HC Deb 18 February 1988 vol 127 cc695-6W
Mr. Cousins

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to the reply of 25 January, which specialised laboratories in the United Kingdom have a dual laser beam sorter; and what plans there are to use such machines to test the radiation exposure of(a) workers, or former workers, in nuclear installations, (b) residents or former residents, of the areas around nuclear installations and (c) former members of the armed forces who served near nuclear bomb test sites.

Mrs. Currie

Of the laboratories in the United Kingdom with a dual laser beam sorter, we are aware of only one which is considering its use in estimating radiation exposure. I understand from the Medical Research Council, which receives its grant in aid through the Department of Education and Science, that is clinical and population cytogenetics unit at Edinburgh has built such a device and one of its principal aims is to develop the technology so that the device can be used to detect the effects of radiation exposure on people. It is hoped that this may eventually be of use in assessing occupational radiation exposures.