§ Mr. Bean
asked the Secretary of State for Employment in the light of the survey by the Employment Medical Advisory Service, if he will publish the number of workers found to be suffering from asbestosis who are or were employed in Her Majesty's dockyards; and if all the workers in question or their general practitioners 648W have been informed of their condition.
§ Mr. John Grant
I am informed by the Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission that the asbestos survey of the Employment Medical Advisory Service was set up in 1971 as a research project to measure the effect of exposure to asbestos dust within the limits of the Asbestos Regulations 1969. Its coverage within Her Majesty's dockyards was limited to current workers designated by Her Majesty's Factory Inspectorate, and it was not designed to keep records of subsequent diagnosis of asbestosis.
Since 1965, the Naval Medical Service has been conducting a study of the total population at Devonport, Chatham, Portsmouth and Rosyth dockyards who are, or have been, exposed to asbestos. It is, I understand, the practice of the Naval Medical Service to inform all workers and their general practitioners of the results of examinations undertaken as part of this study. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Defence, would be glad to provide further information about the study if requested.