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048 CHEMICAL EXPOSURE HISTORIES RECORDED IN 18 000 PORTON DOWN VETERANS
Research into the effects of chemical warfare agents on military capability at Porton Down started in 1916. We assembled exposure histories for a cohort of servicemen who took part in tests between 1941 and 1989. The methods used to identify, assign and categorised chemical exposures to cohort members will be described.
Data on tests were abstracted from the historical archives by a team of four research staff and entered into a database. Each test was linked to a cohort member (veteran) using the individual’s name and date(s) they were present for test(s). Where possible, chemicals were assigned a Chemical Abstract Service (CAS) number. A classification system was developed reflecting the intended use with reference to the Chemical Weapons Convention and other published sources.
Test data were linked to 18 184 identifiable veterans. The annual number of cohort members tested varied over time; most (75%) were first tested in the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s. Overall, veterans took part in approximately 200 000 tests, of which 150 000 involved chemicals and 50 000 did not (eg, equipment trials). Of the 1800 unique chemicals recorded, a CAS number was assigned to 20% and it was possible to classify 95% according to intended use. Vesicants were the most frequently-tested group of chemicals (57 000 tests, including tests for dermal hypersensitivity to sulphur mustard) followed by therapies (27 000 tests) and riot control agents (10 000 tests). Overlap between groups, availability of quantitative “dose” data, and of information on use of respiratory and other protection, will be reported.
Servicemen included in a cohort study of Porton Down veterans were involved in tests of over 1800 chemicals between 1941 and 1989. Classifying chemicals using a system based on the intended use, the most commonly tested substances were vesicants, therapies, and riot control agents.
exposure assessment; cohort study; chemical warfare
049 MERCURY EXPOSURE ASSESSMENT FOR WORKERS IN FLUORESCENT-TUBE RECYCLING PLANTS
About 90 million fluorescent …