Chemicals Strategy

Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Excerpts
Tuesday 30th April 2024

(2 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Douglas-Miller Portrait Lord Douglas-Miller (Con)
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I think that your Lordships spotted my mistake. We will follow the best scientific advice and adopt the most appropriate approaches for the UK.

Baroness O'Grady of Upper Holloway Portrait Baroness O’Grady of Upper Holloway (Lab)
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My Lords, is the Minister aware that firefighters have a cancer risk that is conservatively estimated to be two to three times higher than that of the general population and that one key factor in that higher risk is the presence of “forever chemicals” in firefighter foams and PPE? Can the Minister confirm that consulting with the FBU on issues such as regular health checks, and a strategy to mitigate and, ideally, prevent that risk, is in that draft updated strategy that he has next to him? Does he agree that dithering and delays in this strategy cost lives?

Lord Douglas-Miller Portrait Lord Douglas-Miller (Con)
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The noble Baroness is quite right. Forever chemicals are a serious concern. They are linked to a number of different firefighting products—the foam and chemicals that come out of the extinguishers present a particularly serious issue, and not only to those who are using them, for that product gets inextricably linked to the environment around it. A number of issues which will come through in the strategy are in place to address that.