HC Deb 27 July 1978 vol 954 cc907-8W
Mr. McCrindle

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what research is being undertaken by or for his Department into the possible effects on young children of lead emissions from vehicles; what medical advice he has received on the subject; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Denis Howell

The advice which I have received from the Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health and Social Services is that no conclusive evidence has appeared to date which links demonstrable ill effects in young children with emissions from motor vehicles. However, there is a need for further research in this subject, particularly on possible effects of exposure to current levels of lead in the environment on the central nervous system in children. As I explained to my hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Heeley (Mr. Hooley) on 12th July, the Department of the Environment is to fund work on the health effects of lead. This will include two projects on the possible mental and behavioural effects on young children.—[Vol. 953, c. 662–3.]