Saturday, 24 July 2010


The final common pathway of metals and particulates (oxidative stress),allergens (asthma) and gases (noxes and ozone).The picture above shows leakage,the black lines, into inflammed tissues

Most people think of inflammation as a small red painful itchy lump, or a swollen knee or ankle. They think of it as local. A real flu gives a hint at how it can be a whole body response. You won’t hear about this in relation to air pollution from the newspapers, TV, parliament or government bodies. Plausible deniability is one of the reasons for “not knowing” why the body’s rhythms of inflammation make a nonsense of the way averages of pollution, and the general numbers game, are played out in London. Self-amplifying cascades are the order of the day. A single peak episode will trigger an unstoppable, uncontrollable immune reaction leaving the whole body more sensitive to the next lot of pollution and awash with activated cells, new cells breeding fast and swamped with little known hormones, some of which stay around for 24 hours or longer. When this pollution becomes long term, or when we have a long heat wave this gets really serious and leads to permanent scarring and damage. If a child has lived long enough in such conditions the lungs never grow properly, the wounded lungs scarring, if it is in the womb its development is affected.Low birth weight,preterm delivery and therefor infant mortality all rise in frequency. Most politicians prefer to talk about the end stage, dying early, rather than the damage that affects babies or youngsters for their whole life ahead.


Inflammation 1 the horrible hidden hormones

These substances are not made by distinct, specialised glands, but by a variety of cells (see inflammation 2). The great majority of their actions are on site. In some cases they circulate in the blood to exert hormonal effects on distant organs and tissues involved on our defences, and also on the guerrilla army of cells that have moved from the blood into places like the brain, gut, heart and placenta to lie in wait for infection and ambush any viruses or bacteria.

a) cytokines (over a hundred), the interleukins
b) chemotaxins
c) kinins
d) Complement
e) Products of blood clotting
f) Histamine
g) Eicosanoids
h) Lysosomal enzymes and nitric oxide

You get the picture, you probably haven’t heard of many of these…but I haven’t made them up. A completely up to date textbook would list more, show up more connections, describe a bigger circulation.

If ordinary hormones are the long range parcel service, then cytokines start out as notes from next door neighbours, except that they are a windswept snowstorm of paper, of many colours.

They were the killers in Spanish Flu, and create the final stage of lethal Bird Flu. We need them to fight viruses and bacteria, and heal cuts and stings, but when they are switched on by the wrong things, or get too active, they get too damaging.

When the amounts are too high they stop being local (microscopic distances) and go global. They hang around for many hours, some for days others for weeks. They leave the lungs ready to react faster and more intensely to the next lot of pollution. This makes such biological nonsense of the common number averages used in counting pollution. Their switch is on/off, and gets more sensitive as the day goes on *see the nox/ozone graphs of lethal London levels.


Inflammation 2 the the cells that try too hard, sometimes

Neutrophils chomp, send messages to dilate blood vessels and make them leaky

Basophils like mast cells,but in the blood, release histamine,a potent chemical

Eosinophils special parasite killers, and mediate allergic reactions

…munchers,killer chemical secretors….move out of blood into all tissues, to become the guerrilla army

Lymphocytes…..memory recognition cells

B cells …start an antibody response

T cells…..killers

Plasma cells…..make antibodies

Macrophages (including the brain microglia), munchers,chemical killers,rubbish processors helping T cells learn what rubbish is

Mast cells release histamine and other chemicals in an on/off burst….anaphyllactic shock is when all their fireworks go off at once.

In the bloodstream there are a number of specialist white cells…recognition scouts, dispatch riders, memory cells and heavyweight munchers. They send orders and messages to each other, and when things get too hot their messages are carried to everywhere in the body (going global).Munchers are good at digesting bugs and worn out cells,they clean up stuff. But when its soot, or coal dust, or asbestos, or cigarette smoke or rock dust or fibreglass, or particulates, they just can’t…so they die….and their neighbours get the message to clean things up, eat the rubbish (literally), and fail again….
Once you see a smokers lung at post mortem, you never forget it. We have taken action against passive smoking…but not against air pollution to anything like the same extent.


Inflammation 3 Chronic Inflammation and Scarring,

(top) brain chronic inflammatory changes

(bottom) lung with spaces where air used to flow (arrowheads),scar tissue (arrows) and collections of white cells (star)

Lung, Brain, Heart and Placenta.

If the inflammation is bad enough or frequent enough the white cells and their messages can “reach the parts other beers cannot reach”, switch on their cousins in the brain, heart ( where lung blood reaches first) and womb. Probably lots of other places that have not been studied yet as well.

The wound healing part of inflammation takes place, and microscopic scarring, like any scars you have that you can see on your skin, but inside.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010



Lethal London Ozone levels have been recorded over the last few days, in the current heatwave.

The government, via DEFRA, love to blame the “foreign” transboundary air flowing from the industrial areas of Northern Europe…and see no reason to change transport policy here. They say only winds from the east cause pollution.

Since Monday 19th July 2010, the winds have been SW-SSW, and temperatures 28-29 degrees centigrade… the levels in London, shown above, are all our own work !!!

130 =6%
150 = 8%

180-190 = 10% DAILY DEATHS MOVE UP!

200 people a day die in London on an average day, so that's an extra 10, 12,16 or 20


The average death rate for people over 55 (the elderly are much more at risk here) can go up from 9/100,000 to 20/100,000 in extended heatwaves....where ozone and temeperature combine.

For a fixed temeperature...the higher the ozone, the more die

For a fixed ozone level.... the higher the temperature the more die

The death rates are much higher amongst the working class in all cases.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Careful Disposal Of Fly Ash

Yes,this is how a hazardous waste site in England is managing some of the most carcinogenic substances known to man.."carefully sealed containers"....I DON'T THINK SO !!!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Air Pollution and the Brain:Latest

Inhaled pollutants may inflame more than the lungs
By Janet Raloff
May 22nd, 2010; Vol.177 #11 (p. 16)

