Dáil Éireann - Volume 408 - 14 May, 1991

Written Answers. - Childhood Leukaemia.

157. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for Health if he will outline the studies and investigations which have been undertaken in recent years into childhood leukaemia; whether there has been any noticeable increase in the number of cases being diagnosed particularly along the east coast of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Health (Dr. O'Hanlon): Arising out of concern about possible health consequences from the levels of radiation in the Irish Sea region, a study was commissioned by the Department of Health into the mortality and incidence of childhood leukaemia in this country. The study was published in December 1986. The study found that the annual incidence rate for acute lymphoid leukaemia in children in this country was within the range of rates found in children in other western populations. No clustering of deaths was seen in any area along the east coast and overall mortality in the 21-mile deep east and south-east coastal strips was similar to the national average.

[843] My Department is continuously monitoring the incidence of and mortality from childhood leukaemia and the establishment of the national cancer registry will greatly assist the collection of data in this regard.