Our overriding concern here was a reasonable one. We’re told that the residual amounts are tiny – in the micrograms – but with millions of healthy UK children, including our own, being pressured into using these tests twice a week by their schools, it was possible that such frequent use could result in a cumulative build-up of cancer-causing ethylene oxide inside their bodies, potentially resulting in a heightened risk of developing leukaemia and other life-threatening cancers.
Nowhere within Lord Bethell’s ill-considered reply – bizzarely focusing on misinformation from UK citizens – is this possibility addressed or considered. It therefore amounts to a non-response to what was an extremely urgent query. Moreover, the UK public have been made to sit and wait for two whole months.
Our specific concern about a potential accumulation of ethylene oxide in the body or bloodstream was covered in more detail here, in this separately published article:
Lord Bethell’s response:
Links held above:
The relevant international safety standard was neither specified nor linked to in Lord Bethell’s response. Lord Bethell won’t be aware, but this is ISO 10993-7 dated 15th October 2008.
Both Lord Bethell and Dame Angela Eagle MP state that “1-2 µg/g* of ethylene oxide is used in the swabs, which is well within compliance of national and international safety standards”.
This suggestion – allegedly received from ‘manufacturers’ – is false / spurious because when you click on the above link and search for keywords, you’ll see that lateral flow rapid antigen devices are not specifically covered nor mentioned by the standards. As a result, Dame Angela Eagle and Lord Bethel are in no position to relay such unguarded, erroneous, absolute statements on the matter. This is our children’s future health and wellbeing we’re talking about.
One particular section of the standards caught our eye and it is laid out as follows on page 4:
The EO (ethylene oxide) tolerance levels here are quite clearly stated. We can see that for intraocular lenses – presumably a scientific term for contact lenses – the tolerances are even lower than the quantities we’re told are present in the lateral flow swabs.
The big unknown here is, “Should lateral flow device swabs be included in the international standards, what would the tolerance levels be?”
What’s to say that should lateral flow device nasal swabs be investigated and included tomorrow, they won’t attract similar tolerance levels? Levels which would obviously be breached by the “1-2 µg/g* of ethylene oxide” we’re told is the content?
We STILL don’t know, yet it appears we’re STILL being fobbed off by senior politicians, keen to ignore the facts, present the best possible face, and who are basically taking the word of anonymous, financially conflicted ‘manufacturers’ as gospel.
We’re naturally sceptical and untrusting where UK elected / unelected central government figures are concerned – particularly individuals like Dame Angela Eagle – and would prefer to continue asking probing questions until we have a final, absolute assurance that these lateral flow swabs are safe where our children are concerned…!
All we’ve had up to now are empty assurances, unsupported statements, the failure to address the issue of cumulative risk, and unwanted, unhelpful, irrelevant forays – by Lord Bethell and others – into the dangers of #fakenews / misrepresentation by UK citizens who find themselves needing to ask searching and sometimes difficult questions.
*between one and two micrograms per gram, or parts per million
The full history to this urgent enquiry: