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Cot Deaths

Volume 171: debated on Friday 27 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to receive the report of the chief medical officer from the expert group examining the work of Mr. Barry Richardson on chemical emissions and cot deaths.

The chief medical officer has asked the group of independent experts to report as soon as possible. However, Mr. Richardson's theory—that emission of toxic gases from fungal growth on cot mattresses could be responsible for some cases of sudden infant death syndrome—is a complex one and requires careful and responsible examination involving a range of scientific disciplines. It is difficult to forecast precisely when this ongoing work will be completed.