05 August 1998
Human guinea pigs to test
effects of pesticides

HUMAN volunteers are to test the side-effects of one of the worlds most toxic pesticides in a series of trials.

The tests involve organophosphate (OP) insecticides. About 20 human guinea pigs will be carrying out the test which is organised by Inveresk Research International, based near Edinburgh.

Azinphos-methyl is the name of the OP under trial. Research already undertaken shows it can cause breathing problems, heavy sweating, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.

The chemical is used in the US to combat a range of insects but is not registered in the UK.

Four tests are being carried out and they follow previous trials of the pesticide aldicarb, which was given to nine women and 38 men in orange juice.