Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘An introduction to chemicals’ Category

NATO security force assassination methods are documented in the excerpt below. I hope all of my anti-war, anti-apartheid, anti-imperialism and communist friends will take the time and read what’s coming. It started a very long time ago and their activities have evolved significantly. This documents how they target and assassinate academics, scientists, journalists, and anti-imperialism group leaders who shine a light on their activities or fight against them. They are the enemy within so it’s important to understand them in their complexity.

“Secrets and Lies: Wouter Basson and South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme by Marlene Burger and Chandre Gould provides important clarity of their organizational structure, technologies they utilize against us all.

Dr. Basson ran the South African Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme for the apartheid government. He grew cholera cultures for use in black townships and against anti-apartheid demonstrators. “I must confirm that the structure of the [Chemical and Biological Warfare] project was based on the U.S. system. That’s where we learnt the most.” – Wouter Basson, M.D., The “Mengele of South Africa.”
I came to learn of this book in reading Harriet Washington’s extraordinary book, “Medical Apartheid.”
“The South African bioterrorism campaign depended upon very close relationships with U.S. scientists. Despite the supposed isolation imposed upon South African scientists by the international embargoes of the 1980s until 1993, Basson and his minions could not have undertaken biological warfare without the support of the U.S. government. From 1981 until 1993, the United States supported Wouter Basson’s weaponization programs by financing close collaborations with U.S. scientists and by sponsoring Basson’s sojourns to the United States for conferences and education. For example, in 1983, Basson attended a closed Department of Defense conference on biological and chemical warfare in San Antonio. During his trial, Basson recounted his participation in a 1981 federal conference in San Antonio with army officers from the United States, West Germany, Japan, Britain, and Canada. He declared, “I must confirm that the structure of the [CBWP] project was based on the U.S. system. That’s where we learnt the most.”
Basson says he was also grateful for expert American consultants, because the CBWP was dependent upon a colorful assortment of American scientists, especially Larry Ford, M.D., of California. Ford and Basson shared strange research proclivities, acerbic racist sensibilities, and a fascination with scientific genocide. Extant medical and legal documents and the testimony of Basson’s former confederates under oath describe their shocking joint-research projects.

According to Ford’s lawyer, he was a chemical-weapons researcher for the U.S. government in the 1980. In 1987, the United States sent him to South Africa to train microbiologists at the military-run Roodeplaat Research Laboratory (RRL), a key component of South Africa’s chemical-weapons program and a front for the apartheid South African Defense Force. Ford returned often to teach RRL scientists how to produce biological agents such as anthrax and botulinum toxin for use as weapons against antiapartheid forces and against blacks in general. He also taught apartheid’s defenders how to transform innocuous objects such as doilies and tea bags into biological weapons. His seminar series, a master class for poisoners, proved popular among South African scientists, who dubbed it “Project Larry.” Lt. Gen. Lothar Neething, head of the apartheid regime’s police forensic laboratory, was in attendance. So was RRL microbiologist Dr. Mike Odendaal, who recalls, “Ford spent an entire day showing us how to contaminate ordinary items and turn them into biological weapons.” He says Ford gave them “ideas about how to infiltrate innocuous objects such as perfume or household items” and place them in close proximity to a potential target.
Ford’s expertise in the toxicology of everyday life was put to use as South African physicians busily set about eliminating the enemies of apartheid. Ford was warmly welcomed within the nation’s top echelon of medical politicians: for example, the home of former surgeon general Dr. Niels Knobel is graced by a prominently placed framed photograph of him and Ford posing with a lion that Ford had shot.”…

Goosen supervised a multitude of biological assaults on black townships, including the release of pathogens and their vectors, such as mosquitoes, to seed disease epidemics there, just as the army and the CIA had released them over Carver Village… Goosen, Basson,and their deputies investigated the use of Mandrax, an amphetamine, and Ecstasy for crowd control, infused township water supplies with treatment-resistant strains of cholera, and deployed napalm and phosphorus against blacks in Namibia and Angola during the 1980s.

Basson also ordered Goosen to suppress black reproduction surreptitiously and suggested the clandestine addition of contraceptives to townships’ drinking water. Basson stressed that this was a direct edict of the South African surgeon general.

Throughout the Cold War, Western newspapers were peppered with sporadic accounts of ethnic and racial bioweapons being developed by South Africa with U.S. assistance. U.S. news media broadly maligned all such reports as “misinformation” disseminated by the Soviet Union to embarrass the United States.

A 1998 London Sunday Times story alleged that Israel already has used South Africa’s research to develop a genetically specific weapon against arabs.” – Medical Apartheid (Portions from pages 373- 378)

“Secrets and Lies: Wouter Basson and South Africa’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme” is based largely on contemporaneous reports compiled throughout the Basson trial for the Center for Conflict Resolution. The testimony provided during his trial establishes methods, chemical and biological weapon technologies, its organizational structure, and how they control the program scientists. The truth started coming out in 1989, “Almond Nofomela, a former policeman, sentenced to death for the murder of a farmer, made a shocking confession on the eve of his execution: he had been a member of a Security Police hit squad operating from a farm called Vlakplaas, South-west of Pretoria. When his erstwhile commanding officer, Dick Coetzee, confirmed the claim, the lid was lifted on a can of worms so foetid that no one in apartheid’s corridors of power could escape the stench…” this book provides a clear picture of how imperialism operates to destroy those who fight it. They destroy academics, journalists, and anti-imperialism leaders. US taxpayers are spending billions “in the name of national security” lie.

Chapter 3: Toxins in Little Bottles Excerpt

“During the course of Basson’s marathon trial, 153 witnesses trooped through the Pretoria High Court to testify against the military doctor who was the linchpin of a programme that not only perverted science, but also cost taxpayers millions in rands in the name of national security….

Around the middle of 1983, Basson invited Goosen to become involved in establishing a facility where chemical and biological substances could be tested on animals. It was not long before the initial plan was expanded to include research into the production of biological warfare agents….

While construction was in progress, Goosen began the important task of recruiting scientists to work with him. He sought out former colleagues from the University of Pretoria’s veterinary faculty at Onderstepoort, people he knew and could trust—people who had no problem marrying their patriotism with a desire to practise interesting science and be well paid for it, and who would not question the work being done. Those who fitted the bill had to fill in reams of forms, providing details about every aspect of their lives. Security checks to determine that neither they nor their close friends of family members were secret supporters of any anti-apartheid organizations, the tests to ensure they were ‘emotionally stable.’ Among the first scientists to be recruited and appointed ‘directors’ were veterinarians Dr. Andre Immelman and Dr. Schalk van Rensburg, who was lured away from the Medical Research Council by Basson himself. Once on the payroll, scientists were subject to stringent security in the workplace, barred from discussing their work with colleagues who were not part of their specific research teams. Some scientists believe that their homes might even have been secretly bugged. Returning home one evening after a frustrating day in the labs, one of the Delta G scientists complained to his wife of tensions at work, only to find himself answering to his boss for his indiscretion the following day. Warnings like this kept the scientists in line, made them afraid to challenge the system and powerless to change the course of the program they found themselves involved with.