Destination brain :Tiny inhaled motes can travel beyond the lungs; new research suggests these particles may ravage the brain.
When Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas recruited children for a study probing the effects of air pollution, Ana was just 7. The trim girl with an above-average IQ of 113 “was bright, very beautiful and clinically healthy,” the physician and toxicologist recalls.
But now Ana (not her real name) is 11. And after putting her and 54 other children from a middle-class area of Mexico City through a new battery of medical and cognitive tests, Calderón-Garcidueñas found that something has been ravaging the youngsters’ lungs, hearts — and, especially troubling, their minds.
Brain scans and screening for chemical biomarkers in the blood pointed to inflammation affecting all parts of the brain, says Calderón-Garcidueñas, of the National Institute of Pediatrics in Mexico City and the University of Montana in Missoula. On MRI scans, white spots showed up in the prefrontal cortex. In the elderly, she says, such brain lesions tend to denote reduced blood flow and often show up in people who are developing dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease.
In autopsies of seemingly healthy Mexico City children who had died in auto accidents or other traumatic events, Calderón-Garcidueñas uncovered brain deposits of amyloid-beta and alpha-synuclein, proteins that serve as hallmarks of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Several years earlier, she had found similar abnormalities in homeless Mexico City dogs and exaggerated versions of the abnormalities in local 20- to 50-year-olds.
She has published studies linking the insidious changes to the metro region’s air quality. The area’s 20-plus million inhabitants make it one of the world’s largest megacities, a roughly 7,000-square-kilometer region choking with smog and particles containing carbon, metals and more (SN: 9/8/07, p. 152). Most are nanoparticles — too small to see but just the right size to migrate into tissues throughout the body. Further clouding the air are solvents and other reactive gases — as well as toxins contributed by livestock feces.
Scientists have known that air pollution can impair airways and blood vessels. The emerging surprise is what it might do to the brain. Increasingly, studies have been highlighting inflammation-provoking nanopollutants as a potential source of nerve cell damage.
Calderón-Garcidueñas has been correlating Mexico City’s stew of air pollutants with a suite of symptoms in people of all ages. In March in Salt Lake City at the annual meeting of the Society of Toxicology, Calderón-Garcidueñas unveiled some of her latest data. At age 11, Ana shows persistent, growing brain lesions, the toxicologist reported. As do the other Mexico City children surveyed. They also exhibit cognitive impairments in memory, problem solving and judgment and deficiencies in their sense of smell compared with age-matched children from a cleaner city 120 kilometers away.

Metals in the air Particles collected from the air above Mexico City (two shown) contain metals including manganese, iron, zinc, tin, lead and mercury (labeled). New research suggests that the particles can end up in the brain.Kouji Adachi and Peter R. Buseck/Environmental Sci. Technol. 2010
Other toxicologists at the meeting presented data, largely from animal studies, tracking the movement of billionth-of-a-meter–scale particles into the brain, where they triggered inflammation and abnormalities characteristic of Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Until recently, most air pollution toxicology has focused on impacts to the lungs and heart, observes James Antonini of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s lab in Morgantown, W. Va. The challenge now, he says, is to identify which pollutants are harming the nervous systems of Ana and others who live in areas with particularly dirty air.
Fuzzy thinking
Mexico City is not the only source of real-world pollution that has been linked to mental impairments.
Ulrich Ranft and colleagues at the Environmental Health Research Institute at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany, studied 400 or so highly functioning local women in their mid- to late 70s. Elderly women who lived within 50 meters of very busy streets exhibited poorer memory skills than did women of the same age whose homes were well removed from highly trafficked roadways, the team reported in the November 2009 Environmental Research.
The study turned up no similar link between cognitive scores and average levels of particles in the women’s communities. That makes sense, Ranft says, because the levels of ultrafine motes emitted by traffic can be quite high along streets, “but drop off very fast, falling to almost background levels when you get just 100 meters away from the road.”
Young children’s minds may be especially sensitive to tiny airborne particles spewed by traffic, according to Shakira Franco Suglia of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and her colleagues. In studies of roughly 200 Boston 10-year-olds, the researchers found that those living in areas with the highest average airborne concentrations of soot, a pollutant primarily associated with traffic, had lower IQs and lower scores on memory tests.

From nostril to brain
The team divided the kids by exposure levels into four groups. The average IQ drop between one group and the next averaged about three points — comparable to that seen in kids whose mothers had smoked during pregnancy, Franco Suglia’s group reported in 2008 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Taking note of non-scents
A few studies, including the recent one by Ranft’s group, have also observed a somewhat impaired sense of smell among people living in polluted regions.
At the toxicology meeting, Calderón-Garcidueñas reported that kids and young adults in Mexico City have a somewhat worse sense of smell than those living in cleaner cities. Roberto Lucchini of the University of Brescia in Italy reported much the same for adolescents living in communities around now-closed iron-alloy manufacturing plants. Both groups’ data also turned up signs the youngsters have been experiencing at least subtle nerve damage.
The findings, the researchers say, are especially worrisome since a number of studies have shown that a sense of scents wanes in people developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Though metal pollution hasn’t been confirmed as a cause of these diseases, Lucchini was able to link pollution in Brescia to reduced smelling abilities and to motor impairments.
Until 2001, alloy plants in northern areas of the province spewed a number of metals into the air. Manganese remains a substantial pollutant in the air, soil and house dust in this part of Italy. Work by Lucchini’s team uncovered unusually high rates of symptoms including tremors, slowed movement and rigidity among adults living near the now-defunct plants. The local prevalence of these and other Parkinson’s-like symptoms is about 400 per 100,000 inhabitants. That’s two and a half times the usual rate in Italy.

