§ Mr. Graham Allen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what have been and will be the environmental consequences to the United Kingdom of the recent loss of a container of lindane in the Channel.
§ Mr. Heathcoat-Amory
No signs of lindane pollution have been detected from the continuing joint Anglo-French monitoring programme, set up immediately after the incident.
British and French scientists are confident that any increases in lindane concentrations in the marine environment could be easily detected at levels well below those at which they would represent a risk to human health. They further agree, after having carefully considered the probable rate of dissolution of the lindane in its container and its likely rate of release to the sea, that the chances of the lindane having any significant detectable effect are very slight.
As a precaution joint monitoring continues and if any leakage is detected this would provide important clues as to the whereabouts of the container and so assist recovery action, should this be necessary.