Mr. G. H. Caslleden (Yorkion):
I wish to direct a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare, of which I have given him notice. First, will the minister inform the house whether or not the research division of his department has found any possibility of dangerous radiation in (a) television sets and (b) X-ray or fluoroscope machines used in some retail shoe stores in Canada? Second, if there is any indication of such radiation, what steps have been taken by the minister's department to protect the Canadian public?
Inquiries of the Ministry Hon. Paul Marlin (Minister of National Health and Welfare): My hon. friend did give me notice the day before yesterday. In answer to the first part of his question I may say that representative types of Canadian television sets have been investigated to determine if radiation from them presents a health hazard. No radiation could be detected emerging from the sets that were studied. My technical officers in the environmental health division are confident that the sets being used in Canadian homes present no health hazard from radiation. This confirms the statement of the British medical research council in their report of June, 1956, when they observed that nuclear and allied radiations did not in this context constitute either a personal or significant genetic hazard to man. In the course of the continuing studies being made by our department of the effects of radiation, my hon. friend may be sure that this matter is under continuous surveillance.
With regard to the second question may I say this. At the end of last session I referred to the report of the technical committee of the United Nations on radiation with special regard to fluoroscopes. In consequence I pointed out that it was desirable that the use of fluoroscopes should be made only in accordance with careful standard medical procedures. It is not within the authority of the federal government to eliminate these fluoroscopes. That is a matter which under our constitution comes under the authority of the provinces. They have been advised of this situation, and I think we may assume that they are taking necessary steps if the situation in Ottawa is an indication of what has resulted. I am informed that at the present time, for instance, 14 of the 21 machines examined a year ago in Ottawa have been discontinued. I would assume that the provinces are taking vigilant action in other communities.
Subtopic: INQUIRY AS TO DANGER OF RADIATION FROM TELEVISION SETS, ETC.