Photo by Cathryn Swan
Attorney Joel Kupferman, of the New York Environmental Law & Justice Project, speaking at press conference at NY City Hall against Brookhaven National Laboratory’s gas experiments on NYC subways, July 23, 2013. Joel announces filing of Freedom of Information request, and calls for oversight by the NY City Council and for an Environmental Impact Statement.
  • Updates: Gary Null interviews Curtis Cost & Mitchel Cohen about the gassing of NYC’s subways (WBAI, 99.5 FM in NY, July 11, 2013, 12 noon): Click HERE.
  • WBAI Radio News report, click HERE.
  • WRHU morning show report, click HERE.


To: Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Mayor Bloomberg, NYPD, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, Secretary of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.), Governor Cuomo, and all elected city, state and federal officials of New York.

I do not consent to the gas experiments that will take place in the subways, buses, and streets of the five boroughs of New York City over a three day period during the month of July 2013, beginning on Tuesday July 9, with the other two days taking place sometime before the end of the month.

While the stated goal of these experiments — tracking airflow patterns in the subways and on the streets to best predict what might happen if terrorist released deadly chemical, biological or radiological agents in the city — may have some merit, this does not justify the potential health and environmental risks of the perfluorocarbon gases that will be used in these experiments, the meager information to and review by the public, the failure to inform the unions of workers (transit; police; emergency services) who will be exposed to these gasses, nor the lack of proper oversight and approval by local and national health agencies.

There are already enough studies and models of air dispersions; this study is not needed.

Scientific studies have linked Perfluorocarbons to infertility in women, menopause, birth defects, liver damage and thyroid damage among other conditions.

I do not consent to myself or my family being exposed to gases that can potentially cause such harms. The city and state have many other options such as using computer models, studying the gas attack that took place in Japan, installing air monitors in every subway station, etc.

I object to the fact that there have not been any public hearings on the health and environmental risks of perfluorocarbons, which are also greenhouse gases. I object to the fact that there has been no environmental impact statement prior to beginning this project. I object to the fact that the names of the specific 7 perfluorocarbons to be used will not be made public. I object to the cloak of secrecy over how these gases will be released and at which subway stations and street locations.

BNL is releasing these gases under a $3.4 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security and in conjunction with the New York City Police Department. United States Code (USC) 1520a, under the heading: Restrictions on use of human subjects for testing of chemical or biological agents, states the following:

“The Secretary of Defense may conduct a test or experiment described in subsection (b) of this section only if informed consent to the testing was obtained from each human subject in advance of the testing on that subject.

This law makes it clear that informed consent is required before any experiments can be conducted. This has not been obtained with respect to the tests planned for New York City subways and streets.

The public has not even been told which perfluorocarbons will be used, which makes informed consent impossible!

I demand that these experiments on the people of New York City cease immediately and public hearings be held regarding the safety of these gases, as part of a proper environmental and health review. I do not give my consent to being experimented on!

Signed, ________________________________

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