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If you listen to the radio or watch a television show if you eat pork chops or mutton you are using cocoa. Every living American including unborn children benefits from this precious metal. The National Association of educational broadcasters presents America's Aboriginal heritage recorded in Africa by Skip west wall. ROD GRAHAM 19 kobold and the treatment of cancer here is get Westfall. We are speaking today from the causeway to the cobalt copper mine in the southern part of those guns. That sound you hear is a huge drill boring holes into the water in preparation for a dynamite can operate. Before we get into the story of the mining difficult I would like to play for you a 45 major prior to my departure for academics at. Transfer me from Cedar Rapids. We will take you back now to Margaret. How are you. Dr. Prouty I'm sure that the eyes of the world are focused on the cretin
in the room here at Margaret and Howard all radiation center in Cedar Rapids and on others like it throughout the country and the hearts of many thousands of people are filled with new hope because of the success you have had here in the battle against cancer. Would you give us a brief history of how this radiation center came into being. About two years ago. Mr. Howard Haar one of our regular industrialists became interested in Kobach treatments for cancer. This interest was due to the excellent results one of his family to obtain from treatments given him at London Ontario Canada. Mr Howard told me the story of Tom Ross his foreman and said if they can't have a unit in London Ontario Why can't we have one in Cedar Rapids. The end result of this first meeting with Mr Hall was that he constructed on Mercy Hospital property adjacent to the
hospital. This building and equipped with the facilities to give Kobach treatments. It is known as they migrate and Howard Howard radiation center and was a gift to the people of Cedar Rapids and its surrounding area. Well is this the only place in Iowa Dr. Prouty where Cobalt treatments are being given. Now. You know it has recently been installed at the University Hospitals at Iowa City. What results are you able to see of the success of your call about treatments since the Center was established eight months ago the time ever to shark Mr. Westfall and the number of patients too small for us to get any statistics of our results. At the present time I can say that we have had many advanced cancer patients who were considered hopeless and yet they have had an excellent and initial response to it radiation. I have seen large
tumors decrease in size or disappear with relief of pain to the patient. We also see patients who do not respond to treatment. These have usually been patients who have had an advanced stage of the disease or a very resistant type of tumor. Well what is there actually about cobalt which makes it superior to these other metals. About 60 has several advantages. The radiation from Cobalt 60 is in the super voltage group as it is equivalent to the useful radiation from about 8 to 3 million electron for x ray therapy unit. The common the x ray therapy unit has a capacity of two hundred and fifty thousand volts. There are either physical reasons which I believe make X cobalt 60 better radioactive element.
And I suppose there are many people like myself who have a rather hazy idea as to what Cobalt really looks like. I have imagined that it has the appearance of a silvery circular bar of about a foot in length. Does that description come anywhere near it. No they called it used in this unit consists of 14 separate white disks two sided meters in diameter and one millimeter thick. They are about the size of a penny. How are these silver discs treated before they are placed in the Tele therapy unit. These discs are bombarded with new crowns far from 12 to 18 months until they become radioactive. They are obtained through the Atomic Energy Commission. Well I would imagine that the procedure of treating the Cobalt makes the Cobalt disks quite expensive. I think the metal Cobalt is relatively inexpensive. It is the process of making the disks radioactive and the handling and
transportation afterwards that makes it so expensive. Well the cost of the club must make the treatment quite expensive. The cost of treating the average patient is usually from 300 to $400 for the entire series of treatments. It could not be done at that price if Mr. Hall had not furnished the facilities. Now here you see the treatment room where the COBOL community is set up. They lead glass window through which you are looking is 9 by 12 inches and 30 inches thick. There is a slight destruction but you can see surprisingly well. This window allows the air protect ation to keep the patient under observation during treatment. Is the technician. Able to carry on a conversation with the patient during treatment. We have a fax a phone so that we can talk to the patient or if the
patient becomes uncomfortable they can call to us. When the patients know they have they can speak that we will hear them. It usually allays our fear of the treatment. I can see that would be true. Will that effect with the current bout rays have on the attendant if she remained in the treatment room while the unit was in use. If the attendant were to remain in the room during a treatment she would receive scattered radiation from the patient floor and walls. It is not good for anyone to receive irradiation unnecessarily. If too much radiation is received it has a detrimental effect upon the blood cells and upon the bone marrow which forms the blood cells. As we enter the room. You will note the heavy door. It contains a thick sheet of lead and weighs over 600 pounds. The room is circular outline and about 20 feet in diameter. What is the construction of the logs of the