Goosen testified that he, Basson and Immelmen talked about developing covert chemical and biological weapons such as a substance that could be smeared on a car door handle, which would cause whoever opened the door to be poisoned. They came to the conclusion that the ideal poison for such an application would be an organophosphate, which research had shown was most effectively absorbed through the skin. It was with this kind of application in mind, said Goosen, that paraoxon became the most researched organophosphate at RLL. Paraoxon attacks the involuntary muscle functions, paralysing vital organs and resulting in suffocation within minutes of ingestion. In time, most — perhaps all —of the senior scientists at RLL came to suspect that the substances they were doing research on would be used to eliminate or harm enemies of the state. Goosen said that during one of the informal discussions about how organophosphates could be used, ANC leaders and communists were mentioned as suitable targets for elimination. There was talk, for example, about how hard it would be to murder former South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo, and what could be used if an assassin had only one minute to strike. Nelson Mandela, too, was discussed, and the view was expressed that if he could somehow get cancer while in prison, his release would present no real problem….

While Van Rensburg was nominally in charge of the animal research laboratory and oversaw the project to develop an infertility vaccine, Immelman headed the chemical and pharmacological departments. Microbiologist Dr. Mike Odendaal focused his attention on collecting as many cultures as he could find, including some 45 different strains of anthrax, E. coli (which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea), and Yersina enterocolitica (closely related to the bacteria that causes plague), to name a few. Every organism Odendaal collected was nurtured and grown in sufficient quantities to freeze-dry. The vials of freeze dried anthrax, cholera, Clostridium botulinum and many more were given to Immelman to keep in the walk-in safe he had installed in his office. For security reasons Immelman never told Odendaal what he intended using the pathogens for, but there were times when this information slipped out during casual conversation. So it was that having supplied Immelman with a bowl of sugar contaminated with salmonella, the non-lethal bacteria that induces food poisoning, Odendaal was told that it was destined for Soweto to be used at an ANC meeting. In this instance, unusually, Odendaal received feedback about the results; the salmonella had worked very well, he was told, all the delegates had fallen ill. Testifying in the Basson trial, Immelman said that he had ‘merely been joking’ when he told Odendaal this.

The so-called fertility project of the RLL and Delta G received widespread media attention during the TRC hearings. Van Rensburg and Goosen testified that discussions about the population explosion in South Africa gave rise to the idea of developing a vaccine that would prevent reproduction. Van Rensburg thought that the project, which he believed was in line with the World Health Organization’s attempts to curb rising global birth rates, would bring RRL international acclaim and funding. He was encouraged, he said, by Basson, who told him that the military needed an anti-fertility vaccine that could be administered through food so that female Unita soldiers would not fall pregnant. While skeptical about the reasons given, Van Rensburg committed himself and his colleagues to the development of an anti-fertility vaccine that could be administered orally without the knowledge of recipients. Both Goosen and Van Rensburg believed that the intention was to secretly give the contraceptive to black South African women. Other scientists involved in the project have denied knowing that this was the purpose of their work. Geoff Candy, a scientist at Delta G Scientific, confirmed Goosen and Van Rensburg’s claims, saying that when he was asked to get involved in the project and realised that the intention was to affect the fertility of black women, he knew that he had to ‘get out,’ because he could not morally justify this kind of work. A vaccine of the kind envisaged was never produced.

While all the scientists agree that at first their work centred on understanding how defences against chemical and biological weapons could be developed, the emphasis gradually shifted to the offensive use of biological agents, until Odendaal and some of his colleagues at RRL found themselves making bizarre products such as anthrax-contaminated cigarettes. Immelman was in charge of all military or ‘hard’ projects, as they were known, and for which orders were almost never put in writing. Even soft-centred chocolates were injected with anthrax or botulinum toxin and given to Immelman. Fairly soon after Odendaal joined RRL, he was given a vial of blood by Immelman who told him it came from Basson, had been drawn from a ! Military Hospital patient dying from AIDS and was to be freeze-dried with a view to being used against ‘opponents.’ This is the only record of a virus being kept at RRL and it is not known whether the plan was ever put into practice.

It was James Davies, Special Forces trained veterinarian, who did much of the practical work at RRL. By his own admission a handy man with a toolbox, Davies used a dentist’s drill to make tiny holes in cans and bottles through which Immelman could then inject paraoxon, anthrax, Brodifacoum or any other toxin of choice before Davies soldered the holes shut. Davies admitted — and research files confirmed— that he added Aldicarb to orange juice, botulinum toxin and thallium to beer, Paraquat to whiskey, all deadly mixes. Davies also injected custom-made toxins into chocolates and alcohol, which he then handed back to his boss.

Immelman, now the owner of a game farm in Limpopo province, said he knew from the start that RRL was an SADF front, and explained that paraoxon was synthesised as an active ingredient because it was ‘reasonably easy’ to make and required a lethal dose of only 1 mg per kilogram of body weight, which was quickly absorbed. An added advantage was that if detected post mortem, its presence could always be attributed to parathion, a common agricultural pesticide. In addition, research into paraoxon offered an ideal cover for the establishment of a high-safety laboratory in which research wold be done on the nerve agents sarin, tabun, and VX (Take special note that all of these were created and brought to industrial scale productions by Nazi IG Farben scientists, Otto Ambros and Fritz Hoffmann.)

Harrowing as the personal testimony of the scientists was, the true horror of the twilight zone explored by some of the country’s finest scientific minds lies in the thousands of documents filed with the Pretoria High Court during Basson’s trial. The Rosetta Stone of the RRL records was a list compiled by Immelman during 1989, titled simply ‘Verkope’ [Sales]. It is a record of the toxins and contaminated items that Immelman handed to people introduced to him by Basson, and provides some insight into the ghastly products dreamed up at RRL.

