HC Deb 06 June 1961 vol 641 cc85-6W
Mr. Mason

asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Science if he is satisfied that the present regulations dealing with ionising substances are adequate in application to safeguard the health of all workers using ionising substances, particularly those who work in research establishments, laboratories and hospitals; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Denzil Freeth

These matters engage the responsibilities of my right hon. Friends the Minister of Labour, the Minister of Health and the Secretary of State for Scotland.

The Minister of Labour published earlier this year the statutory draft of the Ionising Radiation (Sealed Sources) Regulations, 1961, and a preliminary draft of the "Unsealed Radioactive Substances Regulations" which will apply to premises covered by the Factories Acts. It is expected that the former will be made within the next few months. My right hon. Friend is considering separately, with the help of an advisory panel of the Radioactive Substances Advisory Committee, under the Chairmanship of Sir Brian Windeyer, the preparation of a code of practice for the protection of persons employed in research establishments and laboratories, but specific proposals are not yet available.

A Code of Practice for the Protection of Persons Exposed to Ionising Radiations—primarily for use in National Health Service Hospitals—was issued by the Health Department in 1957. It is now being revised in the light of later knowledge by a panel of the Advisory Committee set up under the Radioactive Substances Act, 1948.