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Health Impact Assessment of Waste Management Facilities in Three European Countries

Forastiere, Francesco*; Badaloni, Chiara*; de Hoogh, Cornelis; von Kraus, Martin Krayer; Martuzzi, Marco§; Mitis, Francesco§; Palkovicova, Lubica; Porta, Daniela*; Preiss, Philipp**; Ranzi, Andrea††; Perucci, Carlo Alberto*; Briggs, David

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000362278.31562.21
Abstracts: ISEE 21st Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland, August 25–29, 2009: Oral Presentations

*Department of Epidemiology Local Health Authority RME, Rome, Italy; †Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College, London, United Kingdom; ‡World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark; §World Health Organization. Regional Office for Europe, Rome, Italy; ¶Department of Environmental Medicine, Slovak Medical University, Bratislava, Slovakia; **Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy, Univerity of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany; and ††Environmental Health Reference Centre, Regional Agency for Environmental Prevention of Emilia Romagna, Modena, Italy.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the organizations of Epidemiology. Affliate Societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.