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The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants has issued a ...
The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants has issued a

set of draft guidelines on investigating the health impact of

emissions to air from local industry for consultation. These are

aimed at helping health authorities, public health departments, local

authority environmental health officers and Environment Agency staff

investigate the possible effects on health.

Commenting on the release of the draft Guidelines, the chairman of

the committee, Stephen Holgate, said:

'The publication of these draft Guidelines represents a significant

step for the committee. I hope that these Guidelines will be well

received by all professionals who are involved in the investigation

of alleged health effects of environmental pollution. We will welcome

the views of others before issuing definitive Guidelines.'


1. The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants which

was set up in 1992, is a non-statutory independent advisory

committee which advises the chief medical officer and, through

him, the government on the health effects of air pollution. Its

terms of reference are as follows:

'At the request of the department of health:

(a) To assess and advise government on the effects upon health of

air pollutants, both outdoor and indoor air, and to assess the

adequacy of the available data and the need for further research,


(b) to co-ordinate, with other bodies concerned with the

assessment of the effects of exposure to air pollutants and the

associated risks to health, and to advise on new scientific

discoveries relevant to the effects of air pollutants upon


2. Copies of the consultation draft are being sent to the NHS,

local authorities, the Environment Agency, consumer groups and to

manufacturers for their comments. Copies of the draft document are

available on the committee's website at

3. The closing date for comments on the draft is 16th April 2000.

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