Tuesday, 6 May 1980
Dáil Eireann Debate
Mr. Tully: asked the Minister for  Fisheries and Forestry the safety practice in use in forests when certain concentrates including 245T are being mixed, if he will furnish a copy of the written instructions on the use of this hazardous herbicide in wind conditions and the amount of this substance which would be discharged by a forest worker in one day and if the period of four hours referred to in a reply of 22 April 1980 relates to a period of four hours in the forenoon and four hours in the afternoon or if a rotation of duties occurs after four hours.
Mr. Tully: asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry if he has given any instructions to discontinue the use of the hazardous herbicide 245T and, if so, the date of those instructions, and if not, why, pending the use of an alternative substance.
Mr. Tully: asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry the quantity of the hazardous herbicide 245T purchased for use in forests in each of the past three years, the cost involved, and the approximate stocks of that dangerous substance as at 31 March 1980.
I have stated in reply to previous questions by the Deputy that the chemical 245-T in the formulation in use by my Department poses no threat to man or his environment. Accordingly in replying to the three questions tabled for written reply I do not accept his description of the herbicide as being hazardous or dangerous.
Subject to the foregoing the following is the information sought: (a) I have requested my Department to make available to the Deputy a copy of existing instructions (including normal safety precautions) covering the use of 245-T and other non-hazardous herbicides; (b) The amount discharged per worker may vary from 10-20 litres  (diluted with up to 20 times its volume of water) in one day depending on local conditions; (c) The four hours does not represent a fixed rotation: it is merely indicative of normal maximum period during which a worker might be so employed. A longer period would not be seen as representing any hazard; (d) No instructions to discontinue the use of 245-T have been issued for the reason given at outset; (e) Last purchase was 6,000 litres in 1977 at a cost of £14,000 approximately to supplement existing stocks. Stock in hands is not known pending the completion of an inventory now in progress.
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