HC Deb 03 November 1989 vol 159 cc384-5W
Mr. Flynn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to commission a study of possible adverse health effects of abandoned and leaking toxic waste dumps.

Mr. Freeman

The Department, with others concerned, would commission a study if there were reasonable grounds to consider that there might be adverse health effects associated with a localised source of pollution.

The Department, with others, has established a small health statistics unit at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This independent unit is developing new techniques specifically to undertake studies of this sort.

Officials will be discussing with officials at the Department of the Environment whether there are any particular sites used for the disposal of toxic chemicals where environmental contamination may be occurring in circumstances which would make a health study appropriate.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply that the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment gave to him on 26 October at columns 552–53.

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