Javelin Park switch on: David Drew MP says health impact of incineration is not properly measured
David Drew MP is calling for:
A long-term study of the health impact of particulates emitted by incinerators
Full transparency about the composition of waste being burned, particularly food and recyclable material
No more incinerators to be built until health and environmental impact are assessed
Emissions from incinerators are possibly dangerous to health and are not adequately monitored, says David Drew MP, who has been working with scientists for the last two years to look at the impact of incineration.
In the week that Gloucestershire’s Javelin Park incinerator becomes operational, David Drew MP is calling for a long-term study of the emissions from incinerators and their potential health impact.
He has long been concerned about incinerator emissions and has worked with a team of scientists and researchers over the past two years to look at the health impact.
“Incinerators emit particulates (tiny particles) into the air that are classified by size, and it is the smallest particulates which are most dangerous to human health, as they can enter the bloodstream.
“Through my team’s research and a series of parliamentary questions I have put to ministers, it is now clear that the technology does not exist to adequately measure the emission of these smallest particles, and we are not sure they can be filtered,” said David Drew MP.
“I am gravely concerned about the impact that Javelin Park will have on Gloucestershire’s air quality.”
Mr Drew is also concerned that the incinerator will discourage recycling and he is calling for greater transparency on what waste will be burnt at Javelin Park.
“It is estimated that around half of the waste is food or material which could be recycled,” he said.
“Just as we are trying to reduce plastics, Gloucestershire is saddled with an incinerator which will require us to feed it with enough rubbish to burn.
“It is terrible timing that Gloucestershire’s incinerator is coming into operation just as parliament has declared a climate emergency, and at the start of Plastic-Free July.
“We have seen far greater awareness about the impact of air pollution on our health.
“Javelin Park incinerator is not just a blight on Gloucestershire, it is also out-of-date and environmentally and economically disastrous.
“This is not good value for money. Gloucestershire County Council has admitted that costs have risen and this will end up with the taxpayer subsidising the private sector.
“The declaration of the climate emergency should not simply be empty words. We now require positive action. And that includes a moratorium on incineration.
“The impact of incineration on climate change alone justifies an end to incineration in the UK.”
The report, developed by David Drew and his team, will be available later this summer.