Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
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Dioxin & Hazardous Waste

Dioxin has been listed as one of the top 10 Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), which are to be phased out internationally, under a treaty signed by over 120 countries (including Ireland) last year.

The USEPA have concluded that dioxin causes cancer in humans. It is also linked to birth defects, retardation of children’s development and numerous other medical conditions. The UN Environment Programme in 1999 found that in 8 out of 9 industrial countries (not including Ireland), that Municipal Solid Waste Incineration was a the primary cause of dioxins in the environment. Ireland is recognised internationally as having the lowest level of environmental dioxins in the industrialised world. Ireland does not incinerate municipal, industrial or medical waste.

The Government’s National hazardous Waste Plan stipulates that dioxin-containing ashes will be stored in hazardous waste landfills, yet to be sited and built. Women living within 3km of a hazardous waste landfill site have a 40% greater risk of conceiving a child with a chromosomal birth defect, such as Down's syndrome, according to EU-funded research published in medical journal The Lancet. The findings are a companion to 1998 results suggesting a 33% increase in the risk of non-chromosomal birth anomalies such as spina bifida (ED 10/08/98).


Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email -
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