HC Deb 19 November 1985 vol 87 cc161-2W
Mr. Mason

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if the committee on carcinogenicity at its meeting on 29 October considered the relationship between the use of chrysoidine dye and bladder cancer in anglers; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Whitney

Yes. The committee on carcinogenicity considered the report of a study on chrysoidine dye and urothelial cancer published inThe Lancet on 29 June together with further information provided by the authors.

The committee confirmed that the study demonstrated an association between coarse fishing and urothelial cancer, but the association was with coarse fishing overall rather than with any specific factor connected with coarse fishing, and the explanation for the association was not clear. A serious problem with interpreting the study arose from the lack of data on the quantity of tobacco smoked by patients in the study. Since cigarette smoking is known to be a risk-factor for bladder cancer it is possible that the increased risk for urothelial cancer noted in anglers and in certain subgroups of anglers may be a result of greater tobacco usage in these groups rather than due to the use of dyes. It was also noted that the increase in risk was relatively small, and only just reached the level of statistical significance.

The committee reaffirmed its advice that it would be prudent for anglers who wanted to use chrysoidine to avoid contact through the skin (eg by using suitable protective gloves) or mouth with this dye, either when preparing dyed maggots or when using such maggots to bait hooks.