accuse Donostia incinerator as 'a risk to health' and demand closure |  Basque Country

accuse Donostia incinerator as ‘a risk to health’ and demand closure | Basque Country

Image of Zubieta incinerators. (Gorka RUBIO | SEAL)

The Donostia incinerator poses a “risk to the health of the population” and should be shut down. The Combustion and Health Studies Group has shown just how powerful it is by appearing in front of the media regarding the latest published data on the levels of toxic emissions from infrastructure mentioned above.

In it, they recalled “three years have passed since the incineration of waste in the Donostia incinerator”, a time when this group was “aware of five studies on environmental pollution produced by the same.”

Specifically, an initial report from August 2021 “finds high levels of dioxins in groundwater samples collected near the incinerator.”

A second paper, published in November 2021, “highlights the increase in various pollutants, such as total hydrocarbons from oil and phenol, in soil samples adjacent to the incinerator.”

The third, run by a Dutch foundation, “reflects the increase in dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants in vegetation adjacent to the incinerator and in eggs collected in areas affected by prevailing winds,” they explained.

The fourth report is from July 2022 and “reveals the appearance of heavy metals such as chromium and nickel, both of which are known to be carcinogenic to the human species, in addition to other pollutants in a stream near the incinerator.”

The Environmental Monitoring Program published in 2021 reveals that “TOC (total organic carbon), carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions are emitted into the atmosphere exceeding the emission limit values. These last two pollutants, as well as interfere with tropospheric ozone formation, are associated with increased mortality of the exposed population”.

The Combustion and Health Studies Group states that “dioxins are one of the most toxic pollutants known for their persistence in the environment, interfering with hormonal regulation, influencing fetal development, and being immunotoxic and carcinogenic. They are associated with numerous cancers, particularly breast, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, esophagus, larynx, kidney, myeloma, and soft tissue sarcoma.”

This group was “not surprised by the high dioxin levels detected, taking into account the numerous stops and take-offs the incinerator suffered during its first year of operation as a result of poor management. It should not be forgotten that during the commissioning and shutdown processes of incinerators, they can release more than a thousand times the amount they emitted under stable conditions to the atmosphere”.

For all these reasons, on this third anniversary of the start of incineration at the Donostia incinerator, the Incineration and Health Studies Group “would like to denounce the pollution it causes, as well as the risk it poses to the health of the public. As with other new incinerators in Europe, the facts are at risk to the health of the population.” It was advertised as having the latest technology.

In 2018, he asked the Government of Lacua to “stop the Zabalgarbi incinerator due to rising levels of arsenic in the surrounding vegetation” and this time from the Executive and the Provincial Council “Responsible waste management of the Donostia incinerator, whose primary objective is the protection of both human health and the environment and climate.”

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