or plants.
Microorganisms include bacteria and viruses, which are called replicating agents. Such agents can multiply within our bodies and produce disease or death after infection with a relatively small number of organisms.
Biological toxins are chemicals which are produced by other living things -- animal(s), plants or microorganisms. Toxins do not make more of themselves, so the exposure itself is what causes the illness they produce.
What distinguishes biological warfare from biological terrorism? There are fewer ways to protect citizens from terrorism than there is when there is a military force fighting a specific enemy.
A few hundred kilograms of a properly 'weaponised' bacterial preparation, carefully dried and milled to a precise particle size, has the potential to wipe out the inhabitants of an entire city in a single strike. A nuclear bomb in the hands of a deranged person has long been the stuff of nightmares, but the materials needed to make such a device are hard to obtain and exceedingly tricky to assemble. Biological weapons are not nearly so difficult to manufacture.
|Q: How are biological agents disseminated?
A: The biological agents, can expose a large population by esposing them to a breathable, aerosol.
An airborne cloud of particles would be inhaled in our respiratory tracts/lungs.
Mass casualties on a battlefield through contamination of food or water would be difficult, though the oral method is another way that biological agents can enter our bodies.
A terrorist trying to produce hundreds of thousands of casualties with biological agents would need to develop an aerosol cloud, not just spray material into the air or let it escape from a container as was done with a crude chemical agent in the Tokyo subway.
Among the events increasing the threat level are the 20 March, 1995 Sarin (chemical weapon) attack on the Tokyo subway, followed by the attempted hydrogen-cyanide assault on the Tokyo subway on 5 May 1995.
The presence of sodium cyanide residue in the debris of the World Trade Center bombing in New York City also raises domestic concern.
In the biological area, was the incident of the synthesis of ricin by a Minnesota anti-government, tax protest group whose members were convicted for violating the Biological Weapons Anti-terrorism Act in 1996.
Nuclear terrorism surfaced in Moscow when Chechen insurgents placed radiological waste in Moscow parks to further their cause.
Food and water contamination might be good enough for the terrorist, who may just want to cause panic.
Both chemical and biological agents can be delivered by a variety of means including dispersal via explosive devices (chemical or bio-bombs), mechanical devices such as crop dusting aircraft, mosquito control trucks, or garden spray devices, or dispersal through a building's water or ventilation system.
Also, a terrorist might attack a chemical plant, bioengineering facility, or goods in transit.
Sports arenas, concert halls, department stores and malls, transportation terminals, subways, planes, trains, office buildings - in short, any location capable of containing a large number of people in an enclosed or nearly enclosed space-- are good targets for aerosol dispersal and thus at greatest risk for a terrorism incident.
|Q: How do we respond to the terrorist threat?
A: The number of potential terrorist agents makes the job of those charged with protecting our population in the cities difficult.
To protect a military force we can use vaccines or drugs, place detectors on the battlefield, and provide full-face respirators which our troops can put on with adequate warning of an attack.
After an attack, we can use tools to identify the toxin or germ and and the exposed population and treat them with drugs or, in some cases, inoculation. We can decontaminate victims, though decontamination is less critical following an aerosol biological attack than it might be following a chemical attack.
With the exception of the protective face mask, the decontaminants and passive countermeasures must be designed for specific agents, or families of agents.
In the case of a terrorist attack, we may not be able to use the vaccines, drugs, detectors or physical protection. Following an announced or surprise attack, we may be only able to react with support to an already exposed population, which at the time, may look and feel no different than you and I do today.
After a covert attack, hospitals may be the first to notice that it the attack has occurred. The attack may resemble a general disease outbreak that massive numbers of people come down with.
It may not be until scientists, clinicians, the DOD (the Defense Department), or HHS (Health and Human Services Department) who conduct research on these organisms, who provide the support to local, state and federal groups, who will be able to identify what has happened.
