HL Deb 07 February 1983 vol 438 c1099WA
Lord Hale

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have taken note of the report in The Times (24th January 1982, page 6, column 4, headed "Americans fear dioxin poisoning has spread") referring to the flooding in the state of Missouri which has led to the evacuation of thousands of people because of the risk of dioxin poisoning and what action they are taking to avoid a similar major toxic disaster in the United Kingdom.

Lord Skelmersdale

I understand that the incident mentioned inThe Times report of 24th January arose from the spraying during May and June 1971 of 4,000 to 5,000 gallons of waste oil on 3 horse arenas and a farm road near Times Beach, Missouri, as a dust control measure. The oil was contaminated with about 300 parts per million of dioxin and the contamination has been spread by the recent flooding there.

In the United Kingdom waste oil is not used for dust control purposes. Also, since 1972 there has been specific legislation dealing with hazardous waste disposal, thus supplementing existing planning and public health controls.