Unnerving signs: Diffuse amyloid plaques (brown blotches), like those seen in Alzheimer's patients (top), have shown up in adults (middle) and children (bottom) from Mexico City. L. Calderon-Garciduenas
Lucchini’s team, which had already planned to examine 300 middle schoolers for neural effects of local pollution, included a smell assay in the tests. To measure exposures, the researchers collected blood and urine from the 11- to 13-year-olds. A third of the kids also carried a backpack fitted with an air-sampling device and a GPS to pair up readings and precise locations. Some children lived near the former alloy plants, others at Garda Lake, a relatively clean comparison region in the province.
At the toxicology meeting, Lucchini reported that among kids living near the alloy plants, “Odor identification was clearly impaired compared to children living in the [Garda Lake] region.” The smell-threshold reduction was “preclinical,” he explains, meaning the children wouldn’t notice the change but it could be picked up with testing.
His team also linked exposures to manganese-rich dust particles with motor impairments — such as a reduction in the speed at which children could clench their hands or sequentially touch the fingers of each hand to the thumb. Though it’s too early to speculate about whether the symptoms will evolve into something resembling Parkinson’s disease, Lucchini says, these are the first data to link such motor impairments to inhaled manganese.
Nosing out the problem
While these data are just coming in, a growing body of evidence suggests that nerves in the nose can provide a highway along which some inflammatory pollutants, such as metals, motor directly from the outside world to the brain.
How efficient the conduit is varies by pollutant particle, according to new experiments by Wolfgang Kreyling of the Helmholtz Center and the German Research Center for Environmental Health in Munich. In rats, 20-nano-meter–diameter agglomerations of at least 100 radioactively labeled iridium particles entered the brain whether inhaled through the nose or pumped directly into the lungs.
By comparing what has been deposited after one-hour exposures via the two routes, Kreyling’s team showed that for such small particles, two-thirds of what ends up in the rat brain comes directly from the nose, the rest via a more circuitous route that starts in the lungs, moves into the bloodstream and then goes to the brain.
Well under 1 percent of inhaled particles made it to the brain via either route, Kreyling reported at the toxicology meeting. However, he added, once those insoluble particles arrive in the brain, “we do not see much clearance.” So continuous exposure over time could leave substantial amounts of inflammatory particles in the brain, he speculates.
Change the 20-nanometer iridium to same-sized soot particles and the uptake rate falls by 75 percent. Expose animals to 20-nanometer particles made from titanium dioxide or to 80-nanometer particles of iridium, and the rate of brain uptake drops by about 90 percent.
But no one’s sure how well such studies model what happens in people, points out David Dorman of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Long-snouted rodents depend far more than humans do on the sense of smell and have evolved a much bigger and more efficient system linking the outside environment to the brain. For instance, Dorman notes that half of the nasal cavity of a rat is lined with olfactory-system cells. In humans, this receptive area is much smaller, he says — “only about 3 to 5 percent.”
His team has shown that even for particles that begin moving up the olfactory highway, some stop partway. One type that does seem to go the distance: manganese. When Dorman’s group exposed rats to manganese, the same metal that taints the dust Lucchini has been studying in Italy, nearly all of the pollutant particles entering the nasal tissue migrated at least as far as the olfactory bulb, a structure in the brain.
Regardless of what percentage of particles make it all the way, such data suggest that inhaled airborne motes can enter the brain, where they would be expected to foster inflammation, a primary underlying trigger of tissue damage and neurodegenerative disease.
Moreover, Calderón-Garcidueñas has linked the pollutants with a breakdown in the lining of the nose, which could facilitate particles’ access to olfactory highways serving the brain.
A burning issue
Although the source and chemistry of air pollutants affecting the brain differ, all seem to share the same toxic modus operandi: inflammation. Some pollutants turn on genes that release inflammatory chemicals, others call out immune cells that quash invaders and clean up trash using inflammatory mechanisms. Still more induce biologically destructive electron-stripping chemical reactions that won’t quiet down without a copious release of antioxidants.
Krishnan Sriram, a neurotoxicologist with NIOSH, reported at the toxicology meeting that following 10-day and 28-week exposures to manganese welding-fume particles, rodents developed brain changes resembling many of those in Parkinson’s patients — nerve-cell inflammation, tissue damage from oxidation and loss of nerve cells from a region of the brain that makes dopamine.
In addition, his team looked at some of the family of Park genes; mutations in these genes are associated with an elevated risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. In rodents exposed to manganese, the researchers saw a reduction in the genes’ production of proteins that normally help rid the body of misshapen nerves and that quash the oxidation responsible for excessive inflammation.
Bellina Veronesi of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Lung-Chi Chen of the New York University School of Medicine laboratory in Tuxedo reported data at the toxicology meeting from mice exposed to dense concentrations of pollutants collected from outdoor air. Animals without functioning apolipoprotein genes, which normally help control the production and activity of certain fats in the bloodstream, experienced runaway brain inflammation and nerve damage. This finding suggests that properly working apolipoproteins may be essential for coping with tiny inhaled particles.
People born with a particular apolipoprotein gene variant — known as APOE-4 — face a greatly elevated risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and more general cognitive declines. In North America, Calderón-Garcidueñas says, roughly one-fifth of people carry this variant. And in Mexico City, she has found that children and young adults with the variant exhibit the most inflammation, the greatest cognitive declines and the most rapid deposition of amyloid-beta.
But Calderón-Garcidueñas has yet to prove that deposition in the brain of air particles primarily explains the brain inflammation she’s measured, says Dorman. One has to wonder, he says, whether the “widespread nasal damage” that she depicted was a major contributor to inflammatory brain damage or independent of it.
Calderón-Garcidueñas is aware of the issue. She notes that work by others has shown that inflammation-provoking cells or chemicals have the potential to migrate from distant sites into the brain, triggering fallout damage there.

Thursday, 3 June 2010


Chernobyl 2……… Twin Peaks

4,000 or 2,000,000

I am using my last contribution to this blog to highlight the massive international cover-up of this massive international disaster. The difference between those figures is not a measure of any scientific margin of error, it is a measure of the extent of politically motivated minimisation. It exists to make the prospect of future nuclear power stations more easily defendable, the production of future bombs more affordable and the expedient scandal of misinformation since Hiroshima more apparently consistent.

I was going to go into long paragraphs of technical detail to show why figures around the 1,000,000 mark are reasonable: the huge extent of the spread, the intense, low atmosphere, radioactivity post-fire (not shot up to decay and dissipate in the stratosphere, as in a bomb), many varied and different radioactive elements, short, medium and very long term ( like Americium and Plutonium of exceptionally long lasting toxicity) , the numerous hotspots of radioactivity levels, the lottery of hot particle ingestion, the food-chain concentration and ecological recycling. But all are true and measured.

The mortality of the very many liquidators has been hidden, the Europe wide effects on pregnancy and infant mortality are in scattered publications, until this book. The causes of a second peak of infant mortality a year or two later has been speculated on as being due to the importation of Russian beef, by German research. Other potential reasons can only be more chilling. The carcinogenicity figures aren’t only the thyroid cancers and leukaemias popularly counted, they move to the 20 year delay and variety seen post the Japanese bombs. The toll of general ill-health, particularly amongst children is painful to see described.

It seems to me that the reason large potential for poisonings is both irremediable and so worrying is that it involves human beings and their capacity to be ignorant, greedy, drunk, asleep or incompetent. Sellafield mismanagement, the Chernobyl accident, Gilly-sur-Isere, the Finnish (Polish plumber) nuclear fiasco, Three-mile island, Exxon Valdez, and now BP in the Gulf of Mexico all show what boys will do with their toys when they decide not to read the instructions (or not to understand the instructions if they do read them).The prefects then make up stories of all sorts to avoid being sued, having to pay compensation or worst of all, having to lose face massively for not being up to the job. For the narcissistic, psychopathic, political class we have bred recently this will simply not be allowed to happen. Everything will be for the best, in the best of all possible worlds, run by the brightest, most knowledgeable and incorruptible of all governments. Boy, will WE need to be lucky!

