HC Deb 10 July 1967 vol 750 cc87-9
43. Dr. Ernest A. Davies

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is satisfied wih the Asbestos Industry Regula- tions prescribed in 1931; whether he has in mind the making of new regulations; and when he expects that these regulations will be published.

46. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Minister of Labour what progress he has made in the preparation of new Asbestos Regulations; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gunter

A draft of revised Asbestos Regulations has been circulated to the main organisations concerned. Their comments are now coming in and are being discussed with them.

The new Regulations are designed to cover all the industries and processes in which asbestos is used, including occupations such as lagging and delagging, thermal and sound insulation and brake-lining manufacture.

I am not at present able to say when the new Regulations will become law.

Dr. Davies

That reply will give a great deal of satisfaction to the people involved. Nevertheless, will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that those of us who have in our constituency workers involved in this industry will want to see new regulations in practice as soon as a careful study of the problem permits?

Mr. Gunter

I am as anxious as my hon. Friend is to get these regulations. We are taking steps as far as lies within my power to short-circuit the long procedures which are involved.

Mrs. Butler

Would my right hon. Friend give special attention to the representations made to him that it might be better to secure a maximum allowable concentration of asbestos dust rather than introduce outright prohibition, and make some provision so that the exhaust of asbestos is not vented to the outside air because of the danger to people living in the neighbourhood of asbestos factories?

Mr. Gunter

Those are the sort of matters now under discussion in the preparation of the Order.