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...why he and Mayor Bloomberg have asked the City Council to pass a law requiring anyone who wants to own such detectors to get a permit from the police first. And it's not just devices to detect weaponized anthrax that they want the power to control, but those that detect everything from industrial pollutants to asbestos in shoddy apartments. Want to test for pollution in low-income neighborhoods with high rates of childhood asthma? Gotta ask the cops for permission. Why? So you "will not lead to excessive false alarms and unwarranted anxiety," the first draft of the law states.
"There are currently no guidelines regulating the private acquisition of biological, chemical, and radiological detectors," warned Falkenrath, adding that this law was suggested by officials within the Dept. of Homeland Security. "There are no consistent standards for the type of detectors used, no requirement that they be reported to the police department—or anyone else, for that matter—and no mechanism for coordinating these devices..."
Dave Newman, an industrial hygienist for the NY Committee for Occupational Safety, claimed that under this law, the W Virginia air-quality experts who tested the air after 9/11 would have been a bunch of criminals. Dave Kotelchuck, deputy director of the NY/NJ Education Center, pointed out the absurdity of having police regulate and permit research science. "Think about industrial-hygiene folks who are going from Boston to Atlanta to measure, and have atmospheric detectors," he said. "They land in LaGuardia & JFK. As soon as they land, because possession is a misdemeanor, they've committed a misdemeanor. They're not going to test in NYC; they're just traveling through. But possession, which is the way the law has stated it, alone is a misdemeanor—not use. Not attempting to make measurements—just possession. That is just unwarranted."
Federal authorities found 80 unexpected "hot spots" around New York
City, according to the Government Accountability Office, the
investigative arm of Congress.
The helicopters picked up sources of low-level radiation from expected
places, like granite statues and medical isotopes at hospitals, but it
also found dozens of other sources of unexpected radioactivity, the GAO
A strong radiation spike from the area of the Israeli Embassy. Officials would not comment on why they thought that particular area allegedly showed such a stunning peak in radiation.