Incinerator emissions linked to high infant mortality rates

Waiting for an internal review by Sheffield City Council of their handling of this request.

Dear Sheffield City Council,

The following Parliamentary Question by Sandra Gidley MP led to the release of the infant mortality rates (2002-2004) in each of the 303 Primary care Trusts in England:

Infant Mortality
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the infant mortality rate has been since 2002 in each primary care trust in England. [38320]
John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Jil Matheson, dated 20 December 2005:
▪ The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking for the infant mortality rate in each Primary Care Organisation in England since 2002. I am replying in her absence. (38320)

▪ The most recent year for which figures are available is 2004. Figures requested for the years 2002–2004 are given in the attached table which I am also placing in the House of Commons Library.

Hansard: 20 Dec 2005 : Column 2799W

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa...

The baby charity BLISS had access to the above data and issued a press release which listed the ten PCTs with highest 2002-2004 infant mortality rates and also the ten PCTs with the lowest rates as follows:

WORST BEST
Area Rate Area Rate
1. Central Birmingham 12.4 1. East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey 1.5

2. North Kirklees 11.2 2. East Devon 1.8

3. Central Bradford 10.4 3. Central Suffolk 1.9

4. East Birmingham 9.2 4. South Somerset 2.2

5. Central Manchester 8.6 5. Chiltern and South Bucks 2.2

6. South East Sheffield 8.4 6. Hertsmere 2.4

7. Nottingham City 8.3 7. Mid-Hampshire 2.4

8. Coventry 8.2 8. Melton, Rutland and Harborough 2.6

9. Southwark 8.1 9. Scarborough, Whitby and Ryedale 2.6

10. Newham 7.9 10. Maldon and South Chelmsford 2.7

http://www.bliss.org.uk/2006/03/28/top-t...

When I looked at the above data, I noticed that the ten PCTs with highest infant mortality rates were all exposed to incinerator emissions and that the ten PCTs with lowest rates were free from such emissions. Southwark is bounded by two incinerators (Kings College Hospital, & SELCHP). Newham is downwind of SELCHP with south west wind.

My FoI request is for:

1. Any evidence that Sheffield Council has that emissions from the Bernard Road incinerator are not harming health.

2. What assessment has been made of the infant mortality rates at electoral ward level in Sheffield and Rotherham to determine whether or not the infant mortality rates are higher in wards exposed to incinerator emissions?

3. The infant mortality rates in each of Sheffield's electoral wards aggregated for the five-year period 2006-2010.

4. What evidence has Sheffield Council got that shows a causal link between "deprivation" and infant mortality?

Sheffield Council should note that after Battersea Power Station closed down in 1983, there was a general fall in the infant mortality rates at Borough level in London and the rates in Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and Newham all fell, but Lewisham and Newham infant mortality rates rose after SELCHP started up whilst the infant mortality rates continued to fall in "deprived" Tower Hamlets, which rarely gets emissions from SELCHP.

1981-1983 infant mortality rates
Lewisham: 10.8 per 1,000 live births
Newham: 11.3 per 1,000
Tower Hamlets: 13.1 per 1,000

1992-1994 infant mortality rates
Lewisham: 7.8 per 1,000
Newham: 7.5 per 1,000
Tower Hamlets: 7.0 per 1,000

1993-1995 infant mortality rates
Lewisham: 7.7 per 1,000
Newham: 6.8 per 1,000
Tower Hamlets: 6.8 per 1,000

1996-1998 infant mortality rates
Lewisham: 10.0 per 1,000
Newham: 8.2 per 1,000
Tower Hamlets: 6.5 per 1,000 live births

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ryan

Firstpoint@sheffield.gov.uk, Sheffield City Council

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Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your recent email enquiry.

Your request for information has been forwarded to the appropriate officer
and you should expect to receive a reply within 20 working days.

For more information you can visit our [1]https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/foi

Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further
questions or queries.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Services
Resources, Sheffield City Council
Floor 2 Howden House,
1 Union Street,
Sheffield
S1 2SH
Telephone: 0114 2734567
Email: [Sheffield City Council request email]
Website: [2]www.sheffield.gov.uk
 
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CYPDBusinessSupport, Sheffield City Council

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Dear Mr Ryan
I am responding to your Freedom of Information request (as below) on
behalf of Sheffield City Council, Children Young People and Families.
 
Please see attached documents in response to your request

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to Corporate Complaints Department, Sheffield City
Council, Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, S1 2HH, or e-mail:
[1][email address], or complete our on-line form:
[2]http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-co...

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by Sheffield City Council. The Information Commissioner
can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Kind Regards

Deborah Sockett
Project Support Officer
Business Strategy Service
Children, Young People and Families
Level 3 North Wing
Moorfoot
Sheffield
S1 4PL

Tel: 0114 273 5721
E-mail:[email address]

 

show quoted sections

CYPDBusinessSupport, Sheffield City Council

Dear Mr Ryan
 
In follow up to my email yesterday, please see below an amendment to
Question 4:
 
Information from the Department of Health identifies higher rates of
infant mortality for babies with fathers in routine and manual
occupations, with the lowest rates for babies with fathers in managerial
and professional occupations (5.0 compared to 3.2 deaths per 1000 live
births respectively (Monthly Monitoring Bulletin, Infant Mortality,
inequalities, 8^th December 2010).
 

