Cork Greens member Gordon Reid told today’s Oral Hearing (Day 9, 3 May 2016) that research cited by Indaver’s own health experts shows that premature death would be expected to cut thousands of years from the lives of people living near incinerators around the EU.
Dr Reid, senior lecturer in physiology at UCC, said that while Indaver’s health experts, the consultancy EHA, claimed that “no adverse human health effects from the proposed facility are predicted”, one of the articles that they used to support this statement actually shows that, in a population of 2.2 millon (a little bigger than greater Dublin), living near an incinerator running for 20 years, 7,600 years would be lost from people’s lives owing to premature deaths from various causes.
Dr Reid said that adjusting these figures to the communities around Cork Harbour, over the 60 year period that Indaver wants to run the Ringaskiddy incinerator, a preliminary analysis suggests that tens of years of life could be lost, possibly over 100.
Dr Reid said “While I was reviewing the material on incinerators and health that Indaver submitted, I was amazed to find that their own evidence – cited in their health experts’ report that claimed waste incineration is safe – actually showed that thousands of years of life would be expected to be lost through premature death in people living near incinerators.”
He said that Indaver’s health advisers quoted the part of the article that said, “Current impacts of incineration can be characterised as moderate compared to traffic or industrial emissions”, but did not include the part that referred to premature deaths.
The research was conducted in 2011 by an international collaborative team from universities and health organisations in 5 countries, including the WHO, on modern incinerators in Italy, Slovakia, and England regulated by the EU pollution control directive.
Several other speakers presented, including Rodney Daunt, an Instrumentation and Control Engineer, with 35 years experience in the oil & gas, pharmachem and other industries. Mr Daunt presented the hearing with photographic evidence of atmospheric accumulations over Cork Harbour.
He said that “Under specific weather conditions, stack emissions will tend to drop to a lower level sooner than expected and will cause the airborne particles to settle locally”, and showed evidence of this in photographs showing the dispersal of stack emissions from a factory in Cork Harbour, taken in 2016.
“Even without the consideration of temperature inversion, under high humidity/light wind conditions, a build-up of stack emissions can form over the harbour and then precipitate out locally in the form of a rain shower.”
The hearing continues tomorrow, with Indaver scheduled to address the Department of Defence statement that they would need to implement a no-fly zone in the area around the stack, rendering Haulbowline Naval Base inoperable in southerly winds.