|By Clyde Lewis
On February 1st 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up during re-entry killing all seven astronauts on board. Debris rained down over hundreds of square miles of Texas and Louisiana, smashing a rooftop, dumping deadly chemicals into a reservoir and delivering another potentially deadly surprise that may linger in the area for sometime.
After Columbia's explosion shortly after 6 a.m. Pacific time, reports came in that debris was seen in the Dallas-Forth Worth spreading to an area southeast to De Ridder, Louisiana.
While residents of Texas watched helplessly as the Space shuttle Columbia made it’s fiery descent, many were unaware that the trail of debris that was left in the doomed shuttle’s wake may have some hidden potentially deadly secrets.
Shuttles have long used a chemical called hydrazine to run their auxiliary power units. Hydrazine, a colorless liquid with an ammonia-like odor, is a toxic chemical and can cause harm to anyone who comes in contact with it.
A water plant was closed in the small town of Many Louisiana because of fears that toxic debris fell into the Toledo Bend reservoir along the Texas-Lousisiana border.
On the February 1st, 2003 Ground Zero Media Show, Clyde Lewis spoke with Jason Leigh of Cleburne Texas. Leigh who worked on the Space Shuttle revealed to the Ground Zero audience that the Space Shuttle is coated with a Polymeric Isocyanate.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a warning that residents should avoid contact with Shuttle debris because of some non-specific toxicity.
Leigh warned that there very well could be lingering health problems over the multi state areas long after the shuttle accident.
Authorities are telling people to wash their hands and to stay 100 yards away from the debris because of contamination fears.
Leigh reported to Clyde Lewis that the precautions might not be enough.
"We won’t know how long the shuttle disaster will affect the area" says Leigh, "I actually saw a news reporter handling a sample of the thermal protective tiles and it left behind some particulate. I called the station to tell them to handle it with care and no one heeded the warning."
Dust Particles of Isocyanate can remain in the air for indefinite periods of time and according to the National Weather service the particle matter remained in the area for some 10 hours after the remaining pieces of the shuttle had crashed.
Isocyanates are used to make flexible and rigid polyurethane foams, elastomers, adhesives, sealants and coatings such as polyurethane paints, varnishes and wire enamels. Isocyanates can adversely affect your health if inhaled, if they come in contact with the eyes or skin and if swallowed. Most toxic effects reported have been due to toluene diisocyanate (TDI) as it used to be the most commonly used isocyanate, but other kinds of isocyanates can cause problems similar to those caused by TDI. Other isocyanates are methyl isocyanate (MIC), methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), dicyclohexyl methane diiasocyanate (hydrogenated MDI;HMDI), hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI), naphthalene diisocyanate (NDI), isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI) and polymethylene polyphenol isocyanate (PAPI). The most commond ones are TDI and MDI, with MDI becoming steadily more common as it is less hazardous and less volatile (evaporates less) than TDI.
The TPS Systems used on the shuttle are made up of Polymeric Isocyanate. When these resins and ploymers are pulverized and inhaled they can cause serious complications.
Isocyanates can irritate (burning sensation) the mucous membranes in the respiratory tract (nose, throat, lungs) causing runny nose, sore throat, coughing, chest discomfort, shortness of breath and reduced lung function (breathing obstruction).
Persons with a preexisting, nonspecific bronchial hyperreactivity can respond to concentrations below the TLV with similar symptoms as well as asthma attack.
Exposure well above the TLV may lead to bronchitis, bronchial spasm and pulmonary edema (fluid in lungs). These effects are usually reversible. Chemical or hypersensitive pneumonitis, with flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, and chills) has also been reported.
These symptoms can be delayed up to several hours after exposure.
Certain individuals develop isocyanate sensitization (chemical asthma) which will cause them to react to a later exposure to isocyanate at levels well below the TLV.
These symptoms, which can include chest tightness, wheezing, cough, shortness of breath or asthma attack, could be immediate or delayed (up to several hours after exposure).
Similar to many non-specific asthmatic responses, there are reports that once sensitized an individual can experience these symptoms upon exposure to dust, cold air or other irritants.
This increased lung sensitivity can persist for weeks and in severe cases for several years. Overexposure to isocyanates has also been reported to cause lung damage (including decrease in lung function) which may be permanent.
Sensitization can either be temporary or permanent.
Isocyanates react with skin protein and moisture and can cause irritation which may include the following symptoms:
Reddening, swelling, rash, scaling or blistering.
Prolonged contact can cause reddening, swelling, rash, scaling, blistering, and in some cases, skin sensitization. Individuals who have skin sensitization can develop these symptoms from contact with liquid or vapors.
Pulverized or aerosolized Isocyanates are irritating to the eyes and can cause tearing, reddening and swelling. If left untreated, corneal damage can occur and injury is slow to heal. However, damage is usually reversible.
If you ingest any pulverized Isocyanates you can expect irritation and corrosive actions in the mouth, stomach tissue and digestive tract. Symptoms can include sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Some isocyanates are carcinogens. Anyone exposed runs the risk of contracting cancer. This is because even minimal amounts of carcinogen can initiate the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells.
G.W. Jones, who is the assistant administrator at Nacogdoches Texas Memorial Hospital, said that 27 people had come to the hospital seeking information after touching pieces of debris. He had no reports of any adverse effects so far.
Authorities are hoping to get a list of the deadly Chemicals that were on the shuttle from either NASA or the Centers for Disease Control so that doctors and hospitals can prepare to treat anyone that may have been affected by Columbia’s Chemtrail.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.