July 15, 1959 (24th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Jay Waldo Monteith (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. J. W. Monteith (Minister of National Health and Welfare):

Mr. Speaker, in answer to the first question, research has been carried out in the United States on the chemical and biological aspects of a substance found in crude petroleum, the basic material employed in the manufacture of the wax used for milk cartons. This substance, known as dibenzanthracene, has been termed a carcinogen by scientists working on the experimental production of tumours in mice

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2. It has been reported that two out of 50 samples of waxes examined contain dibenzanthracene in amounts of the order of one part per million and one half part per billion of the wax. While the substance has produced tumours when administered to mice it has not been shown to produce cancer in men and the chemical has not been detected in milk held in wax milk cartons. I am advised that while the findings are not final, no indications of a health hazard have been found.

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