Emissions of municipal solid waste incinerator plants consist as a suspected risk factor for the human health. Scientific literature about this theme appears contradictory: main sanitary outcomes actually evaluated, stating on geographic- or occupational-based epidemiologic approaches, produced inconsistent results. Research procedures applied, and effective quality of analyzed data, are the likely causes of such dissimilarities. Up to date, respiratory, cardiovascular renal, and hormonal pathologies, and also neoplasia, and developmental/reproductive disorders have been related to this kind of exposures: otherwise, an objective review of available data suggests a consistent relation only between residential or occupational exposure and the latter outcomes, always as a topic of multifactorial models. Finally, rigorous public health surveillance programs on exposed subjects appear mandatory steps to be established by Institutional Authorities. Also more accurate epidemiologic studies should be designed, eventually associating the retrieval of data relative to biomarkers of exposure or early health effect.
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