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Screening For Lead

Volume 978: debated on Monday 4 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress has been made in the United Kingdom survey implementing the EEC directive on the biological screening of the population for lead since the first report was placed in the Library on 15 November 1979; and if he will make a statement.

Local authorities have now sent results for all remaining groups of people in the survey except for those for mothers and children in Glasgow, which will not be available until later this year. I am placing in the Library of the House a further report giving the preliminary analyses of the results for the groups not covered in the first report. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland and I have sent copies of the report to hon. Members with a constituency interest.These two reports show that all but four groups meet reference levels set in the directive. The levels are exceeded by three groups of children in Chester and Leeds—Thorpe—and one group of adults so far reported from Glasgow. In each case a likely principal source of exposure has been identified and action is either in hand or planned by local authorities and Her Majesty's Inspectorates to tackle these. In addition, individuals with high blood lead levels have been told and investigations made to see whether they are exposed to other specific sources of lead. The report gives an account of these actions.The report will be sent to the Commission of the European Communities, and the Department is preparing more detailed analyses which will also be reported to the Commission later this year.I would like to thank all those who took part in the survey, particularly those who volunteered samples.