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Irish Medical News - 01/11/2004
IDEA opposes incineration plans
by Julie-Anne Barnes

The decision to pave the way for the construction of Ireland’s first waste incinerator has been described as “very disappointing” by the Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA).

“We have great concerns over emanations from incinerators,” said Dr Elizabeth Cullen, spokesperson for the group. “Recent research shows that particles from incinerators cause respiratory and cardiovascular disease. We would have concerns that most pollutants are emitted during starting up and slowing down of incineration. There has to be continued monitoring,” she said.

According to Dr Cullen, a properly managed landfill is much safer than incineration. “Some emissions are fat soluble and these accumulate in fatty tissue. This can affect babies in the womb and babies up to six-months-old because the blood brain barrier is not developed,” she said. Dr Philip Michael, Chairman of the IDEA said: “We remain opposed to incineration on principle. The Stockholm Convention prohibits the production of any persistent pollutants, but this is what it [incineration] is going to do.”

Dr Michael denied that the “stringent controls” the Environmental Protection Agency will make incineration subject to will have any effect. “There are controls in place all around the world where incinerators are in use and they have shown to be ineffectual.”

The EPA has granted the waste management project to Indaver Ireland to allow the construction of an incinerator in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork.
The plant will cost an estimated €75 million initially and will handle some 100,000 tonnes annually. A second incinerator will be built near Duleek, Co Meath at a cost of €85 million. This incinerator is expected to manage 150,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste annually.


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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