HC Deb 23 July 1970 vol 804 c747
48. Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to receive the report of his committee of experts in regard to possible health hazards to users of enzyme washing powders.

Mr. Sharples

The first inquiries are inconclusive and a wider investigation is to be made during the next six months.

Mrs. Butler

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that there is considerable public anxiety about the incidence of dermatitis arising from the use of these powders? Would he consider requiring some kind of warning to be printed on the packet?

Mr. Sharples

Certainly, if that is proved to be the case. However, at the moment we do not have sufficient information and we need a great deal more. I will bear the suggestion in mind.

Mr. Harper

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a former Prime Minister, Mr. Harold Macmillan, set up a Committee in 1953 which reported on the effect on a human being of the use of washing powders? Why has that not been followed up?

Mr. Sharples

Investigations are now going on, but the composition of washing powders has changed a great deal since the time the hon. Gentleman mentions.

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