§ 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.