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Andrew Hunter MP
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... Health Issues Health issues and information.

The developers Hampshire Waste's statement that they can filter the incinerator stack emissions to ensure no health risk to humans is simply not true.  There is sufficient evidence to indicate that the Basingstoke population will suffer increases in asthma cases amongst other ailments.

Take just ONE example - Dioxin

The US Environmental protection agency have identified dioxin as "one of the most carcinogenic substances known to man".  Dioxins are bio-accumulative hormone mimicking compounds which persist in the human body for 30 years or more.  Such compounds are now known to cause male infertility, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and birth defects.

Dioxins are produced as unintentional by-products from industrial processes in which chlorine and chlorine-derived chemicals are produced.  Incineration burns these compounds in the waste stream - PVC-based packaging and cables etc, polyethylene, white bleached paper and wood preservatives amongst many others.  The dioxins are broken down in the heat of the incinerator but reform in the stack around microscopic particles and then pass out into the local environment.

A study of stomach and lung and liver cancers (the results suppressed until the end of 1996 by which time the old incinerators had to close) show that living near an incinerator severely increases the health risk. This study did not take wind variations in account which had previously been shown to intensify the effects even further.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has determined a lifetime human dose for dioxin. The proposed Chineham plant (if it maintains the EU emission regulations) will pump out approximately 2.5 million times the human daily dose each day. 

If the plant is required to aim for a 10 times lower target (EU target - not legislation yet) by using "best practice" then it can be seen that the emission is still intolerable.  If the emission is not inhaled, then the fallout will enter the food-chain, contaminating the grass on nearby farmland. This will then be ingested by grazing cattle and could then be passed on to people.

With the highest dioxin fallout occurring around the actual incinerator building, the sewage treatment work's (located right next to the proposed incinerator site) current practice of spreading sludge over fields will disperse these toxic compounds even further.

The planning application supportive studies f existing ground contamination have shown that the levels of Dioxin in some of the monitored sites in Chineham and the surrounding areas are twice that of a typical urban level (such as Birmingham). Typically, a rural location such as the site of the existing incinerator would be a fifth of an urban level.


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