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Sea Birds (Poisoning)

Volume 174: debated on Thursday 14 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether the research centre at Monkswood has within the last 12 months examined any sea birds for evidence of glycol poisoning; and if he will make a statement.

The Institute of Terrestrial Ecology's Monkswood experimental station—part of the natural environment research council—has not examined any sea-birds for evidence of glycol poisoning in the past 12 months.In 1988 the institute carried out analysis and post mortem studies on a number of birds found dead in the Bacton area of Norfolk. No single cause of death could be found at post mortem and none of the chemical or metal residues found in the birds could, taken singly, be considered to have caused death. Tests for glycol residues were inconclusive, although glycols are not generally considered to be especially toxic to vertebrates. No further incidents have been brought to the institute's attention.