§ 98. Colonel Lord HENRY CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Home Secretary how many workers in the United Kingdom have, in the last six months, died from T.N.T. poisoning, and how many of these have died from inhaling poisonous fumes?
§ The UNDER-SECRETARY Of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. Brace)
The number of deaths for the six months ending 31st October is forty-one. It is impossible to say how many of these were caused by inhalation of fumes; there is now reason to think that absorption through the skin is the chief danger; and there may be absorption of poison by both channels in the same case.
§ 99. Lord H. CAVENDISH-BENTINCK
asked the Home Secretary whether his attention has been called to the evidence given by the staff superintendent of the works at the inquest on Emily Winifred Brannon, who died from T.N.T. poisoning in a North Midland city, to the effect that the atmosphere in the place in which she worked was charged with fumes which it was undesirable to inhale; whether he has considered the probability that an adequate system of exhaust ventilation has not yet been installed; and whether he proposes to take any action in the matter?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of MUNITIONS (Dr. Addison)
A system of ventilation designed to exhaust the fumes from the point of origin has already been installed in the factory, and is said to be working satisfactorily. Also a system of mechanical ventilation is being installed which will effect ten complete changes of atmosphere per hour. In connection with this matter, a strong Committee was appointed a short time since by the Ministry, after consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department, to examine the problems arising out of T.N.T. poisoning both from the mechanical and medical points of views and to make recommendations to the Ministry. Much useful work has already been done by this Committee, and the recommendations so far made have been adopted by the Ministry and are being put into effect. The Noble Lord will recognise that many of the problems which arise are entirely new, and in some cases difficult of scientific investigation. He may rest assured that such steps as may be found to be necessary will be taken without hesitation.