By Kevin Lavery, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has signed into law a measure that bans the incineration of medical waste in the city.
The law requires such waste to be treated through other technologies whenever possible. Slay signed the legislation at a St. Louis elementary school near an incinerator owned by Chicago-based Stericycle, Inc.
A large number of children in the area have been diagnosed with asthma in recent years. But 2nd ward alderwoman Dionne Flowers says with other industrial plants nearby, it's unclear if the asthma rates can be directly linked to the incinerator.
"After EPA finishes their study with these monitoring devices detecting what's in the air, they may be able to better address the health effects of the people in the surrounding area as far as if it really is coming from Stericycle, Flowers said."
Stericycle shut down its incinerator earlier this year. The company currently steam treats all medical waste at the site.
Ald. Flowers cosponsored the legislation.
"To me, it's a victory for the city of St. Louis. The people can breathe easier,it took two and a half years, but I'm proud to say we did get the job done."