HC Deb 09 November 1979 vol 973 c384W
Mr. Alton

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what will be the effects of consumption of fowl poisoned by pollution and caught in the Mersey estuary.

Sir George Young

I understand that in spite of intensive investigations the cause of recent death of fowl in the Mersey estuary is still unknown, and research is continuing. Therefore, it is not possible to say at this time what effects eating birds from this area would have on human health.

The increased level of inorganic lead found in carcases—although not thought to be the cause of death—could in itself represent a risk to human health, but only if contaminated birds were consumed in any quantity over a long period of time.

While a good deal of publicity has been given both locally and nationally to the possible dangers of eating birds caught in the area, I am considering whether more should be done.