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Long-term monitoring of PCDD/PCDF and other unintentionally produced POPs — Concepts and case studies from Europe

Abstract

During the start-up and unstable combustion periods, even the state-of-the-art incinerators emit polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) in stack gases at concentrations that are up to 1000 times higher than normal operation. Therefore, incinerators and other sources with variation of PCDD/PCDF release into air cannot be reliably monitored by the conventional short-term sampling that covers only 0.1% to 0.2% of the yearly operating time. A more comprehensive monitoring regime is required. This paper describes different applications of continuous PCDD/PCDF sampling in some European countries. The cases demonstrate that flexible regimes for continuous sampling can be crafted and applied by governments or regional/local authorities. Such regimes range from a countrywide, continuous requirement for selected facility types (e.g., waste incinerators) to a facility-specific regime that applies, for example, to new facilities for a defined time period until the facility has demonstrated continuous compliance with regulatory limits.

Countries implementing the Stockholm Convention are suggested to evaluate in their Best available technology/Best environmental practice (BAT/BEP) activities the usefulness of long-term sampling by, for example, designating institutes related to the environmental ministry or regional authorities to supervise long-term sampling regimes at relevant facilities in their country/areas, beginning with priority sources (e.g., facilities used for destruction of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) or hazardous waste processing).

This paper presents and discusses the results of the AMESA long-term monitoring system having demonstrated that in addition to PCDD/PCDF all other unintentionally produced POPs listed in the Stockholm Convention could be supervised.

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Correspondence to Jürgen Reinmann.

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Reinmann, J., Weber, R. & Haag, R. Long-term monitoring of PCDD/PCDF and other unintentionally produced POPs — Concepts and case studies from Europe. Sci. China Chem. 53, 1017–1024 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11426-010-0156-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11426-010-0156-2

Keywords

  • PCDD/PCDF
  • PCB
  • continuous sampling
  • unintentionally produced POPs
  • Stockholm Convention
  • BAT/BEP