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From: Bill Koehnlein <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: World Bank Promoting Dioxin Producing Technology
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Multinationals Resource Center            Health Care Without Harm
P.O. Box 19405                            P.O. Box 6806
Washington, DC 20036 USA                  Falls Church, VA 22040 USA


Contact: Ann Leonard
          Multinationals Resource Center, Tel. 202-387-8030/202-777-6009
              email: [log in to unmask]

World Bank Promoting Dioxin Producing Technology
in Third World Countries, says New Report

June 24, 1999, Washington, D.C. M-^V The World Bank is promoting the use of
dioxin-producing medical waste incineration in health sector projects in at
least 20 countries around the world, says a new report released today by
the international Health Care Without Harm coalition.

he report, "The World Bank's Dangerous Medicine: Promoting Medical Waste
Incinerators in Third World Countries" is available from the Multinationals
Resource Center or on the world wide web at

The Multinationals Resource Center, a Washington, D.C.-based organization
founded by Ralph Nader and a member of Health Care Without Harm, today
released an inventory of 30 World Bank and International Finance
Corporation projects involving medical waste incineration in the following
20 countries: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Comoros, Dominican Republic,
Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Nigeria, Senegal,
South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Vietnam, Western Samoa and Zimbabwe.

Babcar Ndaw of the Senegalese anti-incinerator network,  R‰seau S‰n‰galais
d'Information sur les D‰chets, demanded of that Bank's health sector
projects that "we want funds to treat us and not to poison us."

Medical waste incinerators produce significant amounts of dioxin, a
carcinogen and the most toxic manmade pollutant known to science, and
mercury,  a heavy metal which causes central nervous system, brain, kidney
and lung damage. Earlier this month, traces of dioxin in animal feed in
Belgium caused the most expensive international food contamination scandal
in history.

"At a time when Europeans are frightened about dioxin in their food supply
and American babies are being born with dioxin already in their bodies, it
is outrageous that the World Bank is actually financing projects which will
increase the dioxin load in countries around the world" explained Gary
Cohen, Co-coordinator of the Health Care Without Harm coalition.

Medical waste incineration is increasingly being rejected in industrialized
countries because the public and policy makers have learned of its dangers
and advantages of alternative treatment technologies.  In the United
States, in 1990 there were over 4,500 incinerators in operation; the number
has declined to less than 2,500 today and most of these are closing since
they can not meet environmental standards.

"While the United States is turning away from this technology, the World
Bank is promoting it" explained Ann Leonard, Director of MRC. "It is
incredibly ironic that the World Bank, an institution allegedly committed
to environmental protection, is facilitating the spread of this dangerous
technology to Third World Countries. It is a clear case of environmental
racism - incinerators and dioxin are too dangerous for us in the rich
countries but are acceptable for people in the Third World."

Environmental and health organizations in India, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico,
Senegal, South Africa, and Turkey also released the report and called for
an end to medical waste incineration in their countries.

Nityanand Jayaraman, an anti-incinerator expert in India said: "Citizen
groups and communities in India must be warned about the World Bank's
complicity to poison us by financing incinerator proposals. It's a pity
that the Bank hasn't learnt from its past mistakes and continues to dump
dirty western technologies and practices onto unsuspecting southern

Complete copies of the World Bank's Project Information Documents for each
project are available from Farzana Anwar at MRC: Tel. 202-387-8030; Email:
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