The incineration of municipal solid waste leads to the environmental release of some toxic substances, albeit of low atmospheric concentration in the proximity of the most recently built incinerators thanks to the substantial advancements in air pollution control equipment. An excess risk of some adverse health outcomes (cancer, birth defects, and respiratory diseases in particular) has been linked to the environmental release of these toxic substances on the basis of epidemiologic and laboratory studies. The methodologies most frequently adopted by environmental scientists and regulatory agencies to evaluate these potential risk are the modelling of carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks, and the implementation of epidemiologic studies in the populations residing near the incinerators. Geographic Information System (GIS) software to map specific diseases in the areas around the incinerators can also be used in support of data management and data representation. We describe a health surveillance program concerning the population of a northern Italian town where the capacity of a municipal solid waste incinerator is planned to substantially increase in the near future. The program will analyse the risk of birth defects and spontaneous abortions in the population potentially exposed to the incinerator emissions. © 2005 WIT Press.
Health risk assessment of municipal solid waste incineration / Vinceti, M.; Vivoli, R.; Malagoli, C.; Bergomi, M.; Teggi, S.; Ghermandi, G.. - 82:(2005), pp. 687-695. (Intervento presentato al convegno 1st International Conference on Safety and Security Engineering, SAFE 2005 tenutosi a Rome, ita nel 2005).