HC Deb 24 February 1958 vol 583 cc19-20
39. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Minister of Health what recent advice he has received from the Medical Research Council on the dangerous consequences resulting from the use of X-rays.

Mr. Walker-Smith

None, Sir.

Mr. Irving

Is the Minister aware of the warning given by Dr. T. C. Carter, geneticist member of the M.R.C., at Harwell, about the dangers even from medical use of X-rays and the possibility of a further 12,000 cases, through the hereditary factor, resulting from such use? Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that France has taken steps by law to prohibit the use of X-rays for shoe-fittings? Will he consider taking urgent advice in order to give guidance on this matter?

Mr. Walker-Smith

Following on the Medical Research Council Committee Report on the Hazards to Man of Nuclear and Allied Radiations, published in June, 1956, a Committee has been set up under the chairmanship of Lord Adrian to carry out the reviews recommended in the Report. I think I had better await the conclusions of Lord Adrian's Committee.

Dr. Summerskill

Is not the Minister wrong in saying that he has not been advised, because the Report to which he referred was made by a Committee of the Medical Research Council? Did it not give a warning in that report?

Mr. Walker-Smith

The Report of the Committee of the Medical Research Council suggested that a review of practice in the use of diagnostic X-rays would be timely, and also a review of radiotherapy for non-malignant conditions. It was to carry out those reviews that the Committee was set up under Lord Adrian.

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