Clinical toxicologist Professor Gerbus Muller of Stellenbosch University told Judge Willie Hartzengerg that of the 24 items on the ‘Sales List’ covering the period August to October 1989, at least eight are extremely poisonous. One, botulinum, is the most dangerous toxin known to man. It kills by respiratory arrest and is one million times more poisonous than arsenic. Another, Paraquat, is so potent that even with treatment for a low dosage, a 100 per cent mortality rate can be expected. At Roodeplaat, these and other lethal substances were added to cigarettes, chocolates, alcoholic beverages, and toiletries before being supplied to members of the sinister Special Forces hit squad, the Civil Cooperation Bureau, and the Security Police. In some instances, specially adapted screwdrivers, walking sticks and umbrellas were loaded with doses of deadly toxins to be administered to officially approved ‘targets’ in scenarios worthy of a James Bond novel. Basson denied being involved in plans to murder anyone, and said the only reason such research was done was in order to illustrate how easily South African agents or VIPs travelling abroad could be assassinated.

In order to determine how well and how quickly the poisons would work, scientists at RRL tested their potions on primates, pigs and beagle hounds. How many animals met horrible deaths in the process will never be known, but 203 Roodeplaat research files recovered by Basson investigators show a dedicated commitment to the quest. The majority of substances involved cause death by suffocation — an excruciatingly painful process involving paralysis of the central nervous system and collapse of the lungs. An anti-coagulant called Brodifacoum gives rise to massive internal bleeding and fatal brain haemorrhage, while Cantharidine (commonly known as the aphrodisiac, Spanish Fly) causes severe burns in the mouth, throat and vital organs before victims become comatose and die of multiple organ failure.

In RRL’s laboratories, death sometimes came swiftly, within minutes, but it could take hours, even days. Records of clinical tests with cholecalciferol — or vitamin D3 — show that dogs given three consecutive overdoses of the substance took four to seven days to die. Vervet monkeys fed a low dosage over a 30-day period died of heart failure 65 days after first ingesting the substance, suffering nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, headache, itching, disorientation and peripheral nerve damage in the interim. Sodium azide, used industrially in the manufacture of explosives and preservatives, produced symptoms in baboons within three to eight minutes of oral ingestion. Soon after being fed the poison the baboons would have extreme difficulty breathing, their blood pressure would drop and they would lapse into a coma before dying within 30 to 120 minutes. This substance was also tested on pigs and dogs — which, according to the research report, ‘continued to wag their tails, even while in a coma, until their died.’ Tests with Brodifacoum, used commercially in rat poison, caused a monkey to bleed to death from the femoral artery, while organophosphates attacked the central nervous systems of baboons within eight hours of being applied to a small patch of naked skin. The baboons were subjected to protracted torture, being injected with an antidote, atropine, at the first sign of poisoning, only to have the toxin reapplied at 24-hour intervals over a period of up to seven days before succumbing to the inevitable.

Immelman began keeping a record of substances he handed out towards the end of 1988, when Basson introduced him to three men he knew only as Chris, Gert, and Manie. Instructed by Basson to use the codename ‘Willem’ when meeting with the men, Immelman presented himself as a farmer, knowing he had to protect his identity and his link to RRL at all costs. It was these three men who were the recipients of many of the poisons itemized on the Sales List. Immelman claims to have believed they were members of 7 Medical Battalion and felt no compunction when Basson told him to ‘give them anything they want.’ Later, Basson also introduced him to a man he knew only as Koos, with the same instruction. Nothing, says Immelman, left RRL without Basson’s approval.

All Immelman’s meetings — about nine, to his recollection— with Chris, Gert, and Manie were set up by Sarie Jordan, Basson’s secretary at the South African Medical Services (SAMS). The men met in Basson’s office at SAMS headquarters in his absence, or in restaurants, and it didn’t take long for Immelman to realise that the three men were not schooled in pharmacology. He spent a great deal of time talking with them, over coffee at a fast food outlet, about the best ways of administering the poisons, which effects could be expected and how they could be applied to clothing. Before giving Chris a quantity of paraoxon on 4 April 1989, Immelman explained that the most sensitive areas of absorption would be the scrotum and eyelids, and that a shirt collar or waistband of pants would be ideal areas on which to spread the poison. It was not long after this meeting that Immelman read in a newspaper about the poisoning of the Reverend Frank Chikane, a secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches and an outspoken opponent of apartheid. Having made a connection in his own mind, Immelman asked Basson directly if paraoxon had been used. Basson replied that no one knew, ‘not even the Americans.’

Late in 1989, Immelman delivered vials of vibrio cholerae to Koos in Basson’s office. The bacteria were in School laboratory flasks, made of thick glass with screw tops. Former CCB operator Pieter Botes testified during Basson’s trial that he was given two vials of cholera with instructions to use them to contaminate the water supply of a Swapo refugee camp outside Windhoek shortly before Namibia’s pre-independence election in 1989….

Six containers of orange juice, each containing 200 mg of Aldicarb, were delivered to Chris, along with 2 g of vitamin D3, on 7 April 1989, (a fatal dose would be three to four grams). On 15 May 1989, Chris received 70 mg of Catharidine, of which as little as 10 mg — a taste — has been known to be fatal. Koos was given 100 mg of Catharidine in September 1989. Chris also received a number of hypodermic syringes and needles, while 50 sodium cyanide capsules (fatal dose 4 g) were given to Koos and a letter laced with anthrax spores to Basson. All the chocolates and cigarettes laced with anthrax appearing on the Sales List were supplied to Chris.

From photographs shown to Immelman in court, Chris, Gert and Manie were identified as Security Police Officers (whose surnames are protected in terms of a court order). While admitting that he had introduced Immelman to the three men, Basson said this was for the sole purpose of supplying them with sedatives and tranquillisers that could be used during cross-border abductions by the Security Police, and that he had never instructed or authorized Immelman to give them any lethal toxins. Items in the Sales List marked down against his own name, said Basson, had been ‘passed on to scientists’ for further research. Odendaal, the man who laced chocolates and single cigarettes with anthrax, strongly disputed this claim when it was put to him under cross-examination, describing it as ‘ludicrous’. At the time, he said, he was probably the closest thing to an anthrax expert that South Africa had, so who else could have done what further tests? All ‘they’ wanted, said Odendaal, was ‘toxins in little bottles’.

In the broad scheme of things, however, the ubiquitous ‘they’ actually wanted a great deal more — but it was not for the scientists at RRL to know that while they were making toxins, someone in a workshop on the opposite side of Pretoria was designing bizarre instruments that could be used to administer them. Jan Lourens graduated from the Rand Afrikaans University with a degree in metallurgical and mechanical engineering before joining the Air Force, where he worked in the laboratory at Air Logistics Command. It was there that he met up with an old school friend, Philip Mijburgh. It was an encounter that would change the course of Lourens’s life. Mijburgh, a medical doctor and member of Basson’s Special Operations Unit (later 7 Medical Battalion), lost no time recruiting Lourens into the unit or putting his skills to use. Lourens worked closely with scientists at RRL from the start. In 1985, he was introduced by Mijburgh to Goosen, Immelman and Davies, who needed his help for the development of custom-made apparatus to conduct animal experiments with chemical and biological warfare agents. Lourens made a chair that could restrain a primate, with a mechanical arm that could be used to extract blood at a distance. He also constructed a gas chamber large enough for the restraining chair. A baboon strapped into the chair could be placed inside the gas chamber while gases were piped in, to see what effect they would have on the animal. The gas chamber was used on at least one occasion to subject a restrained baboon to the potent CR teargas.

