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1 INTRODUCTION In the spring of 1980, the Department of the Army asked the Committee on Toxicology of the National Research Council's Board on Toxicology and Environmental Health Hazards to study the possible chronic or delayed adverse health effects incurred by servicemen who had been exposed experimental] y to various chemicals at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Edgewood, Maryland, during the years 19 58-197 5 . The Edgewood tests were conducted to learn how potential chemical warfare agents might af feet humans over a short period and how such aff ected humans might respond to therapy against such agents. The Army believed that relevant information could not be obtained from animal experimentation alone and that it was theref ore necessary to conf irm animal findings by using hen volunteers. Some 6, 720 soldiers took part in this program. To understand the extent Deco which they might have experienced unanticipated long- term or delayed adverse effects, an extensive search of reports, records, and other data was undertaken. This search and study and evaluation of all available information on the involved chemicals themselves were accomplished by expert panels under the direction of the Committee on Toxicology. To facilitate evaluat ion of the hazards associated with a long list of chemicals, the chemicals were grouped according to pharma- cologic class. Of the five ma jor groups of rel ated chemicals, the largest and most important were the anticholinesterase and anticho- linergic chemi cars; these were reviewed first. Other chemical groups included cholinesterase Deactivator;, psychochemicals, and irritants and vesicants, and the effort culminated in a report issued in June 1982, Possible Long-Term Health Effects of Short-Term Exposure to Chemical Ager~cs: Volume l--Anticholinesterases and Anticholin- ~_~h 24 ant icholinergic and 15 ant icho- linesterase chemicals that were administered to approximately 3,200 subj ects . The present report evaluates toxicologic and epidemiologic data relevant to the testing of approximately 750 subjects exposed to cho~nesterase Deactivators, about 260 exposed to psychochemicals, and i, 500 exposed to irritants or vesicants. A remaining group of subjects used largely in tests ir~volvir~g placebo or innocuous chemi- cals or conditions is available for comparison. and will be discussed in Volume 3. 1
This report is the work of three panels of scientista--the Panel on Cholinesterase Reactivator Chemicals, the Panel or Psychochemicals, and the Panel on Irritants and Vesicants. The chairman of each panel was selected from the Committee on Toxicology, and the members were selected on the basis of their knowledge of the compounds in question or because they represented required disciplines. Methods of selecting, testing, and handling sub Sects used for experimental work at Edgewood changed with time. Indeed, consent forms and methods of obtaining consent changed for al t U. S. investi- gators during the period in which these tests were performed. A short history of the Edgewood testing program taken from Volume ~ is repro- duced in Appendix A with a standard operating procedure for screening and selecting volunteers, which was issued by the Clinical Research Department at Edgewood on August 12, 1968. LSD was among the psychochemicals tested at Edgewood, but its effects were not within the purview of the National Research Cour~cil's evaluations. Effects of LSD on 741 soldiers tested at Edgewood are described in a report by the U.S. Army Medical Department and the U-.S. Army Health Services Conned, issued in February 1980.2 Volume 3 will contain an evaluation of the current health status of Edgewood subjects based on their responses to a questionnaire and discussion and conclusions of the entire evaluation effort. REFERENCES 1. National Research Council, Committee on Toxicology. Long-Term Health Effects of Short-Term Exposure to Chemical Agents. Vol. 1. Anticholinesterases and Ant, cholinergics. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 290 pp., 1982. Possible 2. U.S. Army Medical Department and U.S. Army Health Services Command. LSD Follow-Up Study Report. Project Director, David A. McFarling. 158 pp., February 1980. 2