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Chemical Spillages (Emergency Services)

Volume 21: debated on Wednesday 31 March 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he has issued revised instructions and regulations for emergency services in their dealing with chemical spills in the light of recent incidents.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 March 1982, c. 278]: I have instructed the Health and Safety Inspectorate to advise the owners of electrical equipment containing polychlorinated biphenyl on precautions and to ensure that local emergency services are aware of these precautions and of the location of the equipment.

from the Department and tuition fees which are provided through the student award system. In addition the institutions may have private sources of income which they use to meet expenditure. Statistical information on the numbers of Northern Ireland students entering higher education since 1966 is given in appendix 5 to the review group's report.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many explosions in Northern Ireland in the last 10 years have included the release of polychlorinated biphenyl from electric transformers.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 March 1982, c. 278]: I am aware of only one explosion resulting in the release of polychlorinated biphenyl, namely, that on 5 August 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many emergency services personnel have come in contact with the chemical polychlorinated biphenyl in the last five years as a result of spillages from electric generators.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 March 1982, c. 278]: None as far as I am aware. There has in fact been only one spillage of the chemical polychlorinated biphenyl in the last five years, namely, that which occurred on 5 August 1981.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has ordered an inquiry into the handling of polychlorinated biphenyl chemical spills from electric transformers as a result of recent experience in the field.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 March 1982, c. 278] I am satisfied that adequate measures were taken following the bomb explosion in Belfast last August, which caused the spillage of polychlorinated biphenyl, and that no person was exposed to a dangerous level of the chemical.Accordingly, I do not consider any useful purpose would be served by holding an inquiry.

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has instituted any check on the effects of the chemical polychlorinated biphenyl on the health of contractors, firemen, police or army personnel called to the scene of a recent polychlorinated biphenyl leak.

[pursuant to his reply, 22 March 1982, c. 278]: I am advised that the personnel called to the scene of the recent polychlorinated biphenyl leak could not have suffered exposure to the chemical to any harmful degree, and I do not therefore consider it necessary to institute medical checks for the contractors, firemen or police involved. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence is replying to a separate question about Army personnel.