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What is the current advice from the Heath Protection Agency (HPA) relating to ERFs?

In January 2012, the HPA announced that it was undertaking a new study to extend the evidence base as to whether emissions from modern well run municipal waste recovery facilities affect human health.

At the time the HPA chief executive Justin McCracken stated “…our current position on the potential health effects of well-run and regulated modern Municipal Waste Incinerators remains valid.

This is that while it is not possible to rule out adverse health effects from modern, well-regulated municipal waste incinerators with complete certainty, any potential damage to the health of those living close-by is likely to be very small, if detectable.

This view is based on detailed assessments of the effects of air pollutants on health and on the fact that modern and well-managed municipal waste incinerators make only a very small contribution to local concentrations of air pollutants.
However, we recognise that there are public concerns about this issue and this study will provide valuable new evidence. 

HPA continually seeks to review and extend the evidence base on which it bases its advice. We are therefore delighted to support this new study with researchers from the MRC-HPA Centre for Environment and Health.”

Public Health Wales (formerly the Health Protection Agency) believes that modern, well-operated facilities are not a risk to human health.