by Jay Syrmopoulos, The Free Thought Project:
Residents of a small Oklahoma town fear they are being used by Homeland Security as test subjects for the chemical/biological warfare testing.
Newkirk, OK – A planned chemical/biological test by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has residents of a small Oklahoma town in fear that they are being used as human guinea pigs, as the federal government prepares to carry out plans for biological testing in the area next month.
DHS announced plans to conduct chemical and biological testing near the border between Kansas and Oklahoma in January and February, and again in June and July, to determine how much protection people would receive from being inside a house or an apartment in the event of a biological terrorist attack, according to a statement on the Homeland Security website.
The DHS press release notes:
The study is part of the Department’s ongoing commitment to preparedness and the shared responsibility of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructure. The purpose of this study is to gather data that enhances our predictive capabilities in the event of a biological agent attack. Specifically, this work will help in predicting the extent to which an intentional release of a biological agent may penetrate single family and multi-family structures. These tests will release inert chemicals and biological materials that will be used to measure the amount of material that penetrates the buildings under varied conditions.
“This helps responders and emergency managers decide how to respond and save lives. It helps in planning for evacuations…and other tactics,” John Verrico, DHS’s science and technology directorate spokesman, said in an email to Newsweek. “It also helps us to understand how materials settle and stick to surfaces.”
Verrico claims that no one has been injured or adversely affected by chemical tests performed by Homeland Security.
Contrary to the assertions of Verrico, area residents dispute that the chemicals are harmless to humans, animals, and the environment, and are working to stop the planned biological/chemical tests.
A resident of a nearby town, Jill Wineinger, collected almost 9,000 signatures on a petition to block the testing after Homeland Security placed a legal notice inviting the public comment about the tests during a 30-day open comment period.
“We just don’t really know or trust that everything that they’re saying is what they’re doing,” Wineinger told Newsweek.
DHS is reportedly reviewing approximately 300 comments received by email from the public before deciding whether to go forward with the testing, according to Verrico.
The chemical agents DHS plans to use in the testing are titanium dioxide, fluorescent brightener, urea, and Dipel, an insecticide.
“I’m really sorry that everyone is so afraid in Newkirk because these are very benign products,” Kitty Cardwell, a professor at Oklahoma State University and director of the National Institute of Microbial Forensics for Food and Agricultural Biosecurity, who has been involved in other Homeland Security projects, told Newsweek.
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