HC Deb 02 November 1995 vol 265 cc448-9W
Mr. Allen

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evidence he has that asthma attacks increase with increases in car pollution, with particular reference to nitrogen dioxide. [39892]

Mr. Sackville

The latest report of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, "Asthma and Outdoor Air Pollution", was published on 19 October. One of the report's main conclusions was that most asthmatic patients are unaffected by exposure to such levels of non-biological air pollution as commonly occur in the United Kingdom. A small number of patients experience clinally significant effects which occasionally require an increase in medication or attention by a doctor. In commenting specifically on exposure to traffic, the report stated that there was a consistent, although modest, association between exposure to traffic and asthma prevalence in children. Traffic pollution was a plausible explanation though socio-economic and other environmental factors could also play important roles. The report also concluded that nitrogen dioxide levels are unlikely to be an important influence on daily variations in asthma occurrence.

Copies of the report have been placed in the Library.