HC Deb 10 July 1974 vol 876 cc505-7W
Mr. Madden

asked the Secretary of State for Employment what expenditure is devoted annually to publicising the dangers of, and safeguards against, asbestos dust; if he will give details of such expenditure over the last five years on an annual basis; and what plans exist to make such publicity more extensive and effective.

Mr. Harold Walker

I regret that this information is not available in the form requested.

Since the 1969 Asbestos Regulations came into force in May 1970 my Department has made considerable efforts to publicise to both management and workers the health risks arising from exposure to harmful concentrations of asbestos dust and the safeguards to be adopted.

Over 100,000 copies of a statement from the Chief Employment Medical Adviser entitled "Asbestos and You" have been distributed to workers in the industry and further copies are currently being issued to all workers participating in the Survey of Asbestos Workers begun by the Employment Medical Advisory Service in 1971 and still continuing.

Four technical data notes on the subject of asbestos have been produced in substantial quantities and distributed to management free of charge by Her Majesty's factory inspectors. A booklet in the health and safety at work series entitled "Asbestos: Health Precautions in Industry" on sale from Her Majesty's Stationery Office has also been produced and publicised.

A considerable amount of publicity has also been directed at the medical profession, including an on-sale memorandum on the problems arising from the use of asbestos and an occasional paper on the Survey of Asbestos Workers by EMAS.

I will arrange for a copy of each of these publications to be sent to my hon. Friend.

Other activities undertaken by my Department to publicise the problem of asbestos dust include collaboration in the publication of articles, especially in the medical and trade Press, assistance given to trade associations in producing specific guidance on the subject, lectures to the medical profession by employment medical advisers and talks to industry at all levels by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectors.

As regards the future, I expect the proposed Health and Safety Commission to continue to regard exposure to asbestos dust as a major health hazard and to plan publicity accordingly.

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