Secret warfare tests on TV

PUBLISHED: 11:27 02 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:08 06 May 2010

SECRET chemical warfare trials in Bedfordshire will be the subject of a BBC documentary on Monday. BBC East s Inside Out programme will reveal the full extent of the tests at Cardington during the Cold War between 1953 and 1963 when at least 55 trials wer

SECRET chemical warfare trials in Bedfordshire will be the subject of a BBC documentary on Monday.

BBC East's Inside Out programme will reveal the full extent of the tests at Cardington during the Cold War between 1953 and 1963 when at least 55 trials were held distributing material known as zinc cadmium sulphide.

Similar trials were carried out in Norwich where a cluster of unexplained oesophageal cancers have emerged.

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt, who has taken part in the programme, said: "It is difficult at present to gauge how serious this is, though I am obviously shocked and very concerned that not only did I not know about this, but I do not believe the experiments were anything like common knowledge in the area.

"There is no evidence to alarm the public unduly that there is any present health hazard.

"Whatever evidence there is which might suggest an increase in a particular type of cancer, the damage was done years ago and there is not likely to be any present impact on the land or anyone locally on a day to day basis.

"My worry is, however, that those who might have lived in the area from the early 1950s would be those most at risk if any particles had been ingested, and had caused a health reaction.

"The nature of the spraying of chemicals in the Cardington area from a land-based truck as opposed from the air on occasions might also be cause for worry.

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