Research Output

Identifying contemporary and historic sources of soil polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in an industrial urban setting.

  A study of soil polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) concentrations was undertaken in the vicinity of a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) in Newcastle upon Tyne as a result of concerns raised by local residents about potential contamination from fugitive and stack emissions. The study area was divided into four sectors (north-east (NE), south-east (SE), north-west (NW) and south-west (SW)) around the MSWI, and sampling sites were located up to a distance of 2.25 km. Based on air dispersion modelling, the sampling density was four times greater in the {NE} (downwind) sector compared to the {SW} (upwind) direction, and twice as great in the {NW} and {SE} sectors. PCDD/F concentrations found in soil samples ranged from 6 to 1911 ng I-TEQ/kg {DW} with a median of 32 ng I-TEQ/kg DW. There was no evidence of elevated concentrations downwind of the {MSWI} compared to other directions, nor of any trend in concentration at increasing distance from the MSWI. We concluded, therefore, that the {MSWI} fugitive and stack emissions were not a major source of PCDD/F contamination. Analysis of PCDD/F homologue profiles showed that samples exhibiting furan-dominated and OCDD-dominated profiles and a profile characteristic of the {MSWI} ash occurred in distinct clusters. Those samples showing the furan-dominated profile had the largest PCDD/F concentrations measured as I-TEQ, followed by samples with the incinerator profile, the deposition profile, and the OCDD-dominated profile. We identified some contamination hotspots located in the {SW} and {SE} sampling sectors (upwind of the MSWI), and potential sources for these hotspots were sought by using historic land use data from maps of the locality dating back to 1856. We concluded that the cluster of very high concentrations of PCDD/F in soils showing the furan homologue profile were most likely to have resulted from the disposal of graphite electrode sludges from brine electrolysis carried out at a chemical works between the 1890s and the 1930s.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    30 November 2005

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.06.006

  • ISSN:

    0048-9697

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    579 Microorganisms, fungi & algae

Citation

Vizard, C. G., Rimmer, D. L., Pless-Mulloli, T., Singleton, I. & Air, V. S. (2005). Identifying contemporary and historic sources of soil polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans in an industrial urban setting. Science of the Total Environment. 370(1), 61 - 69. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.06.006. ISSN 0048-9697

Authors

Keywords

Urban environment, MSWI emissions, PCDD/F, soils,

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