Environmental Management

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 523–542

Controlling substance flows: The case of chlorine

  • René Kleijn
  • Ester Van Der Voet
  • Helias A. Udo de Haes


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

Chlorine Chlorinated hydrocarbons Organochlorine PVC Materials balance Substance flows Environmental policy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Literature Cited

  1. Akzo, 1991. Chloor in de samenleving de rol van Akzo (Chlorine in society, the role of Akzo).Google Scholar
  2. Akzo. 1992. Personel communication, Akzo.Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous. 1989. Dioxin emission from waste incineration plants. Miljøprojckt no. 117.Google Scholar
  4. Ayres, R. U., V. Norberg-Bohm, J. Prince, W. M. Stigliani, and J. Yanowitz. 1989. Industrial metabolism, the environment, and application of material-balance principles for selected chemicals. The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria.Google Scholar
  5. Bavel, B. van, E. Matser, and J. Masselink. 1990. Alternatieven voor de NaOH-produktie (Alternatives for the production of NaOH). University of Amsterdam, chemiewinkel, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  6. Berends, W., and D. Stoppelenburg. 1990. Van Keukenzout to Gifcocktail (From common salt to poison cocktail). Milieudefensie, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  7. Born, J. G. P. 1992. On the formation of dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in combustion processes. Thesis, State University, Leiden.Google Scholar
  8. Bremmer, H.J., H. Verhagen, K. Visscher, W. F. J. M. Engelhard, J. van Erkel, J. Joziasse, and L. M. Troost. 1988. Inventarisatie halogeenkoolwaterstoffen in Nederland. (Inventarisation of halogenated hydrocarbons in the Netherlands.). Bilthoven, RIVM, Report no. 738608002.Google Scholar
  9. Caesar, H. M. 1990. PVC and chain management. PVC & Environment Steering Group, Leidschendam.Google Scholar
  10. Caesar, H. M. 1992. PVC and chain management. PVC & Environment Steering Group, Leidschendam.Google Scholar
  11. Carson, R. 1962. Silent spring. Houghton Mifflin, New York.Google Scholar
  12. Deutscher Bundestag. 1988. Schutz der Erdatmosphare (Protection of the earth's atmosphere)(Zur Sache: Themen parlementarischer beratung, 5/88). Bonn.Google Scholar
  13. Dudley N. 1987. This poisened earth, Piatkus.Google Scholar
  14. Egmond, L. van, R. E. G. M Kleijn, and E. van der Voet. 1991. Stofstroomanalyse dioxines in Zuid-Holland (Substance flow analysis of dioxins in Zuid-Holland). State University Leiden, Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden, Report 76.Google Scholar
  15. Esposito, M. P., H. M. Drake, J. A. Smith and T. W. Owens. 1980. Sources, exposure, transport and control.In Dioxins, Vol. I, Sources, exposure and control. Environmental Protection Agency, Industrial Environmental Research Lab, Cincinnati, EPA-600/2-8-156, pp. 14–77.Google Scholar
  16. Fava, J. A., R. Denison, B. Jones, M. A. Curran, B. Vigon, S. Selke, and J. Barnum (eds.). 1991. A technical framework for life-cycle Assessments. Report of the workshop organised by the Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 18–23 August 1990 Smugglers Notch, Vermont.Google Scholar
  17. Fingerhut, M. A., W. E. Halperin, D. A. Marlow, L. A. Piacitelli, P. A. Honchar, M. H. Sweeney, A. L. Greife, P. A. Dill, K. Steenland and A. J. Suruda. 1991. Cancer mortality in workers exposed to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin.New England Journal of Medicine 324:212–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gilges, K. 1990. The chlorine caustic anomaly.Chemical Engineering 97:35–37.Google Scholar
  19. Guinée, J. B. 1991. Headings for classification.In Workshop Report Life-cycle assessment, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry-Europe, Brussels.Google Scholar
  20. Guinée, J. B., and R. Heijungs. 1993. A proposal for the classification of toxic substances within the framework of life cycle assessment of products.Chemosphere 26:1925–1944.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Guinée, J. B., R. Heijungs, H. A. Udo de Haes and G. Huppes. 1993. Quantitative life cycle assessment of products: Classification, valuation and improvement analysis.Journal of Cleaner Production (in press).Google Scholar
  22. Heijungs, R., J. B. Guinée, G. Huppes, R. M. Lankreijer, A. A. M. Ansems, P. G. Eggels, R. van Duin, and H. P. de Goede. 1993. Environmental life cycle assessment of products-guide and backgrounds. State University Leiden, Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden.Google Scholar
  23. Hoefnagels, F. E. T., J. G. M. Kortman, and E. W. Lindeijer. 1992. Minimalisering van de milieubelasting van buitenkozijnen in de woningbouw (Minimizing the environmental impact of windowframes in house-building). University of Amsterdam, Interfacultaire Vakgroep Milieukunde, Amsterdam. IVAM Report no. 54.Google Scholar
