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Waste Incineration - possible airborne toxins.

I have been gardening for the table at my present home for 30 years. now we are likely to have an incinerator 1/2 mile upwind. i'm concerned about toxins poisoning the air i breathe and poisoning the veg I grow. I grow apples, potatoes, onions, chard, spinach, brassica mainly. Is there any evidence of pollution affecting veg, and presumably the crops grown in the vicinity. I have heard of lowered live human births downwind of an incinerator in London.  


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,693
    edited January 2019
    I’m afraid that there are too many incineration systems and too many different products that can be incinerated by what method in any system to know what to say here.

    If you live in England you could perhaps get some advice from the Environment Agency.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • The Environment agency has issued their permit but it is being challenged in the appeal court. I'm follow your suggestion and ask them. Thanks for that. John
  • steephillsteephill Posts: 2,511
    Go back 50 years and the millions of open coal fires in the UK used to pump out vastly more truly toxic pollution than modern incinerators. If modern incinerators were as deadly as some claim we would all have died out a few generations ago. Leaving the waste to degrade in landfill also produces pollution. Where is it all going to go?

    I won't claim that incinerators don't produce any pollution but modern plant has to meet high standards and is regularly monitored so its impact should be minimal - local traffic probably has a much higher impact. Risk assessment is something that almost all of us are very bad at but it is worth spending some time looking at it in detail.
  • Hampshire_HogHampshire_Hog Hampshire Coast 100m from the seaPosts: 1,089
    The fumes from Incinerators are in fact very clean as the fumes pass up the chimney they are the technical term scrubbed.

    Up the length of the chimney there are high temperature gas rings the heat from these burns off any contaminants and at the top there are high pressure steam cleaners these catch any remaining partials then as they drop within the chimney they condense are caught and the water is mechanical filtered and UV filtered then super heated back to steam and recycled within the system.

    So all in all size for size your general gas boiler probable produces more pollutants than an incinerator chimney. 

    "You don't stop gardening because you get old, you get old because you stop gardening." - The Hampshire Hog
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,044
    and at the top there are high pressure steam cleaners 
    Very often when the TV companies run a story about Global Warming or pollution they show pictures of chimneys pouring 'smoke' into the sky - many, if not most, of these pictures actually are of steam, either from scrubbers as HHog describes or cooling towers.
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,220
    The stuff you grow will still be fresher and healthier than anything you can buy and will have no added mileage with all those pollutants and you will know what products and chemicals have - and haven't - been used to grow it.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 8,279
    edited January 2019
    It's funny but probaby 10% or more of the houses around me now have wood burning stoves. Going by the smoke output a lot of those people are burning rubbish in them as well. Some days we can't put clothes out on the washing line because they come in smelling of smoke. I bet if you asked those people to have a waste incinerator locally though they'd be against it.

    Add in the bonfires from gardens and building sites, the badly maintained diesel cars belching black smoke, gas boilers, fireworks, it's a wonder any of us are still breathing at all. Speak to some of the older locals though about the times when this was an active coal mining area and all the houses were burning the stuff and you realise it could be a lot worse.
    Some people bring joy wherever they go. Others, whenever they go. - Mark Twain.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,950
    The air smells filthy around our part of the road some mornings. We have a couple of neighbours who think an open fire looks cosy.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,905
    I think open fires look cosy as well.
    People have been using open fires forever, and coal for years, we’re still here.
    looking at the news the other night, huge fires of burning tyres,  volcanoes pumping out 4000 tons of poisonous gases every day and have been for years,I wouldn’t worry about the incinerator,   They are springing up everywhere now. 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,992
    Some areas are actually looking to ban wood burners because of the pollution they cause.  So much for sustainable products being the answer to all our problems.
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