HC Deb 08 April 1976 vol 909 c296W
Mrs. Joyce Butler

asked the Secretary of State for Prices and Consumer Protection what progress has been made in the voluntary labelling scheme for asbestos products; if she is satisfied that a voluntary scheme will be adequate to protect consumers in the use of asbestos products; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Alan Williams

In conjunction with the Health and Safety Executive, my Department has reached agreement with the Asbestosis Research Council and the Asbestos Information Committee on the introduction of a voluntary labelling scheme for products containing asbestos. All do-it-yourself materials which contain asbestos and a range of household goods will bear cautionary labels. In addition, leaflets which set out ways of avoiding exposure to asbestos dust in the use of do-it-yourself materials will be made available by the Asbestos Information Committee for distribution by retailers. Products labelled in conformity with the scheme should begin to be seen in the shops in October.

I am glad to acknowledge the cooperation of the asbestos industry in devising these arrangements. I have no reason to doubt that they will be adequate to protect consumers, but I intend to review them in the light of any findings or recommendations of the committee which, as recently announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment, is to investigate the health hazards of exposure to asbestos.