Frequent Questions

What were the findings from the Children's Health analysis in the Hazardous Waste Combustion Emission Standards Rule?

The key findings from the hazardous waste combustor MACT risk assessment with regards to children's health are listed below according to cancer and non-cancer risks: 

Cancer Risks
In general, children do not face significant cancer risks from hazardous waste combustion emissions. Only in the case of children of subsistence farmers do baseline cancer risks (driven primarily by dioxin) exceed 1x10-5 for the most highly exposed children. Following implementation of the final MACT standards, however, these cancer risks are expected to be reduced to below levels of concern (< 1x10-5) for the portion of this sensitive subpopulation living near incinerators.
 
Non-Cancer Risks
The non-cancer risk reductions resulting from implementation of the MACT standards will most likely benefit children directly. Non-cancer health benefits to children are associated with reduced exposures to particulate matter and lead. A recent EPA report indicates that these pollutants significantly affect children. 

-- Particulate matter reductions may help relieve asthma symptoms in children. 

-- Reduced lead exposures for children are expected after the Hazardous Waste Combustor MACT rule is implemented, which may prevent cognitive and nervous system developmental abnormalities.
 
Overall, children are expected to be the direct recipients for a number of the potential health benefits associated with the final MACT standards. 

For more information, see http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/tsd/td/combustion.htm.

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