Environmental impact of a new hazardous waste incinerator in Catalonia, Spain: PCDD/PCDF levels in herbage samples

M. Schuhmacher, M. C. Rodriguez-Larena, M. C. Agramunt, J. Diaz-Ferrero, J. L. Domingo

Producció científica: Article en revista indexadaArticleAvaluat per experts

23 Cites (Scopus)


In April 1996 and 1998, the concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) were determined in 40 herbage samples collected in the neighborhood of a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) under construction in Constanti (Catalonia, Spain). In April 2000, 20 months after the HWI began operating, herbage samples were again collected at the same sampling points in which samples had been taken in the previous surveys. PCDD/F concentrations ranged between 0.13 and 0.65 ng I-TEQ/kg (dry matter), with a median and mean values of 0.29 and 0.32 ng I-TEQ/kg (dry matter), respectively. The results were compared with those obtained in the 1996 (median, 0.53 ng I-TEQ/kg; mean, 0.61 ng I-TEQ/kg) and the 1998 (median, 0.23 ng I-TEQ/kg; mean, 0.31 ng I-TEQ/kg) surveys. While in the period 1996-1998 a significant decrease (49%, P < 0.001) in the mean PCDD/F levels was noted, in the period 1998-2000 an increase of 3% (P > 0.05) was found in the concentrations of PCDD/Fs. The analysis of the results suggests two potential hypotheses: either the emissions of PCDD/Fs from the HWI are not negligible, or the current PCDD/F emissions from other sources near the HWI remained at similar levels to those reached in 1998. Anyhow, an exhaustive evaluation of the present data shows an absence of notable PCDD/F contamination by the HWI in the area under its direct influence. It seems also probable that the decline in the atmospheric levels of PCDD/Fs due other emission sources of PCDD/Fs in this area is currently stopped.

Idioma originalAnglès
Pàgines (de-a)187-193
Nombre de pàgines7
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2002


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