Sunday, September 23, 2001
Surplus stores see a flood of customers after attacks
Whether panicking or preparing, shoppers are scurrying to buy gas masks, warfare suits
By ROY APPLETON / The Dallas Morning News
Business has been brisk at the Harry Hines Army Store ever since the terrorist attacks on America, but the run on gas masks Friday left Joe Walker shaking his head.
No, he didn't have any more. And no, he couldn't believe the rush.
"I thought it would slow down after the president spoke" to the nation Thursday night, said Mr. Walker, the store manager. "But it just got wild. It was panic."
Panic. Preparation. Whatever the reason, in these uncertain times Dallas-area residents are buying firearms and flooding military surplus stores in search of some peace of mind.
Fearing the worst in the budding fight with terrorism, they are stocking up on gas masks, chemical warfare suits, ready-to-eat meals and other survival gear.
"People are worried about the water supply, chemical attacks and electrical power," said Steve Porter, whose Army Navy store in Irving has sold out of masks and suits.
At the Army Navy store on McKinney Avenue in Dallas, "gas masks are out of the roof," said manager Linda Wilson. "It's almost like Y2K except more and more masks."
The store has sold more than 1,000 masks since the Sept. 11 attacks, Mrs. Wilson said, compared to 20 to 25 in a typical month. She temporarily sold out Friday morning when a Park Cities resident bought 19 masks, 19 chemical suits and water-purification tablets in a $930.54 sale.
"It's for my family," said the 47-year-old man, who didn't want his name printed because "I don't want anyone knowing where I've got my stuff."
"I'm here to guard my home to the best of my ability" – a guard that would start, he said, with his gun collection and 300,000 rounds of ammunition.
"I went to bed last night feeling pretty patriotic, but the response today put me over the edge," he said of Afghanistan's ruling clerics' call for a holy war if the United States attacks their country or attempts to seize Osama bin Laden.
Paul McCrea left the McKinney Avenue store empty-handed. After seeing a television report on war-worried shoppers, he came looking for masks and suits for himself and his wife. "I decided maybe I should go on and get them," Mr. McCrea said. "I'm wondering if I'm overreacting."
Indeed, he and others are, said Mike Connerly, standing outside the Harry Hines Army Store.
"It's blown out of proportion," he said of the war fears. "Everybody wants to be afraid of something," said Mr. Connerly, who is re-enlisting in the Seagoville-based Army 145th Medical Logistics Battalion because of the attacks.
The Cedar Creek Lake resident had come to buy a military belt, cap and collar insignia, and with a confident smile said he is ready to leave his wife and two children behind if necessary.
The rush for protective gear, said Mr. Connerly, 30, "tells me they have no faith in us." Should they? "Everything's going to be fine."
If gas masks could be found Friday, they were selling at prices starting at $19.99. They were available on eBay, the online auction site, for $39.95 each. North Texas Army Navy in Garland bundled masks and chemical suits for $49.99 or $69.99.
Most masks were made in Germany for the Israeli government's citizen defense program, said storeowners and managers, who disagreed about their effectiveness. The rubber masks use a screw-on replaceable filter, and "it says here they are designed to protect against all known chemical and biological agents," said Mrs. Wilson, reading an information sheet.
"It says you can get five to eight hours with one filter, but sometimes no more than 10 minutes," she said. "The sad part is, we don't have any replacement filters."
The Israeli-issue masks "are not going to save anyone," said Mr. Walker at the Harry Hines Army Store. "I try to tell people, but if it makes them feel better, I say, 'Go ahead and buy it.' ... The only way you can get one that works is to join the Army."
Mr. Walker said the search for gear hasn't let up since the morning of Sept. 11.
"Before I could get in here and turn on the TV, they were calling for gas masks," he said.
"It's mostly women," he said of the buyers, who have depleted his stock. "And some of them cry on the telephone."
A similar Y2K-style rush for food and water hasn't occurred, local grocery managers say. But firearms are another story.
Some area gun shops say the terror attacks have had a minimal impact on sales, but others say they are helping arm skittish residents.