Among the first tasks assigned to Lourens was to set up an independent radio network to link all the vehicles of all Special Operations members. He also modified their Nissan Skylines, souping up the engines and enlarging the fuel tanks to allow a rapid response, in the event of a chemical misshap, by members of the so-called Skyline Squad. Working from Speskop, Lourens came to know some of the staff at EMLC, striking up a friendship with former Selous Scout Philip Morgan, a self-taught armourer with a vivid imagination and the mechanical skills to match. When Lourens became involved in designing a series of ‘special applicators,’ it was Morgan who turned sketches into weapons cunningly disguised as screwdrivers, walking sticks, even a poison-tipped umbrella. Lourens’s friendship with Mijburgh translated into a good relationship with Basson, and by 1987, three years after joining Special Operations, he was firmly ensconced in Basson’s inner circle. His wife, Antoinette, also worked for Project Coast — at the financial and administrative front company, Infladel — and others served as personal assistant to Basson.

Through his position in the Special Operations Unit, Lourens became acquainted with Delta G Scientific, even while the fledging chemical plant still housed in a few offices in the Pretoria suburb of Val de Grace. When construction began on the on the sophisticated research and production planting Midrand, Mijburgh invited him to serve as project manager, a task he willingly accepted. In the heyday of Project Coast, Delta G’s main purpose was production of CR, CR is extremely irritating. It burns the skin, eyes and nasal passages and causes severe flu-like symptoms in anyone who comes into contact with it. Scientists who worked with CR all felt the effects of the agent. The poor safety conditions under which they conducted their experiments left at least two of them chronically ill and unable to continue working in the industry. Delta G staff were also asked to develop defensive measures against chemical warfare agents, such as test kits that could be used by troops in the field.

On completion of the Midrand factory, Lourens was invited to stay on as resident site engineer, but the prospect held little attraction, and instead he discussed with Mijburgh the possibility of removing the defensive arm of the project from Delta G and running it himself. Mijburgh agreed, and at the end of 1986, with funding supplied by Basson, Lourens set up Systems Research & Development in Stardom Park, Randburg. In due course, SRD acquired a number of branches. One of these was Phoenix Service Station, where the super-Skylines were modified and serviced. Another branch concentrated on developing filters and chemical detection appartatus, while SRD Electronics supplied the military with surveillance equipment and debugging devices. A mechanical workshop operating as QB Laboratories became home to Morgan, who left EMLC at Basson’s request, and Bart Hettema’s main task was to pack CR into hand-held aerosol cans for the SA Police, while Morgan concentrated on the custom-made items he and Lourens called ‘applicators’ in English and the generic ‘screwdrivers’ in Afrikaans. These were devices containing secret compartments that could be filled with lethal toxins. Lourens said he received instructions from Basson to make the applicators. Basson, in turn, claims that the orders came from General Kat Liebenberg, who had ‘heard’ that such instruments could be used by covert agents.

Most of the finished products were delivered to Basson by Lourens, though a few were also handed to Immelman or Davies at RRL, where they were tested to check on their efficacy. RRL test reports show that the screwdrivers were tested on pigs, to see if they could operate silently and penetrate the skin in order to deliver their lethal payloads. The first generation screwdrivers were either spring-loaded or contained a low explosive charge that released the chemical substance on impact, while umbrellas were adapted to shoot a poisoned polycarbonate ball into a victim’s body. Polycarbonate was virtually impossible to detect during an autopsy, and Lourens was told that the micro-balls could not be picked up by security X-ray machines. He and Morgan also produced walking sticks that were really injectors and a folding knife-spoon that fitted into a cigarette box. This device was ideally suited for use in prison where spoon stabbings were commonplace. The victim could be stabbed with the spoon, inside which was hidden a container of poison. The intention was for the victim to die, the only visible cause of death being the stab wound. QB also made signet rings with a secret compartment for poison. The unique locking mechanism designed by Morgan allowed Lourens, during the Basson trial, to identify a signet ring used by police agent Leslie Lesia against ANC members in exile in African states.

In March 1988, Lourens quit SRD to focus his attention on the development of personal apparel offering protection against chemical attack. By that time, the defensive side of Project Coast was in a growth phase, with textiles, clothing and filtration systems all being tested against genuine chemicals rather than simulated substances. Leaving SRD in the hands of psychologist Johnny Koortzen, Lourens became managing director of a new company, Protechnik, holding this position until March 1993.

In January 1986, shortly after RRL launched into full swing, Goosen was removed from his position as managing director amid allegations that he was a poor administrator and had taken kickbacks from the building contractors. Goosen was moved to Roodeplaat Breeding Enterprises, a sub-section of RRL that was involved in the supply of guard dogs, and replaced by Special Forces dentist Wynand Swanepoel. The shift in leadership at RRL mirrored by the situation at Delta G Scientific, where Dr. Willie Basson was removed from his post as chief executive on the basis of equally vague accusations of bad management, to be succeeded by Philip Mijburgh. Two years later, Swanepoel asked Goosen to return to RRL to ‘sort out’ problems in the animal research centre, but in February 1989 Goosen found himself out on the street as the result of accusations that he was guilty of a major security breach.

The alleged offense had taken place during a conference in the Kruger National Park. Goosen, whose wife had recently died of cancer, was emotionally fragile at the time, and shortly after the conference suffered a nervous breakdown. To this day, Goosen believes his condition was deliberately induced by the administration of a psychotic drug, and denies he was guilty of a security breach. Nevertheless, he was told by Knobel that the offense was seen in so serious a light that, by rights, he ought to be going to prison. Instead he was told to quit Project Coast and sign a restraint of trade agreement that prevented him from pursuing a research career for 10 years. He also had to sign secrecy agreements, promising not to reveal the nature of the work he did at RLL. In return, he was paid R60 000 — the equivalent of three months’ salary and his contributions to the pension fund. By this time, Basson and Goosen were no longer on speaking terms.

