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Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of (a) the Army, (b) the Navy and (c) the RAF tested positive for the use of controlled substances in the most recent testing programme, stating in each instance what percentage of trained strength tested positive for (a) cannabis, (b) cocaine, (c) heroin and (d) other controlled substances; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: From 1 January to mid-October 2000, 580 Army personnel tested positive. Of the trained strength, 0.26 per cent. tested positive for cannabis, 0.04 per cent. for cocaine and 0.10 per cent. for other controlled substances as previously described. No one on the trained strength tested positive for heroin.
During the same period, 41 Naval Service personnel (including Royal Marines) tested positive. Of the trained strength, 0.04 per cent. tested positive for cannabis, 0.01 per cent. for cocaine and 0.03 per cent. for other controlled substances (Ecstasy, LSD, Amphetamines, Benzodiazepines and Performance Enhancing Drugs). No one on the trained strength tested positive for heroin.
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The corresponding figures for the RAF record that 14 personnel tested positive. Of the trained strength, 0.08 per cent. tested positive for cannabis, 0.03 per cent. for cocaine and 0.03 per cent. for other controlled substances as previously described. No one on the trained strength tested positive for heroin.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the controlled substances that members of the armed forces were routinely tested for in (a) 1996, (b) 1997, (c) 1998, (d) 1999 and (e) 2000; what plans he has to adjust the testing programme with regard to (i) the number of substances tested for, (ii) the interval between testing and (iii) the penalties for service personnel testing positive; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: When first introduced by the Army in 1995, the Compulsory Drug Testing (CDT) programme routinely tested for: Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamines (including Ecstasy) and one of Opiates, Benzodiazepines or LSD. Since 15 October 1999, the tri-Service programme has tested routinely for: Cannabis, Cocaine, Amphetamines (including Ecstasy), Benzodiazepines and one of other Opiates or LSD.
If prevailing drug trends change, or a particular risk exists that is not covered by the routine testing programme and where appropriate analytical technology is available, other drugs of misuse can be added, exceptionally, to the testing programmes, e.g. performance enhancing drugs.
Increasing the frequency of CDT enhances deterrence but a balance must be established between deterrence and minimising disruption to the services operational and training commitments. A recent amendment to the random rolling drug testing strategy has increased the probability of higher risk groups being tested on a more frequent basis, without having a significant impact on the services' ability to meet their operational liability.
It continues to be service policy that, save in exceptional cases, a positive random test result, or the refusal to provide a specimen, will lead to Army and RAF officers being required to resign and to administrative discharge in the case of an RN officer. Soldiers, ratings and airmen will normally be administratively discharged. Personnel of the rank of lance corporal (and equivalent in the other services) and below may be retained in exceptional circumstances at the discretion of their Commanding Officer.
Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how often are members of (a) the Army, (b) the Navy and (c) the RAF tested for the use of controlled substances; which controlled substances are tested for; which testing kits are used; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: The Army aims to test all personnel annually for drugs. Units that are deemed to be at higher risk by nature of their location or their previous Compulsory Drug Testing (CDT) record may be subject to more frequent testing. The Naval Service aims to conduct random testing in every ship and establishment at least annually, with some establishments subject to more regular testing, and this year plans to test approximately 30 per cent. of its personnel. The RAF aims to test 25 per cent. of its personnel annually. The services conduct their random CDT agenda as part of a rolling programme.
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The drug testing process utilises Microgenics Clonable Enzyme Doner Immune-Assay (CEDIA) technology. Previous immuno-assay technologies utilised were Syva's EMTII and Roche's ONLINE. Samples that screen positive are then confirmed by Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). A sample will be reported positive only after the presence of drugs has been verified by the confirmatory GC/MS process.
The Solicitor-General: With effect from 21 August 2000 the Attorney-General was given the power to refer sentences passed in the Crown court for drugs trafficking offences. These include offences of production or supply of controlled drugs contrary to ss.4(2) and (3) of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, cultivation of cannabis contrary to s.6(2) of the Misuse of Drugs Act and offences contrary to the Customs and Management Act 1979 in connection with a prohibition or restriction on importation or exportation of a controlled drug within s.2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The Attorney-General has just referred the first case under these provisions to the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what estimate he has made of the number of deaths caused by emissions of nitrous oxides in each of the past three years; 
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Mr. Meacher [holding answer 2 November 2000]: I assume the hon. Member means "nitrogen oxides", often referred to as "nox" (NOx), of which nitrogen dioxide forms a large proportion and which is regarded as the main pollutant of health concern within NOx.
At relatively high concentrations, nitrogen dioxide causes inflammation of the airways. There is evidence to show that long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide may affect lung function and that nitrogen dioxide may enhance the response of sensitised individuals to allergens. Studies have reported associations between respiratory hospital admissions and nitrogen dioxide levels but it is unclear whether this effect is due to nitrogen dioxide itself or to particles which often increase at the same time as nitrogen dioxide. The source of the nitrogen dioxide is not relevant.
The Government have not estimated deaths caused by NOx emissions. The 1998 report of the Department of Health's Committee on Medical Effects of Air Pollutants "Quantification of the Effects of Air Pollution on Health in the United Kingdom" (copies of which are in the House Libraries) considered that, although there was some evidence of an effect of nitrogen dioxide on mortality, this was too uncertain to use to quantify numbers of deaths. However, nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of secondary particles (nitrates) and ozone. Deaths brought forward by ozone and particles were quantified by COMEAP. COMEAP did not ascribe proportions of these deaths to particular ozone precursors such as nitrogen oxides or to particular types of particles such as nitrates.
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The assessment of the costs and benefits of the proposed waste incineration directive commissioned by the Department from Entec UK Ltd. (copies of which are in the House Libraries) on the basis of COMEAP data used an assumption about the proportion of ozone attributable to NOx to calculate the marginal health benefits of the NOx limits in the proposal. It concluded that the proposed NOx limit would prevent 46 deaths being brought forward and prevent or delay 91 respiratory hospital admissions as a result of the formation of ozone. Entec UK have very recently recognised a mathematical error in the original calculation, such that the figures given for the marginal health benefits of the proposed NOx limits were overstated. The correct figures for health effects of NOx are in fact significantly lower--0.7 deaths not brought forward and 0.9 respiratory hospital admissions not brought forward as a result of the formation of ozone.
The National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory holds data for estimated total UK NOx emissions from three incineration sectors--sewage sludge incineration, poultry litter incineration and municipal waste incineration. This data have been extrapolated to give projected NOx emissions for 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020, using assumptions about changes in capacity, but without taking into account the NOx limits in the proposed waste incineration directive. The figures are set out in the table. On the basis of the projected 2000 total NOx figure from all three sectors, the incineration sectors covered contribute only 0.3 per cent. of the UK total NOx emissions.
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|Percentage from incineration||0.3||0.3||0.9||1.9||2.0||2.0|
(3) Projections based on various assumptions derived from 'Energy Projections for the UK (Working Paper)', March 2000, EPTAC Directorate DTI
UK Emissions of Air Pollutants 1970-98, J. W. L. Goodwin, A. G. Salway, T. P. Murrells, C. J. Dore and H. S. Eggleston October 2000 (www.aeat.co.uk/netcen/airqual/)
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