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Harm is hard to prove; You Say

SUGGESTING that incinerator emissions don't harm health is very easy (Liverpool Echo, 25 January 2014).

But providing evidence of "lack of harm" has so far eluded the Environment Agency, Health Protection Agency and also Veolia's legal team at the Shrewsbury incinerator public inquiry in 2011, where Dr Dick van Steenis was my expert witness.

Infant mortality rates are accurate indicators of the health of a community and a rapid fall in rates in England and Wales followed the switch to the cleaner North Sea Gas- but no causal link was apparently made between the two events.

In December 2012 the Office for National Statistics kindly released the 1970-2010 infant mortality rates for all London boroughs and I doubt if any of the above can offer any explanation, other than changing levels of airborne pollution, for the similar, falling rates in the boroughs of Wandsworth, Lewisham, Newham and Tower Hamlets prior to the start-up of the SELCHP (South East London Combined Heat and Power) incinerator in 1993 and the sudden rise in rates in the three boroughs most exposed to emissions from SELCHP, while the rate in 'upwind' Wandsworth continued to fall.

Michael Ryan, Shrewsbury
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 29, 2014
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