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Health: EU Law

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 15th October 2012.

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Photo of Martin Horwood Martin Horwood Liberal Democrat, Cheltenham

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the effect on (a) life expectancy and (b) premature deaths avoided of action taken to implement the EU Incineration of Waste Directive and associated amendments (i) in total and (ii) in each region since it came into force; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Richard Benyon Richard Benyon The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Some assessment at a national level of the general benefits to health of the EU Waste Incineration Directive was included in an impact assessment prepared at the time the directive was finalised in 2000.

The Health Protection Agency has reviewed research undertaken to examine the suggested links between emissions from municipal waste incinerators and effects on health. While it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modem and well managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

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