THE UK’s waste and recycling sector has today responded to a study from Imperial College London’s Small Area Health Statistics Unit (SAHSU) addressing health impacts of emissions from Energy from Waste (EfW).
The Environmental Services Association (ESA), which represents the sector, has welcomed the clear evidence that there is no link between EfW chimney emissions and the health impacts under investigation, and has called for further work on elements of the paper that were inconclusive.
ESA’s Executive Director, Jacob Hayler said: “The latest study from SAHSU reflects the research unit’s own earlier findings that there are no conclusive links between exposure to EfW emissions and adverse health impacts. The paper reinforces Public Health England’s position, which remains that modern, well run and regulated municipal waste incinerators do not pose a significant risk to public health, and this should reassure anyone living near an EfW plant.
“We would however welcome further research into some health aspects raised by the report. As recognised by the researchers, other sources of pollution—as well as socio-economic dynamics—may be at play, and we would like to see further work on this subject so that we can reassure everyone that—as per the wealth of existing evidence—EfWs are a safe and clean way of dealing with non-recyclable waste whilst also generating sustainable heat and power for homes and businesses.”