A view from the West

Featuring food, fuel and the future in Jersey

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Just how toxic can an incinerator be?

I was one of three senatorial candidates who took time out of campaigning to meet Dr Van Steenis this morning. The former GP is now an independent  consultant in air pollution, not in the pay of any agency or company.

His notes are below. I'm afraid I don't have time to review any of his claims right now.  PM 2.5 means particle smaller than 2.5 microns - the ones that can pass through the lungs into the body.

Should you reside or work downwind of the proposed replacement incinerator site, please read on. An incinerator is planned by the authorities, subject to agreement by the public health director and the Environment Agency. Incineration of waste causes a shorteningof lifcspan of up to 12 years often in the prime of life by increasing a range of diseases especially heart attacks & cancers. A 20 year university led study in Belgium detailed diseases and deaths caused during years I to 5, 6 to 10 and 11 to 20, ending up with a 480% rise in cancer incidence on top of the country’s rise, yet that St. Niklaas incinerator was operating under the EC 2000 directive as is the proposal. The proposed chimney will spread the damage up to 15 miles depending on weather conditions.
Incineration of waste vaporises heavy metals making the particulates emitted even more lethal when you inhale them into your lungs. Emissions will consist of PM2.5 and PM1 particulates which mostly pass through the abatement equipment and which go into the deepest part of your lungs when inhaled. 90% of PM1s escape through the abatement equipment. Your health can be put at risk for 3 days just from an hour’s exposure if the wind blows the PM2.5s your way. Interaction of gasses and ultrafine particles from any other sources will form secondary PM2.5 particulates, thus increasing the propsed incinerator’s effects on health downwind. Wind direction, speed and temperature inversions are crucial factors. When you inhale PM1 and PM2.5 particulates the soluble fraction gets into the bloodstream and your cells, while the insoluble fraction is partly dealt with by macrophages and T-lymphocytes with the remnants walled off in the lungs causing COPD. The resultant inflammatory process can cause asthma, heart attacks, strokes & clinical depression. When in the cells, mutations will occur due to heavy metals, PAHs, dioxins, PCBs, any radioactivity or dioxins. Without adequate selenium in your blood to neutralise the metals, mutations from these items will lead to birth defects, and cancers and altered gene function. In USA even 12 year olds had 20% loss of lung peak-flow due to PM2.5 induced COPD. Unlike USA, where PM2.5s have been rigorously monitored & regulated since 1997, in the UK only PM1Os (PM1O down to PM4—none of which gets into your lungs) are measured using instruments that can be adjusted to minus eg Brighton duringJune 2007 where PM2.5s read fraudulent minus lO7uG/m3 Hence there is no regulation in the UK to protect the public and Jersey is stupidly following the UK. A May 2008 issue of Journal of the American Medical Assoc. proved UK PMIOs have no relevance to heart or lung disease—it is only PMIs & PM2.5s that count, & these are emitted. A MILAGRO California study of Mexico City smog particulate content published 5 September 2008 confirmed the real problem arose from municipal waste incineration (not traffic). Jersey public health data is compared with England instead of a proper unexposed control leading to bias.
The IPPC law was downgraded by Mr. Prescott in 2000 to more or less “anything will do”. The Environment Agency truthfully state they know nothing about health although their 2001 CLARINET report states health studies should be done comparing exposed (downwind) with unexposed (upwind). Far worse, the Health Protection Agency follow a Guy’s Hospital director who said “Air pollution does not exist” so have not done these required studies. Advisors have conflicts of interests. So without knowledge of toxicology br use of available data or relevant measurements, the PCT, HPA & Environment Agency only heed government “spin”, “reviews” and “diktat”. They lack a single peer-reviewed journal as back-up. I have 343 journal references backing up what I am telling you here. It is up to you, the reader, to challenge PCT public health directors whom the GMC say must know the subject, be up to date and listen to & protect the public. The Environment Agency cannot authorise any application unless council and PCT public health director have signed consent. The total NHS cost of this unregulated UK industrial air pollution is c.L45 billion pa plus losses to education, productivity & crime.. There will be cumulative impacts in the body and synergistic effects, for example cadmium & lead in the body will multiply the effects of mercury by 50 times, and pollutants within PM2.Ss interact with your blood fatty acids to increase risk of a heart attack.
The ONLY safe way of handling waste is PLASMA GASIFICATION which runs on electricity, produces vitrified gravel, hydrogen & electricity —all for sale- and has very low emissions at a nett cost
of £23 to £31 per ton compared with incinerators of c.L63 per ton plus health damage plus huge volumes of toxic ash for disposal. Who has the morals to protect the public?? Challenge the authorities to not only protect your health but to install this plasma gasification as best available technique. The EC directive 2006/12/EC on waste of 27 April 2006 insists member states use best available to protect public health. It is proposed to spend £106 million on construction cost & another £10.3 million per year running cost. Compare this with Plasco’s plasma gasification in Ottawa with zero construction cost to government and under £4 million annual cost for a slightly bigger plant, without counting health costs. Why are the regulators breaking the law? Read Popular Science, March 2007, where you will discover that Panama will be treating all waste by plasma gasification , producing 4O% of Panama’s electricity plus exports of hydrogen. Other plants are built or planned in Ottawa (2 in conjunction with the Canadian Government), France, Florida, Michigan, New York, Puerto Rico etc. Veolia are building the Michigan plant while fobbing off English residents with an inferior incinerator by comparison (which is now not BAT or BATNEEC as required by IPPC law and this April 2006 EC directive. Even DEFRA grudgingly admit in their July 2007 report that PM2.5s CAUSE illnesses and premature deaths but so far have not acted on their new-found discovery which has been legislated upon in USA since 1997.Rates of the main diseases in USA (compare with list below) dropped 6% in 2005/5. The Infant Mortality in New York City is now at an all time low. The Harvard long-term follow-up found just lug/m3 PM2.5s represented 3% of deaths of all causes.
The range of illnesses caused by inhaling PM2.5 particulates from waste burning include----
Birth defects, low birth weight babies (in direct proportion to PM2. 5 levels), stillbirths & miscarriages.
Premature deaths of babies, infants and adults. eg. London’s infant mortality in zones downwind of the
incinerators is 7 times higher than in wards upwind. (9.0 cf 1.3/1000 - ONS data 2003/5--M.Ryan) 
Note that Jersey’s infant mortality is 3.1 compared with under 1.3 in upwind of UK incinerator zones.
T-lymphocyte diversion to 1ung~ with depletion causes SIDS, cot deaths, autism, MS, GBS
Attention deficit and other behaviour problems, some leading to crime.
Lower IQ & educational achievement down 2 years, worse GCSE grades (due partly to PAHs)
Asthma, COPD, viral & bacterial respiratory & other infections (especially boys)
Coronary heart disease, heart attacks, arteriosclerosis, strokes, SADS. Jersey heart attack deaths are
higher that SW England though England is very high in thc world league table.
Diabetes-- Dioxins, arsenic, cadmium, lead & mercury are implicated.
Endometriosis & other hormone disruption can arise from dioxin exposure.
Multiple chemical sensitivity with allergies & arthritis
ME, CFS, Hypothyroidism with low T3 level (adding to obesity)
Clinical depression & suicides, apathy, which increases the obesity problem. Jersey suicide incidence is 10 /100000 compared with England 6.
CANCERS—non-Hodgkins lymphoma, brain, breast, colon, lung, prostate, kidney, liver etc Breast cancer for example can be caused by faulty genes (2%), I IRT (5%) radiation, OP pesticides & herbicides, and from chimneys—cadmium, dioxins (& similar), & PAHs. Jersey’s cancer deaths are higher than SW England especially breast cancer in screening age women (78 cf 57 in England).
Analysis of 9 health parameters in Telford by ward in 2005 revealed increases in illnesses, SMR (64 in ward upwind & 149 ward downwind, also age adjusted mortality in 7 polluted wards compared with 24 less polluted wards (eg 542 upwind & 1341 downwind). An incinerator built in Colnbrook 1990 caused Slough SMR to worsen from 88 to 121 by 2001 meaning 11 years off lifespan. Those with internet can check and (under pollution at bottom of main page) for more details. It is up to you to act or you will have the consequences imposed on you. The regulators normally just follow government “spin” & diktat.--Compiled 22 September 2008 & Copyright by Dr. Dick van Steenis MBBS who has reports in 4 peer-reviewed medical publications and has lectured at 4 international medical conferences in addition to public inquiries. GLOSSARY-­COPD = Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease PAR- Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons CFS= Chronic Fatigue Syndrome IPPC = Integrated Pollution & Prevention Control USEPA USA Environmental Protection Agency SADS Sudden Adult Death Syndrome

