[Sinn Fein]

6 December 2000

Incinerator death risks - the truth must be heard

Sinn Fein Chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has said that the truth about the health risks associated incinerators must be heard after a recent report highlighted that 88 deaths per year in Britain were caused by pollution from incinerator emissions.

Mr McLaughlin said:

``In Britain a Department of Environment report released earlier this year showed that 88 people die and 168 people are hospitalised every year for lung related diseases associated with emissions from the country's 12 incinerators. The detailed report also said that people's lives will be shortened by cancer causing dioxins from incinerators.

``These alarming figures highlight the need for an immediate moratorium on all incinerator projects here in Ireland until we can put in place a long term All Ireland waste management strategy. We need an all Ireland waste management strategy because clearly what happens in Louth or Derry will effect everybody on this island.

``We urgently need to develop an all Ireland waste management strategy that works progressively towards zero waste targets and we need to demonstrate our commitment to providing a sustainable future.

``It is also of great concern that British officials have attempted to suppress information on the health hazards caused by incinerators and the potential damage to the environment and the food chain.

``This issue is too important to kept behind closed doors, here in Ireland there is already widespread public concern about incinerators and it is time that the Environment Minister Sam Foster dealt with the whole issue with a greater sense of urgency.'' ENDS

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