§ Mr. Whitaker
asked the Minister of Health what evidence he has, based on recent research, as to there being a connection between pneumoconiosis or silicosis and lung cancer; and what evidence he has as to the incidence of lung cancer among coal-face miners compared with the national average.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Considerable research has been carried out both in the United Kingdom and overseas, and no clear relationship between pneumoconiosis or silicosis and lung cancer has yet been established.
A satisfactory analysis from cancer registration data of incidence of lung cancer among coal-face miners, compared with the national average is not yet possible.
However, a crude measure of the incidence may be obtained from the mortality statistics. Occupational analysis of these statistics is closely dependent upon the accuracy of the occupation recorded on the death certificates and therefore has to be treated with caution. Analysis on these lines suggests that the mortality of coal-face miners from lung cancer differs little from that of all males in England and Wales.