logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 29 March 2003.





Study examines landfill effects on health

Claims that Parkwood landfill on Shirecliffe causes cancer and other diseases have frequently been made by nearby residents. They have long demanded action from government authorities, who argue they have no power to take action against the site due to lack of evidence supporting residents' claims.

North Sheffield Primary Care Trust (PCT), the local NHS organisation responsible for public health, with the support of the Chemical Incidents Response Service, is to investigate whether the site may be linked to poor health.

3,500 households within four kilometres of the site will receive questionnaires. A sample of people living further away will also be surveyed. The two groups will be compared to see if there is a higher level of reported ill health nearer the site. NHS statistics will be studied to see if there are particular health problems that may be associated with the site.

A steering group to oversee the study includes three local residents, Jean Armstrong, Yvonne Hayes and Brian Wilson, and representatives from the Environment Agency, the City Council and Viridor, the landfill operators.

It is very important that anyone who receives a questionnaire should fill it in and return it, say the study organisers. Anyone who needs help because they do not read or write English should contact the PCT on 0114 271 8409.

The results will be ready in the summer. Local people, the site operators and the Environment Agency will be invited to respond at a public meeting.