Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chemtrails Part 1: Barium & Alunimum

Chemtrails: chemical or biological agents deliberately sprayed at high altitudes for covert purposes by a government entity. 

The idea of chemtrails has been around for about 2 decades and it is one of those issues that can deeply polarize people. It has taken on a whole new life online and many people genuinely believe that there is a vast conspiracy aimed at global depopulation, the dumbing down of the people and weather modification which uses chemtrails (chemical trails) as a means to bring about this new world order.

What makes the issue so divisive is all the information that is out there, usually promoted by people with only a cursory understanding of the sciences involved and a confusion of history. Supporters usually point to an ever growing number of websites whose purpose is to "expose" the conspiracy and provide supporting science; however anyone trying to have an open conversation about it will tend to find supporters veering off the science and going into further conspiracies and pointing to ill-deeds done by the government decades ago as proof that the events of today are likewise caused by the global cabal.

I have heard people on both sides of the issue for years. Some become very animated at even the simplest questions while others are more respectful and earnestly try to help you see their point of view. I have tried very hard to listen to both sides and even today I still don't have a firm opinion on the subject matter, but I must admit I am not very fond of those who support it. 

So I will now attempt to take a number of claims made about chemtrails and give you my assessment of them with supporting evidence as usual. This is not necessarily intended to be absolute proof chemtrails are completely false but rather to provide evidence against certain specific claims made about chemtrails. 

News report found dangerously high levels of barium in ground water after spraying:

One of the sources for this comes from KLSA News 12 (Louisiana) when a reporter tested some water after seeing what he claimed were chemtrails. According to KLSA they found barium levels at 6.8 parts per million, which is 3 times the EPA's safety level. However, further investigations found that KLSA had misread the report and that the real level was 68 parts per billion, which is well within limits. There was no evidence submitted at all that directly linked the barium with the trails in the sky.[1] Spurred on by this allegation CBS-5 (Arizona) did an interview with the founder of the site "TheTruthDenied", the interview concluded that chemtrails didn't exist at all and that there was no support for high levels of barium.[2]

Chemtrails give off aluminum oxide which can cause cancer and other illnesses:

Aluminum oxide is a very common form of aluminum, in fact it is the most common oxide of aluminum found in nature. For those of you who don't know, an oxide is simply an element (like aluminum) that is bound to oxygen. Rust is technically iron oxide.

Aluminum is used in many dangerous sounding applications such as abrasives, paints, certain electrical insulators and then of course as pure aluminum metal in everything from bicycles to beer cans. Aluminum itself is the most common metal in the Earth's crust [3] and is actually the primary component of rubies and sapphires.

People claim that the government is using aluminum oxide to modify the weather and as a result people are getting sick from it. The problem is, aluminum is not used by the body and since it is not radioactive, it actually does nothing to the body at a cellular level. Like anything in particulate (dust) form, aluminum oxide can cause respiratory irritation but it is easily cleared from the body and there has never been an example of aluminum being purposely released into the atmosphere at a concentration that would cause harm.

Now, chronic (long-term) exposure of nearly anything can cause negative health effects but again, it is nearly impossible for the average person to have chronic exposure to high levels (1.5mg/m3 hour after hour, day after day) of aluminum oxide.

It is not a carcinogen, does not exhibit mutagenic effects, does not harm human fetuses and has no known lethal dosage within the limits of regular exposure (i.e. unless you swallow massive amounts it won't hurt you ).[4] Furthermore, should you be exposed to it less than 1% of it (>0.015mg of a 1.5mg dose) would be absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and only a very small amount would be absorbed as a result of inhalation. [5] The amount that would have to be sprayed from the air (over large areas and multiple times as claimed) to cause negative health effects on a large segment of the population would be of such high quantity that no single plane could carry it and any sample of soil would be saturated with it. To my knowledge, there is no example of that being found in non-industrial soil samples.

Patent 7,645,326

This patent, dated 2010, deals with releasing aluminum oxide into a warehouse environment in order to reduce the ambient radio noise (clutter) associated with all electronic items, like lightbulbs, and to reduce problems associated with ionosphere disruption during sunset to allow better communication between items which use an RFID system.[6]  It has nothing to do with chemtrails. The process seeks to reduce noise and boost the signals of the intended radio sources. These radio sources work at very specific frequencies, which raises an issue relating to open environment use of aluminum.

If aluminum can be used to reduce the amount specific radio frequencies, could it not also interfere with the enormous number of different frequencies we use everyday? Cell phones, TV, wireless Internet, medical devices, ad nauseam all rely on radio communications. The private sector controls literally billions of frequencies along the electromagnetic spectrum and there is a lot of engineering involved to keep, say your television, from disrupting your iPhone. Placing any electrically conductive material in the atmosphere can have a positive effect on one group of technologies while unintentionally harming another. 

