HC Deb 18 January 1991 vol 183 cc618-9W
Mr. Cohen

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what assessment he has made of the dangers to workers of handling manufactured mineral fibres; and if he proposes to take any steps to reduce these dangers.

Mr. Forth

The health effects of man-made mineral fibres (MMMF) were reviewed in 1989 by the Health and Safety Commission's Advisory Committee on Toxic Substances. As a consequence of this review a maximum exposure limit of two fibres per millilitre of air has been set for MMMF in schedule 1 of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1988 to supplement the already existing gravimetric MEL of 5 milligrammes per cubic metre. This additional MEL came into effect on 1 January 1991.

The COSHH Regulations specify the precautions which employers should take to prevent or adequately control exposure to hazardous substances, including MMMF. In addition, the Health and Safety Executive has recently published two guidance documents which give details of the specific measures which should be taken to reduce exposure to MMMF.