Incinerator Health Risks

No one disputes that fact that waste incineration is harmful to human health. The debate is about the degree of harm and the �acceptability� of the risks.

Airborne particles produced by incinerators are classified according to their size. Particles with a diameter of < 10 microns (1 micron (1 �m) = 10-6m) are potentially dangerous because they are small enough to be drawn into the lung; such particles are designated PM10s. Particles with a diameter of < 2.5 microns are more dangerous because they can be drawn deeper into the lung. Only 5-30% of particles less than 2.5 microns are filtered out with the rest being released into the atmosphere with the potential to cause serious respiratory health issues. Continual monitoring of particle emissions have shown levels to raise to 30-50 times higher than isolated spot measurements.

Incineration, even when it produces energy, burns resources and harms health. Remember: Dioxins are not present in the waste, they are created by the burning process!

Studies suggest that there is a statistically significant increase in the risk of dying from cancer in towns near incinerators.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *