Brain Tumours

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th May 1992.

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Photo of Brian H Donohoe Brian H Donohoe , Cunninghame South 12:00 am, 20th May 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many brain tumours have been detected in children between the ages of five and seven years in the Ayrshire and Arran health board area in the past two years.

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

In 1989 and 1990, the latest two years for which cancer registration data are available, no children in the age range five to seven in the Ayrshire and Arran health board area were registered with a malignant brain tumour.

Photo of Brian H Donohoe Brian H Donohoe , Cunninghame South

Is the Minister aware that the figure for 1991–92 stands at eight? If that information is correct and if the figure is based on clusters, as I am informed it is, will he initiate an inquiry?

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

1 have received no such figure from my Department. I will, of course, look into the matter and write to the hon. Gentleman.

Photo of Mr George Foulkes Mr George Foulkes , Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley

Is the Minister aware of the concern in south Ayrshire that the danger of an increased number of brain tumours and other cancers will increase if Scottish Power is allowed to go ahead with the proposed transmission line from Killoch to Ballantrae? May we have an assurance that the Secretary of State will take account of that when he eventually considers the application?

Photo of Mr Allan Stewart Mr Allan Stewart , East Renfrewshire

No established link has been found between electromagnetic fields and adverse health effects. There has been extensive research on the issue in many countries since about 1970 and that research continues. The United Kingdom electricity industry is contributing to it. I do not regard this as a matter of party politics, and if the hon. Gentleman wants a full briefing from my Department, he may have one.