Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 14 October 1971
Page: 2459


Dr Cass (MARIBYRNONG, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Health, upon notice:

(1)   Has the Minister's attention been drawn to a report in the New Scientist, 29th October 1970, page 206, on the dangers of Shell's Vapona Strips, containing the cholinesterase inhibitor, Dichlorvos.

(2)   Can the Minister say whether there are any other reports on the mutagenic effects of this substance.

(3)   Is the Minister able to say whether the United States Department of Agriculture has declared that Dichlorvos vaporising strips should not be used in kitchens, restaurants, or where food is prepared or served, or in nurseries or rooms where infants, ill or aged persons are confined.

(4)   If so, does the Government agree that steps should be taken to stop the sale of this product.


Mr Swartz - The Minister for Health has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The possibility of mutagenicity referred to in this report originates from purely chemical experiments carried out in laboratories, using large quantities of dichlorvos.

The conditions under which experiments such as these are carried out would not be encountered in the every-day use of dichlorvos, and no mutagenic effects of this substance have been demonstrated in either animals or man.

No other reports suggesting mutagenic effects of dichlorvos could be located by my Department.

(3)   The United States Department of Agriculture had required that pest strips containing dichlorvos should have the following warning included in the labelling: 'Do not use in Kitchens, restaurants or areas where food is prepared or served. Do not use in nurseries or rooms where infants, ill or aged persons are confined'. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is now responsible for labelling requirements of this nature and this Agency requires the addition of debilitated' in the second sentence of the warning statement quoted.

(4)   The control of pesticides, including dichlorvos comes within the responsibility of the individual States and of the Commonwealth for those Territories within its administration. The National Health and Medical Research Council, which is an advisory body to the States and Commonwealth, has recommended that pest strips containing 20 per cent or less dichlorvos should have the following warning included in the labelling:

WARNING

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN IF SWALLOWED SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE AVOID CONTACT WITH FOOD DO NOT USE IN FOOD PREPARATION OR FOOD STORAGE AREAS DO NOT USE IN NURSERIES AND SICK ROOMS WHERE PEOPLE MAY BE CONTINUOUSLY EXPOSED

This recommendation has no legal standing unless it is incorporated into relevant legislation. There was no recommendation that dichlorvos in the form referred to should be banned.

There is a continuing review of pesticides including dichlorvos by expert committees of Council.







Suggest corrections