Ironically, scientists who remained at RLL agree that from the moment Swanepoel became managing director, they ceased to be given any clear guidelines from management on what they were expected to do. In the absence of a scientific compass, they simply began working on projects that interested them personally, but did not necessarily have any military value. The microbiologist motivated their research to management by appending the phrase ‘has military application’ to their proposals to ensure they would be approved. This was how one of the junior scientists under Odendaal’s supervision perfected the genetic modification of the E. coli bacterium. Adriaan Botha’s objective was to develop a vaccine that would protect sheep against one of the lethal toxins expressed by Clostridium perfringens bacterium. E. coli can produce far larger quantities of toxin, so the idea was to modify E. coli. While Botha was clear about his intention to develop a harmless vaccine, he was fully conscious that his work could also lead to the development of a dangerous and frightening biological warfare agent.

Portions from pages 28 – 40

The reason they also used alcohol as a delivery agent is because it would assist in poisoning. Alcohol would have been utilized to disarm the liver rendering it useless against the poisoned assault.

https://renchemista.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/liver-functioning-chemical-synergies-an-excerpt-silent-spring-by-rachel-carson/

Sales List

Phencycladine (Returned)
Thallium acetate
Phencycladine
Aldicarb — Orange Juice
Azide — Whiskey
Paraoxon
Vitamin D
Vitamin D
Cantharadine
10ml Injections
Needles
Needles
Thallium acetate
Aluminum phosphide or Phosphine tablets
Spores and Letter
Capsules of Sodium cyanide
Beer can botulinum
Beer can thallium
Beer bottle botulinum
Beer bottle thallium
Sugar and Salmonella
Whiskey and Paraquat
Mercuric oxycyanide
Baboon foetus
Vibrio cholera
Azide
Capsules cyanide
Cigarettes B anthracis (anthrax)
Coffee chocolates B anthracis
Coffee chocolates Botulinum
Peppermint chocolates Aldicarb
Peppermint chocolates Brodifacoum
Peppermint chocolates Cantharadine
Peppermint chocolates Cyanide
Vibrio cholera
Capsules Propan Sodium Cyanide
Formalin and Piridine
Needles
Cantharadine — powder in packet
Methanol
Vibrio cholera — 10 bottles
Snakes
Mamba toxin (Brought back)
Digoxin
Whiskey + colchicine
B. melitensis
Salmonella typhimurium in deodorant
Culture from letters
B. melitensis
Salmonella typhimurium in deodorant

I think of all the vocal US scientists who died of cancer and more. Rachel Carson, Theo Colborn, Carl Sagan, Lynn Margulis, and Steven Jay Gould all spoke out against imperialism and its weapons.
“Shall we concentrate upon unfounded speculation for the violence of some—one that follows the determinist philosophy of blaming the victim—or shall we try to eliminate the oppression that builds ghettoes and saps the spirit of the unemployed in the first place?” – Steven Jay Gould
And of special note. The book, “The Nazi War on Cancer,” by Robert N. Proctor was dedicated “For Stephan Jay Gould, Richard Lewontin, Ruth Hubbard, Richard Levins, and the rest of the Bio 106 Gang.”
(I will put a picture of its contents in the messages below. Stephan Jay Gould knew it all.)
Stroke, heart attacks, brain hemorrhage, and cancer were preferred methods to eliminate their enemies.

“The anti-coagulant called Brodifacoum gives rise to fatal brain haemorrhage…” – Toxins in Little Bottles page 33

“The family of Lynn Margulis announced that she died at home on Tuesday, November 22, at the age of 73. She had suffered a serious hemorrhagic stroke on Friday, November 18 – so serious that there was no chance of recovery. Having authored dozens of books and scientific papers, Margulis was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1999.
In 2004, she began looking into the evidence against the official account of 9/11. She not only accepted it, but also – always known for her courage – announced her views, writing in 2007:

“Whoever is responsible for bringing to grisly fruition this new false-flag operation, which has been used to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as unprecedented assaults on research, education, and civil liberties, must be perversely proud of their efficient handiwork.”

http://www1.ae911truth.org/en/news-section/41-articles/590-dr-lynn-margulis-1938-2011-a-beacon-of-light-for-911-truth.html

http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(11)01375-3

The reason they used alcohol as an assassination delivery agent is because it would assist in poisoning. Alcohol would have been utilized to disarm the liver rendering it useless against the poisoned assault. Rachel Carson even explained it in “Silent Spring.”

https://renchemista.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/liver-functioning-chemical-synergies-an-excerpt-silent-spring-by-rachel-carson/

They brutally slaughtered opponents to send a message to others as well. Frank Olson was a CIA bacteriologist who the CIA murdered after he spoke out against the program he found himself in. He was a true hero. He discovered that they were utilizing his work to develop and implement biological weapons being used against North Korea and was deeply upset at that realization. His wife said he was going to quit but instead he was hit hard in the head and thrown out a window of a hotel. A message to other scientists to get in line. His son never gave up trying to find the truth and when his father was moved to join his mother after she passed, he had another autopsy. That autopsy concluded he was murdered. You can all watch Wormwood on Netflix to learn about what the US does to those who refuse to participate in war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Regarding the origins of Sarin and VX. Both were Nazis and Operation Paperclip scientists at the United States.

“Dr. Schrader said that he was not involved in full-scale production. That was the job of his colleague, Dr. Otto Ambros…. From Krauch, Major Tilley learned quite a bit more about Ambros. That he had been in charge of technical development of chemical weapons production at Gendorf and at Dyhernfurth. That Gendorf produced mustard gas on the industrial scale, and that Dyhernfurth produced tabun. Krauch also revealed a new piece of evidence. Dyhernfurth produced a second nerve agent, one that was even more potent than tabun, called sarin. Sarin was an acronym pieced together from the names of four key persons involved in its development: Schrader and Ambros from IG Farben and from the German Army, two officers named Rudiger and Linde…

On July 28, 1945, Dr. Hirschkind met with Ambros and Lieutenant Colonel Tarr in Heidelberg. Ambros brought his wartime deputy with him to the meeting, the Farben chemist Jurgen von Klenck. It was von Klenck who, in the final months of the war, had helped Ambros destroy evidence, hide documents, and disguise the Farben factory in Gendorf so that it appeared to produce soap, not chemical weapons. Jurgen von Klenck was initially detained at Dustbin but later released. The Heidelberg meetings lasted several days. When Dr. Wilhelm Hirschkind left, he had these words for Ambros: “I would look forward after the conclusion of the peace treaty [to] continuing our relations [in my position] as a representative of Dow.”

