§ Lord Molloy
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What action is contemplated following the report of environmental health officers regarding lead levels in London and particularly in London's schools.
§ The Earl of Avon
I take it that the noble Lord is concerned in particular about higher than normal levels of dust-lead which have been found in certain London school playgrounds. Flaking leaded paint appears to be the cause of this. DoE Circular 22/82 has just given local authorities information and advice on various sources of environmental lead. Investigation of unusually high levels of lead in dust may well reveal a specific local cause (for example, deteriorating leaded paint), and it may be thought necessary to remove the dust as well as dealing with the cause. But because levels of lead in dust can vary widely over short distances, a small area with a high dust-lead level does not necessarily represent a significant hazard. It is for local authorities to decide upon appropriate action in the light of the DoE advice and the results of any local monitoring.