asked the Minister of Labour if he will arrange for the Inspector of Factories to conduct an investigation into asbestos disease, covering not only workers in asbestos factories but also people engaged in the washing of the clothing of such workers, dockworkers handling asbestos loads, and other people in contact with asbestos.
In view of the number of deaths of relatives of asbestos workers and dockers and the contraction of asbestos disease by people living within half a mile of asbestos factories, in addition to the risk involved from the dumping of asbestos waste, will my hon. Friend ensure that the revised regulations take into account all these known and suspected asbestos risks and are not limited to asbestos factory workers?
As my hon. Friend is aware, my responsibilities under the Factories Act relate to persons employed, although other persons will benefit indirectly from the increased protection which will be provided by the revised regulations.
Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this is a very serious problem indeed? Will he see to it that adequate protection is provided, at least for those who work with or near this commodity, particularly in Her Majesty's Dockyards, where a great many people suffer from the effects of asbestos disease?