European Automakers Test Exhaust on Humans
German automakers are under heavy fire after research institutes and departments of environment and health have determined that their emissions tests for diesel emissions have been conducted on humans and monkeys. Reports by the New York Times and Stuttgarter Zeitung (a small German newspaper agency) report that German automakers including Volkswagen Daimler and BMW are all involved in this scandal. Concerns over health in the transport industry has already been on shaky ground with tests on monkeys, and animal testing in general which involves nitrogen oxides from diesel engines, but this human test has lead both the transport sector and research institutes to condemn the experiments.
The outrageous story engulfing Volkswagen, Dailmer, and BMW
The German maker of Mercedes were exposed in January of 2018 to have been deliberately exposing human test subjects to the toxic exhaust and nitrogen oxides of diesel engines while attempting to prove that exhaust from their diesel cars were not carcinogenic. These emissions tests were allegedly carried out between the years 2012 and 2015. The details of this human diesel emissions test came to light only a brief time after it has been exposed that the German automakers has been conducting animal testing (similar tests on monkeys) during the same period and even prior.
Prominent figures have stepped forward to condemn the experiments: The German environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, called these diesel emissions tests abominable, and a spokesman for German leader Angela Merkel stated that “the outrage felt by many people is completely understandable”. It is definitely understandable to condemn a human test, and such tests have been effectively banned by every European research group and research group on the environment.
It has been revealed that in the human test was conducted on 19 men and 6 women, who were exposed to varying concentrations of nitrogen oxides for hours at a time. Nitrogen oxides are extremely harmful emissions found in the exhaust from diesel engines.
Fallout from Tests on Humans and Monkeys
The results of these diesel engine tests have not been released, but it has been confirmed thta the tests were conducted in the city of Aachen in Western Germany. Scientists aid that the human test was of almost no value, and nitrogen oxides are not the only harmful exhaust to come out of diesel cars and effect the environment and health. These emissions tests were carried out by the European Research Association for Environment and Health in the Transport Sector EUGT, which is a european research group set funded by Volkwagen Daimler and BMW until it was shut down in 2017, no doubt in connection to the leaked diesel cars emissions tests that the New York Times and Stuttgarter Zeitung had reported on.
This transport sector EUGT group is the same agency that was found responsible for tests on monkeys in 2014, where 10 monkeys spent several hours exposed to diesel emissions and the nitrogen oxides contained within.
German Automakers and Officials Condemn the Experiments
The German automakers went into overdrive after the revelation, with Volkswagen Daimler and BMW all moving to distance themselves from the transport sector EUGT diesel emissions tests. “We expressly distance ourselves from the studies and the EUGT” they said in a statement to local and international media responding to health in the transport industry, “We are appalled by the extent of the studies and their implementation. We condemn the experiments in the strongest terms”.
VW apologized for tests on monkeys over the weekend: “Volkswagen Group explicitly distances itself from all forms of animal cruelty. Animal testing contradicts our own ethical standards”. The regional prime minister of Lower Saxony State in Western Germany (where the emissions tests were conducted, and a state which also a major shareholder in the VW group) condemned the experiments as “absurd and disgusting”. He added that “Lobbying is no excuse for such testing”, and that there would be demands for an urgent review of the matter.
The outrage and condemnation was not limited to national authorities or members of environmental research groups. The worldwide public was also appalled, and perhaps most importantly the employees of Volkswagen Daimler BMW have also not taken the revelations lightly.
Employees working for the German Automakers also reacted angrily to the tests on humans and monkeys, with the head of the workers council at VW saying “If these reports are true, this had nothing to do with ethical behavior, nothing at all. If those responsible at the time are still on the board, then personal consequences must be considered”.
The effect of diesel cars on environment and health
The research studies conducted by transport sector EUGT, perhaps at the behest of Volkswagen Daimler and BMW, have shocked both the transport sector and the general public. Animal testing is a controversial subject alone, but tests on humans and monkeys which expose them to known the known harmful chemicals such as nitrogen oxides in exhaust from diesel engines have no moral or scientific backing. To subject humans and monkeys to these conditions in an enclosed area are not the actions of any serious research group on environment. Responsible research institutes would understand that a closed environment is not a direct analogue for the effects of diesel engines and nitrogen oxides in the wider environment and within the atmosphere. While we encourage research on health in the transport industry and a continuation of emissions tests, we must also strongly condemn the experiments conducted by German automakers.