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Sheep Dips

Volume 210: debated on Tuesday 30 June 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what research has been carried out into the risks from the inhalation of organo-phosphorous sheep dips; and if she will make it her policy to amend the recommended safety clothing to include face masks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) carried out a pilot research project in the south-west of England in 1990 to look for evidence of personal exposure to sheep dip. HSE has also commissioned a research project to carry out an occupational hygiene assessment of sheep dipping practices and processes.In addition, the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) has asked sheep dip manufacturers to carry out a number of further studies as part of its current review of sheep dip product licences. These include studies of farm operators—including blood tests and details of protective clothing worn—and studies to show which area of the bodies of operators are most exposed. These will then be considered by the VPC in formulating its advice to the Licensing Authority.

Protective clothing requirements will be one of the areas covered by the VPC in its review. Currently, the wearing of a face shield is only required when handling the sheep dip concentrate.