Monday, 24 May 2010


In a further deliberate attempt to disguise the real cost of incineration, and maintain the truly crazy drive to globalised companies' profits, the EU parliament continues the policy to ease controls on pollution measurments.WHAT'S TO HIDE ?? !!

The latest press release shows how ultra-fine particulates, dioxins and heavy metals are being made to "disappear".

They are even falling behind on their scurrilous "best we can manage" safety promise.They are refusing to measure with the latest technology.

How expendable do you feel?

Friday, 14 May 2010


Does it matter how long you live in bad air?

Yes it does….the effects on pregnancy are seen immediately, i.e. delayed by nine months. Then you can see rises in ill health as the pollution levels last into days. In the last eight years or so a number of very long term studies have shown even higher levels of mortality the longer people have lived in bad air. You can see the mortality increasing till at least 10 years. One Dutch study showed a 20% rise in mortality.

British government figures on “safety” had one of those hidden assumptions buried away in them. That no one ever lived in one spot longer than five years… can see why they wanted to cheat on that one! Of course it is the most vulnerable elderly that stay put, and the poor who can’t move out of the polluted housing front line, whence all but they have fled.

If you've speny all your childhood in bad age never recover your lung capacity.This renders sufferers much more liable to serious problems earlier than otherwise..a sort of premature ageing of resilience.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


Air pollution, from traffic, industry, the new incinerator programme and summer ozone peaks doesn't sound sexy yet, but the first hot summer death peaks will be as devastating to denialists as the 2007 summer floods were to water engineers.

For example, why do you think that the government has gone to such great lengths to cover up its correspondence with Boris over London air?

follow the link and find out more:

Both the American Lung:

and American Heart associations:

have new reports and position statements:

you could note the widespread immumne system disturbances ((illus.p2353) which explain the otherwise mysterious wide variety of effects, from pregnancy to brain damage.

Bloomberg show how badly London has been (and will be) doing in comparison to Athens and Frankfurt.

The article also highlights how the new measurement methods will appear to "reduce" air pollution. Same air, same awful mortality, just new, "fresh" numbers designed to fool the Eu commissioners into allowing further delays in cleaning things up.
You have reported the HOC environment audit committee report.....nothings changed though...traffic is still growing...and the number of incinerators and biomass burn stations in the pipeline is quite shoocking.

Did you know that only £ 10,000 pounds stands between reassuring or condemning research:

As Sahsu collects all these figures anyway, and modern number crunching computer systems can spot clusters a mile away, on auto pilot at no extra cost, why hasn't the HPA done, or allowed others to do, the research?
Thjis field is wide open for a Guardian special...there is a new minister for the environment...go for it Guardian!

Monday, 10 May 2010


A recent article from Bloomberg's Alex Morales,shows London's dire position.It is available at:

Please note that he has noticed the trick of changing the measurement methods as a way of presenting the same air as "cleaner"...the mortality figures are of course still the same!!!


The WHO recommended figures would put the red exceedance line still lower,and thus show that we breathe dangerously polluted air for even more days of the year than are shown in the graph above.Birmingham's air is at least as bad.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

£10,000 POUNDS...out of billions in the industry!..............??????

£10,000 ………..would you believe that that is the difference between knowing that incinerators are safe for the surrounding population, with some peace of mind…or knowing that they are a dangerous, though very profitable, irrelevance.

Experienced, very competent, scientific experts are ready, the relevant data has been collected, automatically, for decades. It just remains to be analysed appropriately.

I am sure that Professor Elliott, the pioneer of early British incinerator research, would be shocked that his work is being used to justify all sorts of safety around incinerators, when it only dealt with rare cancers. He would be the first to acknowledge, I am sure, that the extensive work around the damage that particulate air pollution does, since his papers were first published, means that more work needs doing.

In fact, as he is the head of the SAHSU at Imperial College, where all these statistics are collected, he must be very frustrated that somehow a roadblock has occurred over this business. SAHSU must be independent of DEFRA, the EA and the HPA, surely, and cannot tolerate the dead hand of authority preventing the vital development of knowledge in this field.

This is the link to the appeal for money…and to an excellently prepared objection to an EA permit for incineration, from very senior scientists.

Monday, 12 April 2010


Slip of the tongue or a new strategy? Who is the lucky newcomer? If its got too hot to handle in the four boroughs,is it the fifth borough that's going to get know ...that thing that burns,smokes and ashes like a duck....!

What are the new democratic structures that are supposed to have an oversight of this very very murky process...what ?...none at all?

Piecemeal,salami sliced hazardous waste burner strategies.Perhaps the election should be a referendum on this patronising,secretive, oh so profitable rubbish!

Thursday, 8 April 2010


I am going to devote this blog to the developing investigation of low impact loopholes.As more info comes in from different sources it will be added in chronological order.


It would most likely be cheaper in both the immediate and longer term -
immediate as EA permit applications cost money to process and to complete (consultancy fees, etc.)
and in the longer term they might avoid reporting and inspection costs, etc.

of course there may be more to it, as all of these costs are relatively marginal (UKWIN,6.4.10)


Saturday, 27 March 2010


Low impact loopholes: HOC on local authorities :Lorries and Chimneys again

Some developers go to extraordinary lengths to have their proposals labelled low impact…this means that the planning procedures are quicker because they can be judged by environmental health officers and ordinary development committees.
Otherwise they would have to be referred to the Environment Agency for approval. Are there any other differences? Watch this space for further investigations.

There were worrying assertions made by the Road Transport Laboratory (Dr. Mcrae) that environmental health officers were overstretched, had to wear too many hats, and were simply not funded well enough to put through changes that bad air quality figures merited. There were suggestions that not enough liason existed between local authorities’ traffic departments and their environmental health departments.

