HC Deb 21 June 2004 vol 422 c1264W
Norman Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research his Department has(a) commissioned and (b) evaluated into the carcinogenic effects of aldehydes on humans. [177482]

Miss Melanie Johnson

The Department has not commissioned research in this area.

The committee on carcinogenicity of chemicals in food, consumer products and the environment provided advice in 1995 on the carcinogenicity of acetaldehyde in the context of their review of the carcinogenicity of alcoholic beverages. The committee noted that acetaldehyde has been shown to induce malignant nasal tumours in rats and laryngeal carcinomas in hamsters following inhalation exposure to high concentrations. They concluded that the observation of these tumours in animals was not relevant to human consumption of alcoholic drinks.

The committee on the medical effects of air pollutants considered the can carcinogenicity of formaldehyde when drawing up a statement on the effects on health of aldehydes in ambient air in 2000. They concluded that although formaldehyde is a carcinogen in rats, the risks to humans associated with exposure to ambient concentrations, if any, is extremely small.

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