Incinerators: Health Hazards

Department of Health written question – answered on 12th December 2017.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effect of the use of waste incinerators on health.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The effects of modern municipal waste incinerators on human health were reviewed by the Health Protection Agency, whose functions were transferred to Public Health England (PHE) 1 April 2013. The report, published in September 2009, concluded “Modern, well managed incinerators make only a small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants. It is possible that such small additions could have an impact on health but such effects, if they exist, are likely to be very small and not detectable.”

PHE will review its advice in light of new substantial research on the health effects of incinerators published in peer reviewed journals. To date, PHE is not aware of any evidence that requires a change in their position statement.

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