This Office for National Statistics (ONS) data at electoral ward level shows a four-fold increase in rates of infant mortality downwind of Ironbridge Power Station compared with upwind for the five year period 2003 - 2007. This means that Ironbridge Power Station cannot be excluded as a source of harmful PM2.5 emissions which have an adverse effect on the health of those living downwind.
The Shropshire Star article 'Study clears town power plant' (11/12/2008) failed to report the fact that Dr Catherine Woodward, of Telford & Wrekin Primary Care Trust, 'forgot' to examine any data upwind of the power station, thereby rendering her report worthless.
A ten mile wide group of wards upwind of the power station along the line of the South-Westerly prevailing wind was compared with all Shropshire and Staffordshire wards in the North-East sector downwind of the power station.
If the infant mortality rate in the downwind zone had been the same as in the upwind zone, there would have been 88 fewer infant deaths (30 infant deaths instead of 118 recorded deaths). See A4 map for further information.
Dr Catherine Woodward compared four 'exposed' wards (Ironbridge Gorge, Woodside, Madeley and Dawley Magna) with the whole of Telford (almost all of which is downwind of the Ironbridge Power Station) and found no difference, as she has compared 'like with like'.
Dr Woodward should have compared downwind wards with those upwind of the power station as has been carried out in numerous other air pollution studies around the world (click here to see details of such studies on the PubMed website).
Professor Roy Harrison, of Birmingham University, assessed Dr Woodward's Ironbridge Power Station report and failed to criticise it for not considering any data upwind of the power station. Professor Harrison is well aware that Westerly winds carry 'relatively clean air' as can be seen in the following 2005 report [Click here to read: Measurement and modelling of air pollution and atmospheric chemistry in the U.K. West Midlands conurbation: overview of the PUMA Consortium project. Sci Total Environ. 2006 May 1;360(1-3):5-25. Epub 2005 Nov 9. Authors: Harrison RM, Yin J, Tilling RM, Cai X, Seakins PW, Hopkins JR, Lansley DL, Lewis AC, Hunter MC, Heard DE, Carpenter LJ, Creasey DJ, Lee JD, Pilling MJ, Carslaw N, Emmerson KM, Redington A, Derwent RG, Ryall D, Mills G, Penkett SA.
School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Birmingham.]