treatment. The rowers I poured concrete forty two inches thick and covered with tile. In recent years we are more careful to protect ourselves from scattered radiation because the incidence of leukemia is 80 times more. Common among those who work with radiation than it is in the general population. It's 8 to 10 times more common gas. Where are the rays that penetrate the walls harmful at all. The amount of radiation that passes through the air of the room is well below the limit of tolerance according to the survey made by a physicist. Now that Led by all Dr. Prouty which is attached to the toilet therapy unit it's a huge ball isn't it. Yes the head of the unit which contains a radioactive core balck weighs twenty two hundred pounds. And what is the height of the support to which the lead ball is attached. They supplied is
approximately nine feet high. Now about how long does it take for the actual treat. The treatment varies from three to seven minutes. The treatment time depends upon the size of the area and location and type of tumor treated well is it possible to control the depth at which the rays penetrate. It is relatively impossible to control the depth to which the rays penetrate. The big advantage of carbide 60 irradiation over the usual x ray therapy machine is the increased penetration which allows us to deliver a larger dose to deep seated tumors. Well is there any danger of the patient suffering any harmful effects from the Cobalt rays. Yes. If too much radiation is given. When large areas are treated we have to watch the blood count to see that too much radiation is not given. Our aim is to give enough radiation to destroy the cancer cells
and not do irreparable harm to the normal tissues. Now are there certain types of cancer which respond more readily to this kind of treatment. Yes there are certain types of cancer which are more sensitive to radiation such as those tumors arising from lymph nodes and the lymphatic system. There are many types of cancer. That may arise in any of our body tissues. Some are sensitive to radiation others are very resistant. I might add that Cobalt 60 is not a cure all. It is only one of the weapons used in the fight against cancer. It is said that the early diagnosis and early treatment of cancer is more important than the best treatment in the world. Late in the course of the disease. This treatment may be by surgery irradiation or a combination of methods. Now at the moment Dr. Prouty is there a patient in the
treatment room. Yes our technician. Is getting a patient ready for treatment now. In a moment perhaps we can hear her conversation with the patient over the communicating system. My name Mr. Gallagher. Any better than it was yesterday. Good night. They feel that way on my tummy. Although there is the patient whose voice we just heard the first of the day. No this is about the sixth or seventh patient. What is the average number of patients that you treat during the day.
We will treat on an average from 12 to 15 patients daily. Well it has been most kind of you Dr. Prouty to take the time to give us this interesting story of the new approach to the treatment of cancer through the use of CORBA. Now we will take leave of Dr. Prouty staff here at the radiation center at Cedar Rapids and prepare for our journey into Africa for the story behind the curtain in the minds of those in the Congo. When you next hear my voice I will be speaking to you from somewhere in the Katanga area of the Belgian Congo. And now we're back at the Koizumi mines. That was almost enough to make your head swim from the Belgian Congo to Cedar Rapids Iowa time and back to the Congo in about 10 minutes. Now before we get into the story of the Cobalt mining operation
let's consider some of the uses of this important mineral which is eight times as valuable as copper one of its most important uses in addition to the treatment of cancer is in the making of steel Cobalt hardens the steel and makes it more resistant to heat for that reason Cobalt has become a very important material in the manufacture of the motors used in automobiles and airplanes and especially in jet propelled engines. It is implied in car manufacturing and in many other ways. For instance a mixture of nickel and cobalt is used as plating for car bumpers. Another use of cobalt is in the permanent magnets which are a part of television and radio calls. There's cobalt in this very tape recorder in which I am now speaking. There are many other ways in which this important metal is used to paint any mammals in hog feed as a cure for diseases of animals particularly in sheep. On one of our previous programs you will remember our recording of a visit to the abbot pharmaceutical laboratory in North Chicago where we saw a pill being manufactured and known as a dye collects.
One of the important ingredients in this tablet is called long. Doctors give this little pill to pregnant women to provide some of the minerals both the mother and the baby need. And one of those minerals is coke. In view of these facts need we ask the question why should we be interested in the subject of the mining of Kobuk. If you ride in an automobile or an airplane if you send or receive or mail letters you are making use of COBOL. If you listen to the radio or watch a television show if you eat pork chops or mutton you are using Como. I suppose we could say that every living American including unborn children benefits from this precious metal. We don't have the time on this program to go into a description of the mining operation here in the Congo but we return on our next program with a dramatic story about the copper and the Cobalt here in the mines at coal wheezy. This has been Program 19 of America's African heritage. These programs read to recordings made by world traveler skip Westfall on a recent trip to Africa. This
Aires is made possible by a grant in aid to radio station w all state college from the educational television and radio center. Production is under the direction of Norman be queried. This is reggae speaking for the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end E.B. Radio Network. The National Association of educational broadcasters presents America's African heritage recorded in Africa by Skip Westfall program 20. They call easy Cobalt mines there is Skip Westfall worth.
