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Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what research has been undertaken by his Department upon the effect of organochlorines on aquatic ecosystems.

Organochlorines have an extremely wide diversity of forms and uses and many occur naturally. Environmental concern about their aquatic effects relates to those substances which might be particularly toxic, persistent or bioaccumulative, as reflected in lists I and II of EC directive 76/464 on dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment and in the new north-east Atlantic convention.The Department has a programme of research directed at establishing environmental quality standards for priority substances of this nature where these have not been suitably researched within the EC programme of work. This includes consideration of a variety of organnochlorines. Reports of the research studies are widely available through the Department Library.