German auto firms under fire for diesel tests on humans, monkeys

German auto firms under fire for diesel tests on humans, monkeys

World Health Organization points that exposure is linked to premature mortality from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases

Volkswagen, the world’s biggest carmaker, is under fire globally from politicians and environmentalists following revelations it helped to fund experiments in which monkeys and humans breathed in car fumes for hours at a time.

According to the New York Times, German carmakers faced fresh scrutiny over reports it helped finance experiments that saw monkeys and humans breathe car exhaust fumes.

The German chancellor Angela Merkel, said there was an urgent need for the company to reveal the true extent of the experiments, which were commissioned by the European Research Group of Environment and Health in the Transport Sector (EUGT).

However the company said a small internal group had mistakenly pushed for the tests to be carried out and that they did not reflect VW’s ethos and Volkswagen apologized for that.

According to the reports, 10 monkeys were locked in airtight chambers and left to watch cartoons as they breathed in diesel fumes from a VW Beetle.

According to the Stuttgarter Zeitung, the experiments were carried out at an institute of the University Clinic Aachen and involved the group having to breathe in varying different concentrations of nitric oxide

On the other hand, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung also reported that tests on the effects of inhaling toxic nitrogen oxides (NOx) were also carried out on some 25 healthy human beings.

In a meeting, the German government’s transport minister Christian Schmidt ask the car companies to explain themselves and this has once again damaged trust in the auto industry.

On the other hand, the World Health Organisation points to growing evidence that nitrogen dioxide exposure can increase symptoms of bronchitis and asthma, as well as lead to respiratory infections and reduced lung function and growth.

The auto industry was a sector that seems to have lost all scruples in its mania for cheating,” Greens party transport spokesman Oliver Krischer tweeted.

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