  24. Huppes, G., E. van der Voet, W. G. H. van der Naald, G. H. Vonkeman and P. Maxson. 1992. New market-oriented instruments for environmental policies. Graham & Trotman Limited, London.Google Scholar
  25. IPCC. 1990. Climate change, The IPCC scientific assessment. Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  26. Johnson, D. 1990. The future of plastics. Financial Times Business Information, London.Google Scholar
  27. Karasek, F. W., A. C. Viau, G. Guiochon and M. F. Gonnord. 1983. Gas chromatographic mass spectrometric study on the formation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorobenzene from polychlorovinylchloride in municipal incinerator.Journal of Chromatography 270:227–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kleijn, E. G. M. 1990. Stromen van Organochloorverbindingen in de Nederlandse Ekonomie (Flows of organochlorine compounds in the Dutch economy). Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden. Student report.Google Scholar
  29. Kroeze, C., and L. Reijnders. 1992. Halocarbons and global warming.The Science of the Total Environment 111:1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mekel, O. C. L., and W. G. H. van der Naald. 1989. Puntlozingen van bestrijdingsmiddelen door produktie- en formuleringsbedrijven in Nederland (Point sources of pesticides caused by production and formulating firms in the Netherlands). State University Leiden, Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden, Report no. 7.Google Scholar
  31. Mocarelli, P., L. L. Needham, A. Marocchi, D. G. Patterson, Jr., P. Brambilla, P. M. Gerthoux, L. Meazza, and V. Carreri. 1991. Serum concentrations of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin and test results from selected residents of Seveso, Italy.Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health 32:357–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Netherlands Second Chamber. 1989. National environmental policy plan. SDU, Second chamber session 1988–1989, The Hague. 21 137, Nos. 1–2.Google Scholar
  33. OECD. 1991. The state of the environment. OECD, Paris, pp. 73–77.Google Scholar
  34. RIVM. 1991. Nationale Milieuverkenning 2, 1990–2010 (National environmental survey 2, 1990–2010). The Netherlands, Alphen aan den Rijn: Samson H.D. Tjeenk Willink bv., 184.Google Scholar
  35. Roberts, L. 1991. Dioxin risks revisited.Science 251:624–626.Google Scholar
  36. Sein, A. A., J. J. Sluijmers, and E. J. H. Verhagen. 1989. Onderzoek naar emissies afvalverbrandingsingstallaties (Research on the emissions of muncipal waste incinerators). RIVM Report no. 738473006.Google Scholar
  37. Sierig, G. 1987. Dioxinemissionen an einer Müllverbrennungsanlage; Interpretation von Messergebnissen (Dioxin emissions of a municipal waste incinerator; interpretation of the results of the measurements). Pages 617–630in Müllverbrennung und Umwelt 2, EF-Verlag für Energie- und Umwelttechnik GmbH, Berlin.Google Scholar
  38. Smet, B. de (ed.). 1990. Life-cycle analysis for packaging environmental assessment. Proceedings of the specialised workshop, 24–25 September 1990 in Leuven (Belgium). Procter & Gamble Center, Strombeek-Bever.Google Scholar
  39. Udo de Haes, H. A., G. Huppes, and J. B. Guinée. 1988. Stofbalansen en stroomschema's: de accumulatie van stoffen in economie en milieu. (Materials balances and flow analysis of hazardous substances. Accumulation of substances in both the economy and the environment.)Milieu 3:51–55.Google Scholar
  40. WMO. 1989. Scientific assessment of stratospheric ozone: 1989. Scientific assessment panel, volume I, global ozone research and monitoring project, Report no. 20, pp. 424–451, WMO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  41. Vikelsoe, J. 1989. National Environmental Research Institute, Denmark, report.Google Scholar
  42. Visalli, J. 1987. A comparison of dioxin, furan and combustion gasdata from testprograms at three MSW incinerators.Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association 37(12):1451–1463.Google Scholar
  43. Voet, E. van der, B. J. Witmond, and G. Huppes. 1989. Stofstatiegeld voor stikstof en fosfor. (Security deposit system for nitrogen and phosphorous). State University Leiden, Centre of Environmental Studies, Leiden. Report no. 54.Google Scholar
  44. Voet, E. van der., L. van Egmond, R. Kleijn, and G. Huppes. 1993. Cadmium in the European Community: A policy oriented Analysis.Waste Management and Research (in press).Google Scholar
  45. VROM. 1990. CF action programme. Ministry of Housing, Physical Planning and Environment, The Hague.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • René Kleijn
    • 1
  • Ester Van Der Voet
    • 1
  • Helias A. Udo de Haes
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre of Environmental ScienceLeiden UniversityRA LeidenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations