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Nuclear Installations (Down's Syndrome)

Volume 81: debated on Thursday 20 June 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken by his Department to investigate the possible increased incidence of Down's syndrome in relation to nuclear installations; and if he will make a statement.

We continually examine available evidence. The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys monitors monthly returns from health authorities of congenital malformations and, in response to allegations of a high incidence of Down's syndrome around Sellafield last year, undertook a detailed scrutiny of statistics for that area. There is no evidence from this monitoring to relate the incidence of Down's syndrome to the presence of a nuclear installation. We are not aware of any well documented studies that link Down's syndrome with radioactivity from nuclear installations.