Sources

Backyard Burning of Trash is now the #1 Dioxin Source!


*OTHER category includes: diesel heavy-duty trucks, industrial wood combustion, diesel off-road equipment, EDC/VCM production, sintering plants, automobiles using leaded gasoline, land applied 2,4-D, iron ore sintering, oil-fired utilities, lightweight aggregate kilns that combust hazardous waste, petroleum refining, catalyst regeneration, cigarette smoke, boilers/industrial furnaces, crematoria, and drum reclamation.

Note: "Dioxin" here is defined as the totality of 7 dioxins and 10 furans. "TEQ" denotes "toxic equivalent," a quantitative measure of the combined toxicity of a mixture of dioxin-like chemicals.

Source: U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. An inventory of sources and environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the United States for the years 1987, 1995, and 2000. National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC; EPA/600/P-03/002F. (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=159286)

 

 

 
1987
1995
2000
RANK
Source
Amount
% Total
Source
Amount
% Total
Source
Amount
% Total
1
Municipal Waste Combustion
8905
63.8%
Municipal Waste Combustion
1394
40.5%
Backyard Barrel Burning
498.5
35.1%
2
Medical Waste Incineration
2570
18.4%
Backyard Barrel Burning
628
18.2%
Medical Waste Incineration
378
26.6%
3
Secondary Copper Smelting
983
7.0%
Medical Waste Incineration
487
14.1%
Municipal Wastewater Treatement Sludge
89.7
6.3%
4
Backyard Barrel Burning
604
4.3%
Secondary Copper Smelting
271
7.9%
Municipal Waste Combustion
83.8
5.9%
5
Bleached Pulp & Paper Mills
370
2.6%
Cement Kilns
156
4.5%
Coal-fired Utility Boilers
69.5
4.9%
6
Cement Kilns
118
0.8%
Municipal Wastewater Treatement Sludge
133
3.9%
Diesel Heavy-duty Trucks
65.4
4.6%
7
Municipal Wastewater Treatement Sludge
85
0.6%
Coal-fired Utility Boilers
60
1.7%
Industrial Wood Combustion
41.5
2.9%
8
Coal-fired Utility Boilers
51
0.4%
EDC/VCM Production
36
1.0%
Diesel Off-road Equipment
33.1
2.3%
9
Automobiles Using Leaded Gasoline
38
0.3%
Diesel Heavy-duty Trucks
33
1.0%
EDC/VCM Production
30
2.1%
10
2,4-d
33
0.2%
Bleached Pulp & Paper Mills
30
0.9%
Sintering Plants
27.6
1.9%
 
OTHER
208
1.5%
OTHER
216
6.3%
OTHER
104.9
7.4%
 
TOTAL
13,965
100%
TOTAL
3,444
100%
TOTAL
1,422
100%

 

Source: U.S. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 2006. An inventory of sources and environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds in the United States for the years 1987, 1995, and 2000. National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC; EPA/600/P-03/002F. (http://cfpub.epa.gov/ncea/cfm/recordisplay.cfm?deid=159286)

  • Environmental releases of dioxin-like compounds decreased by approximately 90% between 1987 and 2000. Most of these reductions, almost 75%, occurred between 1987 and 1995. These reductions were achieved through a combination of regulatory activities, improved emission controls, voluntary actions on behalf of industry, and the closing of a number of facilities.
  • Declining levels of environmental dioxins are characterized by a changing pattern of emission sources over time. Industry and regulatory controls on waste incineration have resulted in a significantly lower contribution of dioxins from this source since 1987.
  • As dioxin emissions from industry decline, unregulated sources such as backyard barrel burning of garbage and residential wood burning rise in significance as contributors to dioxin emissions.
  • The combined dioxin emissions from ethylene dichloride (EDC) and vinyl chloride manufacture contributed 30 g-TEQ, or just over 2% of the total amount, of 2000 dioxin emissions. Backyard barrel burning, on the other hand contributed more then 35% of total dioxin emissions for the same year.

 

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