BCAG make front page!

4 Responses

  1. Michael Ryan says:

    Jon England’s assertion: “The Barton Renewable Energy Plant would not be harmful to human health and to suggest otherwise would be irresponsible.” (“‘Nothing to fear’ from new plant” Stretford & Urmston Messenger, 26 August 2010) needs to be backed-up with evidence of lack of harm.

    To make such a statement without any evidence to back it up is not only “irresponsible”, but extremely unwise if Peel Holdings is involved in similar enterprises elsewhere as they are one phone-call away from a journalist asking:

    “Are you aware that neither the Department of Health, nor the Health Protection Agency have examined any health or mortality data around any incinerator, which means that any advice they offer is worthless?”

    Look at this extract from the Daily Mail, “Incinerators cleared of cancer link” (5 September 2009):

    “The Health Protection Agency has concluded that the plants, where waste is burned to create energy, ‘do not pose a significant threat to public health’.

    and compare it with this written reply (Hansard, 30 Nov 2009, Column 539W):


    Incinerators: Health Hazards

    Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect on public health of emissions from a functioning incinerator; [302956]

    (2) with reference to the answer to the hon. Member for Lewes of 17 September 2007, Official Report, column 2209W, on infant mortality: incineration, what recent assessment his Department has made of the correlation between the presence of a functioning incinerator and the incidence of infant mortality in that area. [302957]

    Ann Keen: The Department has made no recent assessments of the effect on public health of emissions from incinerators, or the effects on infant mortality.

    The health protection agency (HPA) recently reviewed the latest research on the impact on health of emissions to air from modern municipal waste incinerators and published a statement in September 2009. It concluded that, while it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects completely, any potential damage from modern, well-run and regulated incinerators is likely to be so small that it would be undetectable. The advice is available on the agency’s website at:


    The HPA also advised that studies of public health around modern, well managed municipal waste incinerators are not recommended, since any possible health effects are likely to be small.

    The HPA’s Chief Executive, Justin McCracken, wrote to me to admit that the HPA hadn’t examined relevant data around incinerators:


    Mapping data makes it easier to understand and that’s why infant death rates have been mapped out in Saginaw:


    Newham Borough (London) is downwind of SELCHP incinerator which started in Dec 1993. Look at the graph shown in Figure 3.19 “Trends in infant mortality, 1990-2005”, in this 2007 report by Newham PCT as it shows infant death rate in Newham falling prior to when SELCHP started:


    At least six London newspapers have reported my research showing elevated infant death rates in electoral wards exposed to incinerator emissions, including these two:



    London Mayor Boris Johnson isn’t keen for Londoners to know the infant death rates in the 625 electoral wards for the 7-year period 2002-2008. They vary from zero (in 12 wards) to max of 14.0 per 1,000 live births in a Southwark ward that’s sandwiched between SELCHP & Kings College Hospital incinerators:


    Question No: 41 / 2010
    Darren Johnson
    A constituent asks, is there any evidence to suggest that the SELCHP and Kings College Hospital incinerators which flank Southwark contributed to the Borough having the highest infant mortality rate in London in 2008?
    Answer from the Mayor:
    My health team are making enquiries to get hold of the necessary data to furnish you with a full reply and I will send this to you as soon as possible.
    In the meantime you might suggest to your constituent that they write to their local Director of Public Health with their request. The address is:
    NHS Southwark
    PO BOX 64529
    SE1P 5LX
    Tel: 020 7525 0400
    Infant morality rates
    Question No: 42 / 2010
    Darren Johnson
    Will you publish electoral ward-level data and a map showing the 2002-2008 infant mortalityrates in London?
    Answer from the Mayor:
    In some boroughs there are only five infant deaths a year, so rates at ward level for single years would be extremely unreliable.
    While DMAG could combine several years worth of data to calculate a ward rate, one of the stipulations of their licence is that they do not publish the data online. If you wish to discuss the data in more detail can I suggest you contact Andrew Collinge, Assistant Director of Intelligence,
    on extension 4652.


    More info at http://www.ukhr.org

    Kind regards,

    Michael Ryan,

  2. Lozza says:

    I still can’t believe how biased the coverage was towards Peel. It was appalling. They featured my letter in the following week and cut out the part where I said the Messenger was biased towards Peel on this issue. So much for freedom of speech!

  3. Michael Ryan says:

    See PQs by Lyn Brown MP whose constituents have been downwind of SELCHP incinerator for twenty years this year:

    Lyn Brown (West Ham, Labour)
    To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the trends in infant mortality rates in Newham.


    Incinerators: Greater London
    Lyn Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the potential effects on human health in Newham of the operation of the South East London Combined Heat and Power incinerator. [137767]

    & see graph:



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