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Volume 403: debated on Monday 14 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the extent of industrial lung disease, silicosis, among steelworkers; and if he will make a statement. [109229]

From reports provided by chest and occupational physicians participating in the Health and Safety Executive—funded Health and Occupation Reporting scheme (THOR), it is estimated that iron and steel industry workers accounted for an estimated 12 new cases per year of silicosis between 1996 and 2001.Over a similar period, the Department for Work and Pensions' Industrial Injuries Scheme assessed an average of seven new claims per year by iron and steel workers seeking compensation for work-related pneumoconiosis, of which silica is the most likely causative agent.