Only later did FIAT interrogators learn about this meeting. Major Tilley’s suspicions were now confirmed. A group inside the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service, including his former partner, Lieutenant Colonel Tarr, did indeed have an ulterior motive that ran counter to the motives of CIOS, FIAT, and the United Nations War Crimes Commission. Tilley’s superior at Dustbin, Major Wilson, confirmed this dark and disturbing truth in a classified military intelligence report on the Ambros affair. “It is believed that the conflict between FIAT… and LT-Col Tarr was due to the latter’s wish to use Ambros for industrial chemical purposes” back in the United States.” – Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson (portions from pages 146 -149, and 157 – 159)

The Nazi origins of the CIA assassination program

“This nerve agent was code-named VX (the V stood for venomous)–a battlefield killer that was three times more toxic than sarin when inhaled and one thousand times more lethal when it came into contact with the skin. Ten milligrams of VX could kill a man in fifteen minutes. VX would be more effective on the battlefield than sarin ever would be; sarin dissipated within fifteen or so minutes, but when VX was sprayed, it stayed on the ground for up to twenty-one days. Now, in 1957, the Chemical Corps began producing VX by the thousands of tons. Operation Paperclip scientist Fritz Hoffmann moved over from synthesizing tabun at Edgewood to working on VX munitions. But Fritz Hoffmann’s more haunting legacy lies in the work he performed for the CIA’s Special Operations Division and the Chemical Corps’ antiplant division. Antiplant agents include chemical or biological pathogens, as well as insects, that are then used as part of a program to harm crops, foliage, or other plant life.

After the death of Frank Olson, the SO Division continued its LSD mind control schemes, But Sidney Gottlieb, the man who had suggested poisoning Frank Olson at the CIA safe house in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, was assigned to also work on the CIA’s assassination-by-poison program. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the chemists at the locus of the program. “He was our teacher,” Edgewood laboratory director Dr. Seymour Silver told journalist Linda Hunt. “He was the guy who brought to our attention any discoveries that happened around the world and then said, ‘Here’s a new chemical, you better test it.'”…..

“During the Vietnam War, I remember one evening we were at the dinner table and the war was on the news,” Gabriella Hoffmann explains. The family was watching TV. “Dad was usually a quiet man, so when he spoke up you remembered it. He pointed to the news–you could see the jungles of Vietnam, and he said, ‘Wouldn’t it be easier to defoliate the trees so you could see the enemies?’ That’s what he said. I remember it clearly. Years later I learned one of Dad’s projects was the development of Agent Orange.”

The army’s herbicidal warfare program during the Vietnam War started in August 1961 and lasted until February 1971. More than 11.4 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over approximately 24 percent of South Vietnam, destroying 5 million acres of uplands and forests and 500,000 acres of food crops–an area about the size of the state of Massachusetts. An additional 8 million gallons of other anti-crop agents, code-named Agents White, Blue, Purple, and Green, were also sprayed, mostly from C-123 cargo planes. Fritz Hoffmann was one of the earliest known U.S. Army Chemical Corps scientists to research the toxic effects of dioxin–possibly in the mid-1950s but for certain in 1959–as indicated in what has become known as the Hoffmann Trip Report. This document is used in almost every legal record pertaining to litigation by U.S. military veterans against the U.S. government and chemical manufacturers for its usage of herbicides and defoliants in the Vietnam War.

Fritz Hoffmann’s untimely death came like something out of a Special Operations Division’s Agent Branch playbook. He suffered a serious illness that came on quickly, lasted for a relatively short time, and was followed by death. On Christmas Eve 1966, Fritz Hoffmann was diagnosed with cancer. Racked with pain, he lay in bed watching his favorite television shows–“Cowboy westerns and Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone,” Gabriella Hoffmann recalls. One hundred days later, Fritz Hoffmann was dead. He was fifty-six years old.” Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobson (portions from pages 387 – 388)

Read Full Post »

The Original Common Core: Why Aren’t We Teaching Rachel Carson in Schools?

by Robert Shetterly

August 08, 2014

by Common Dreams

This is what you shall do: love the earth and the sun and the animals… — Walt Whitman

Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring in 1962, but I suspect for most people reading it today the information would be fresh, enlightening, and alarming. I can say that with some confidence because though I had read the book many years ago, have been an activist on many environmental causes that build on Carson’s work, keep up to date on ecological issues, and painted her portrait, I was shocked when I read her book. Don’t take my word for it. Go to your library and get a copy, read it on some electronic device, buy it used, but read it!

The shock arises form a number of factors. By 1962 she knew an enormous amount about the workings of chemicals and pesticides at micro and macro levels; she could describe the potent mechanisms that made them into carcinogens; it was already clear to her—to science—that most pesticides were counter-productive: Insects adapted to them and became resistant very quickly. More and stronger pesticides were always needed, and the poisons persisted in the environment, useless to kill pests, but incredibly potent in destroying the health and fate of many other species—including humans. In fact, nature did a better job of handling insect predation than chemicals. Carson accepted that pesticides were occasionally necessary but only with extreme care.

However, at the core of my response to Silent Spring are a profound sense of an opportunity missed and a profound failure of education. Think for a moment about the term “common core” that is used to describe the basic goal of education today. What is the core that all living things share in common? It’s the reality of nature, this Earth, the laws of nature, our connections in the biological web to all living species, our common evolution and destiny, our sacred duty to pass on a healthy environment. Any system of education for all children must teach that common core—from nursery school on. If we fail to teach that reality, we have failed as educators. Period. Our common core is not math and reading and critical thinking. Those are important skills. I’m sure the CEOs of Monsanto, Dow, and Exxon are critical thinkers. Our common core is our integral relationship to nature. First teach reality, then the skills needed to live in harmony with it. Then find a unique passion for learning and living in every child. Then teach that all economies must adhere to nature’s laws—not the other way around.

I wish that after 1962, every school in this country had started teaching the science and values of Rachel Carson’s book. Rachel Carson would have agreed with Russell Libby, a great advocate of local and organic farming from Maine who said, “If contamination is the price of modern society, then modern society has failed us.” She put it this way: “Can anyone believe it is possible to lay down such a barrage of poisons on the surface of the earth without making it unfit for all life? They should not be called ‘insecticides’, but ‘biocides.’”

By the third grade every kid in this country should know what Rachel Carson meant by: “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man.” We should all know what she meant when she said, “…we should no longer accept the counsel of those who tell us that we must fill our world with poisonous chemicals; we should look around and see what other course is open to us.” And everyone should understand that cancer is an environmental disease. It’s epidemic because of the pollutants and poisons we have put in the environment. To continue to treat the symptoms —trying to find cures—rather than confronting the causes, serves the profits of the medical and drug and chemical industries. By the 5th grade, we should understand the function of the liver and what happens to it when overtaxed by chemical pollutants. We should know that the leading cause of death in children is cancer.

