Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Lord Lilley: My Lords, the British Dental Association has written to all of us saying that X-rays carry a small risk of possible long-term physical harm and that the risk is cumulative and successive exposures increase the risk, which means that each exposure over a lifetime must be clinically justified. Over my lifetime I have had more than 20 X-rays from dentists and have never been warned of this cumulative risk. Can my noble friend explain why the BDA is so worried about a single X-ray of someone claiming asylum who looks 22, especially when the BDA says that it can tell the age to within four years with 95% accuracy? So it might well show that someone was younger than they looked and be to their benefit.

    Lord Murray of Blidworth: I entirely agree with my noble friend that it is an unusual position for the BDA to adopt.