You can watch his evidence on the link below, particularly Joan Walleys comments at 4 mins 30 sec:

HOC Report Summary

Poor air quality reduces the life expectancy of everyone in the UK by an average of seven to
eight months and up to 50,000 people a year may die prematurely because of it. Air
pollution also causes significant damage to ecosystems. Despite these facts being known air
quality is not seen as a priority across government and the UK is failing to meet a range of
domestic and European targets.
The quantified costs of poor air quality that are used to develop policy are out-dated. They
do not take account of all the known health effects, treatment costs, and environmental
damage, nor do they take account of fines that could be imposed by the EU for failing to
meet air quality targets. Many Government departments do not seem fully to understand
how their policies affect air quality, the impact poor air quality has, and its cost to the
Awareness of the issue needs to be raised at all levels of government, and policies
need to take greater account of air quality impacts.
Awareness needs to be raised and behaviour needs to change if air quality targets are to be
met. Transport causes the most exposure to harmful air pollutants, and air quality targets
will not be met without a significant shift in transport policy. Local authorities need to do
more to tackle poor air quality, and they must be given information on how to develop
local air quality strategies.

The cost-benefit analysis is clear: what is needed is the political will to make this a priority
and to commit the resources to address it now so that we can reap the benefits of improved

The report fails to notice the problem of lorries and chimneys

2. Industry and road transport are the main sources of air pollution, though domestic
combustion and agriculture are also to blame. Industry is a major source of emissions of
NOX (46%) and PM10 (36%). Road transport contributes to significant emissions of NO2
(30%) and PM10 (18%). Emissions and exposure vary greatly depending on location.
Although polluting, the majority of large combustion plants ***are located away from major
urban centres.
Road transport contributes far more to the public’s exposure to pollutants
and is responsible for up to 70% of air pollution in urban areas.
***But Beddington is to have two!!

Monday, 15 March 2010


South of us the well-heeled and well connected citizens of CAPEL,REIGATE and REDHILL have each blocked proposals for their local incinerators.Good for them!!!

Now the different population of Beddington must rely on their democratically elected representatives to protect them from becoming the epicentre of waste management for South London and the Home Counties. The removal of these alternatives mean that there will be ever increasing pressure on the SLWP to manage MUCH, MUCH, MORE than the local waste streams.Certainly more profitable for the contractors...but a risky business for the villagers.

Friday, 12 March 2010

"Sensitive Receptors" or guinea-pigs

In European legislation the prime sensitive receptor is the 6 year old girl. This is because it is judged that she will have accumulated enough dioxins by the time she becomes pregnant to damage the foetus, or breast cancer, if levels are high enough. Dioxins act like hormones, so very, very, very tiny amounts are damaging… of ¼ teaspoon of sugar, say.
Play the game of spot your school playground (the plume will reach much further than this picture, approx 5 Km….not 1 Km as the report counts.)
Winds mean that the plume will be skewed to the North-East..i.e. over Croydon.

R7…Culvers House Primary School
R8….Hackbridge Primary School
R9 Carew Manor School
R10…Beddington Park Primary School
R11 Archbishop Lanfranc School
R12 Gonville Primary School.

Dioxins are measured at only one site in London, and Heavy metals at three, alongside roads, primarily for measuring lead from petrol, now they are being closed because of lead free petrol. Industry pressure has lead to European laws that used to measure these to be dropped, relying on the much weaker term Best Available Technologies…. Yes it is BATS isn’t it!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Fallujah,another name for dioxins and heavy metals

Now that the beeb have got it at last it is unlikely to go away.Don't the Americans have a bare faced cheek..."always interested in public health..don't have any official reports"...not unlike the SLWP though,come to think of it!It is likely to be the various forms of uranium in the munitions.

Monday, 1 March 2010


Beddington Lane is on the frontline of incinerator development. In a secret agreement between the SLWP and Viridor in June 2009 the conditions of the licence were varied without Sutton’s planning committee approval. This means that lorries have been going to the site 24/7…60 extra movements a night, Saturday night and all day Sunday. It’s the thin end of a very dangerous wedge, as waste transfer sites are notorious for the extra dangers of their high trace metal content dusts.In September 2009 Country waste was allowed to up its tonnages from 200,00 to 350,000.In February 2010 a tarmac recycling plant was approved (with its lorries).In March new incinerator plans upped the 350,000 tons to 500,000 tons. Although the decision at last week’s committee was “deferred”, the lorries still rumble.
Questions were raised about whether Sutton could even change the status quo, “as they were now part of a partnership”… SLWP trumps local democracy then! Who will fight for the health of the village’s pregnancies and playgrounds? As one of Beddington North’s ward councillors is also chairman of that planning committee that may make for difficulties. Watch this space!
The second, new, monitoring station (Therapia Lane) is so far away from both the waste site entrance and village that it seems almost deliberately designed to miss measuring the serious health picture.

Sunday, 7 February 2010


No, I haven’t gone all flaky or new-age on you. Below is a very serious report from today’s Observer about the rise of serious allergic reactions in the wrong people! Certainly not what we were taught in the seventies. The consultant mentions the possibility of environmental causes, so we should watch that space!

In the past year alone, there were more than 30,000 admissions to hospital of those suffering anaphylaxis. Medications for allergies cost almost £1bn annually, 11% of the total NHS drug budget.

In the past seven years, there has been a fourfold increase in all allergies, according to the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology (BSACI), the national allergy body.

Moira Austin, helpline manager at Anaphylaxis Campaign, said she has noted an increase in the number of women seeking help for allergies. "It tends to be women who become allergic around the time of the menopause or after a stay in hospital. It comes on suddenly and involves foods they have eaten happily for their entire life," she said.

Experts say that a large proportion of these admissions involving "new onset" patients, who are experiencing a severe reaction to a food, medication or drug with which they have never previously had a problem, or never come into contact before.
Pam Ewan, a consultant allergist at Addenbrooke's hospital in Cambridge, and a member of the National Allergy Strategy Group, said: "The rise in numbers is to do with a raised general awareness of allergies, but we are, as a population, becoming more allergic overall.

"What I have very certainly seen over the past three to five years is an increase in the number of older adults developing allergies for the first time," she added. "Allergies usually start in childhood and young adulthood, so this is a very surprising new trend and very hard to explain. It is so new, however, and there are so few allergists in the UK, that we have not yet even started collecting data, much less analysing it.
"It could be to do with changes in our environment, a change in allergen exposure, pollution or diet. The only thing we know is that it is clearly related to modern, western ways of living."

The number of people at risk from severe and fatal allergic reactions has increased sharply every year for the past 15 years, according to new NHS figures. The number of adults developing potentially lethal new allergies for the first time has also accelerated dramatically.

