§ Sir R. Russell
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what quantity of cans for canning foodstuffs was manufactured in the United Kingdom in 1970 or the latest year for which figures are available; and what proportion of this consisted of cans with their insides 244W lacquered to prevent the lead content of the solder used in the joints from contaminating the food.
§ Mr. Ridley
In 1970 about 8,000 million cans were manufactured in the United Kingdom for food and drink. Of these some 3,500 million were fully lacquered internally; most of the balance were lacquered at both ends. The primary purpose of lacquering is not to prevent lead contamination but to retain good appearance and colour in certain foods. The Lead in Food Regulations, 1961 strictly limit the amount of lead which may be present in food for human consumption, irrespective of its origin.