Incinerator emissions

SIR - People who attended the incinerator presentation in Green Lanes last week will probably have heard assurances from county council employees that incinerators are safe in terms of the emissions produced, and that they are the best sustainable solutio

SIR - People who attended the incinerator presentation in Green Lanes last week will probably have heard assurances from county council employees that incinerators are safe in terms of the emissions produced, and that they are the best sustainable solution for dealing with residual waste.

A dampener was put on such claims last month when the Advertising Standards Authority adjudicated that a booklet distributed by the waste company SITA should be withdrawn on five counts.

The most important rulings were that the claim that modern incinerators are safe was too absolute and could not be substantiated by the evidence and that the use of the word 'sustainable' was vague and ambiguous and breached DEFRA guidelines.

It could well be that the ASA drew on evidence published by such bodies as the American Environmental Protection Agency, by experts such as toxico-pathologist Dr Veryan Weston and from statements of organisations representing thousands of medical experts in Europe that there are probably no safe levels of the toxins known as dioxins, which are the most harmful chemicals known to science.


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These are just some of the 200 or so toxic or potentially toxic substances emitted from incinerator stacks (and there are possibly more which have not yet been identified)

As to 'sustainability' perhaps the ASA had in mind the fact that resources are burned (that is 'wasted') in incinerators rather than recovered and re-used.

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P.Hames, Northam

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