The figures reveal an unprecedented year-on-year increase in the number of prescriptions issued to those at risk of the most serious allergic reaction, known as anaphylactic shock. The most common triggers are allergies to eggs, nuts, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and latex. Potentially fatal reactions to insect stings are also increasingly common, as are dramatically adverse reactions to drugs and medication.

Emergency drug use has shown a rise of more than 700% in 13 years.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


The SLWP is not only considering a Joint Waste Authority model in its contractual arangements but also a corporate model.This includes a new company or LLP formation,shareholder holdings and procurement contracts.Soon we get even more commercial confidentiality considerations and secrecy rather than openness.Seeing how really open the process has been so far that cannot be reassuring in the slightest.


Exploding concrete banned:Workers harmed

Contractors are banning foam concrete on civil sites after two explosions left construction workers with fractured feet. The blasts were linked to the use of incinerator bottom ash (IBA) in foam concrete. At least two contractors – Barhale and Enterprise – have banned foam concrete containing IBA from all their sites, with others understood to be following suit.

Well, we now read that the Highways Agency have issued a guidance note (Interim Advice Note 127/09 The Use Of Foamed Concrete) in which they advise that “foamed concrete containing IBA must not be used on any Highways Agency contracts from the date of this document until the HSE investigations are complete“.

IBA,apparently contains aluminium (which means it contains lots of heavy metal poisons as well)which reacts to form explosive gases.You really couldn't make it up!
(Courtesy of UKWIN)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

BAD STUFF BY THE TON that comes out of some CHIMNEYS especially those CO- BURNING HAZARDOUS WASTE

Information Supplied by The Air That We Breathe Group
(Courtesy of UKWIN)

Operator Site Address Licence
Process CEMENT AND LIME Manufacture

Material Maximum Reported Emission 1998 – 2006 Effects on Human Health

22.5t Excessive exposure to ammonia may affect the eye, lung, nose, skin and throat.
17453kg Excessive exposure to boron and its compounds may affect the brain, digestive system, eye, kidney, liver, lung, nose, reproductive system, skin, throat and the unborn child.
10.4kg Excessive exposure to antimony may affect the digestive system, eye, heart, kidney, lung and skin.
4.2kg Arsenic and some of its compounds may cause cancer and genetic damage. Excessive exposures may affect the blood, blood vessels, brain, digestive system, lung, peripheral nerve and skin.
3.43kg Excessive exposure to beryllium may affect the eye, lung and skin, and may cause cancer.
2.7kg Excessive exposure to cadmium and its compounds may affect the blood, blood vessels, bone, digestive system, heart, immune system, kidney, liver and lung, and may cause cancer. Danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation and if swallowed. Possible risk of irreversible effects.
62.2kg Chromium and its compounds may cause cancer and genetic damage. Excessive exposure may affect the digestive system, kidney, liver, lung, nose, skin and the unborn child.
29.9kg Excessive exposure to copper and its compounds may affect the digestive system, eye, kidney, liver, lung and nose.
100kg Lead and some of its compounds may affect the development of the brain in children and the unborn child. Excessive exposure may affect the blood, blood vessels, digestive system, kidney, peripheral nerve, reproductive system and the unborn child, and may cause cancer.
100kg Excessive exposure to manganese and its compounds may affect the brain, liver, lung, reproductive system and skin.
20.44kg Excessive exposure to mercury and its compounds may affect the brain, digestive system, eye, heart, kidney, lung, reproductive system, skin, and the unborn child.
103.83kg Nickel may cause cancer and genetic damage.Excessive exposure to nickel may affect the blood, lung, nose, reproductive system, skin and the unborn child.
200kg Excessive exposure to selenium and its compounds may affect the brain, digestive system, eye, heart, liver, lung, peripheral nerve, reproductive system, skin, throat.
100kg Excessive exposure to vanadium compounds may affect the digestive system, eye, liver, skin, throat and the unborn child, and may cause cancer.
100kg Excessive exposure to zinc compounds may affect the blood, digestive system, eye, kidney, lung, pancreas, reproductive system, skin and the unborn child.
Ozone 50kg Excessive exposure to ozone may affect the eye and lung.
Carbon dioxide
716004.2t Major contributor to climate change. Climate changes will inevitably influence the health of those directly affected.
Carbon dioxide – ‘chemical’
Carbon dioxide – ‘thermal’
Carbon monoxide
678.7t Excessive exposure to carbon mono
xide may affect the blood, brain, heart, and the unborn child.
Nitrogen oxides (as NO2)
3447.7t Excessive exposure to nitrogen oxides may affect the blood, liver, lung and spleen.
Nitrous oxide
Sulphur oxides (as SO2)
1685t Excessive exposure to sulphur dioxide may affect the eye, lung and throat.
Hydrogen chloride
52.46t Excessive exposure to hydrogen chloride may affect the eye, lung, nose, skin and throat.
Inorganic chlorine compounds 52466kg
Hydrogen cyanide
<200kg A poisonous gas that affects the central nervous system and can cause death if the exposure is high enough. May cause brain damage at lower than lethal concentrations.
Hydrogen fluoride
<5000kg Potential symptoms of overexposure are irritation of eyes, nose and throat; pulmonary edema; skin and eye burns; nasal congestion; bronchitis.
Inorganic fluorine compounds <5000kg Can cause fluorosis – may damage teeth and bones if exposed to excessive concentrations
Particulate matter
– total 147.91t
PM10 69.5t Particulates affect the heart and lung. COMEAP have concluded that there is an effect on health from any particulate matter.
Methane 50.1t Excessive exposure to methane may affect the brain.

