HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 cc703-4W
Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research her Department has commissioned into (a) the acute, short-term and (b) the chronic, long-term effects on health of (i) nitrogen dioxide, (ii) carbon monoxide and (iii) particles in regard to air pollution. [64662]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 27 June 2002]I have been asked to reply.

The Department has been commissioning research into the effects of air pollutants on health since 1991. A range of projects dealing with both long-term and short-term effects of air pollutants on health has been funded. Many of these projects deal with more than one air pollutant.

Decisions regarding a new research programme were taken on 14 June. Nine projects will be funded to a total cost of about £l million. Of the nine projects, three deal with long-term effects, four with short-term effects and one with both long and short-term effects. One project focuses specifically on nitrogen dioxide, the others deal with pollutants in general with a special focus on particles. No work on carbon monoxide has been agreed as yet though a project on long-term effects of exposure to carbon monoxide is being held as a "first reserve".

Details of the new programme will be placed in the Library.

A summary list of all work funded prior to the new programme will also be placed in the Library.