At TargetMaster in Garland, gun sales tripled the day of the attacks and are up about 25 percent, said owner Tom Mannewitz. The number of firearms students has increased 50 percent, he said.
"We're seeing more rifle sales, and we're talking military-style rifles," said Jim Redding, a TargetMaster clerk.
Nerve agents may be indicated by faint, sweetish or fruity odor, shrinking pupils, blurring or dimming of eyesight, running nose, salivation, tightness in the chest and breathing difficulty.
Other personal affects from debilitating agents might include disorientation, dizziness, blurred vision and weakness. Individuals may be affected in different ways and to varying degrees. Some biologicals, such as blood agents, are so toxic that any exposure is usually fatal.
Further, agents can be directed at vegetation (crops), animals as well as people.
Biologic agents may include fungi, bacteria or viruses including those that cause typhoid, anthrax, plague, cholera, and many other diseases.
Chemical agents include the common "tear" gases as well as the nerve and blister agents, blood agents and various "incapacitating" agents such as vomiting and hallucinogenic chemicals. Some of these agents may remain viable in the environment for weeks or months after an attack, for others their effectiveness may degrade over weeks or even hours. Most are attenuated by natural forces including rainfall, sunlight, heat and dissipation by wind. The problem is that, as civilians, we may never know what hit us.
|WHEN WOULD THESE AGENTS BE USED?
In the absence of "official" public warnings or determinations, all observations and effects must be weighed in context of the perceived threat and local conditions. Be cautious. Fear is also an effective weapon for public manipulation; knowledge, preparation, and careful consideration of events is the antidote. Proper response to potential emergencies demands calm, rational response commensurate with the perceived threat.
Assuming a terrorist or military attack is authentic, some factors to consider in evaluating the potential effects include atmospheric conditions, time of day, location and weather. It is likely that weather and location will be major determinates along with the strategic or tactical value of the intended target. For example, the release of chemical and biological agents are most feasible during stable atmospheric conditions, with low or absent wind. Air stability is often at its best during early morning hours just before dawn or after sunset. Similarly, the absence of pending rainfall, relatively flat terrain and minimal vegetation help to maximize effective dispersion of the agent(s).
Many agents can attack directly through the skin, or through inhalation or ingestion. Protective clothing offers relatively short term protection. Few protective suits are capable of complete protection against all possible chemicals.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
If we do not have the option of not being in the wrong place at the right time, what options do we have if faced with the threat of biological or chemical attack? Many if not most might survive by what is known as sheltering in place. Evacuation, i.e., running, may not be an option. Having nowhere to go, an uncertain route, inadequate equipment and too little time may be insurmountable barriers to successful evacuation. We might likewise have some reticence about abandoning our homes on the pretext of some alleged danger at the demand of public officials. Therefore, most of us may have little choice except to make our homes, business or other building into a suitable shelter.
If you conceive of the potential need for such shelter your preparations are relatively simple, but you must prepare now. If you rely on government, the instructions are likely to be a too late and too generalized to be really effective. If you elect to go to a public shelter, you put your life in the hands of others who may be less competent and conscientious than you. Sheltering in place involves the selection and preparation of a "safe" room in your home. Ideally it might include a bathroom with access to sanitary facilities. You could also seal the entire house or apartment itself. The larger the area, the more difficult to effectively isolate, but you would capture a larger volume of air which would be beneficial if no means of ventilation were available. The objective is not to establish a mass barrier between you and chemical or biological agents as you would to provide protection from radiation, but a protective barrier between you, your family, and the agent(s). You may want to select a second floor location if possible as these agents tend to follow land surface during dispersal.
