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Lead Poisoning

Volume 155: debated on Monday 26 June 1922

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asked the Home Secretary whether, in view of the serious increase in the number of cases of lead poisoning in the potteries since 1918, and particularly in 1921, he will state what further steps are being taken by the Home Office to meet the situation; and whether, in view of the high proportion of fatal cases during 1921, as compared with 1914, he will state, as regards the fatal cases for 1914 and 1921, the age and sex of the workers, the number of years each had been employed in lead processes, and the particular process in which each worker had been employed?

The figures for the three years 1919 to 1921 show an increase on the figures for the two years 1917 and 1918, but in those two years the industry was on a War footing and conditions were abnormal. The average for the last three years is practically the same as for the years 1914 to 1916, and much lower than the average for the three years preceding the War. As the hon. Member will be aware, after an exhaustive inquiry by a Departmental Committee, a new code of Regulations for the industry was brought into operation in 1913, and since then there has been a great reduction in the number of cases. I see no reason at present to reconsider the Regulations, but

No.Sex.Age.Employment in Lead Processes.Precise Occupation.Remarks.
1M.348 yearsGloat placer
2M.4226yearsGlost placerReported to be suffering from lead poisoning in 1910 and has not worked since.
3M.5836 yearsGround layerReported to be suffering from lead poisoning in 1912 and has not worked in a lead process since.
4M.5036 yearsDipper
5M.471 yearsGlost placer
10 yearsOther lead work
6F.234 yearsTile cleanerReported to be suffering from lead poisoning in 1910 and has not been employed since.

1M.5224 years.Potter's Carter
2M.5524 years.Foreman Dipper
3M.6456 years.Glost placerWorked last 2½ years as glost fireman.
4M.6540 years.Glost placerCeased glost placing in 1911 since when he has not worked in lead processes.
5M.5936 yearsDipper
6M.3914 yearsGlost dipper
10 years.Dipper's Assistant
7M.519 yearsGlost placer
27 yearsLead work elsewhere
8M.476 monthsWeighing and charging glaze.Reported to be suffering from lead poisoning in 1913 and since then has worked as an Ironmoulder's lahourer—previous history unknown.
9M.5030 yearsGlost placerReported to be suffering from lead poisoning in 1919 and has not worked since.
10F.464½ yearsGlost placer
21 yearsMajolica Paintress
11F.27Taker off to dipperDeath was due to chronic nephritis—whether caused industrially or not, is not quite certain.

the situation will be carefully watched. I will circulate in the OFFICIAL REPORT the particulars of fatal cases asked for in the latter part of the question, but I would point out that the proportion of fatal cases in any one year is no index to the conditions existing in that year. In most fatal cases the disease has been contracted a long time previously.

The following are the particulars referred to: