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Irish Examiner - 25/11/05
Dioxin levels apply to adults - not children
IS enough enough - or just a little more?

I refer to the letter from Larry Stapleton, of the EPA (Irish Examiner, November 11) commenting on the concerns of the public expressed by Mary Hurley with regard to the doubling of dioxin levels in Cork Harbour (Irish Examiner letters, October 31).

The doubling of these levels is worrying in the context of any emissions from a mass toxic incinerator proposed as Government policy, as well as a municipal incinerator proposed for the same site. There is further public concern as a result of the licence granted by the EPA for a crematorium adjacent to the same site in Ringaskiddy.

The EU levels and limits are based on health implications for a fully grown adult, not on the most vulnerable- the developing foetus and the nursing child.

They depend on informed, responsible people who are attempting to assess the health risks to themselves and to this silent body.

We are well aware that the Irish dioxin levels are low by European standards - but we do not have mass incineration yet.

As the company being invited to run this industry exceeded their EU limit l,800 times over a period of three months in Belgium, their home country, public concern here is perfectly reasonable. The primary interest of parents is the safety of their children and obviously there is a big difference in the consequences of these assessments for the EPA and for the public.

Mamie Bowen
Co Cork


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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