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Early Human Experiments with the nerve agent at Porton Down

Project: Research

Layperson's description

In collaboration with King’s College London and the University of Oxford we are carrying out research into the long-term health effects of servicemen who attended Porton Down as part of their programme of research with human participants.

Porton Down is the UK’s centre for research into chemical defence. If has run a programme of testing with human participants since WWI.
We are studying a cohort of c.20,000 servicemen who attended Porton Down between 1941 and 1989. We are particularly interested in examining whether attendance at Porton Down, or involvement in tests, increased the risk of dying or of a diagnosis of cancer. We are comparing the risk to a group of c.20,000 servicemen who did not attend Porton Down, but who did serve during a similar period to our Porton group.

We have collected together data on military service in both Porton and non-Porton veterans, and on attendance at Porton Down in those who attended. Additionally, the study has data on any tests the participants were involved with when they attended Porton Down.

The study holds personal data on military service, deaths and cancer registrations for all members of the cohort. These data are held securely and anonymously in King’s College London. Data on the tests took place during our study period are held in both Lancaster and London.

Further information the study, including on what information we hold, the legal basis for processing it and how to object to your personal data being used personal data removed can be found on the relevant King’s College webpage.
AcronymEarly Human Experiments with the nerve agent
Effective start/end date4/01/173/04/19


  • The Wellcome Trust: £3,118.00