HIA of using chopped tyres as fuel in a cement kiln
A cement plant located in a small English town applied for a variation in its license to allow it to use chopped tyres in a cement kiln, in part replacement for coal. The local health authority (PCT), a statutory consultee in the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) process, requested a Health Impact Assessment of the proposal.
The University of Birmingham was approached to carry out the HIA, and used a combination of interviews with key informants, literature search and participatory methods. The conclusion was that the proposal was unlikely to cause adverse impacts. Some residents were disappointed by this failure to confirm health fears.
Among lessons learned from this experience, the authors note that the HIA had to be completed very quickly. For this reason, it was practically impossible to obtain meaningful participation from local residents. It is also suggested that local health authorities may not always have adequate resources to assess health impacts, although they are required to do so under the British IPPC process.
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Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer
Department of Public Health and Epidemiology
University of Birmingham