Asbestos Disease

– in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 23rd January 1967.

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Photo of Mrs Joyce Butler Mrs Joyce Butler , Wood Green 12:00 am, 23rd January 1967

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.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

The work needed to provide me with a basis for future action to deal with risks from asbestos is already in hand.

Photo of Mrs Joyce Butler Mrs Joyce Butler , Wood Green

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?

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

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.

Photo of Miss Joan Vickers Miss Joan Vickers , Plymouth, Devonport

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?

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

My right hon. Friend is very well aware of the seriousness of this problem, and that is why the Advisory Committee is now carrying out its investigations.