The article “Dioxins and Incineration” by Maria Kelleher (June/July edition) provides useful information on the health risks associated with dioxins. The title, however, is extremely misleading because modern municipal waste incinerators (more properly referred to as Energy-from-Waste facilities) are so closely regulated (Clean Air Act) and well managed that recent scientific (U.S. EPA) reports show the total contribution of dioxin by all incinerators in North America represents less than one per cent of total North American dioxin sources.
An Ontario Ministry of Environment report, Dioxins — The Inside Story, provides the following dioxin emission data.
Sources of dioxins:
Natural causes (forest fires, etc.)62%
Power generation 3%
Cigarettes and landfills2%
Municipal waste incineratorsbelow 1%
Linking dioxins to incinerators is fashionable but it misrepresents scientific fact. Energy-from-waste is an environmentally clean solution to waste disposal. We need media help to make this point.
Ed K. McLellan