Why don’t we teach our kids these things? Aren’t they supposed to learn facts that will make their lives better and healthier? And the values to implement them? Is Rachel Carson’s work not taught because she is too political? Why are facts about the essentials of biology and ecology political? Should Rachel Carson be taught as evolution and climate change are taught in many schools — one of several possible ways to think about “facts?”

Listen up students, it just could be that God put elements in nature so we could recombine them into malathion and dieldrin. Praise God. He put mountains over coal so we could have fun blowing them up to get it. Hallelujah! He created all living species in 6 days. Awesome! And He promised, if we would burn enough fossil fuel, a nice warm blanket of carbon dioxide to tuck us under at night. Thank You, God.

What a gift Rachel Carson gave us! What a tour de force to have done all that research. She collected scientific data from all over the world and had the temerity to write it all down when the US was in thrall to the chemical companies. With great clarity that anyone can understand—unusual for a scientist—she explains the biological mechanism of chemically induced mutations. She explains how poisons kill, how toxins interrupt the reproductive process of many species and why cancers have different gestation periods. And her science is woven into an ecologically moral philosophy.

And after discussing the atomic structure of chlorinated hydrocarbons (DDT is one), she describes the death throes of robins and squirrels as their collateral damage. The deaths she witnessed happened in the 1950s, but her writing is so vivid, so present, that I found myself outraged and grieving for each one. What she did not know yet, but was implicitly predicting, was the mass extinction of species that is taking place now.

People often date the beginning of the modern environmental movement from the publication of Silent Spring. The reaction to the book is credited with the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency. And Earth Day. But those outcomes have done little to stem the flood of over 80,000 chemicals in our environment now, 98% of them untested for human and ecological health. Rachel Carson is our common core. Our survival. Our kids need to be growing up with a firm ethic that would stem this flood of chemicals no matter how much money is involved.

Rachel Carson said, “The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to call itself civilized.”

Do we have the right to call ourselves civilized because of our wealth and power and ingenuity, or only when we act with the wisdom our children and grandchildren can emulate for generations, treating the environment and their bodies with the care they deserve?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

To access the original article click on the link below

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/08/08/original-common-core-why-arent-we-teaching-rachel-carson-schools

Read Full Post »

Childhood Cancers – An Excerpt – Chemical Carcinogenesis And Cancers by W.C. Hueper, M.D. (Chief Environment Cancer Section of National Cancer Institute) & W.D. Conway, PhD (Former Senior Chemist Environmental Cancer Section of National Cancer Institute) – 1964

d. Childhood Cancers

The observed rise in cancers during childhood may finally be cited as another illustration of the changing epidemiologic cancer panorama which may reflect the influence of the growing chemicalization of the human economy and its pollution with carcinogenic chemicals. Childhood cancers arising on an exogenous basis may have their origin from two sources. Carcinogens may be introduced into the fetal organism through a transplacental penetration of carcinogens with which the maternal organism came in contact before or during pregnancy (Hueper). Such exposures may result in the development of cancers as well as of “congenital” malformations in the offspring, according to observations made in experimental animals with various chemical carcinogens (ionizing radiation, thiouracil, methycholanthrene, urethane, selenium, 2-acetylaminfluorene, trypan blue) (Shay et al.; Nurnberger and Lipscomb; Porteous; Williams and Schrum; Dargeon; Saye, Watt, Foushee and Palmer; Wilson et al.; Wilson, Brent, and Jordon; Russell and Russell; Danforth; Schinz and Fritz-Niggli; Aaron et al.; Nishimura and Kiginuki; Gruenwald; Hisaoka; Ford, Paterson, and Treuting; Holmberg, Nelson and Wallgren; Manning and Carroll; Peller; Stewart, Webb, Giles and Hewitt; Wilson; Gillman et al.; Larsen). The co-existence of mongolism and leukemia increasingly reported in recent years may be one of the associations related to such transplacental action of carcinogens. (Ingalls; Steyn; O’Connor et al.; Fischler and Farchy; Schunk and Lehman).

Chemicals which modify the mitotic process should primarily be suspected as teratogenic and cancerigenic agents (Steyn; Lawrence and Donlan; Stewart and Barber; Tuchmann-Duplessis and Mercier-Parot).

The second route by which carcinogens are transferred from the mother to the child is through the milk. Many chemicals, including carcinogenic ones (arsenicals, goitrogenic chemicals, chloroform, methylcholanthrene, DDT isoniazid, sulfonamides, radioactive chemicals, mouse milk factor) are excreted with the milk (Clements; Briziarelli; Dao et al.; Sapeika; Shay et al.; Rieben and Druey). The production of cancers in the suckling offspring of mothers excreting such carcinogens with the milk has been reported. Conditions prevailing in modern postnatal life provide for infants an increasingly common contact with environmental and especially dietary, sanitary, and medicinal carcinogenic factors of various types (radioactive chemicals, waxes in milk, and mineral oil in vaccines, x-radiation, etc) sustained by the very young may be of especially serious significance as to the subsequent development of cancers in later life, because observations made recently on newborn animals have shown that such very young animals react with cancerous responses to much smaller doses of carcinogens than adult animals (Pietra et al.; Svec and Hlavayova; Roe et al.; Stich; Kelly and O’Gara; Fiore-Donati et al.; Smith and Rous; Poel and Kammer; Lijinsky; Boutwell and Bosch).

The recent increase in frequency of cancers in infants and children is strikingly illustrated by the fact that twenty years ago cancer was not listed among the ten most frequent causes of death in children, while it has become now the third most frequent cause among children one to four years of age (Ariel and Pack). During 1954 to 1956, the cancer death rate among white males rose from 9.2 per 100,000 population under age one, to 12.7 of the same number. Kiesewetter and Mason quoted statistical data of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as showing that in 1945 cancers accounted for 6.9 per cent of all deaths in children under fourteen years of age, while they formed 8.3 per cent of the causes of death among children in 1955. This percentage stood at 7.3 in 1948 (Andersen). Similar observations have been recorded in England (Campbell, Gaisford, Paterson and Steward; Brown and Doll). Apart from chemical factors, genetic influence as well as prenatal and postnatal exposures to ionizing radiation have been considered as possible causes of this development (Stewart and Barber). The importance of carcinogenic exposures sustained before puberty in the development of cancers later in life are indicated by the suggestion of Kennaway and Kennaway that cancers of the stomach are arising after the second twenty-five years of life may be predestined to occur by factors to which the body was exposed during the first twenty-five years. The existence of such time-relations between exposure to a carcinogen (smegma) during the first few years of life and the appearance of penile cancer in adult life is well established (Kennaway).

