Air quality: a follow up report

Written evidence submitted by Dr Dick van Steenis

Any improvement in local or national air quality cannot be formulated or implemented until the following facts are dealt with ruthlessly.

1. The Health Protection Agency, PCTs/Health Boards & the Environment Agency have refused to examine NHS/ONS data at ward level upwind versus downwind to determine the current position despite practice deemed essential by WHO & USEPA since 1997. Instead they falsely allege "no problem" Nor have these bodies done any PM2.5 air monitoring including analysis of content as done in Sweden, Finland, USA & Mexico City

2. Despite the EC PM2.5 Urban Air Quality directive put into UK law in mid 2010 DEFRA has just installed some 30 TEOM machines mostly in London clear of the 9 incinerators and fiddled them down to falsely and fraudulently read a constant reading of 15ug/m3 when readings after installation before fiddling averaged about 50ug/m3 in Hillingdon etc. This follows DEFRA’s fiddling of the nationwide PM10 TEOM machines to read a constant 26ug/m3 since around the time John Prescott downgraded the Environment Protection Act in 2000 to "anything will do". The Environment Agency graphs in 2010 confirmed this fact. It is impossible to sort anything without looking at health data and getting honest readings of PM2.5s

3. The committee must understand that PM10s as monitored do NOT get into the lungs proper so do not affect health. Only PM2.5s & smaller affect health. The burning of waste in incinerators & cement works and in power stations and use of waste fuels in bulldozers & incinerators all produce PM1 to PM2.5 particles. These cause illnesses and premature deaths. The same laws to regulate PM2.5s apply in USA, Canada & Japan. The proper regulation including court cases by the USEPA has since the 1997 laws saved the US taxpayer £855 BILLION until this year. The recent USEPA report has been suppressed from the UK media. Furthermore in 2005/6 alone, USA deaths dropped by 6% and illness rates have evened out largely between poor black and rich white areas. In contrast UK NHS spending has soared and the UK is around the worst in the industrialised world with health, education etc. Your committee now has an opportunity to sort this problem.

4. In Sweden in one town 2007 PM2.5 emissions were caused by ---33% the new incinerator (better quality than UK ones no doubt) 33% the oil refinery, c14% traffic 15% domestic heating 5% agricultural dust etc. In Mexico city the municipal incinerator was proved to be causing the smog and high death rates. That incinerator like UK ones was emitting PM2.5s & PM1s. Autopsies in Mexico City revealed PM1 particles (from the incinerator) in brain & red cells which were not found in autopsies clear of the incinerator. The UK Environment Agency has written that 90% of PM1s escape through UKbag filters and 35% of PM2.5s also escape through UK incinerator bag filters. The UK incinerators are authorised to emit 40 to 120 times the particulates than those in Finland or Sweden. This reveals the state of corruption in the Uk where the lobbyists like Enviros and Friends of the Earth are misleading DEFRA and government quangos. The regulators are refusing to check anything out. We have new incinerators virtually banned in USA, France, Belgium etc with the only safe system of plasma gasification being built instead. We have Veolia building plasma gasification in USA 2010 while building junk-quality-specified incinerators in the UK.

5. If costs of health are taken into account, it has been proved at Kings Lynn with comparable quotes that the proposed incinerator will cost 6 TIMES the costs of plasma gasification over the 25 years contract wasting £650million of tax payers cash. Your committee must check this out.

6. UK incinerators are increasing infant mortality by 8 per 1000 births for 15 miles downwind, doubling the heart attack deaths etc. The solution is for a health tax of £60 per ton incinerated including any waste fuel used. This will force a change to plasma gasification with subsequent cutting of landfill and increasing electricity supply to almost treble that of EfW plants.

7. It has been proved that PAH emissions produce low birth weight babies, drop IQ in direct proportion, cause asthma, heart attacks and cancers and affect child behaviour adversely. Studies in Michigan, New York,North Carolina and Chicago in published journals provide details. Primary school results in NSW Australia and GCSE results in Wales exemplify this also.



1. 19 November 2008/98/EC on WASTE put into UK law Dec. 2010. –MUST

USE LATEST SAFEST TECHNOLOGY TO PROTECT PUBLIC HEALTH ie plasma gasification as used in USA, France, Japan etc & 2 passed in England 2011.

2. Same 2008/98/EC law states public must be involved in discussion/planning FROM OUTSET. This is not happening. Lobbyists & politicians determine junk quality incinerators not remotely like plasma gasification or incinerators in Finland

3. Environment Protection Act 1990 & IPPC. Environment Agency must prevent emissions from harming health. Not done. Only PM10 monitored which do not enter the lungs or affect health. Must monitor PM2.5s (35% escape through filters says EA 2010 & 2011) & PM1s (90% escape through filters agrees EA 2010 & 2011). These are the ones that damage health.

4. Human Rights Act. Regulators must not kill. Councils have duty of care.

5. Human Rights Act. Regulators must not make ill (torture) Councils have duty of care.

6. Human Rights Act article 8. Regulators & councils must not affect family life.

7. PM2.5 Air quality industrial emissions directive EC 2008 put into UK law 7 July 2010. Orders urban areas eg Cardiff to be below 25ug/m3 by 2010 & 20ug/m3 by 2015. Balance of UK to be below 25ug/m3 by 2015. Why has there not been PM2.5 beta monitors (BAM) been installed in Cardiff, Merthyr & Newport yet? Newport & Merthyr refuse as they know the readings will exceed the legal limit now. Merthyr will be very high now with Ffos-y-Fran.

19 May 2011

Prepared 17th June 2011