Skip to comments.Concerns About Egg Whites to Delay Start of Radar Tests
Posted on 02/22/2003 8:30:49 AM PST by Osage Orange
Concerns about egg whites to delay start of radar tests
Lingering concerns over the use of powdered egg whites in a series of chemical and biological tests in Canadian, Grady and McClain counties have led the U.S. Army and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to delay the start of the project, officials confirmed Thursday.
The tests, which will use crop dusters to drop egg whites and four other substances believed to mock chemical or biological agents, were scheduled to begin Monday.
Concerns about allergic reactions to the egg whites, many raised by residents during meetings last week in Norman, contributed heavily to the decision to delay, officials said.
"We listened to the concerns, particularly to the issue on allergies, and the bottom line is in an overabundance of caution we just want to make sure we consult everyone we need to consult to be sure that we're doing the right thing," Army spokesman Maj. Rudy Burwell said. "There's no risk that needs to be assumed unnecessarily."
Burwell said he had no estimate as to when the tests may start.
EPA spokeswoman Cynthia Fanning said the test start would be delayed "at least one day." Fanning said there would be a meeting today between Army, EPA and state health officials to discuss the egg white concerns.
She said pushing the start date back would give officials time to communicate to the public any decisions that come out of the meeting.
When asked if powdered egg whites could be pulled out of the test, Fanning said it was a possibility.
EPA officials said from the outset materials used in the test would be safe to the public, and that the possibility of allergic reactions to the egg whites had been considered. Officials said egg whites were included because the concentration at ground level was expected to be too low to cause a reaction.
Concerns over the use of egg whites were initially raised by the Virginia-based Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network.
Network Communications Director Traci Tavares said she was encouraged the EPA and Army were analyzing data given to them by her group.
"We're glad to see that they're considering the health of the citizens there who might have allergies," Tavares said. "They're being judicious in making a decision about whether to go forward with the tests as planned."
In addition to egg whites, the Army and EPA planned to drop ethyl alcohol, powdered kaolin clay, polyethylene glycol and pest-killing bacteria bacillus thuringiensis. The aim of the test is to see if the Oklahoma City area's advanced weather radar systems can detect the materials in the sky.
Officials said there will be three drop zones. The first will be to the southeast of the Goldsby Airport in McClain County, the second near the intersection of S Morgan Road and SW 44 in Mustang, and the third at a location in Grady County.
Up to 30 drops will be made each day of the test, which was originally scheduled to take place Monday until March 7 and April 21 until May 2.
"I am allergic to liberals. Can they be banned?"
If they started crop dusting with liberals, would that be a bad thing? (vbg)