Incinerators: Health Hazards

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 12th 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, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policys of the results of the study entitled Characterisation of elemental in PM2.5 in a medium sized Swedish city dominated by a modern waste incinerator plant, published in X-Ray Spectrometry in 2006.

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

Assessments of the risks of pollutants to health are informed by the weight of the available evidence, rather than being undertaken on the basis of an individual study.

Public Health England’s (PHE’s) position is that well run and regulated modern municipal waste incinerators (MWIs) are not a significant risk to public health. This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and the fact that modern and well managed MWIs make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.

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

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