Hand car washes could be investigated over slavery fears

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MPs are to investigate the growth of hand car washes due to environmental and slavery concerns.

The inquiry, by the Environmental Audit Committee, will look at they pollution they cause along with whether they pose a criminal risk by aiding exploitation and trafficking of workers.

The committee said there are concerns that waste water containing oil and contaminated dirt from cars can harm the environment and pollute rivers, streams and ground water.

The cleaning agents used can also be harmful to wildlife and plant life.

Committee chairman and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh said incorrect disposal of waste could be having a “significant impact on local water sources and wildlife”.

She said the inquiry will also ask the Government how it is meeting its commitments to reduce human exploitation.

In March the IASC announced an investigation into exploitation in hand car washes following concerns raised in the media of “endemic exploitation and modern slavery”.

The Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner, Kevin Hyland, said hand car washes are a “major area of concern for anyone trying to tackle modern slavery in the UK”.