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Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) if there has been any research in the United Kingdom or abroad on the possibility of a connection between asbestosis and other cancers;(2) if there has been any research in the United Kingdom or abroad on the possible connection between asbestosis exposure and other cancers.

Research into the effects of asbestos has been supported by the Medical Research Council for more than 20 years. This has involved numerous national and international surveys of health hazards of asbestos, including a large project in association with the Ministry of Defence—Navy—covering some naval dockyards. The incidence of cancer of all sites of the body is being investigated in prospective studies of several groups of workers exposed to asbestos dust. Qualitative and quantitative measures of asbestos exposure in relation to the occurrence of cancer in such sites as the lung, stomach and bowel are included in the mortality and morbidity study which was begun in 1971 by the Employment Medical Advisory Service.The medical working group of the Advisory Committee on Asbestos, in the course of preparing advice for the full committee on the health effects of asbestos exposure, has made a review of world medical literature on this subject. In its second report, on the measurement and monitoring of asbestos in air, the advisory committee made a number of recommendations for research. A copy of this report is available in the Library.