Environmental Management

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 523–542

Controlling substance flows: The case of chlorine


  • René Kleijn
    • Centre of Environmental ScienceLeiden University
  • Ester Van Der Voet
    • Centre of Environmental ScienceLeiden University
  • Helias A. Udo de Haes
    • Centre of Environmental ScienceLeiden University

DOI: 10.1007/BF02400857

Cite this article as:
Kleijn, R., Van Der Voet, E. & Udo de Haes, H.A. Environmental Management (1994) 18: 523. doi:10.1007/BF02400857


The contribution of chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs) to environmental problems in the Netherlands is discussed in an economic context. The economic interactions within the chlorine market, including the link to caustic soda production, are described, and PVC is taken as a case study. Key policy options are evaluated in terms of their potential for environmental improvement. It appears that 95% of CHC emissions causing environmental problems are due to dissipative applications. With respect to the specific problems of ozone depletion and global warming, only a small group of compounds is responsible for most of the impact. Moreover, economic interactions within the group of CHCs can strongly influence the net effect of environmental policy measures. Policies aimed at a reducing volume output of certain specific groups of CHCs will inevitably lead to trade-offs between environmental problems. The environmental impact of a hypothetical ban on CHCs is discussed in relation to the use of PVC as a sink for chlorine. Both these options appear to have drawbacks. Moreover, no absolute conclusion can be drawn until the environmental impact of CHC substitutes is known.

Key words

ChlorineChlorinated hydrocarbonsOrganochlorinePVCMaterials balanceSubstance flowsEnvironmental policy
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994