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May 16th.2008

Expert gives warning over effects on health

A LEADING health expert has warned the proposed Ince Marshes complex could cause birth defects, liver damage, respiratory conditions, behavioural problems and slower development in children, plus increase the risk of cancers. Dutch dioxins researcher Dr Gavin ten Tusscher gave evidence for campaigners Residents Against Incinerator (RAIN) at the penultimate day of the inquiry into the proposed Ince Marshes complex yesterday (Thursday).

Dr. Gavin ten Tusscher

Dioxins are one of the waste products from combustion in incinerators.

He said: “In the industrialised world dioxins are everywhere to be found, and we are all exposed to them.

“Dioxins readily pass the placenta and are found in relatively high concentrations in breast milk. Children are thus already exposed to high concentrations of these most highly toxic chemicals, prenatally and postnatally.

“If children are already showing negative health effects at current background dioxin levels, it is certainly not wise to increase the background concentrations.

“Any emissions from waste incinerators, however small, whether as a result of standard operating or as a result of accidents or human errors, will only increase the background exposures. It is then to be expected that the negative health effects in the population at large will increase.

“It must be remembered that the background concentrations are not limited by national borders and hence any additional emissions to the environment will only add to the global burden.

“It is then my opinion, as paediatrician and scientist, that it is not wise to build the proposed waste incinerator.”