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You are here News Of Special Interest A US government program secretly injected people with plutonium

A US government program secretly injected people with plutonium

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The horrors of the nuclear age, in terms of exploding reactors and nuclear bombs, are well known. Behind the well-publicized threat of mass death lies a secret history of nuclear projects being used to destroy individuals. In the late 1940s, United States citizens were injected with plutonium without their knowledge.

What is certain is that no one administered the dose for the man's health. Although radium was still being touted by unscrupulous companies to the masses as a health tonic, enough people had gotten cancer and radiation sickness that any scientists knew that radiation was bad news. Since the beginning of the Manhattan Project, tests had been done to see how plutonium isotopes affected living beings. Animals had been fed and injected with the element, and their subsequent health problems were noted. When a scientist working on separating isotopes of plutonium had gotten a face full of gas, his stomach was pumped, to get out any plutonium he had swallowed, and his face was thoroughly scrubbed.

In December of 1946, the Manhattan Project ordered a halt to the injection of humans with radioactive materials, at which point the Atomic Energy Commission took over. In April of 1947, possibly in response to the Nuremburg trials concerning human experimentation, it was recommended that patients be told that they would be injected with a 'new substance' and that 'no one knew what it did,' but that it could inhibit cancer growth. The trials continued. A thirty-six-year-old man named Elmer Allen was injected and his left leg amputated shortly after.

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