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Volume 409: debated on Friday 18 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the letter of 1 July, ref PO 103 0668, what action he is taking to change guidelines at public swimming pools in relation to chloramine being a possible cause of asthma. [126270]

[holding answer 17 July 2003]: My letter of 1 July referred to a paper published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine on 28 May which suggested that chloramine, a cleansing agent used in swimming pools, may be a cause of asthma.The Department of Health Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) plan to write to the journal raising a number of technical issues. A statement from COMEAP will also be prepared. These can be used to help the Health and Safety Executive judge whether there is any need to change guidelines to swimming pools at this stage.