§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will initiate a new inquiry into the effects of lead in petrol on the intelligence, behaviour and performance of children ;
(2) if he will investigate the contribution petrol lead makes to body lead burdens.
§ Dr. Vaughan
The Department established an expert working party on lead under the chairmanship of Professor P. J. Lawther to review the overall effects on health of environmental lead. Its report, "Lead and Health", was published in March.
The working party examined the relative contributions of different sources of lead to the body burden, but was unable to come to clear conclusions about the effects of small amounts of lead on the intellectual development of children. It 62W recommended that further research projects should be conducted to investigate relationships between exposure to lead—from all sources—and intelligence, educational attainment and behaviour in children. This recommendation, along with the others in the report, is currently being considered by the Government, and we shall announce our response as quickly as practicable.
§ Mr. Skinner
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what evidence his Department has on the effects of petrol lead on pregnant women and the effects of petrol lead on the number of stillbirths and malformations at birth.
§ Sir George Young
I am advised that there is no evidence that lead emissions to the air from vehicles have any significant effect on pregnant women or the number of stillbirths and malformations at birth.