HC Deb 26 April 1990 vol 171 c295W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the possible implications for human health resulting from exposure to phosphine gas; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Freeman

The chronic and acute effects of phosphine gas are well documented; in high concentrations it is extremely toxic and can cause death. It has no current commercial use.

However, I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the suggestion that this gas is generated by fungal contaminants of cot mattresses and is a cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The chief medical officer has asked a group of independent experts to investigate this theory. He has asked the group to report as soon as possible and will make public its findings.