The article discusses issues related to the impact of incineration on human health and the environment. The aim of the work is to make a broad overview of the existing literature in this area. The problem was described in the literature based on a number of waste incineration plants studies in both Europe and all around the world. Subjects analyzed in the literature were risks at workplace, both administrative ones and directly related to the process of thermal treatment of waste. These risks result among others from the atmospheric emissions of many pollutants, including most of all polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans, heavy metals and some volatile organic compounds. The results of these studies will be an important argument in the discussion on the possible risks to humans and the environment posed by waste incineration plants and the expediency of building waste incinerators in Poland.