HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 c13W
Mr. John Wells

asked the Minister of Labour what evidence he has about the carcinogenic effects of blue asbestos.

Mr. Fernyhough

A panel of experts under the Chairmanship of H.M. Senior Medical Inspector of Factories is currently reviewing all the available medical evidence on this topic. Without prejudging their conclusions, I can say that it is well established that there is an increased incidence of lung cancer among persons who suffer from asbestosis. There is also evidence suggesting an association between a rare form of cancer, mesothelioma, and past exposure to asbestos particularly blue asbestos. The significance of asbestos, or a particular form of it, as a cause of this disease is one of the questions being considered.

Mr. Archer

asked the Minister of Labour whether he will undertake an inquiry into the necessity for crocidolite in industrial processes, with a view to the eventual prohibition of its use except under special licence.

Mr. Fernyhough

All the problems involved in the use of asbestos in general and blue asbestos in particular are being thoroughly studied during the current revision of the Asbestos Industry Regulations.