The process of making an in-place shelter is relatively simple, but it's implementation should thought-out beforehand to be effective. In short, you must completely seal ALL openings of your selected safe area. Tape windows, door and other openings with packing or duct tape, every single crack and crevice must be sealed. Foam sealant and caulking works well for cracks and to seal around wall switches and outlets. Don't forget to seal off floor openings (Ex. laundry chutes, etc.) and heating/cooling ducts if not part of a specially prepared ventilation system. Windows are a special problem. While it may be desirable to maintain a window to the world during an emergency situation, its' vulnerability to breakage could seriously impair the integrity of your shelter. Completely covering any window area with sturdy plastic sheeting and taping it securely in place would be prudent. Doors are a special problem; double your tape barrier with secondary plastic sheeting. Alternatively, plastic sheeting can be used to completely line your safe area. If stapled in place it might be prudent to make sure staple tears are securely taped before considering the job complete.
Don't forget, the rest of your house or building can also serve as a sort of pre-filter for your safe room. Remember to shut and lock all windows, garage doors, pet doors, fire place dampers, and air conditioner units, to restrict all potential sources of infiltration. Similarly, having appropriate personal protective equipment, including a HEPA or NATO equivalent respirator for everyone in your in-place shelter will help ensure your safety if you either have to temporarily leave your shelter, or if symptoms develop which may be indicative of possible infiltration of contaminants. Note that ensuring a thoroughly sealed room may require the removal of carpet or other flooring or even ceiling material if they are of porous construction. Vinyl wallpapers and similar wall coverings may contribute added vapor barrier protection.
A source of fresh air is highly desirable, but not essential. Your refuge will only be suitable for a period of hours to several days. One method might be to very slowly release clean breathing quality compressed air, such as from a SCUBA tank, into your room to create a positive pressure atmosphere. This positive pressure can effectively prevent infiltration of contaminants by "closing" openings you may have missed as well as helping to mitigate fouling of the captured air by your presence. An added benefit of a supplied air system might be realized if the threat involved an industrial accident with the release of an oxygen displacing chemical such as ammonia which would effectively disable a mechanical air filtration unit.
Always maintain a 360 degree view of the scene. Don't develop "tunnel vision"
You watch your partner's back and have them watch yours
Never enter into crowds to extricate a victim, unless sufficiant security is available
Never stand in front of doors when knocking on them
Always carry at least two sources of artificial light
If you hear or see imminent danger...RUN AWAY...until the scene is secure!
Communicate and cooperate with the police...you are in this together!
Know and understand your system's policy on restraints...adhere to it.
If you must defend yourself, use the maximum amount of force neccessary
Keep accurate records of incidents involving violence; court will follow.
To the best of your ability, preserve evidence of any crime...tell the police.
Your failure to plan will undoutedly result in an emergency.
Always have a "WAY OUT"....
BIOLOGICAL WARFARE? TRY THE USA GOVERNMENT
The United States has a long history of experimentation, on unwitting human subjects, which goes back to the beginning of this century. Both private firms and the military have used unknowing human populations to test various theories. However, the extent to which human experimentation has been a part of the U.S. Biological Weapons programs will probably never be known. The following examples are taken from information declassified in 1977, and from other private source accounts. Several involve incidents which are still of unknown origins and which cannot be fully explained:
Search the Internet on the word, 'CHEMTRAIL', and at dozens of websites, find out what is being sprayed in most parts of North America TODAY. Chemtrails are also being sprayed in most NATO countries. Barium, aluminium, and biological ingredients are included in the spray. Chemtrail spraying has been going on for several years. Many people, animals, pets, etc. are becoming very sick with a variety of symptoms, especially respiratory conditions.
Eighty-eight members of Congress sign a letter demanding an investigation into bioweapons use & Gulf War Syndrome.
Under pressure from Congress and the public, after a 60 Minutes segment, the U.S. Department of Defense finally admits that at least 20,000 U.S. servicemen "may" have been exposed to chemical weapons during operation 'Desert Storm'.
This exposure came as a result of the destruction of a weapons bunker. Causes of the similar illnesses of other troops, who were not in this area, have not yet been explained, other than as post traumatic stress syndromes. Veterans groups have released information that many of the problems may be a result of experimental vaccines and inoculations which were provided troops during the military build-up. [Reportedly, the Bush family have or had shares in the vaccine company]
As the result of a lawsuit by a public interest group, the Department of Defense was forced to reveal the fact that it still operated Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) research programs at 127 sites around the United States.
