Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 1958–1965 | Cite as

Landfill mining from a deposit of the chlorine/organochlorine industry as source of dioxin contamination of animal feed and assessment of the responsible processes

  • João Paulo Machado TorresEmail author
  • Claudio Leite
  • Thomas Krauss
  • Roland Weber
11th Forum of the International HCH and Pesticide Association


In 1997, the Polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxin (PCDD)/Polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDF) concentrations in dairy products in Germany and other European countries increased. The PCDD/PCDF source was contaminated lime used in Brazilian citrus pulp pellets. The contaminated lime was mined from an industrial dump site. However, the detailed origin of the PCDD/PCDFs in the lime was not revealed. This paper investigates the contamination origin and describes the link between lime milk from the dumpsite of a chlorine/organochlorine industry and the contaminated lime. The contaminated lime stem from mining at the corporate landfill of Solvay Indupa in Sao Paulo. The landfill was used for 40 years for deposition of production residues and closed in 1996. The factory operated/operates at least two processes with potentially high PCDD/PCDFs releases namely the oxychlorination process for production of ethylene dichloride (EDC) and the chlor-alkali process. The main landfilled waste was lime milk (1.4 million tons) from the vinyl chloride monomer production (via the acetylene process) along with residues from other processes. The PCDD/PCDF fingerprint revealed that most samples from the chemical landfill showed an EDC PCDD/PCDF pattern with a characteristic octachlorodibenzofuran dominance. The PCDD/PCDF pattern of a Rio Grande sediment samples downstream the facility showed a chlor-alkali pattern with a minor impact of the EDC pattern. The case highlights that PCDD/PCDF- and persistent organic pollutants-contaminated sites need to be identified in a comprehensive manner as required by the Stockholm Convention (article 6) and controlled for their impact on the environment and human health. Landfill mining and reuse of materials from contaminated deposits should be prohibited.


PCDD/PCDF Contaminated site Landfill mining EDC Chlor-alkali Citrus pulp pellets Rio Grande da Serra 



The authors are indebted to Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas (CNPq), Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa (FAPERJ), and Coordenação de Apoio a Formação de Pessoal do Ministério da Educação (CAPES/MEC) for their ongoing support of the scientific activities of the Eduardo Penna Franca Radioisotopes Laboratory of the Carlos Chagas Filho Institute of Biophysics of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (XLS 91 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • João Paulo Machado Torres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Claudio Leite
    • 2
  • Thomas Krauss
    • 3
  • Roland Weber
    • 4
  1. 1.Instituto de BiofísicaRio de Janeiro Federal UniversityRio de JaneiroBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Pesquisas TecnológicasSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Oswaldo Cruz FoundationNational School of Public HealthRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.POPs Environmental ConsultingGöppingenGermany

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