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Irish Times - 23-02-05
Safety of proposed plant questioned
Barry Roche Southern Correspondent

Indaver's application for a licence for a toxic-waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy failed to properly address the impact of the proposal on human health, an expert in epidemiology has claimed.

Dr Anthony Staines, senior lecturer in epidemiology in the Department of Public Health at UCD, said he had examined Indaver Ireland's Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed plant and felt it did not adequately address the impact on human health.

"The section of the EIS entitled Impact on human beings seems to me to be deficient," he said.

Dr Staines told the EPA oral hearing into the granting of a draft waste licence to Indaver that the emissions levels in its application were in keeping with EU standards, but such standards were usually the maximum levels. Several of the elements which will be burned at the planned site - such as mercury, cadmium and arsenic - were very toxic to the human body.

He cautioned against allowing emissions to reach the maximum standards as such standards have tended to be reduced over time as scientists and doctors learn more about their effects.

Dr Staines agreed with Mr Paul Gardiner SC, for Indaver, that environmental surveys in Ireland showed that some 98 per cent of dioxins are caused by forms of combustion other than incineration, which currently accounts for just 1-2 per cent.

He said he did not believe that emissions from a proposed incinerator at Ringaskiddy would dramatically change the national picture in Ireland in terms of the proportion of dioxins coming from incineration compared to other forms of combustion such as bonfires and traffic.

© The Irish Times


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