Health and Environment

One of the largest studies to date shows no evidence that Waste-to-Energy plants affect babies

November 2018

One of the largest studies to date on health risks of municipal waste incineration was published on the online version of Environment International.

Funded by Public Health England, UK universities and public institutions, the study analysed the potential effect on births of PM10 emissions from almost all Municipal Waste Incinerators (MWI) in operation in UK between 2003-2010 (therefore operating under current EU IED standards). More than a million births in proximity of MWI were assessed according to the following parameters: birth weight, small for gestational age at term, stillbirth, neonatal, post-neonatal and infant mortality, multiple births, sex ratio and preterm delivery.

The research team “found no evidence for increased risk of a range of birth outcomes, including birth weight, preterm delivery and infant mortality, in relation to either MWI emissions or living near an MWI operating to the current EU waste incinerator regulations in Great Britain.” They suggest that the study should be generalisable to other MWIs operating to similar regulations and with similar waste streams.

Full Study