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C 134/78

Official Journal of the European Communities

30. 4. 98

− the Standards, Measurements and Testing programme, where the research area ‘Measurements related to the needs of society’ is concerned with measuring the effects of a range of health hazards, including chemical hazards.

The Community budgets for these research areas are approximately ECU 13.5 million within the Biomed Programme and ECU 43 million within the Measurement and Testing Programme.

2. The participating research institutes are selected on the basis of their ability to carry out the research in

question, following a call for proposals. Industry may participate as a research partner on the same basis as research institutes.

3. Community RTD projects are usually financed on a shared-cost basis, i.e. partly financed from the

Community research budget, partly by the participating institutes/industry. The Council has no information on national public or private financing of such research.

(98/C 134/101)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3092/97

by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission

(2 October 1997)

Subject: Medical treatment options for persons severely injured by chemicals

1. Are research funds made available in the individual countries of the EU to investigate illnesses caused by

chemicals?

If

not, why not, particularly in view of the fact that such research is being stepped up in the United States?

If

so, what is the amount of research funding being made available?

2.

Are these research funds allocated to independent institutes?

3.

Does industrial funding reach these research projects?

4.

In which European country is sensitivity to chemicals recognized as a severe disability, as in the United

States?

Answer given by Mrs Cresson on behalf of the Commission

(11 November 1997)

1. - 3. The Commission is not informed whether, beyond the matching funds provided by the participants in Community research projects, research funds are being made available by public or private bodies in the Member States to investigate illnesses caused by chemicals. Nor is it in a position, therefore, to provide answers as to the sources and allocation of such funding in the Member States.

Under the Community research programme on biomedicine and health ( 1 ), and particularly in the area of occupational and environmental health, projects are being funded which relate to illness caused by chemical products. The Biomed 2 occupational health budget totals ECU 11 million.

Since Community funds cover only a part of project costs, the remaining funding is provided by the participants. Such research is supported following open calls for proposals and evaluation by independent experts. All legal entities (undertakings, research centres and universities) ( 2 ) in the Community and associated states may apply.

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30. 4. 98

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 134/79

4. Chemical hyper-reactivity is an unexplained heightened response to chemicals at levels far lower than

those at which most people respond and is often called (or associated with) multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), sick building syndrome (SBS) or chemical hypersensitivity. There is a lack of compelling scientific evidence concerning the relationship between exposure to specific agents and health effects.

The Commission is aware that some Member States keep exposure or event-specific information for industrial, occupational and domestic environments or consumer product-based cases. Other Member States have patient-specific information which is not published, but can be used to stimulate discussion or suggest hypotheses for scientific work.

The Commission is not aware of Member States assigning the status of disability to conditions described with terms such as MCS.

( 1 ) ( 2 )

OJ L 361, 31.12.1994. Council Decision of 21.11.1994 concerning the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities in RTD and demonstration activities of the EC (OJ L 306, 30.11.1994).

(98/C 134/102)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-3094/97

by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission

(2 October 1997)

Subject: Medical treatment options for persons severely injured by chemicals

1. In which European country is adequate medical treatment and therapy available for persons severely

injured by chemicals with sensitivity to chemicals?

2. In which European country is there adequate diagnosis (as for instance carried out in the Gulf War study)

under controlled conditions (Environmental Control Unit) for persons with sensitivity to chemicals, nutritional intolerance or neurotoxic injuries?

3. Are there any clinics that meet the environmental standards of the Environmental Health Center in Dallas,

USA (free of chemicals, no disinfection, air filtration, filtered water, furnishings of glass, steel or resin-free and

turpentine-free timber, no fitted carpets, a ban on smoking and perfume, etc. see description of EHC)?

4. Are there any clinics that meet the medical standards of the Environmental Health Center (doctors

experienced in environmental medicine; detoxification therapy, immune system therapy, test substances free of preservatives etc.)?

5. Is the appropriate accommodation, free of contaminants, available?

6. Is there a clinic in Europe with appropriate controlled conditions (ECU) and surgeons who are able to

operate on people with sensitivity to chemicals?

7. Which European countries are financing adequate environmental clinics with public funds?

8. What value is placed in the various EU countries on the psychiatric treatment of persons injured by

chemicals?