Anti-pesticide group questions gas in NYPD study
A group that once warned against spraying of pesticides to combat West Nile virus now wants hearings into the gas the NYPD uses to test the effects of a potential terrorist attack.
No Spray Coaliton is unconvinced that the gas used to mimic a biochemical attack or accident is harmless, as claimed. "At least there should be oversight -- public hearings, environmental impact studies," said Cathryn Swan, an organizer with the group.
The NYPD conducted two of three tests this summer, called Subway-Surface Air Flow Exchange, with Brookhaven Lab, a federally funded research institute. The gas used is called a perfluorocarbon tracer.
The research institute said on its website that though chemicals in the perfluorocarbon family can be harmful to humans, they are "not effective for use as tracer gases and are not being used in the S-SAFE study." A spokeswoman for Brookhaven declined to comment further.
The NYPD said perfluorocarbons "present no known danger to humans."