HL Deb 27 March 2002 vol 633 c61WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How long after their receipt of reports of pesticide incidents alleging ill health has the Health and Safety Executive's Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP) taken to notify individuals of the classification of their reports for all cases appraised by the PIAP since 1996. [HL3342]

Lord Falconer of Thoroton

There has been no meeting of the panel in 2002 so information is available only for the years 1996 to 2001 inclusive. During those years individuals involved in over 60 per cent of the incidents put to the panel were notified of its assessment of their case within 15 months of the papers being received by the panel secretariat. Sometimes considerable delay in submission of incidents to the panel itself may arise because the secretariat seeks wherever possible to obtain additional confidential medical information. Seven per cent of the cases for the years in question have yet to go to the panel pending the collation of further information.

In a further 25 per cent of cases either the relevant information is not available or it was not considered appropriate to write to the individual. For the remaining cases, exceptional circumstances would usually have been the main cause for the longer time periods involved.

It should be noted that it is not the panel's purpose to advise individuals on possible links between pesticide exposure and ill health but rather to see if any general lessons can be derived from cumulative information on incidents and to report annually. Nevertheless, the secretariat endeavours to inform individuals of the outcome of their assessment as soon as possible after panel meetings.