Volatile Organic Compounds include a large number of toxic chemicals some effects are listed below under the individual chemicals. No one knows the effect of small quantities of lots of organic chemicals acting together.
VOCs (as C) (1998-2001)
VOCs (NMVOCs) (2002 onwards)
4367.02kg Benzene may cause cancer and genetic damage. Excessive exposure may affect the blood, brain, heart, immune system, liver, lung and skin. Toxic: danger of serious damage to health by prolonged exposure through inhalation
Butadiene (1,3-Butadiene)
<100kg 1,3-Butadiene may cause cancer and genetic damage. Excessive exposure may affect the blood, brain, eye, heart, kidney, lung, nose and throat.
<100kg Excessive exposure to styrene may affect the blood, brain, eye, immune system, kidney, liver, lung, skin and throat.
Carbon disulphide
<1000kg Excessive exposure to carbon disulphide may affect the brain, eye, heart, liver, lung, reproductive system, skin, and the unborn child.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
There is rapidly increasing body of evidence supporting the conclusion that carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) produce severe, long-term immunotoxicity. This may be related to the structure of the carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons since immune alterations have not been observed following exposure to noncarcinogenic congeners. Evidence exists to indicate that mixtures of PAHs are carcinogenic in humans. The evidence in humans comes primarily from occupational studies of workers exposed to mixtures containing PAHs as a result of their involvement in such processes as coke production, roofing, oil refining, or coal gasification (e.g., coal tar, roofing tar, soot, coke oven emissions, soot, crude oil)… . PAHs, however, have not been clearly identified as the causative agent. Cancer associated with exposure to PAH-containing mixtures in humans occurs predominantly in the lung and skin following inhalation and dermal exposure, respectively. Some ingestion of PAHs is likely because of swallowing of particles containing PAHs subsequent to mucociliary clearance of these particulates from the lung.
PAHs (borneff six)
<1kg Benzo(a)pyrene may cause cancer and genetic damage. Excessive exposure may affect the blood, immune system, reproductive system and the unborn child. May cause heritable genetic damage; May impair fertility;
<1kg probable human carcinogen, increased incidences of skin, lung, bladder & gastrointestinal cancer. Pregnant women may be especially susceptible to exposure effects associated with coal tar pitch volatiles like benzo(b)fluoranthene and other pahs.
<1kg Possibly genotoxic
Benzo(k)fluoranthene <1kg probable human carcinogen.
<10kg probable human carcinogen. Pregnant women may be especially susceptible to exposure effects associated with coal tar pitch volatiles. Persons with existing skin disorders may be more susceptible to the effects of coal tar pitch volatiles
<1kg The agent is possibly carcinogenic to humans. caused increased incidences of lung and genitourinary cancer mortality
<10000kg Excessive exposure to naphthalene may affect the blood, breastfed baby, eye, lung and the unborn child.
Organo-chlorine and organo-fluorine compounds
CFCs (as C) (1998-2001)
<100kg Damage the ozone layer so may affect health indirectly through increased uv radiation at ground level.
CFCs (total mass 2002 onwards)
Carbon tetrachloride
<100kg Excessive exposure to carbon tetrachloride may affect the brain, digestive system, eye, kidney, liver and skin, and may cause cancer.
Dioxins and furans – as ITEQ 70 mg Excessive exposure to dioxins may affect the heart, immune system, liver, skin, thyroid gland and the unborn child, and may cause cancer.
Dioxins and furans- as WHO TEQ 40 mg
Halons (as C) (1998-2001) <100kg Chemicals containing fluorine and chlorine. Many cause cancer or have narcotic effects. They can be associated with dioxin formation.
Halons (total) (2002 onwards) <50kg
HCFCs (as C) (1998-2001) <100kg
HCFCs (total) (2002 onwards) <1000kg
HFCs (as C) (1998-2001) <100kg
HFCs (total) (2002 onwards) <100kg
PCBs as WHO TEQ .02g
PFCs (as C) (1998-2001) <100kg
Phosgene (Carbonic dichloride)
<100kg Excessive exposure to phosgene may affect eye, lung, skin and throat.
Methyl chloride
<10000kg Excessive exposure to chloromethane may affect the brain, eye, heart, kidney, liver, reproductive system and skin, and may cause cancer.
Sulphur hexafluoride <100kg Excessive exposure to sulphur hexafluoride may affect the brain.
Source: The Air That We Breathe.


Please note the general windrose pollution distribution similarities to the Beddington one outlined earlier in the blog.We certainly don't want some researcher being able to draw similar pictures in Croydon and Sutton wards within a year of an incinerator opening!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Chernobyl and Hiroshima: fiddled figures and false reassurances

Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment (Paperback)
by Alexey V. Yablokov (Editor), Vassily B. Nesterenko (Editor), Alexey V. Nesterenko (Editor), Janette D. ShermanNevinger (Editor) Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences Feb 2010

The latest publication from Russian, Belorussian and Ukrainian scientists blows the Chernobyl cover-up wide open. The recent spat about nuclear safety in the Guardian still pulls a lot of punches. The public have been deliberately and extensively lied too since 1945 by the highest, and apparently most trustworthy national and international bodies. Its time to put a stop to this, a stop to negligent nuclear thinking and a stop to burning radioactive waste.

So…can you only say radiation caused illness when you can link a specific dose to disease…WHAT A CON !

1.Nobody was measuring the radiation levels in the early days.

2.The radionucleotides with the shortest half lives are the ones that decay quickest with the most intense alpha beta and gamma emissions….so the earliest days have the biggest exposures.

3.1000 times more intense than levels measured a few weeks or a month later.

4.No attempt made to count variations in levels,hotspots and geographically variable weather related deposition.

5.No attempt to measure the different rarer and often more dangerous elements and isoptopes to give a complete description to exposure (the commonly measured ones of caesium, strontium, iodine and plutonium are only a few of all the ones involved).

6.No possibility of measuring internal radiation doses from breathing in or swallowing radioactive contamination

So…can you only say radiation caused illness when you can link total radiation exposure to a whole population….ANOTHER CON!

The Americans forbade research and removed figures for the first four years ( at least) after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hiding approximately 100,000 deaths. They should have been added to the admitted figures, and would have affected all safety and risk criteria that have been used since.

The USSR forbade doctors to link illnesses to radiation for three years after Chernobyl. This data has been irretrievably lost. A triumph of expediency over scientific measurement.

It’s really time that CND, GreenPeace, Friends of the Earth and The Green Party got out of their intimidated bunkers and gained the confidence to challenge government on FIRST PRINCIPLES. The public have a right and a need to know.


Here is yet another study, in a long line, that confirms extensive international research.We must not allow another,extra group of diesel lorries to go onto our roads,nor permit incinerators that belch the equivalent of 2 miles worth of 4 lane motorway fumes 24/7!What is even worse is that there are extra dangers. An international conference on air pollution, held in London a month ago, confirmed that waste transfer stations’ dusts (e.g. Beddington , Factory Lane and Bexley) have worse properties than traffic dust.

Traffic fumes increase the risks of child pneumonia
Top consultant announces breakthrough study

Denis Campbell, health correspondent
The Observer, Sunday 24 January 2010

Children who live near a main road are in greater danger of catching pneumonia because pollution from passing traffic damages their lungs. A leading expert in childhood breathing difficulties has made the link between exposure to particles from vehicle exhausts and a child's susceptibility to the chest infection, which can be fatal.

