HL Deb 07 June 2004 vol 662 c13WA
The Countess of Mar

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have funded any studies into pregnancy outcomes when an expectant mother has been exposed to toxic chemicals other than the study monitoring for teratological hazards associated with chemical exposure in the United Kingdom, prepared by the National Teratological Information Service for the Health and Safety Executive; and why funding for this study was discontinued. [HL2969]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)

Yes. The Health and Safety Executive has funded the following relevant research studies:

  • 9434/R51.097—Lead exposure; transfer of lead in pregnancy and lactation;
  • 3430/R51.106—Teratological hazards associated with chemical exposure;
  • Spontaneous abortion in the UK semiconductor industry: An HSE investigation. Am J Ind Med 36.557–572;
  • Spontaneous abortion in dry cleaning workers potentially exposed to perchlorethylene. Occup Environ Med 54:848–853.

Arrangements are being made to place the reports in the Library of the House.

Following consultation with the Department of Health and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, these departments have not funded relevant research.

Turning to the discontinuation of the contract with the National Teratology Information Service (NTIS), following data collection for six years, the HSE considered that continuation would not assist it in developing its policy in this area. For this reason, along with a review of HSE's research strategy, the contract was not renewed further.