Book: US Secretly Exposed Americans to Radiation Tests

Three congressmen want answers
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 2, 2017 3:32 PM CDT
Book Reveals Secret Cold War Radiation Tests in US
Sociologist Lisa Martino-Taylor poses for a photo in her office in Kirkwood, Mo.   (Jeff Roberson)

Three members of Congress are demanding answers after a St. Louis scholar's new book revealed details of secret Cold War-era US government testing in which countless unsuspecting people, including kids, pregnant women, and minorities, were fed, sprayed, or injected with radiation and other dangerous materials. The health ramifications of the tests are unknown. Lisa Martino-Taylor, an associate professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College who wrote Behind the Fog: How the US Cold War Radiological Weapons Program Exposed Innocent Americans, acknowledged that tracing diseases like cancer to specific causes is difficult. But three House Democrats who represent areas where testing occurred—William Lacy Clay of Missouri, Brad Sherman of California, and Jim Cooper of Tennessee—said they were outraged by the revelations.

Martino-Taylor used Freedom of Information Act requests to obtain documents, including Army records. She also reviewed already public records and published articles. She told the AP that she found that a small group of researchers, aided by leading academic institutions, worked to develop radiological weapons and later "combination weapons" using radioactive materials along with chemical or biological weapons. Martino-Taylor said the offensive radiological weapons program was a top priority for the government. Unknowing people in places throughout the US, as well as parts of England and Canada, were subjected to potentially deadly material through open-air spraying, ingestion, and injection, she said. The congressmen say they will push for answers (More radiation exposure stories.)

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