In ruling on a case in which a former U.S. Army sergeant attempted to bring a lawsuit against the Army for using experimental drugs on him, without his knowledge, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that allowing such an action against the military would disrupt the chain of command. Thus, nearly all potential actions against the military for past, or future, misdeeds have been barred as have actions aimed at the release of classified documents on the subject.
An outbreak of Dengue fever strikes Managua Nicaragua shortly after an increase of U.S. aerial reconnaissance missions. Nearly half of the capital city's population was stricken with the disease, and several deaths have been attributed to the outbreak. It was the first such epidemic in the country and the outbreak was nearly identical to that which struck Cuba a few years earlier (1981). Dengue fever variations were the focus of much experimentation at the Army's Biological Warfare test facility at Ft. Dietrick, Maryland prior to the 'ban' on such research in 1972.
El Salvadoran trade unionists claimed that epidemics of many previously unknown diseases had cropped up in areas immediately after U.S. directed aerial bombings. There is no hard evidence to support these charges. However, the pattern and types of outbreaks are consistent with the claims.
More than 300,000 Cubans were stricken with dengue hemorrhagic fever. An investigation by the magazine 'Covert Action Information Bulletin', which tracks the workings of various intelligence agencies around the world, suggested that this outbreak was the result of a release of mosquitoes by Cuban counterrevolutionaries. The magazine tracked the activities of one CIA operative from a facility in Panama to the alleged Cuban connections. During the last 30 years, Cuba has been subjected to an enormous number of outbreaks of human and crop diseases which are difficult to attribute purely natural causes.
Within months of their incarceration in detention centers in Miami and Puerto Rico, many male Haitian refugees developed an unusual condition called "gynecomasia". This is a condition in which males develop full female breasts. A number of the internees at Ft. Allen in Puerto Rico claimed that they were forced to undergo a series of injections which they believed to be hormones.
Ray Ravenhott, director of the population program of the U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), publicly announced the agency's goal to sterilize one quarter of the world's women. In reports by the St Louis Post-Dispatch, Ravenhott in essence cited the reasoning for this being U.S. corporate interests in avoiding the threat of revolutions which might be spawned by chronic unemployment.
President Nixon announced a ban on the production and use of biological (but not chemical) warfare agents. However, as the Army's own experts reveal, this ban is meaningless because the studies required to protect against biological warfare weapons are generally indistinguishable from those for chemical weapons.
On June 9, 1969, Dr. D.M. McArtor, then Deputy Director of Research and Technology for the Department of Defense, appeared before the House Subcommittee on Appropriations to request funding for a project to produce a synthetic biological agent for which humans have not yet acquired a natural immunity. Dr. McArtor asked for $10 million dollars to produce this agent over the next 5-10 years. The Congressional Record reveals that according to the plan for the development of this germ agent, the most important characteristic of the new disease would be "that it might be refractory [resistant] to the immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease". AIDS first appeared as a public health risk ten years later.
1968 - 1969:
The CIA experimented with the possibility of poisoning drinking water by injecting a chemical substance into the water supply of the Food And Drug Administration in Washington, D.C.. There were no harmful effects noted from this experiment. However, none of the human subjects in the building were ever asked for their permission, nor was anyone provided with information on the nature or effects of the chemical used.
The U.S. Army dispensed a bacillus throughout the New York City subway system. Materials available on the incident noted the Army's justification for the experiment was the fact that there are many subways in the (former) Soviet Union, Europe, and South America. Although there are no harmful effects known for this release, details of the experiment are still classified.
In a three year study, 70 volunteer prisoners at the Holmesburg State Prison in Philadelphia were subjected to tests of dioxin, the highly toxic chemical contaminant in Agent Orange. Lesions which the men developed were not treated and remained for up to seven months. None of the subjects was informed that they would later be studied for the development of cancer. This was the second such experiment which Dow Chemical undertook on "volunteers" who did not receive the information which the world proclaimed was necessary for "informed consent" at Nuremberg.
