New research on the long-term health of two groups of older veterans……………………..

Researchers from King’s College London, University of Oxford and Lancaster University are planning new research investigating whether past exposure to small doses of chemical warfare agents impact long-term health. Very little is known about this topic despite the continued use of chemical agents (e.g. in Syria, and Salisbury UK) so the findings will be relevant to all those who have been, or are at risk of, coming into contact with chemical agents – including military personnel, emergency services, and the general population. 

The new research is an update to an original study conducted by the University of Oxford. In the original study, researchers used historical records to compare patterns of cancer development and mortality between two groups of approximately 18,000 male veterans. The first group were the ‘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 the second group were veterans in service during the same period, but who did not go to Porton Down. This, earlier, study found little evidence of a link between those exposed to chemical agents (including mustard gas, nerve agents, and protective chemicals e.g. antidotes) and cancer or death up until 2004.

The main objective of this new research is to updated cancer and mortality data by an additional 15-years. This extra data will allow researchers to gain a greater understanding of the relationship between chemical agent exposure and long-term health at a level of detail not possible in the original study.

To learn more about the study, and your right to object to your records being used for health research, please see, email:; or call +44 (0) 20 7848 0505. 

Members of this cohort study may object to their records being used.

Posted on 26th February 2019

Related Articles

Change to the Network Edinburgh (TNE) – Thursday, 30 May 2019

TNE Meetings normally take place on the last Thursday in the month in the Royal Scots Club, 30 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh (unless stated), from around 1830 – 2030.  Dates for 2019…

OA Scotland – HMB Faslane Visit Wednesday, 5th June 2019

The Officers Association Scotland (OA Scotland) (Tom Denovan) will be visiting the  base – Education and Resettlement Office next Wednesday, 5th June 2019.  If you are contemplating leaving the RN or…

OA Scotland – Visit to APC, Kentigern House, Glasgow – Thursday, 30th May 2019

Mary-Clare Macfarlane/Tom Denovan OA Scotland visit the APC on a regular basis.  Mary-Clare Macfarlane CEO will visit on Thursday, 3oth May 2019.  Appointments available from 1030.   If you would like to discuss or…