HL Deb 25 June 1997 vol 580 cc169-70WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether there is any known association between liver malfunction and chronic exposure to organophosphates, pyridostigmine bromide or any of the vaccines which were administered to members of Her Majesty's Armed Forces prior to and during Operation Granby.

Lord Gilbert

Her Majesty's Government are not aware of any link between exposures to these substances and liver malfunction in humans.

There has been some research which suggests that chronic low-level exposure to particular organophosphate pesticides can cause liver malfunction in certain animals. Abnormal liver function tests have been reported after vaccination against hepatitis B, although a causal relationship has not been established. Hepatitis B vaccine was given to medical and dental workers deploying to the Gulf. There have also been reports of jaundice temporally related to immunisation against yellow fever, although again we are not aware of a causal relationship. Yellow fever was a routine vaccine administered to personnel during the Gulf conflict.