HPS Briefing Note: Incineration of waste and reported human health effects

Publication Date: 28 October 2009

The aim of this document is to provide summarised information on the evidence of association between exposure to the emissions from waste incineration plants and adverse effects on human health.

The main audience for this briefing note is intended to be Health Protection staff working in NHS Boards, Local Authorities and other agencies in Scotland. The material may also be of interest to others including Government Agencies, Planning Authorities, local interest groups and members of the public.

The note provides summary material intended to assist in responding to local concerns regarding incineration and health, relating to either existing incinerators or newly proposed facilities.

Issues covered in the briefing include:

  • Background information on incineration of waste.
  • The types of emissions associated with incineration and their known effects on health.
  • A summary of the existing research evidence on waste incineration and adverse health effects.
  • Conclusions on the nature and level of health risk, associated with modern waste incinerators.

This briefing is based on a report by HPS and SEPA on Incineration of Waste and Reported Human Health Effects (HPS 2009), which can be viewed separately.

Resource information

Health Protection Scotland
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