Changes in Dioxin Isomer Group Ratios in the Environment: An Update and Extension of the Present Theory

  • D. I. Townsend
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 26)


In 1979 a theory was developed to explain differences in dioxin isomer group concentrations observed in samples taken from combustion sources and the environment. From that work it was hypothesized that simultaneous reduction-oxidation chemistry tailored the composition of dioxin residue to conform with the reductive conditions of the local environment. As a consequence of this it was postulated that samples taken from reductive sources should contain higher concentrations of the lower chlorinated dioxin species than environmental samples exposed to the oxidative conditions of the atmosphere. A recent study of dioxins produced by wood burning stoves now makes it possible to further test this theory as well as to compare the dioxin isomer group ratios observed in different types of combustion units.


Environmental Sample Source Sample Wood Burning Environmental Background Combustion Source 
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  1. Crummett, W. and Co-workers, 1978, “The Trace Chemistries of Fire a Source of and Routes for the Entry of Chlorinated Dioxins Into the Environment,” Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Michigan.Google Scholar
  2. Crummett, W., 1980, Environmental chlorinated dioxins - the trace chemistries of fire hypothesis, in: “Chlorinated Dioxins and Related Compounds - Impact on the Environment,” O. Hutzinger, R. W. Frei, E. Merian and F. Pocchiari, eds., Pergamon Series on Environmental Science, 5: 253–263, Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  3. Townsend, D. I., 1980, The use of dioxin isomer group ratios to identify sources and define background levels of dioxins in the environment, J. Environ. Sci. Health, B15 (15): 571–609.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. I. Townsend
    • 1
  1. 1.Process DevelopmentDow Chemical CompanyMidlandUSA

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