Air Pollution: Health Hazards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 8th February 2019.

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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 and Social Care, what comparative assessment (a) his Department and (b) Public Health England has made of the health effects of (a) PM 0.1 and (b) PM 1 in those parts of England (i) with and (ii) without waste incineration plants.

Photo of Steve Brine Steve Brine The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Recent assessments have been undertaken of the health effects of long-term exposure to the air pollution mixture in the United Kingdom. This was based on studies reporting associations of mortality risk with fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which includes PM1 and PM0.1, and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nitrogen-dioxide-effects-on-mortality

Public Health England funded a study to further extend the evidence base as to whether emissions from modern municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) affect human health. Study outputs concluded that the amount of particulate matter people are exposed to from MWI emissions is very low in Great Britain. The document can be viewed at the following link:

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b06478

No comparison has been made of PM emissions in areas with or without MWIs as overall they contribute very little to the emissions of particulate matter.

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