Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., asked the U.S. Army on Tuesday to expand an ongoing study to see whether Cold War-era biological warfare tests could have threatened the health of people in Washington state.
Army records show two of the sites subjected to the chemical weapons testing in the 1960s were located near Colfax, Wash., and Eatonville, Wash., Dicks’ spokesman George Behan said Tuesday.
“Both are fairly remote areas, so the health effects issue is expected to be limited,” Behan said.
“But we want to assure that Washington state is included in the health effects study that involves other areas of the country.”
During the 1960s, the Army used chemi cals with the same properties as some of the chemical weapons to see how they would react when sprayed from air or ground.
“The chemicals used were classified as inert and not apparently harmful. However, the full extent of the spraying of the chemicals is not known,” Behan said.
One of the sites in Washington state was at the University of Washington experimental forest known as the “PAC Forest” near Eatonville, he said.
“Evidently there was an attempt to see how chemical weapons could be used in forested areas,” Behan said.