STALYBRIDGE and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds has asked the Government to commission further research into dust particles, after suggestions that they could have a detrimental impact on health.
Campaigners in Mossley have blamed the dust particles emitted from a nearby wood processing plant for a range of symptoms, including nose bleeds, headaches, eye infections and runny noses for some time.
They have been assured by bodies including the Health Protection Agency that there is nothing to suggest that the dust from the plant could have an impact on their health - and the wood processing company operate well within air quality regulations.
However despite the reassurances, residents have continued to be concerned – and now an investigation by the BBC has suggested that dust particles could make people ill.
Mr Reynolds has now written to Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ask for further research in order to determine whether any action is necessary.
Mr Reynolds said: "With such apparent contradictions over what is safe and what could cause harm, I believe the Government now has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ascertain if any action is necessary.
"Of course, it may be that there is no cause for concern – but it would be unforgiveable not to fully investigate these concerns further.
"I have asked the Secretary of State to review new and existing evidence to determine whether dust particles can impact on health. "Furthermore I have asked him to consider what further research is necessary to determine whether current limits are appropriate – both in terms of concentration and the size of particles.
"Clearly the wood processing industry plays an important role in the manufacture of products such as chipboard and animal bedding, as well as the reduction in the need for landfill – and it would be wrong to put additional hurdles in the way of business without a proven need.
"However no-one should live or work in an environment that does them harm and there is a need to ensure the legislation that protects our environment has kept pace with scientific research."