Professor Jonathan Grigg, an honorary consultant at the Royal London Hospital and academic paediatrician at Queen Mary, University of London, made the breakthrough after studying the effect of airborne pollutants on human lung cells. Children whose home is within 100 metres of a main road could be as much as 65% more likely than others to develop pneumonia, he said.

Although the disease is usually associated with the elderly, it is a significant childhood illness. Every year about 20,000 children and young people under 18 end up in hospital after contracting the condition. It can also be fatal. Between 2004 and 2008, it killed between 60 and 77 patients aged under 20 annually, of whom between 38 and 52 were under the age of five, according to data from the Office of National Statistics.

Children under 12 months are the most likely to die. Of the 76 young people under 20 who died in 2008, 29 had not reached their first birthday – 20 boys and nine girls – and 23 others were between one and four.

Grigg took contaminated air particles collected as part of Leicester city council's air-quality monitoring system and recreated their impact in a laboratory. He then added bacteria that would cause pneumonia in a human and assessed how many were sticking to the surface of the cells and getting inside them. In normal lungs a few bacteria do that, but in the lung cells that had been artificially exposed to pollution three to four times more did so.

"These findings strongly suggest that particles pollution is a major factor in making children vulnerable to pneumonia. We've shown a very firm link between the two. The study raises strong suspicions that particles cause pneumonia in children," said Grigg. "This is significant because pneumonia causes many admissions of previously healthy children to hospital." Some children with the disease spend several weeks in intensive care.

Previous studies have blamed proximity to a main road for children having higher rates of asthma, wheezing, coughs, ear, nose and throat infections, and food allergies.

A study this month by the Boston-based Health Effects Institute claimed that toxic emissions from vehicles can speed up hardening of the arteries, as well as impairing lung function.

"Strong evidence" suggested that being exposed to traffic fumes can lead to variations in heart rate and other potentially fatal heart complaints, the study said.

Exposure to the burning of wood or coal, or to tobacco smoke, can also increase a child's chances of pneumonia. One study found that secondhand smoke was to blame for 28.7% of all children under five in Vietnam who were admitted to hospital with the condition.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of GPs, said: "We have known for some time that pollution causes chest problems, such as asthma, in both children and adults. This new research adds to the weight of evidence about the problems of air pollution, especially cars, buses and lorries."

Childhood pneumonia was important because it often led to admission to hospital, costing the NHS hundreds of pounds per bed per day.

The research underlined the need for Britain to move towards greener forms of transport in order to protect public health from traffic fumes, he suggested.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010



Residents of the local authority jungles are going to have to get used to a new creature. Partly a Frankenstein monster sewn together from bits of four councils, partly a legal genetic modification, it is set to prowl the local rubbish tips in search of savings and profit and opportunity.


It will be more difficult to spot, won’t have to say what its going to do, won’t have to say as much as a local council about what it has done and will be made as near immortal as current technology allows. Without clear democratic accountability, and camouflaged as an entirely new legal entity it will be trying to get away with emissions and residue murder….BEWARE…..

Monday, 11 January 2010

4,000 or 500,000: CHERNOBYL CASUALTIES

The whole issue of nuclear safety,which has been fought over for 65 years, is rehearsed again in the Guardian article,by John Vidal,yesterday:

At the children's cancer hospital in Minsk, Belarus, and at the Vilne hospital for radiological protection in the east of Ukraine, specialist doctors are in no doubt they are seeing highly unusual rates of cancers, mutations and blood diseases linked to the Chernobyl nuclear accident 24 years ago.

But proving that infant mortality hundreds of miles from the stricken nuclear plant has increased 20-30% in 20 years, or that the many young people suffering from genetic disorders, internal organ deformities and thyroid cancers are the victims of the world's greatest release of radioactivity, is impossible.

The UN's World Health Organisation and the International Atomic Energy Agency claim that only 56 people have died as a direct result of the radiation released at Chernobyl and that about 4,000 will die from it eventually.

They also say that only a few children have died of cancers since the accident and, that most of the illnesses usually linked to Chernobyl are due to psychological distress, radiophobia or poverty and unhealthy living.

But other reputable scientists researching the most radiation-contaminated areas of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine are not convinced. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, another UN agency, predicts 16,000 deaths from Chernobyl; an assessment by the Russian academy of sciences says there have been 60,000 deaths so far in Russia and an estimated 140,000 in Ukraine and Belarus.

Meanwhile, the Belarus national academy of sciences estimates 93,000 deaths so far and 270,000 cancers, and the Ukrainian national commission for radiation protection calculates 500,000 deaths so far.

The mismatches in figures arise because there have been no comprehensive, co-ordinated studies of the health consequences of the accident. This is in contrast to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, where official research showed that the main rise in most types of cancer and non-cancer diseases only became apparent years after the atomic bombs fell.

With Chernobyl there have been difficulties in gathering reliable data from areas left in administrative chaos after the accident. Hundreds of thousands of people were moved away from the affected areas, and the break-up of the Soviet Union led to records being lost.

Controversy rages over the agendas of the IAEA, which has promoted civil nuclear power over the past 30 years, and the WHO. The UN accepts only peer-reviewed scientific studies written in certain journals in English, a rule said to exclude dozens of other studies.

Four years ago, an IAEA spokesman said he was confident the WHO figures were correct. And Michael Repacholi, director of the UN Chernobyl forum until 2006, has claimed that even 4,000 eventual deaths could be too high. The main negative health impacts of ­Chernobyl were not caused by the ­radiation but by the fear of it, he claimed.

But today Linda Walker, of the UK Chernobyl Children's Project, which funds Belarus and Ukraine orphanages and holidays for affected children, called for a determined effort to learn about the effects of the disaster. "Parents are giving birth to babies with disabilities or genetic disorders … but, as far as we know, no research is being conducted

The reason this issue remains local and relevant is that there will be increasing pressure to burn radioactive waste. Such incinerators need licences, but they are given:
Here is a link to an example in Sidcup:

The Secretary of State also has powers to keep disposal secret (Radioactive Substances Act, 1993, sectn 25), even from local councils. Developers of an incinerator in Spondon recently said that the public didn’t need to know that radioactive waste was to be burned there.

From Hiroshima onwards, nuclear physicists have spoken of the dangers of internal radiation from particles eaten, drunk or breathed in. The current government models ignore these, but the Chernobyl figures are a timely reminder of the dangers.