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Lead Poisoning In The Earthenware Trade

Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 August 1907

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I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that there were twelve cases of lead-poisoning in the china and earthenware trade during last month; whether this is above or below the monthly average of such cases in this trade; and what steps he proposes to take with a view to diminishing the number of such cases.

It is the case as stated in the Question that twelve cases of lead-poisoning were reported to the Home Office in this industry in July. This number is above the average monthly number of cases during 1906 and the first six months of 1907; but as the hon. Member will understand, the numbers fluctuate to some extent from month to month and the total number of cases for the first seven months of this year is considerably below the number for the corresponding months in 1906, fifty as compared with sixty-eight. The whole question of lead-poisoning both in the Potteries and in other trades is under my consideration.

Will the Government take into consideration the desirability of gradually introducing rules against the use of lead in the future?

That question was debated on the Estimates at considerable length and perhaps the hon. Member will excuse me for not now going into so large a question.