In Sheffield, we can see a correlation between levels of infant mortality
and deprivation. Levels are generally lower in the west and south of the
city. The highest infant mortality rates occur in the areas with higher
levels of deprivation. This information is in the public domain at
[1]http://www.sheffield.nhs.uk/healthdata/i.... Sheffield is
committed to tackling infant mortality and the issues that impact on it,
including deprivation. Further information can be found in the publicly
available Infant Mortality Strategy and associated delivery plans:  
[2]http://www.sheffield.nhs.uk/professional...

Kind Regards

Deborah Sockett
Project Support Officer
Business Strategy Service
Children, Young People and Families
Level 3 North Wing
Moorfoot
Sheffield
S1 4PL

E-mail:[email address]

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Sockett Deborah (CEX) On Behalf Of CYPDBusinessSupport
Sent: 04 October 2012 14:00
To: '[FOI #128867 email]'
Subject: 2012/1105 FOI Request - Incinerator emissions links to high
infant mortality rates
Dear Mr Ryan
I am responding to your Freedom of Information request (as below) on
behalf of Sheffield City Council, Children Young People and Families.
 
Please see attached documents in response to your request

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to Corporate Complaints Department, Sheffield City
Council, Town Hall, Pinstone Street, Sheffield, S1 2HH, or e-mail:
[3][email address], or complete our on-line form:
[4]http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/your-city-co...

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally, the
ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints
procedure provided by Sheffield City Council. The Information Commissioner
can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe
House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Kind Regards

Deborah Sockett
Project Support Officer
Business Strategy Service
Children, Young People and Families
Level 3 North Wing
Moorfoot
Sheffield
S1 4PL

Tel: 0114 273 5721
E-mail:[email address]

 

show quoted sections

Dear Sheffield City Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Sheffield City Council's handling of my FOI request 'Incinerator emissions linked to high infant mortality rates'.

I looked at the website showing three-year sets of infant mortality rates before making my request - hence my request for a five-year set of data to be aggregated to give infant mortality rates at electoral ward level for the period 2006-2010.

I should be grateful if the requested data is now released.

Dr Tango & others examined infant deaths around 63 incinerators in Japan and concluded:

"Our study shows a peak-decline in risk with distance from the municipal solid waste incinerators for infant deaths and infant deaths with all congenital malformations combined."
(J Epidemiol. 2004 May;14(3):83-93.)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15242...

Unless relevant health data is examined around existing incinerators, such as Bernard Road, Sheffield, it's impossible to determine whether or not there's been any adverse impact on health.

Assumptions that there are no such adverse health impacts from incinerator emissions because the Health Protection Agency hasn't informed Councils of harm doesn't mean that there's not been harm - or that such harm is not still continuing.

The Health Protection Agency, who allege that incinerator emissions pose little harm to health, haven't bothered to check rates of illness or rates of premature deaths at all ages around any incinerator - despite having promised to check health data around incinerators & landfill sites in August 2003. The HPA's failure to keep their August 2003 promised was reported in both the Dorking Advertiser and also the Surrey Mirror on 22 May 2008.

The HPA's promised study into "birth outcomes" around incinerators as detailed in their press release of 24 January 2012 should have been carried out years ago.

http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/Nationa...

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/in...

Yours faithfully,

Michael Ryan

Firstpoint@sheffield.gov.uk, Sheffield City Council

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Dear Mr Ryan,

Thank you for your recent email enquiry.

Your request for information has been forwarded to the appropriate officer
and you should expect to receive a reply within 20 working days.

For more information you can visit our [1]https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/foi

Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any further
questions or queries.

Yours sincerely,

Customer Services
Resources, Sheffield City Council
Floor 2 Howden House,
1 Union Street,
Sheffield
S1 2SH
Telephone: 0114 2734567
Email: [Sheffield City Council request email]
Website: [2]www.sheffield.gov.uk
 
[3]Sign up to our free email alerts
 
 
 
This Email, and any attachments, may contain non-public information and is
intended solely for the individual(s) to whom it is addressed. It may
contain sensitive or protectively marked material and should be handled
accordingly. If this Email has been misdirected, please notify the author
immediately. If you are not the intended recipient you must not disclose,
distribute, copy, print or rely on any of the information contained in it
or attached, and all copies must be deleted immediately. Whilst we take
reasonable steps to try to identify any software viruses, any attachments
to this Email may nevertheless contain viruses which our anti-virus
software has failed to identify. You should therefore carry out your own
anti-virus checks before opening any documents. Sheffield City Council
will not accept any liability for damage caused by computer viruses
emanating from any attachment or other document supplied with this e-mail

References

Visible links
1. https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/foi
2. file:///G:\CEX\Corp%20Res\CS-Gen\First%20Point\email%20toolbar\Copy%20of%20New%20reply\www.sheffield.gov.uk
3. https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/...

Michael Ryan left an annotation ()

ONS have kindly provided infant mortality rates for all London Boroughs from 1970 to 2010.

SELCHP incinerator started operating in New Cross, Lewisham in 1993 and it's unlikely to be a coincidence that the similarly falling infant mortality rates in Boroughs of Wandsworth, Lewisham, Newham, & Tower Hamlets suddenly diverged at that time.

http://ukhr.eu/incineration/selchp.htm

Note that the rates of infant deaths in "upwind" Wandsworth continued to fall after SELCHP.

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