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Deputy De Faye (836 votes) is an embarassmet ( :p

I heard Dr Van Steenis talking to Chris Stone on Radio Jersey. He made some very good points about this out of date incinerator. He was very well informed, articulate & credible. The emissions from the incinerator will be responsible for many hundreds of deaths, as is the present one. It's only a shame he didn't mention petrol & diesel pollution.
Very soon de Faye was invited to reply; he said that Dr Van Steenis, who is also an advisor to the British Government, is nothing more than a crank. I was amazed, then even more so when Chris Stone told him that he couldn't say things like that on the BBC.
Imagine Radio Jersey telling a minister to button it!
Anyway such arrogance & self importance shouldn't surprise me, nor the kneejerk reaction to rubbish anyone who dares to disagree with the almighty Council of Ministers. A glorified city council somebody wrote on Stuarts blog.
Why is it that Jersey always ends up with the rubbish that nobody else wants, including an EU banned incinerator?

Re: Deputy De Faye (836 votes) is an embarassmet ( :p

Re: Deputy De Faye (836 votes) is an embarassmet ( :p
I didn't hear the radio piece. But yes he is a very plausible presenter, if a bit forthright. I knew already that PM 2.5 was the important stuff from my reading on diesel and bio-diesel, but the Dr's researches seem very extensive. He does site some public published information, but I failed to get hold of a copy of the references (sorry!)
A particularly worrying bit for me he dropped in the talk this morning was the dioxin releases, and its implications for the export potato industry if its in the soil.
I wonder on what basis Mr de Faye thinks his knowledge and research in this matter is so superior to that of Dr Van Steenis that he can dismiss him so lightly.
It wouldn't be that hard to verify (or refute) the infomation locally with upwind and downwind samples taken by an indepndent lab, would it?

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