Incineration does not destroy waste – it
merely converts it to other forms, such as: stack gases, minute dust
particles, and ash. All these contain pollutants that are harmful
to our health. That is why they are regulated.
Emissions from incinerators include: dioxins,
PCBs, heavy metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, etc.). All of these are
persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic.
Dioxins and PCBs are toxic chemicals that can
have severe health effects, especially on the
developing foetus and young children. Known health effects include:
cancer, impairment of the immune, hormonal, and reproductive systems,
congenital abnormalities, delayed cognitive and motor development
in children, disruption of critical stages of embryonic development.
(Source: WHO and International Agency for Research on Cancer).
The fallout zone for incinerator emissions extends
to a radius of 30-40 miles. But by far the
greatest risk of exposure to dioxin is through the food we eat. Dioxin
from incinerator emissions settles on vegetation, in soil, and in
the oceans, and so enters the food chain.
Newsletter (May 2005) - Health Issue
Summarizes medical evidence presented at
EPA Oral Hearing.
Health Effects of Waste Incinerators
4th Report of the British Society for Ecological Medicine (Dec. 2005)
concludes that no new waste incinerators should be built. "Incinerators
are in reality particulate generators, and their use cannot be justified
now that it is clear how toxic and carcinogenic fine particulates
Fact Sheet - Particulate matter air pollution: how it harms health
Emissions from incinerators include fine particulates [dust]. This
fact sheet outlines the harmful health effects of these particulates.
health impact of the proposed waste incinerators at Ringaskiddy
A critique of the health assessment in the EIS submitted with the
waste licence application. Presented at EPA Oral Hearing by Dr. Anthony
Staines, Senior Lecturer in Epidemiology, UCD.
Pollutants Affect Health - Early Dioxin Exposure in Children
Paper by Dr. Gavin ten Tusscher (Paediatrician),
and Environmental Effects of Landfilling and Incineration of Waste
– A Literature Review (Health Research Board)
Summary of research and development needs identified in this report.
here for full report.
and human health - State of Knowledge of the Impacts of Waste Incinerators
on Human Health (pdf)
Michelle Allsopp, Pat Costner and Paul Johnston. Greenpeace Research
and their Effect on Human Health - WHO Fact Sheet