New research on the effect of chemical warfare agents on older veterans

Researchers from King’s College London, and Lancaster University, are conducting new research into whether past exposure to small doses of chemical warfare agents impacts long-term health.

Despite the continued use of chemical agents (e.g in Syria, and Salisbury UK), very little is known about this topic. Therefore the findings will be of interest to all those who have been, or are at risk of exposure, including military personnel, emergency services, and the general population.

The new research updates an original study by the University of Oxford. Previously researchers used historical records to compare patterns of cancer development and mortality between ‘Porton Down veterans’ (those who were exposed to small doses of chemical agents as part of the ‘human volunteer programme’ at Porton Down between 1941 and 1989), and veterans who were in service during the same period, but who did not go to Porton Down.

The earlier study found little evidence of a link between those exposed to chemical agents and cancer or death, up until 2004.

The main objective of the new research is to update cancer and mortality data by an additional 15-years. The study also plans to look at other health outcomes, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and mental health problems.

To find out more, including information about your right to object to your records being used for health research, see below.

You can also email or call +44 (0) 20 7848 0505

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