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Air Pollution, London (Sulphur Dioxide)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 14 December 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he has studied the warning contained in a report on air pollution by Doctor S. G. Burgess, scientific adviser to the Greater London Council, details of which have been sent to him, that the concentration of sulphur dioxide reached undesirably high levels in Central and South London during 1964, and that the use of smokeless fuel was a contributory cause of such pollution; and what action he is taking to defeat this increasing danger to health.

My right hon. Friend accepts that sulphur dioxide is, in general, an undesirable pollutant of the air, but he is not aware of any evidence that, in the concentrations normally found in London, it is harmful to health. Research on the subject is being actively pursued.As the report recognises, the average concentration in London remained at about the same level in 1964 as in previous years. Smokeless fuels in general give rise to less sulphur dioxide than others.