1956 - 1958:
In Savannah, Georgia and Avon Park, Florida, the Army carried out field tests in which mosquitoes were released into residential neighborhoods from both ground level and from aircraft. Many people were swarmed by Mosquitoes, and fell ill, some even died. After each test, U.S. Army personnel posing as public health officials photographed and tested the victims. It is theorized that the mosquitoes were infected with a strain of Yellow Fever. However, details of the testing remain classified.
The Tampa Bay area of Florida experienced a sharp rise in Whooping Cough cases, including 12 deaths, after a CIA test where a bacteria withdrawn from the Army's Chemical and Biological Warfare arsenal was released into the environment. Details of the test are still classified.
1952 - 1953:
In another series of experiments, the U.S. military released clouds of "harmless" gases over six (6) U.S. and Canadian cities to observe the potential for similar releases under chemical and germ warfare scenarios. A follow-up report by the military noted the occurrence of respiratory problems in the unwitting civilian populations.
1950 - 1953:
An array of germ warfare weapons were allegedly used against North Korea. Accounts claim that there were releases of feathers infected with anthrax, fleas and mosquitoes dosed with Plague and Yellow Fever, and rodents infected with a variety of diseases. These were precisely the same techniques used in immunity from prosecution in exchange for the results of that research. The Eisenhower administration later pressed Sedition Charges against three Americans who published charges of these activities. However, none of those charged were convicted.
The U.S. Navy sprayed a cloud of bacteria over San Francisco. The Navy claimed that the bacteria was harmless, and used only to track a simulated attack, but many San Francisco residents became ill with pneumonia-like symptoms, and one is known to have died.
In a crash program to develop new drugs to fight Malaria during World War II, doctors in the Chicago area infected nearly 400 prisoners with the disease. Although the Chicago inmates were given general information that they were helping with the war effort, they were not provided adequate information in accordance with the later standards set by the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. Nazi doctors on trial at Nuremberg cited the Chicago studies as precedents to defend their own behavior in aiding the German war effort.
The Tuskegee Syphilis Study began. Two hundred (200) poor black men with syphilis began a long term experiment in which those men were to be studied. They were never told of their illness, and treatment was denied them. As many as 100 of the original 200 died as a direct or indirect result of the illness. The wives and children of the subjects also suffered as a result of the disease. (The government office supervising the study was the predecessor to today's Centers for Disease Control (CDC)).
The Puerto Rican Cancer Experiment was undertaken by Dr. Cornelius Rhoads. Under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations, Rhoads purposely infected his subjects with cancer cells. Thirteen of the subjects died. When the experiment was uncovered, and in spite of Rhoads' written opinions that the Puerto Rican population should be eradicated, Rhoads went on to establish U.S. Army Biological Warfare facilities in Maryland, Utah, and Panama. He later was named to the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and was at the heart of the recently revealed radiation experiments on prisoners, hospital patients, and soldiers.
A doctor in Mississippi produced Pellagra in twelve white Mississippi inmates in an attempt to discover a cure for the disease.
A GOOD QUESTION:
What did the USA find to do with the 4,500 Nazi scientists who were secretly (Operation Paperclip) escorted out of Germany towards the end of World War Two and taken to the USA where they were given new homes and identities? [The present USA president's grandfather, reportedly, helped finance Hitler's party in the 1930s]
Don't you think it's time we found out? Don't you think it's time we found out a LOT of things?
SOME HELPFUL LINKS
School of Defense
|IS MOSQUITO SPRAY CHEMICAL WARFARE?
Did the St. Louis Encephalitis virus originate in the U.S. Government’s Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Laboratory off Long Island, NY?
“Currently this is the only evidence of transmission of St. Louis Encephalitis to humans that’s been reported around the country”. -Dr. Roger S. Nasci, an expert from the Federal Center for Disease Control on the NYC Encephalitis crisis. 9/15/99 Channel 13 Newshour with Jim Lehrer
Two miles off the coast of Long Island, Plum Island, N.Y. is home to the U.S. Government’s Plum Island Animal Disease/Biological Warfare Center. This high security Federal facility does research and development on biological agents used for germ warfare and in viral animal diseases. The center has a long history of safety problems as the folowing newspaper articles make clear.
Could Mayor Giuliani’s insistence on repeatedly dousing the City with a toxic chemical, Malathion, have a connection to something being released either accidentally or deliberately from this facility? The mosquitoes supposedly infected with encephalitis and all of the original cases of infection were in one area of Queens. Was that because of its proximity to Long Island and the Biological warfare lab?
There is no history of St. Louis Encephalitis in NYC. Why is the disease currently present here but nowhere else in the U.S.? Is the Mayor hiding something from the people of New York City that we have a right to know? -Robert Lederman
A partial list of Newsday articles on the Plum Island Laboratory.
Lab Focus Was On 4 Animal Diseases When the military officially closed Ft. Terry in 1954, Army officers turned over to Plum Island scientists 134 strains of 13 viruses collected from four continents, most obtained for development as biological warfare weapons, Army Chemical Corps rec... Author: John McDonald; Size: 8K; 11-21-1993; Page Number: 60; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Plum Island Safety Check Feds order audit, citing neglect at animal disease lab By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER Neglect of systems designed to keep highly contagious foreign livestock viruses from escaping and other safety problems discovered... Author: John McDonald; Size: 5K; 04-07-1994; Page Number: A07; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Spores Over Easy Plum Island team attacks killer viruses with frying pans By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER In preparation for opening the windows in a wing of a Plum Island laboratory for the first time in four decades, Agriculture Department officials ye... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 05-22-1993; Page Number: 07; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Security on Plum Island Must Be Taken Seriously The French no longer transport social menaces to Devil's Island in the Atlantic off the coast of South America, but the strategy of island isolation is far from obsolete. Plum Island in the Atlantic just off the tine of Long Island's North Fork is h... Author: Amos Perlmutter; Size: 2K; 01-04-1993;
Vacco Suit: Plum Isle Polluting The top-secret animal disease center on Plum Island is illegally discharging too much waste into Long Island Sound and potentially harming aquatic life, state Attorney General Dennis Vacco charges in a lawsuit against the federal government. Filed... Author: Jerry MarkonSamson Mulugeta contributed to this story; Size: 4K; 05-03-1998; Page Number: A36; Section: News
Plum Island Cited By EPA Research center to study cleanup By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER The Plum Island Animal Disease Center has been cited for violating federal environmental laws, and lab officials have agreed to spend up to $150,000 for a two-y... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 03-12-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Plum Island Lab Cleanup Missed Pipes Elaborate decontamination efforts undertaken to prepare a laboratory wing at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center for construction work failed to stop potentially contaminated debris from being trucked to a staging site for shipment off the island,... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 08-04-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswire
Plum Island Bird Kill Probed The discovery of the remains of at least 10 dead birds in a courtyard of Plum Island's research laboratory for exotic animal diseases is being investigated by Agriculture Department scientists. Workers renovating a wing of the laboratory that last ... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 07-02-1993; Page Number: 22; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
Lab to Try New Recipe Decontamination fails; another attempt readied By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER The frying pan method for decontaminating a laboratory on Plum Island failed to kill test spores, so another attempt will be made this weekend after ... Author: John McDonald; Size: 4K; 05-27-1993; Page Number: 06; Section: Newspapers & Newswires
War on Spores at Plum I. Lab Workers with oxygen tanks and protective clothing were slowly removing some 600 spore strips yesterday from a wing in a Plum Island Laboratory for testing that will determine whether decontamination has taken place. Claude G. Crawford, director of ... Author: Don Smith; Size: 2K; 05-25-1993; Page Number: 21; Section:
Plum Is The Word In Russian For more than an hour, Russian germ-warfare experts poked, probed and prodded officials of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center yesterday to try to determine if it complies with the international ban on biological weapons development, but the chief... Author: John McDonald; Size: 3K; 03-03-1994; Page Number: 24; Section: Newspapers & Newswires --- Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists’ Response To Illegal State Tactics) ARTISTpres@aol.com (718) 369-2111 http://www.openair.org/alerts/artist/nyc.html
Guliani Intimidating NY Media Into Silence on Malathion
[A press conference to announce a class action lawsuit to immediately stop further spraying is confirmed for Thursday, 9/16/99 at 1 pm at the office of Joel Kupferman 315 Broadway, suite 200 Buzzer #1 Environmental Law & Justice Project, 2 blocks North of Chambers St.]
