§ 21. Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what advice he has given to local authorities and water boards about the amount of lead in water.
§ Mrs. Short
Has the Minister read the Lawther report, which pointed to severe water contamination in certain areas? Does not he accept that water tanks which are lined with lead, and lead water pipes, 1374 may need to be replaced? What does he intend to do about that? Is he prepared to give grants towards replacement? Has he had discussions with his right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Social Services about the advice that should be given to expectant mothers in areas that have a high lead content in the water, as such advice is necessary both for the expectant mother and for the mother who needs to use water in preparing a baby's feed?
§ Mr. Fox
The hon. Lady will be aware that an extensive survey took place, which covered many parts of the United Kingdom. We have taken due notice of those areas where the incidence of lead was high, but not unacceptably high. The hon. Lady is right. My colleagues and I are considering the Lawther report. Part of the report—recommendation 13—states that action should be taken. The Department is considering as quickly as possible what action should be taken.
§ Mr. Maxton
Is the Minister aware that certain Scottish water authorities are adding lime to the water since that lines the pipes and thereby eases the problem? Is something similar being done in areas of England and Wales that have the same problem?