Health and Environment

Incinerator emissions “do not reduce the quality of milk and vegetables”

2015 – Dutch researchers studied the presence of contaminants in vegetables and cow’s milk produced near three Waste-to-Energy plants in the Netherlands.

They grew kale and spinach close to Waste-to-Energy plants, as these vegetables accumulate contaminants in their leaves. Comparatively to crops grown elsewhere in the Netherlands, the vegetables did not show any difference in the levels of contaminants they contained.

Researchers also analysed the milk produced by cows grazing near Waste-to-Energy plants. They found contaminants in comparable levels to the average in the country, concluding that “milk produced near to the incinerators posed no increased risk to consumers“.

A summary of the study can be found here or in the sidebar. The full study can be found here.

Reference: Chrisvan Dijk, Wim van Doorn, Bert van Alfen. Long term plant biomonitoring in the vicinity of waste incinerators in The Netherlands. Chemosphere, Volume 122, March 2015, Pages 45-51.

Summary of the study
European Commission
“Science for Environment Policy”

Full study