Reporters needn’t look very far for detailed scientific information about the toxicity of Malathion. Below are links to websites which contain thousands of pages of information on this toxic chemical. But even a careful reading of the press releases issued by Mayor Giuliani and the NYC Dept. of Health [http://www.ci.nyc.ny.us/html/doh/home.html] about the SLE epidemic will make an objective observer call into question the wisdom and legitimacy of the Mayor’s mass spraying policy. From the Mayor’s own statements and those of his aides and from the Dept. of Health press releases it’s clear that:
1. Only 3 people have died from SLE (St. Lois Encephalitis) during this crisis. 2. The CDC can’t find any mosquitos with SLE. 3. Of the hundred or so reported cases of SLE so far all but 11 are admitted to have been falsely diagnosed. 4. There is therefore, no epidemic. 5. If there was an SLE epidemic, most people who were infected would recover within a few days or would not even know they were sick. 6. Malathion, despite the Mayor’s insisting otherwise, is not “completely safe” or “harmless”. The Federal government has warned Malathion manufacturers that they may not claim it to be “safe” or “harmless”.
“Peter Lehner, the top environmental lawyer in the office of Eliot L. Spitzer, the New York State Attorney General, said...it was important not to gloss over the fact that malathion is a chemical that was designed to kill things, that it had sickened people in the past and that the Federal Environmental Protection Agency prohibits those who sell any pesticide from describing it as harmless. "The E.P.A. clearly says don't call these things harmless, because they are not," Lehner said yesterday. He said his office yesterday called the City Law Department to encourage city officials to change the way they describe malathion.” -NY Times 9/14/99
What the Mayor and his team of experts means by “safe” in this instance and what the average person thinks safe means are very different. The so-called safety of Malathion depends on its concentration. Sufficiently diluted it’s unlikely to cause immediate death even if a person were directly sprayed. However, even diluted and in small doses the spray causes allergic reactions, temporary blindness, neurological disorders, rashes, chromosomal abnormalities and asthmatic attacks. Exposure to asbestos or low level nuclear radiation won’t kill you immediately either but they are hardly safe or harmless substances you’d want yourself or your children to be exposed to.
For years Malathion has been known to cause genetic defects, illnesses such as cancer, infertility and a weakening of the immune system. Malathion exposure is particularly harmful to those with an already weakened immune system because their bodies are much less able to eliminate the neurotoxin. Malathion exposure is therefore especially dangerous for people with AIDs, the elderly, very young children and those with athsma, a significant percentage of New York City’s population.
Malathion sensitization is cumulative. Repeated exposures make a person more susceptible to the harmful effects. According to the Mayor’s own press releases the SLE virus is only fatal in people with weakened immune systems. Repeatedly spraying Malathion on 8 million New Yorkers, which the Mayor has promised us he will do, and the likely damage to our immune systems it will cause, may actually make the likelihood of an SLE or other viral epidemic much greater here in the future. Perhaps, that’s what this is all intended to accomplish in the first place.
It would seem there’s far more to this “epidemic” than the Mayor or apparently, the media, are willing to let the public know. -Robert Lederman
Malathion information sites: