Humans were exposed to the toxic fumes in experiments requested by a group funded by German carmakers, according to media reports. The shocking revelation came after tests on monkeys became public over the weekend.
Reports by German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Süddeutsche Zeitung said humans had been exposed to a gas found in diesel fumes during an experiment “sometime between 2012 and 2015” requested by a group funded by German carmakers.
Auto manufacturers said they had an interest in proving that the use of modern technology made diesel emissions more or less harmless.
The tests were requested by the European Research Group on Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT) — a now defunct organization founded by German carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW.
The experiments focused on “short-term nitrogen dioxide inhalation by healthy people,” according to the newspapers. An Aachen-based university hospital then examined 25 people after they inhaled varying amounts of the gas over several hours.
The experiments were reported on after recent revelations of an experiment where — in equally inacceptable tests — monkeys were made to inhale the toxic gas.
Not to be tolerated
Reacting to the accusations, Volkswagen said in a statement “we are convinced that the scientific methods chosen at the time were wrong.”
Daimler said Sunday it was “shocked by the extent of those studies and the way there were carried out.” “We strongly condemn the tests,” the company said, adding that it had had no say in the testing method and the measures taken by the EUGT were “against Daimler’s values and ethical principles.”
The Stuttgart-based carmaker said it had launched an investigation into the tests on monkeys and humans which it considered “superfluous and repulsive.”
hg/jd (dpa, Reuters)