Jan 30, 2018

Monkeys? Humans? The ethics of testing diesel fumes

German car manufacturer Volkswagen is under fire following revelations that it part-funded tests in which humans and monkeys inhaled diesel fumes for hours. In a world where animal testing and paid medical testing on humans is commonplace, why have these particular tests provoked such outrage? In typical emissions tests, participants spend up to two hours in a sealed environment chamber breathing diluted diesel fumes equivalent to the levels of air pollution in Beijing or Delhi. Such studies are "Essential to back up policies that protect all of us", said Dr Christopher Carlsten, a professor at the University of British Columbia who has conducted emissions testing on humans. One unusual aspect of the VW testing, according to both Dr Kelly and Dr Carlsten, was the use of monkeys.

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