Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations
Background and Objective:
We conducted a health impact assessment of landfilling and incineration in three European countries (Italy, Slovakia and England) within the EU-funded INTARESE project.
A total of 49 (Italy), 2 (Slovakia), and 11 (England) incinerators were operating in 2001 while the landfills were 118, 121 and 232, respectively. The study population consisted of residents living within 3 km of an incinerator and 2 km of a landfill. Relative risk estimates from epidemiological studies were used, combined with air pollution dispersion modelling for particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). For incinerators, we estimated attributable cancer incidence and years of life lost (YoLL), while for landfills we estimated attributable cases of congenital anomalies and low-birth weight infants.
The additional contribution to NO2 within a 3 km radius was 0.228, 0.154, and 0.144 ug/m3, respectively. Lower values were found for PM10. Assuming that the incinerators continue to operate until 2020, the annual number of cancer cases due to exposure in 2001-2020 will reach 11, 0.07, and 7 in 2020 and then decline to 0 in 2050. By 2050, the attributable impact on the 2001 cohort of residents will be 3,603, 181 and 4,217 YoLL. The annual additional cases of congenital anomalies up to 2030 will be approximately 2, 2, and 3 whereas there will be 42,13, and 59 low-birth newborns, respectively.
There are several uncertainties and critical assumptions in the assessment model, but it provides insight into the relative health impact attributable to waste management, which can be characterized as moderate when compared to other sources of environmental pollution that have an impact on public health.