Last program we began the story of copper and cobalt mining here at the coal wheezing mines in the Southern Gospel. Today we will continue that story. I'm standing on the brink of that huge Missoni mine. This mine is connected with a komodo mine and the two of them are three and one half miles long. At the point where I'm standing this gaping hole is about a half mile wide and four hundred fifty feet deep. At the moment there are two huge drag lines that were in and out of the far end of the pit a group of about 40 men all wearing red house are preparing to set off a criminalist brightest of several tons of dynamite. We hope to pick up that explosion a little later. Before an explosion to set off a warning warning South to stop all traffic. And the man with the horn has not yet put in his affair. So we have I think we should call it. That.
The Word of God comes from the dozen times and that 63 percent of all the world's cocoa comes from this huge hole into which I am now looking. As we look down into the depths of this huge pit we can see streaks of green. That is the moment when. You. Think about 57 percent. Try to visualize several underground mountains or containing both copper and gold. And you have some idea of the ore formation. The peak of this or mountain is very near the surface and only a small amount of dirt must be removed to get to it. As the huge buckets of the drag lines dig down deeper into this mile or more and more dirt must be dug out until the removal of this upper layer of clay and gravel becomes too expensive then the operation must be changed to underground mining. Here it go easy. The operation is still confined to what it might.
I. Now let's give a brief explanation as to how preparations are made to plant the dynamite to loosen up the door. A huge drill about 30 feet in height bores a hole four inches in diameter down to a depth of about 30 feet into this hole the dynamite is packed. This is probably the most dangerous part of the mining operation. No matter how skilled and experienced he may be a man who handles dynamite has a dangerous job. A couple of hours ago I made a recording of the sound of this huge drill at work so that you may hear something of the sound of this operation. We'll play back that record. That machine that you have just heard is not running now of course for the hose of Alban dug
the dynamite has been planted and the fuses are ready to be lit. In fact the big show is about to begin. The car has just stopped within about 30 feet of us. One of the men in the red helmet has stepped out and he's about to get the blast on his horn to warn all the workers in the mine that the explosion is about to take place. There goes the bell go. Down in the pit we can see men running from their cars or trucks. Great lines are going to move away to a safe distance. Some of the perks of them driven up the road that leads from the pit to the far end of the mine where there is no danger of their being hit by the falling rock. Now the bugles have stopped growing in the mine is as quiet as a tomb. Just a few moments ago there were scores of men busily at work. You just shovels were
digging up the dirt. Trucks were moving to and fro. Now the mine is quiet and all activity is stopped. The only men I can see in the entire mine are the two whose job it is to write the fuse and they are running now for their car which means that the fuse has been lit. I've been told that there are always two men for the writing of the fuse. If that job were left to one man and he fell and sprained his ankle at the last moment or had a heart attack the other would be there to help him out of danger and cut the fuses. There goes a puff of smoke in seconds we will hear the explosion. Promoted. Thanks.
Now the smoke and dust have settled and the men are swarming bank into the mine to resume their work. Now let's go along with our story with a description of the concentrating plant where the copper on the Cobalt are removed from the OR. Now we are at the concentrating plant in code with the first step here is to run the ore through a huge pressures to break up the large hunks of metal and then it is mixed with water and various chemicals such as sodium carbonate and sodium silicate. And what is known as the flotation process in addition to water and the various chemical Almelo is that to help separate the copper and the cobalt from the gravel.
