HC Deb 17 November 1966 vol 736 cc613-4
15. Mr. Gardner

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make regulations to prohibit the sale of highly-flammable hair sprays.

Miss Bacon

Such regulations would have the effect of removing a great many modern hair sprays from the market, and would hardly be justified by the degree of risk. The British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association has recently issued a code of practice which deals, among other things, with warning labels, and I will watch the position in the light of experience of the working of this code.

Mr. Gardner

While appreciating my right hon. Friend's concern for the adornment of the female head, may I ask her whether she has seen recent reports of injuries resulting from the misuse of these hair sprays? Is she aware that in some areas children are using them as playthings and that some children use them as flame guns when playing at gang war? Will my right hon. Friend consider the question of labelling, as recommended by the trade association, and consider restricting the sales of these sprays to young people?

Miss Bacon

I have seen the reports to which my hon. Friend refers. I have also noted the way in which these sprays have been misused. A real risk can be determined only by subjecting each product to a suitable test for inflammability. I am informed that the Technical Committee of the British Standards Association, which is concerned with aerosol sprays, is at present endeavouring to devise such a test. I am also told that real danger arises not from the spray itself but when the container is made of an inflammable material, which is not so with these hair sprays.