Petrol (Lead Content)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th April 1976.

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Photo of Mr Alastair Goodlad Mr Alastair Goodlad , Northwich 12:00 am, 5th April 1976

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that useful point.

The report states quite categorically that the most common cause of lead poisoning in children is the ingestion of lead-containing paint. The hon. Member for Erdington said quite rightly that the effects of the various sources of lead pollution are cumulative. It seems to me that it is on the most important areas, not the least important areas, that the Government and the EEC should be concentrating. Paragraph 76 of the report to which I have referred says quite specifically that even though there is no evidence of harm to health from present concentrations of lead in urban air, this is one source amenable to control. That is the key to these actions. If it is amenable to control, why control it regardless of whether there is any purpose in so doing?

I am not in favour of imposing unnecessary and undesirable controls simply because they are possible or easy of implementation. I appeal to the Government to wait until more research has been carried out before they go further down this slippery slope, and I beg them to employ greater flexibility in the timing with which they put these proposals into effect. The fact that the House takes note of Directives does not mean that it approves them.