Huge reductions in incinerators' emissions occurred over time, and results of older studies cannot be directly generalized to modern plants. We conducted a systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence of the health effects of incinerators, classifying plants in three generations, according to emission limits. A systematic search identified 63 epidemiologic studies, published in English, investigating health effects of incinerators on humans. We focused on cancer, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) and respiratory diseases, pregnancy outcomes and congenital anomalies. Only six studies in the general population were on third generation incinerators providing data on pregnancy outcomes and congenital anomalies. Given the heterogeneity of methods, the abundance of ecological/semi-ecological studies and the lack of reliable quantitative measures of exposure in several studies we did not perform any meta-analysis. No excesses emerged concerning all cancers and lung cancer. An excess of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was reported in some earlier studies, but not for second generation plants. Possible excesses of soft tissue sarcomas were confined to earlier incinerators and the areas closer to the plants. No clear association emerged for CVD and diseases of the respiratory system. Several different pregnancy outcomes were considered, and no consistent association emerged, in spite of a few positive results. Studies were negative for congenital anomalies as a whole. Sporadic excesses were reported in a few studies for specific types of anomalies, but no consistent pattern emerged. Evaluation of the evidence was hindered by heterogeneity in reporting and classification of outcomes across studies. Direct evidence from third generation plants is scarce. Methodological issues in study design (mainly related to exposure assessment, confounding and ecological design) and analysis make interpretation of results complex. In spite of this, the overall evidence suggests that, if there were any excesses at all for older incinerators, they were modest at most. Additional monitoring of third generation plants needs to overcome methodological weakness.

Health effects of living near an incinerator: A systematic review of epidemiological studies, with focus on last generation plants / E. Negri, F. Bravi, S. Catalani, V. Guercio, F. Metruccio, A. Moretto, C. La Vecchia, P. Apostoli. - In: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH. - ISSN 0013-9351. - 184(2020 May). [10.1016/j.envres.2020.109305]

Health effects of living near an incinerator: A systematic review of epidemiological studies, with focus on last generation plants

E. Negri
Primo
;
F. Bravi
Secondo
;
A. Moretto
;
C. La Vecchia
Penultimo
;
2020-05

Abstract

Huge reductions in incinerators' emissions occurred over time, and results of older studies cannot be directly generalized to modern plants. We conducted a systematic review of the epidemiologic evidence of the health effects of incinerators, classifying plants in three generations, according to emission limits. A systematic search identified 63 epidemiologic studies, published in English, investigating health effects of incinerators on humans. We focused on cancer, cardio-cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) and respiratory diseases, pregnancy outcomes and congenital anomalies. Only six studies in the general population were on third generation incinerators providing data on pregnancy outcomes and congenital anomalies. Given the heterogeneity of methods, the abundance of ecological/semi-ecological studies and the lack of reliable quantitative measures of exposure in several studies we did not perform any meta-analysis. No excesses emerged concerning all cancers and lung cancer. An excess of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was reported in some earlier studies, but not for second generation plants. Possible excesses of soft tissue sarcomas were confined to earlier incinerators and the areas closer to the plants. No clear association emerged for CVD and diseases of the respiratory system. Several different pregnancy outcomes were considered, and no consistent association emerged, in spite of a few positive results. Studies were negative for congenital anomalies as a whole. Sporadic excesses were reported in a few studies for specific types of anomalies, but no consistent pattern emerged. Evaluation of the evidence was hindered by heterogeneity in reporting and classification of outcomes across studies. Direct evidence from third generation plants is scarce. Methodological issues in study design (mainly related to exposure assessment, confounding and ecological design) and analysis make interpretation of results complex. In spite of this, the overall evidence suggests that, if there were any excesses at all for older incinerators, they were modest at most. Additional monitoring of third generation plants needs to overcome methodological weakness.
Waste incineration; Cancer; Cardiovascular diseases; Diseases of the respiratory system; Reproduction
Settore MED/01 - Statistica Medica
25-feb-2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/717763
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