Since the Home Office has such an untrustworthy record on spinning scientific statistics, we fear that they are hiding something with their weasel worded statement issued by Home Office Minister Tony "not fit for purpose" McNulty to Parliament about Westminster Tracer Trials:
The trials will involve the release of small amounts of non-toxic, odourless gases in the Marylebone area of Westminster starting from 20th May 2007. The trials will run for a four to six week period during which time information leaflets will be available to the public. The tracer trials will pose no adverse effect on public health or on the daily routine in the Marylebone area of Westminster.
Why not publish the scientific experimental details of exactly what these allegedly "non-toxic" substances are and the actual quantities which are to be released into the atmosphere ?
Why not let the public, many of whom know at least as much about the potential health risks as any Home Office civil servant or NuLabour politician, decide for themselves ?
UPDATE: see the results of our "Home Office EIR request - internal review and disclosure re Westminster Tracer Gas Trials" (after an Internal review) - they were originally planning to use the most potent Greenhouse Gas - Sulphur Hexafluoride, but eventually decided not to.
Presumably, the chosen gases need to be heavier than air, in order to simulate possible nerve gases or other similar chemical weapons like mustard gas ?
Note that the carefully chosen weasel words do not say inert gases, which we would have no problem with, such as the noble gases Argon, Xenon or Krypton,
They do not even say that they might be using relatively chemically inert gases like the chlorofluorocarbons such as Freon which are used in computer room fire suppressant systems or refrigerators, which have virtually no effect on human health at ground level, and which are powerful "greenhouse gases" and destroy the ozone layer once they get into strong ultraviolet sunlight in the upper atmosphere. Presumably CFCs may not be "politically correct" for the Home Office spin doctors, even if only small amounts are to be used in these experiments.
The exact meaning of"small amounts" of gas is unclear for a large scale trial outdoors covering several square kilometres of urban environment - it would take several tonnes of an inert gas to spread detectably over the whole of Marylebone.
Perhaps the Home Office is actually planning to release radioactively labelled tracer gases, which would certainly be easier to detect in "small amounts"
There are two possible sorts of radioactively labelled tracer gases:
- Those which are detectable with radiation sensors because they actively emit alpha, beta or gamma radiation - equivalent to the short lived radio active tracers used in medical studies of patients' blood and lymphatic flows. Potentially such tracers could be detected in near real time using the sort of equipment being developed for Project Cyclamen which is meant to detect illicit radioactive material, but which risks falsely alarms from genuine medical uses of radioactivity.
- Tracer gases which have had their naturally occurring isotope ratios altered artificially, so that they can be differentiated from natural samples - akin to Carbon 14 archaeological dating mass spectroscopy methods, which involve lots more laboratory time and are therefore much more expensive.
Are these trials really only using gases or are they secretly also testing aerosols, which would be of far more relevance to biological weapons ? Such tests with allegedly harmless bacteria have been conducted in the USA in the past.
Are these studies, which are presumably to help validate some sort of computer model, to be conducted at room temperature, or are they attempting to simulate a hot air convection plume caused by a fire e.g. Dhiren Barot's impractical "dirty bomb" ideas inspired by a lorry load of burning plastic domestic slightly radioactive smoke detectors ?
Similar tracer trials, led by the Department for Transport were undertaken on 25th March and 1st April 2007 as part of a study looking at air movement within the London Underground environment.
Why were these Tube tracer gas trials kept secret, if there is nothing to hide ?
Were these Tube tracer gas trials done using the same "small amounts of non-toxic, odourless gases " or with something different ?
Are these trials actually being prompted by lobbying from the Military Industrial complex, to field test, at public expense, or, under the cover of Home Office secrecy, without getting informed consent from the public, their latest detection equipment which they are trying to sell to the Government e.g. Photo Ionization Detectors
Are these trials a result of lobbying by the Security & Resilience Industry Suppliers Council , which was mentioned by John Reid when he announced the "smoke and mirrors" re-organisation of the Home Office at the end of March ?
PJC Journal also has some comments on this "tracer gas trial".