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Since 1996-97 the department has funded separate HIV health promotion for gay men and African communities. Expenditure is set out on the following table.

£ million

1996-97

0.820

1997-98

1.375

1998-99

1.400

1999-2000

1.400

2000-01

1.500

2001-02

1.550

2002-03

1.600

2003-04

1.700

2004-05

1.700

2005-06

1.700

2006-07

2.750

2007-08

2.750

Notes: Both tables exclude local work funded by the National Health Service. Table two excludes HIV awareness raising and information resources for the general population produced by the former Health Education Authority (and Health Promotion England) and the Family Planning Association through sexually transmitted infections awareness campaigns.

Health: Human Papilloma Virus

Earl Howe asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The department is seeking advice on the new human papilloma virus vaccine from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) which is an independent expert advisory committee. Ministers will consider advice from JCVI when it is forthcoming.

The department will consider the range of implementation issues should the vaccine be recommended, including timing of introduction.

Health: Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The Government are acutely conscious of concerns about this directive and recognise that it is clearly unacceptable to have a situation where its requirements are in conflict with what are important medical procedures. They are therefore seeking a way forward that balances the needs of patients with protecting workers. The European Commission and other member states are also involved. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is working with them, as well as the medical community, to find an acceptable solution.

The action being pursued includes HSE-funded research into the scale and nature of the impact of the directive on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The interim findings have already been made available to the European Commission; the final results, expected later in the year, will also be made so available. Added to this, the European Parliament has been informed of the impact of the directive on MRI; and UK Ministers and officials will continue to raise the matter in EU meetings and contacts, wherever possible.

Health: Second-hand Smoke

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health (SCOTH) published a report in 2004, Secondhand Smoke: Review of Evidence since 1998Update of evidence on health effects of secondhand smoke, which found that exposure to secondhand smoke led to a 24 per cent increased risk of lung cancer and a 25 per cent increased risk of coronary disease.

A report published by Professor Konrad Jamrozik in the British Medical Journal in April 2005 (330:812), Estimate of deaths attributable to passive smoking among adults: database analysis,estimated that 10,700 people die in the United Kingdom annually due to illnesses caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.

The evidence that secondhand smoke damages health is well documented. SCOTH concluded that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and lung cancer in non-smokers, can trigger respiratory asthma attacks, and is a cause of sudden infant death syndrome. In addition, children exposed to secondhand smoke are at higher risk of developing pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and middle ear disease.

The department is not aware of research that specifically estimates the number of deaths and/or cases of serious ill health related to smoking herbal cigarettes in the UK.

A copy of these reports is in the Library.

Iran: Capture of British Service Personnel

Lord Morris of Aberavon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): I refer the noble Lord to the Written Ministerial Statement on 24 April 2007 (Official Report, cols. WS 21-22).

Israel and Palestine

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary is in regular contact with the US as well as other international partners to discuss ways to move the peace process forward. We, and the US, want to see the creation of a two-state solution and an end to violence.

Baroness Tonge asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Triesman: The UK has spoken to both the Israelis and Palestinians about industrial parks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Our Ambassador in Tel Aviv discussed the issue with Israeli Government officials in December 2006 and more recently with Palestinian and Israeli businessmen on 7 May. Whilst we welcome any proposals which seek to support Palestinian economic development, there are a number of sensitive questions around industrial parks including security, location and upholding environmental and labour standards. Further development of the proposals on industrial parks is dependent on agreement on these points between, amongst others, the relevant Palestinian and Israeli parties.

Northern Ireland: Suicide

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Baroness Blood asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Northern Ireland: “Titanic”

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Pollution

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): The threat of pollution to groundwater in the local area has been assessed as low. The situation is being closely monitored in conjunction with the Environment Agency to ensure that there is no impact to the public and private water supplies.

The cost of the clean-up will be met by the US authorities.

Public Appointments

Lord Roberts of Conwy asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: This information is not held centrally and is therefore only available at disproportionate cost.

Rural Development Agencies

Baroness Byford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The sum of £4.172 million that was transferred to the Department for Trade and Industry was earmarked to cover expenditure incurred in the delivery and development of the socio-economic elements of the current and future rural development programmes for England. None of the sum has been, or will be, passed to Natural England.

Smoking: Herbal Cigarettes

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The department is not aware of research that specifically estimates the number of deaths and/or cases of serious ill health related to smoking herbal cigarettes in the United Kingdom.

Lord Monson asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: During the passage of the Health Bill through the House of Lords, my noble friend Lord Warner wrote on 24 April 2006 to Peers who spoke during the first sitting of Grand Committee on a number of matters regarding the smoke-free aspects of the Bill, and a copy was placed in the Library. This letter included information and references to research on emissions from herbal cigarettes.

The department is not aware of any specific research comparing emissions from the smoking of herbal cigarettes with those produced by sources such as incinerators, bonfires, industrial processes or motor vehicles.

Ulster Scots Agency

Lord Laird asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: This matter is now the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Administration.

Waste Management: Chemicals

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government are not aware of what research is being carried out at the University of Surrey and the University of Albany in this area. The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment keeps under review research on dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls, which have similar toxic properties, and will consider any significant developments in the area of human health.


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