Air and soil dioxin levels at three sites in Italy in proximity to MSW incineration plants.Chemosphere. 2004 Mar; 54(9):1279-87.C
Levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF) in both air and soil samples were measured at three different sites in Italy, in proximity to three municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) to determine baseline contamination and the contributory role of incinerator emissions. At the first site, located in an agricultural, cattle-breeding, typically flattish area of the Po Valley, the dioxin concentrations had already been measured before the start-up of the new MSWI. These dioxin concentrations were then again measured after two years of continual operation of the incinerator. Despite the presence of the plant, the PCDD/Fs concentrations appear not to have been affected and were found to be in a range of 22-125 fg I-TEQ m(-3) in the air samples and 0.7-1.5 pg I-TEQ g(-1) in the soil samples. The second site is located in an industrial district of the Veneto Region, in the surroundings of an old MSWI that is not equipped with Best Available Technology (BAT) dioxin removal system. The PCDD/Fs concentrations in the air samples were between 144 and 337 fg I-TEQ m(-3). This is a typical range of values for industrial areas, while the soil samples showed contamination levels between 1.1 and 1.4 pg I-TEQ g(-1). The third site lies in the Adige Valley, near a MSWI that has been equipped with BAT for flue gas cleaning. The observed values ranged from 10 to 67 fg I-TEQ m(-3) for the air samples and 0.08-1.2 pg I-TEQ g(-1) for the soil samples. The contributory factors of the varying characteristics of the different areas together with the types of technology adopted at each MSWI plant are discussed. The PCDD/Fs levels are subsequently compared with established values from previous studies.