The palm oil in the foamy solution prevents the bubbles from breaking the copper particles cling to the bubbles as they float to the top where they are skimmed off by revolving paths. I was particularly interested to learn that Homo is you raised in this separation process. You will recall that a few weeks ago we made several recordings of the abundant oil palm plantation describing the dangerous work of the tree climbers who scale upon graves high in the air to gather the fruit from which the palm oil is made. We mentioned how many of these men are injured. Follows from the palm tree and how some of them are dying from the bites of poisonous snakes. Now we find that these courageous climbers on the boundaries play an important part in the business of removing cobalt and copper from the ore but they provide the palm oil which is so important to this process. It is a most interesting experience to stand on one of the platforms overlooking the floatation tanks as they are flows into the tank it has a dark green color. Then as it is mixed
with the solution it changes to a light green color. This change in color is due to the fact that there is now less Malakai left in the solution at the end of the tank where practically all that remains of the Cobalt mixed with dirt. The solution takes on a brownish color. If this were a color television show you would find it most interesting to look into these long game and watch the solutions change from a beautiful dark green to light green to a dirty brown. As the copper particles are removed from the solution. In the final stages they are containing both copper and Cobalt is dried and it emerges as a light green powder that is now referred to as body. Remember that when the ore is done from the mine and then loaded into the trucks down in the pit it contains only five and one half percent of copper and four tenths of 1 percent of global now in its final form the copper content has been increased from five minutes to 27 and the Cobalt proximately one. This powder or bedding
is deposited in huge piles and is now ready for shipment to the electrolysis plant at Gitmo. One hundred and twenty miles away. Before taking you to the Jetta Ville plan I would like to say a few words about the living conditions of the workers here at the Union Money air. Many of these workers come from primitive native villages where there are no schools where the women must spend many hours walking to the weekly market carrying their on their heads the produce they have to sell. In many of the areas from which these workers come there are no roads and the hospitals are so far apart. But patients must be carried in keep always or hammocks for distances of 100 miles or over it to get them to the hospital. In our program two weeks ago it was recorded in one of these primitive villages. Now we don't want to give the impression that all of the Congo is in this primitive state far from it. But there are many areas in this part of Africa which are still not far removed from savagery.
But for the workers who are employed by the union money air. There are schools hospitals and social clubs like you would find in a modern American city no longer must the women walk for miles to get to the market. The stores have been set up in the residential district so that only a few minutes walk is required for the wives of the workers to do their shopping. The homes which the company has built for the workers are neat attractive cottages. The streets are lined with green hedges and there are flowers everywhere. They areon go easy where the workers live is surrounded with beautiful rose of golden acacia trees. What a contrast to the drab villages of mud huts from which these workers have come. Certainly the union money Air has spared no effort to provide for the well-being of their workers and their families. The men who work the mines do not labor as slaves but as free men. But now to get on with our story of the electrolysis plant at Jetta Vale where our next recording will be made.
We are now speaking from the union money air plant in Jeddah and we're going to try to describe in about two and a half minutes the final steps in processing the copper and the coke. The first step is to dissolve a powdery ore in the solution of sulphuric acid. A large percentage of the sands and lime is remaining in the ore sink to the bottom and then comes what I consider to be the most interesting process of all the liquid which now contains chiefly copper and Cobalt is running through a 60 foot long tanks in each tank are 100 fen copper plates arranged alternately with 100 lead plates. These tanks are charged with two and a half volts of electricity which causes the copper to become a tower and these copper particles cling to the copper plates while the Cobalt passes on through. When the copper plates are placed in the solution they weigh six pounds. When they're removed five days later they have collected so much copper
that their weight has increased from five pounds to one hundred and ten pounds. These plates are then melted in furnaces and formed into bars which contain ninety nine and ninety five 100 percent of pure copper. Now there still remains in the solution Cobalt which is finally removed by charging the solution with four and one half loads of electricity. Then the Cobalt solution drips into tanks of fresh water and the Cobalt forms into small balls which have the appearance of lead. Some of them look like buckshot others emerge in the form of small pellets. They are now ready for shipment. Through this process it is interesting to watch the change in colors. The solution containing copper has a deep blue color. The Cobalt solution is first there ready to color like wine. Then it turns into a white paint from the streams of pink liquid pouring into the tanks. Finally emerges the pellets of COBOL are. So there is this Cobalt story. It's a most interesting process as you follow it through from
step to step. Now as you listen to your radios or as you drive your automobiles along the highway perhaps you'll recall a bit of the story behind the mining of the cobalt and there may come to mind on them the blasting of the bugles and the sound of the explosion down deep in the mines as the African laborers in the Congo dig out the precious Cobalt which has become so much a part of our American way of life. This has been program 20 of America's African heritage. These programs feature recordings made by world traveler skip Westfall on a recent trip to Africa. The series is made possible by a grant in aid to radio station WOIO Iowa State College from the Educational Television and Radio Center production is under the direction of Normandie Cleary. This is Reagan speaking for the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the end Radio Network.
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America's African heritage
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19 And 20
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Race and Ethnicity
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 4902 (University of Maryland)
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Chicago: “America's African heritage; 19 And 20,” University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
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APA: America's African heritage; 19 And 20. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from