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Gulf War Illnesses

Volume 670: debated on Thursday 3 March 2005

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asked Her Majesty's Government:How much of the estimated £8.5 million spent by the Ministry of Defence on research into Gulf War illnesses has been spent on the effects on British troops of fall out, including sarin and cyclosarin, from the destruction by United States forces of Iraq's chemical arms stored at Khamisiyah in southern Iraq in March 1991; and what information they have on expenditure in the United States on the effects on American troops. [HL1379]

The Ministry of Defence experts have assessed the US Khamisiyah models and concluded that UK troops may have been exposed to extremely low levels of sarin and cyclosarin. There is no scientific evidence that such low levels of nerve agent would have any detectable human health effects. Therefore, the MoD has not commissioned any research into the effects of nerve agents on troops potentially exposed as a consequence of the demolitions at Khamisiyah.The cost of US research in this area is a matter for the US authorities.