Respiratory ill-health pinned on coke works' emissions

A convincing association between air pollution levels and respiratory ill-health around a coke works in north-east England has been found in a study of unprecedented depth conducted by the Division of Epidemiology and Public Health at Newcastle University.1

The research was financed by South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council when a dispute about emissions from the Monkton coke works, near Hebburn, was at its height early in 1990.

The plant was operated by Coal Products Ltd, a British Coal subsidiary. It was the subject of a two-stage public inquiry and a High Court hearing between 1987 and 1990 - the issue at stake being sulphur dioxide emissions (ENDS Reports 163, p 3, and 195, pp 5-6).

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