Study finds no ‘conclusive’ evidence of EfW health risks

A study carried out by Imperial College London (ICL) has found “no conclusive links” between incinerators and negative health impacts in new-born children, though states that further research is ‘warranted’.

The study was carried out over a period spanning from 2003 to 2010 and investigated the annual risks of congenital anomalies, including heart and genital problems such as hypospadia, in new-born children living within 10 kilometres of 10 EfW plants in England and Scotland.

The paper’s results found that there is ‘no increased risk of congenital anomalies in relation to mean modelled PM10 concentrations from MWIs in England and Scotland as a proxy for MWI emissions more generally’.

However, ‘small increased risks (2-7 per cent) with proximity to the nearest MWI were observed for all congenital anomalies combined, congenital heart defects and genital anomalies, specifically hypospadias’, with risk increasing by two per cent for each kilometre closer to an incinerator – though it is not clear what is causing this increased risk.