Is Edgewood Arsenal Still Open? Human Experimentation

Edgewood Arsenal: Unveiling a History of Human Experimentation

Is Edgewood Arsenal Still Open?
Edgewood Arsenal



Edgewood Arsenal, located in Edgewood, Maryland, holds a troubling past as the original hub for the United States Army’s chemical and biological weapons program. Since World War I, this facility has been involved in extensive research and development of such weapons. However, during the 1950s and 1960s, Edgewood Arsenal became notorious for conducting classified human experiments without the full knowledge or consent of the participants, sparking controversy in recent years.

The History of Edgewood Arsenal

Established in 1917 as a chemical weapons manufacturing facility, Edgewood Arsenal played a significant role in producing mustard gas and other chemical weapons for the US military during World War I. Even after the war ended, the arsenal continued its focus on chemical weapons research and development.

In the 1950s, under the clandestine project known as Project Whitecoat, Edgewood Arsenal commenced a series of human experiments involving the exposure of military personnel to chemical warfare agents. Thousands of individuals were unknowingly subjected to various agents, including mustard gas, sarin, and VX. The participants had no understanding of the true nature of these experiments and were deprived of the opportunity to provide informed consent.

The human experiments persisted at Edgewood Arsenal until 1975 when public outcry over their unethical nature finally led to their suspension.

Edgewood Arsenal

Delving into the Dark Legacy of Edgewood Arsenal and Its Haunting Aftermath

The enduring legacy of the human experiments conducted at Edgewood Arsenal continues to cast a dark shadow on the lives of those affected. Many participants have suffered from long-term health issues, such as cancer, respiratory problems, and neurological disorders. Tragically, some have even lost their lives due to their exposure to these chemical warfare agents.

These experiments have triggered profound ethical concerns surrounding military research practices. The fact that they were carried out without the full knowledge or consent of the participants, often shrouded in secrecy, raises alarming questions about the potential for future unethical military experiments.

The Future of Edgewood Arsenal

Following the exposure of the human experiments, Edgewood Arsenal has undergone significant transformations. It has been renamed the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center and has shifted its focus away from human experimentation, prioritizing research and development of non-lethal weapons.

The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center now operates under stricter ethical guidelines. All research projects require approval from an independent ethics board, and participants must be provided with the opportunity to provide informed consent.

To address the lasting effects of human experiments, the center has established a research program dedicated to studying the long-term health consequences of exposure to chemical warfare agents. The center also provides compensation and medical care to the participants who were involved in the experiments.

While Edgewood Arsenal faces challenges, such as budget cuts and concerns about site safety, the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center remains committed to its work in chemical and biological weapons research and development. Furthermore, the center is determined to rectify the legacy of human experiments by upholding ethical practices and providing support to those affected.

Edgewood Arsenal


The human experiments conducted at Edgewood Arsenal represent a disturbing chapter in the history of the United States military. Acknowledging and remembering these experiments is crucial to ensure that we learn from past mistakes and prevent similar abuses from happening in the future.


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