The UK Government has been accused of making “misleading” statements about the risks of waste incinerators – such as the multi-million pound facility under construction in Aberdeen.
The plant, which is being built in East Tullos, will generate green energy from unrecyclable rubbish collected in the city, Aberdeenshire and Moray by 2022.
The waste will be burned to produce heat and power.
But the project has proven controversial, with objections revolving around its close proximity to Tullos Primary School.
And now, the Particulate Research Group has analysed government answers to many dozens of parliamentary questions about particulate matter emitted by municipal waste incinerators.
The group claims ministers omitted important caveats and provided incomplete information – resulting in criticism that the government “misled parliament” over the matter.
Ron Bailey, convener of the Particulate Research Group, said: “Parliamentary questioning has exposed the dangers of municipal waste incinerators, which may constitute a serious threat to public health.
“It is vital that the public be made aware of these issues, particularly those living in the vicinity of an incinerator.”
The report argues that “the real dangerous impact of incineration comes from the smallest particles” as they are too small to be filtered and “absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs”.
It also claims that there are links between ambient particulate matter exposure and increased rates of respiratory and cardiovascular illness.
Aberdeen Green Party co-convener, Guy Ingerson, added: “This is an extremely serious matter that deserves urgent examination.”
A spokeswoman for the NESS energy from waste project said: “Energy from waste operations are subject to some of the strictest regulatory requirements for combustion activities, with particulate levels routinely monitored and reported to the regulator under the environmental permit.
“These limits are set at a European level following significant research and consultation into operating methods that protect the environment and human health.
“These have recently been revised, with the Aberdeen plant designed to comply with these latest requirements.”
The government’s department for environment, food and rural affairs was unable to comment due to the general election.