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Noxious Fumes (Emission)

Volume 722: debated on Tuesday 21 December 1965

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asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now introduce legislation to amend and strengthen the Alkali Act, in order to protect the health of people menaced by the emission of noxious fumes and gases.

No, Sir. I have no reason to believe that the levels of emission permitted from processes registered under the Alkali Act are dangerous to health.

Does the Minister realise that that is contrary to the experience of people, not only in this area but in many other areas? Will he consider whether the power to deal with industrial emissions could be dealt with by local authorities, perhaps by an extension of the Clean Air Act, 1956?

I will consider that, but I must say that I have doubts, because these fumes, although extremely unpleasant, according to a special inquiry which I have had made, show no evidence of danger to health. This is similar to sea pollution where unpleasantness and violation of amenity is not necessarily bad for health.