Basic logistics:

Many so-called chemtrails are at an altitude of thousands of feet. At this height the average wind speed can be anywhere between 50 and 100 miles per hour and then there is the potential for turbulence, cross-direction winds and so forth. This means that even if they were spraying something the people directly below wouldn't be exposed to it. Unless they sprayed at a low height (like crop-dusters) or on days with very little wind it would be difficult to gauge where the trail would go or what dilution it would reach - it may become so diluted that it would have no effect at all. Of course the argument is that it's all about weather modification and any negative heath risks associated are just a "bonus" to the NWO elite but as we've seen, at least with aluminum, there really aren't any health issues. 

Logical fallacies:

Many conspiracy supporters are either unaware of committing logical fallacies or intentionally use them in hopes that they will confuse or convert others to their cause. Usually they are: 

  • False-cause - presuming that there is a connection between two events (e.g Obama was inaugurated as president, a month later a meteor hit the Earth)   
  • Appeal to authority/Bandwagon - "So-and-so group/person/nation/website has investigated chemtrails thus they must be real. Plus, just look at all the websites about it!"
  • Burden of proof - Basically claim that because you don't believe them it us up to you to prove their assertions wrong while they won't offer substantive evidence that they are right. 
  • Anecdotal - using a personal or limited number of examples as full evidence
  • And what I call the "synthesis" fallacy - pulling small bits of information from different sources and then meshing them together to support a claim that is not included in any of the original sources.  

Although committing a logical fallacy doesn't mean the conclusion is wrong, when much of your evidence is built around fallacies, incorrect assumptions or flawed science it makes it very hard to defend the position with any credibility.  

I'll tackle additional claims (like weather modification) in future posts. 


1. Curious Contrails, Skeptical Inquirer
2. Do toxic chemtrails really exist?, CBS-5, Arizona
3. Aluminum, 
4. MSDS-Aluminum oxide
5. Aluminum oxide: Health effects, EU-REACH/WHO(pdf)
6. Patent 7,645,326, US Patent Office

Aluminum Heath Risk Assesment, National Institutes of Health (pdf) 
Aircraft Contrails Fact-sheet, FAA (pdf)
FCC Spectrum Search


  1. I wouldn't put it past a Hydraulic fracking company to raise barium baselines, especially outside of targeted sites. Creepy I know, but liability lessens have learned from past indiscretions. No harm in doing good science and reporting. The reporters could have investigated flights for that day. It should be easy to tell what aircraft have this capacity and precisely if any of those models were aloft at the time. The records are pretty good. Why don't you do it?

  2. so what are all these things emitting from planes then that stay and sink and do not disapear like contrails??? and how come its been on bbc news that they have openly now said they are using aerosols to modify the weather

    1. Using compounds to modify weather is not secret and it's not new. This entry dealt with two claims a) large amounts of barium is being used and b) aluminum oxide causes cancer in humans. Both of which are false.


  4. "People claim that the government is using aluminum oxide to modify the weather and as a result people are getting sick from it. The problem is, aluminum is not used by the body and since it is not radioactive, it actually does nothing to the body at a cellular level. Like anything in particulate (dust) form, aluminum oxide can cause respiratory irritation but it is easily cleared from the body and there has never been an example of aluminum being purposely released into the atmosphere at a concentration that would cause harm."

    Obviously need to do further research on aluminum oxide and the implications it can have on various levels of over exposure.. For instance; (and this is without referring to any notes or materials I have on the subject) Fluoride ingested into the human body stores in, and calcifies the Pineal gland. Now that the fluoride is in your brain, it acts as a magnet and attracts heavy metals throughout the body that have been ingested in various ways.. one most commonly believed to be aluminum oxide, which an over abundance of, in the brain itself, can cause many issues. Most commonly associated would be Alzheimer's.

  5. Mike Batista One, Jacob Bogle none. A great big zero.

  6. Seems the substances being dropped on us are the very same elements that are restricted by the government and scrubbed cleaned from smokestacks by the industry. Disclosed: "Coal burning by …. electric utilities, produces heavy ash that settles out, as well as fly ash that formally went up the smokestack into the atmosphere, but is now captured and stored because of its well-known adverse human health effects and damage to the environment.… Water leaches out toxic elements."

    Scientific evidence, later confirmed and extended, reveals that coal fly ash is the toxic substance being sprayed over humanity: In "… a side-by-side comparison of aluminum to barium (Al/Ba) weight ratios of rainwater and coal fly ash leachate … the range of Al/Ba values are virtually indistinguishable…. Similarly … the range of … strontium to barium (Sr/Ba) weight ratios of rainwater and coal fly ash leachate … are virtually indistinguishable."

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  8. Listen to this NASA scientist explain why chemtrails are good for you: