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Health Expert Doubts Cold War Tests Caused Harm

Megan Lynch @MLynchOnAir
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Dr. Alan Zelicoff via slu.edu

Dr. Alan Zelicoff via slu.edu

CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – Last month KMOX News told you about secret Cold War testing in St. Louis.

Now an author and expert on environmental health says it’s unlikely anyone was physically harmed.

The research by Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor revealed thousands of St. Louis residents in the 50’s and 60’s were likely exposed to aerosol sprays — tests conducted by the US Army without the consent or knowledge of residents or local leaders.  The spray contained zinc cadmium sulfide.  Cadmium is a known toxin linked to multiple types of cancer.

lisa martino taylor Health Expert Doubts Cold War Tests Caused Harm

Lisa Martino-Taylor, a professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College, overlooks the area where the Pruit-Igoe public housing complex used to stand in north St. Louis on October 15, 2012.(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

But Dr. Alan Zelicoff, Director of the Institute for Biohealth at Saint Louis University says studies by the National Academy of Sciences suggest the exposure for residents was no greater than the regular amount of cadmium found in the environment.  “It’s impossible to rule it out completely, but from all of the environmental studies we have to date, all the animal exposure studies with regard to cadmium, the answer is that there was just no additional risk”

And Zelicoff says the cadmium was in a form that would not have been absorbed into the body.  “In this case it was zinc cadmium sulfide and the important point to understand there is that because it was a sulfide it wasn’t either water or fat soluble.”

Dr. Martino-Taylor launched the research into the Cold War tests after she was approached by people who suspected their cancers were linked to the secret program.  The U-S Army has not yet responded to congressional requests for more information.

Researcher:  Poor St. Louis Minorities Targeted for Secret Cold War Chemical Testing

McCaskill, Blunt Call for US Army Response to 50’s & 60’s Testing in St. Louis

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