HC Deb 02 April 1976 vol 908 cc588-9W
Mr. Goodlad

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment on what published medical and technical evidence relevant to the United Kingdom the Minister of State based his statement in the debate on EEC Commission Directives on 4th March 1976 that even lead in petrol could have adverse effects on the lives of young children.

Mr. Denis Howell

The statement quoted by the hon. Member formed part of a much fuller statement which made it clear that lead in petrol, taken in isolation, does not constitute a health hazard and that it is the totality that we absorb that matters. It is thought that children absorb lead at a higher rate than adults and it is in this context that they are possibly at greater risk from lead from all sources. This view is based on work by Dr. F. W. Alexander, Dr. H. T. Delves and Professor Barbara Clayton, which was reported in a paper presented at an international symposium on the environmental health aspects of lead held in Amsterdam in 1972.