These observations and considerations supply a substantial scientific basis for the assumption that exposures of pregnant mothers and infants to environmental carcinogenic chemicals, including radioactive agents, sustained to an increasing degree during recent decades, are at least in part, responsible for the observed rise in cancers and especially leukemias, in childhood (Kiesewetter and Mason; Dargeon; Andersen; Ariel and Pack; Stewart and Barber; Burnett; Brown and Doll; Campbell, Gaisford, Paterson and Steward).

pages 158 – 160

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »


Chasing Molecules by Elizabeth Grossman

“I’ve synthesized over a hundred molecules that never existed before,” Warner tells me. By the time he finished graduate school at Princeton in 1988, with a PhD in organic chemistry, Warner had published seventeen scientific papers–many on compounds related to pharmaceuticals, particularly anticancer drugs–a volume of research publication he immodestly but matter-of-factly says is “perhaps unprecedented.”

One day Warner got a call from Polaroid offering him a job in their exploratory research division. So he went to work synthesizing new materials for the company, inventing compounds for photographic and film processes. Describing his industrial chemistry work in an article for the Royal Chemistry Society, Warner wrote: “I synthesized more and more new compounds. I put methyl groups and ethyl groups in places where they had never been. This was my pathway to success.” There was even a series of compounds he invented that, in his honor, became known as “Warner complexes.”

Warner had married in graduate school and while working at Polaroid had three children. His youngest and second son, John–born in 1991–was born with a serious birth defect. It was a liver disease, Warner tells me, caused by the absence of a working billiary system (which creates the secretions necessary for digestion). Despite intensive medical care, surgery, and a liver transplant, John died in 1993 at age two. “You can’t imagine what it was like,” says Warner. “Laying awake at night, I started wondering if there was something I worked with, some chemical that could possibly have caused this birth defect,” Warner recalls. He knows it’s unlikely that this was the case, but contemplating this possibility made him acutely aware of how little attention he and his colleagues devoted to the toxicity or ecological impacts of the materials they were creating….

“I never had a class in toxicology or environmental hazards,” Warner tells me. “I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have never been taught what makes a chemical toxic! I have no idea what makes a chemical an environmental hazard! I have synthesized over 2,500 compounds! I have no idea what makes a chemical toxic!” “We’ve been monkeys typing Shakespeare,” he adds.

“The chemical synthesis toolbox is really full, and 90 percent of what’s in that toolbox is really nasty stuff.” It’s a coincidence and reality of history, Warner tells me, but the petroleum industry has been the primary creator of materials for our society. “Most of our materials’ feedstock is petroleum. As petroleum is running out, things will have to change.” But, he says, it’s an oversimplification to say that using naturally occurring, non petroleum materials will automatically be safe.

Industrial chemistry has relied on the criteria of performance and cost. But safety, Warner adds has not been an equal part of the equation. Green chemistry puts safety as well as material and energy efficiency on a par with performance and cost. This sounds like common sense, but our economic system’s overwhelming focus on performance–combined with the past century’s reliance on what have been inexpensive petroleum-based feedstocks (or base materials)–have created a vast number of high-performing but environmentally inefficient and detrimental materials.

What we need to do, says Warner, is link the design and function of the new materials and new molecular synthesis with an assessment of their hazard and risk. “Historically, we’ve mitigated risk,” explains Warner, “and we’ve done this by trying to limit exposure,” If we eliminate hazard in the first place, the issue of quibbling over exposure limits–where all of our chemical pollutant regulatory energy has been focused–goes away. If you haven’t created and put materials with inherent hazards into introduction and commercial uses, you do not have to decide, for example, if it’s safe to expose high school but not elementary and middle school students to lead dust emanating from artificial turf, or wonder why New York allows its residents to be exposed to higher levels of a potentially carcinogenic agent than does California.

“We’ve taken it as a fait accompli that chemistry must be dangerous. But the cost of using hazardous materials is exponentially more costly,” says Warner. “There is no reason that a molecule must be toxic in order to perform a particular task.” the cost of storing, transporting, treating, and disposing hazardous materials, not to mention the expense of liability, and corporate responsibility for worker health and safety, are among the high costs associated with using hazardous materials. Corporations have seldom been required to take responsibility for hazardous materials they use or produced–apart from product failures–beyond some aspects of the manufacturing stage. The costs of environmental impacts were not considered an explicit cost of doing business; they were what are referred to technically as externalities. As that view has slowly begun to change, with pressure from consumers, unions, government regulators, and the courts, manufacturers are increasingly motivated to find ways to reduce these costs. Green chemists argue that one of the most effective ways to do so is by designing more environmentally benign and efficient products.

“What you do in industrial chemistry,” says Warner, “is make and break bonds–bonds that come together and apart again, that assemble and reassemble, and are reversible–dominate.” This is important, he tells me, because “if we can learn what molecules ‘want’ to do–if we can learn what they do in nature–we should be able to make better, less toxic products.” If we can do that, we won’t be fighting nature or introducing ultimately unwanted, often hazardous, and inefficient elements into the synthetic process.

“…I had a great relationship with Polaroid,” recalls Warner, “But after my son died, I left because I wanted to create the world’s first green chemistry PhD program” –which he did, at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell in 2002… Warner tells me, “Chemistry for nonscientists is all about the environment, but the American Chemical Society that accredits U.S. academic chemistry programs includes no environmental studies in its requirements.”

“One of the astonishing things I learned while talking to green chemistry advocates and chemical engineers–and that helps explain why there has been so little attention to anything like footprint analysis–is that neither toxicology nor ecology has been required as part of a chemist’s academic training” – Elizabeth Grossman

Listen to the discussions of environmental impact and product life and you’ll likely hear the phrases “life cycle analysis,” “cradle-to-cradle,” “cradle-to-grave,” and “cradle-to-gate.” All can be variously and subjectively defined. A life cycle analysis is generally understood to analyze and account for the environmental impacts of a product’s entire manufacturing process, its impacts while in use, and its impacts when a product is no longer useful. Cradle-to-cradle assumes the premise of a closed loop production and product life-cycle loop–in which materials are reclaimed and reused, while cradle-to-grave assumes disposal rather than reuse or recycling for at least some portion of the product when it’s discarded. Cradle-to-gate, meanwhile, has cropped up as a way for companies to measure the environmental footprint of their products but to stop at the factory gate–excluding what happens when the product goes out into the world. The proliferation of terms indicates that assessing environmental impacts is far from a standardized process and is often more of an afterthought than an integral consideration from the beginning of the manufacturing process for synthetic chemicals or any other product.

Read Full Post »