A municipal solid waste incinerator as the single dominant point source of PCDD/Fs in an area of increased non-Hodgkin's lymphoma incidence.Chemosphere. 2007 Jul; 68(8):1419-26.C
Since 1971, a municipal solid waste incinerator (MSWI) with high dioxin emission levels has been in operation in Besançon, France. We recently found a 2.3-fold risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the highest exposure zone using a Gaussian-type dispersion model as a proxy for dioxin exposure. However, the sources of PCDD/Fs in this area are a matter of controversy. The aim of this survey was therefore to examine the nature of the PCDD/F soil contamination in the surroundings of the MSWI to characterize whether more than one potential emission source could explain the presence of the PCDD/Fs. PCDD/F congener profiles were determined in 75 soil samples collected in the vicinity of the MSWI. They were compared according to the most environmentally impacted zones and to various spatial contrasts. PCDD/F concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 28.06 pg WHO-TEQ g(-1). Two different clustering algorithms identified the same main cluster (consisting of 73 samples). The remaining two soil samples composed either one, or two clusters. All clusters showed similar congener profiles. Moreover, no contrast was observed for congener distributions between complex and simple topographies, inside and outside the city boundary, the two most and the two least exposed areas, reflecting a common fingerprint. Congener profiles indicate that the area under influence of the MSWI is not subject to other point sources of PCDD/Fs. Since, the most polluting combustion chambers were recently shut down and replaced by a new one with up-to-date pollution control, slowly decreasing dioxin concentrations in the soils are to be expected.