Segments in this Video

Mysterious Illness (00:57)


This film tells how Peter Tyrer discovered the source of his symptoms.

Sheep Dip Danger (03:00)

Animal health official Tyrer began inspecting Welsh farmers bathing their sheep in chemicals in 1983. In 1987, he became ill and the doctor told him he'd been poisoned with nerve gas.

OP Pesticides (02:48)

Sheep dips containing organophosphates have been required for Scab outbreaks since the '70s; learn their chemical warfare origins. Tyrer's doctor told him to wear protective clothing for inspections but his symptoms continued.

Investigating OP Poisoning (03:33)

Tyrer stopped inspecting sheep in 1990, but maintained contact with animals at auctions. His symptoms worsened; after retirement, he researched the illness to claim industrial medical benefits.

OP Accumulation (03:18)

Dr. Goran Jamal explains the effects of toxic chemicals on the nervous system. Tyrer describes his symptoms from long-term exposure.

OP Investigation (03:38)

Tyrer learned that OP was classified as an industrial disease in 1948, but continued to be used for sheep farming under the assumption it was safe for humans.

OP Coverup (01:59)

Tyrer had trouble getting information from Welsh authorities on OP toxicity. Sheep farmer and MP Lady Mar also became ill but was misdiagnosed; many patients weren't taken seriously.

OP Campaign (02:00)

Lady Mar speaks about OP misdiagnosis in Welsh Parliament. In 1992, she began investigating chronic toxicity effects; authorities blamed sheep farmers for exposure but protective wear had only been advised since the '80s.

Welsh Health Scandal (02:19)

A 1981 report on OP toxicity was never released to doctors. Over 500 Welsh farm workers suffer poisoning due to compulsory sheep dip; in 1992 the government made the practice voluntary to avoid being sued.

Public Health Biases (01:49)

The Welsh Ministry of Agriculture relied on manufacturer data to approve OP use. Dr. Jamal explains how this scientific framework overlooked toxicity danger.

Ongoing OP Case (02:52)

In 1987 and in 1995, committees warned the Welsh government about OP toxicity. Tyrer gave poisoning evidence in court but a scientific study is in process; meanwhile his health deteriorates and sheep dipping continues throughout the U.K.

Credits: The Chemical Scythe: Disaster (Series 1) (00:32)

Credits: The Chemical Scythe: Disaster (Series 1)

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The Chemical Scythe: Disaster (Series 1)

Part of the Series : Disaster (Series 1)
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Peter Tyrer, an Animal Health Inspector in Wales, suffers from breathlessness, fluctuating heart rate and memory loss. This film dramatizes Peter's descent into sickness and his struggle to discover the true cause of this illness which affects hundreds – most of them farmers. A BBC Production. A part of the Disaster Series (Series 1). (29 minutes)

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL57470

ISBN: 978-0-81609-369-4

Copyright date: ©1997

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.