UK cancer probe set to widen

Investigation into employee cancer rates may cover entire semiconductor industry

Pat Hagan(pat.hagan@btconnect.com)
Aug 11, 2004

An investigation into cancer rates among workers at an electronics plant in Scotland, which has been plagued with accusations of conflict of interest, could be extended to cover the whole UK semiconductor industry.

Britain's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) told The Scientist that researchers have started exploring whether companies other than National Semiconductor, which runs the Scottish plant in question, should also be included in the inquiry.

They are visiting semiconductor firms across the country to examine company records as part of a feasibility study paid for by the HSE and the Department of Trade and Industry.

The results of the study, expected at the end of the year, will determine whether a full-scale investigation of cancer risks among semiconductor industry workers is warranted, HSE said.

Alastair Hay, an expert in environmental toxicology at Leeds University who sits on the committee overseeing the feasibility study, told The Scientist...

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