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Last Updated: Friday, 30 May, 2003, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Incinerator protest 'vindication'
Pregnant woman
Mothers living near incinerators could have babies with spina bifida
Campaigners concerned about the health implications of having an incinerator in Wrexham say they feel vindicated after a report showed incineration could affect unborn babies.

Researchers from Newcastle University found mothers living near the facilities have a higher risk of having a baby with spina bifida or a heart defect.

Plans for a 25m waste centre including an incinerator were submitted to Wrexham councillors more than 12 months ago.

Following public opposition, HLC submitted a revised planning application, leaving out the incineration element.

However, Caroline Munro from Dee Borders Waste Action Group said the new findings prove their concerns were right all along.

I'm very sure the campaigners will feel vindicated by this new research
John Marek, Wrexham AM

"We never accepted that there weren't health implications," she said.

"We feel that every month that goes by there is more research that incinerators are not the way forward."

This latest research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health analysed all births in Cumbria between 1956 and 1993.

During this period there were almost 245,000 births.

Out of these, 3,234 were stillborn and 1,569 had congenial abnormalities.

The study found that mothers living near incinerators had a 17% higher risk of giving birth to babies with spina bifida.

However, the reports authors have stressed the study does not provide conclusive evidence into the effects of living near an incinerator.

They say more research needs to be gathered.

But Wrexham AM John Marek told News Online that decision-makers need to sit up and take notice of the document.

"This is a proper piece of constructive research and must be taken seriously," he said.

"In my view it should put paid to any incinerator being built in Wrexham.

"I'm very sure the campaigners will feel vindicated by this new research."

MP calls for pregnancy screening
22 May 03  |  Oxfordshire
Incinerator inquiry cancelled
16 May 03  |  North East Wales
Report dismisses cancer claims
05 Mar 03  |  England
Candidates give incinerator view
11 Apr 03  |  North East Wales

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