Concerned about air quality and human health, community delegates to a four-day meeting in Durban, South Africa, yesterday called on the governments of South Africa, Mozambique, and Swaziland to ban all waste incinerators and tighten controls over medical waste disposal by 2006. The three governments haven’t yet responded to the call, although South Africa is poised to ratify the Stockholm Convention, which calls for the eradication of persistent organic pollutants, including dioxins. As the popularity of incineration has waned in developed countries due to consumer pressure and strict regulation, incinerator companies are increasingly targeting Africa and other developing regions to sell their wares. Incineration can spread dioxins, mercury, lead, and other heavy metals, which are associated with cancer, birth defects, and reproductive problems.