The impermanent effect of waste incineration on children's development from 6 months to 8 years: A Taiwan Birth Cohort Study

For Wey Lung, Bih Ching Shu, Tung Liang Chiang, Shio Jean Lin

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Abstract

Incineration is a solution to waste problems; however, it has adverse effects on human health. Our study aimed to investigate the direct and indirect effects of living near an incinerator and breastfeeding on children's development at 6, 18, 36 and 66 months, and 8 years of age. The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study dataset used included randomized community data on 19,519 children from 6 months to 8 years old. The Taiwan Birth Cohort Study Developmental Instrument was used to measure children's development at different developmental ages. The results of our study showed that living within 3 km of an incinerator had a negative effect on children's 6-month development, however the effect dissipated after 18 months. Having been breastfed and living in the city had a more persistent and pervasive positive effect on children's development. Conversely, living in the city had an adverse effect on children's social-communication and emotional development when they were 8 years old; possibly due to the Chinese cultural characteristic of collectivism. Further follow-up of the long-term interactive effects of proximity to an incinerator and breastfeeding on children's development and health is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalScientific reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Feb 21

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