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Polychlorinated biphenyl emissions to the atmosphere in the great lakes region usa canada municipal landfills and incinerators


, : Polychlorinated biphenyl emissions to the atmosphere in the great lakes region usa canada municipal landfills and incinerators. Environmental Science & Technology 19(10): 942-946

In an effort to identify sources of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to the atmosphere, the concentration of PCBs in emissions from several municipal sanitary landfills and refuse and sewage sludge incinerators in the Midwest [USA] was determined. Sanitary landfills continuously emit the gaseous products of anaerobic fermentation along with other volatile materials to the atmosphere. Thus, they can be continuing sources of vapor-phase contaminants to the atmosphere. A projection, based on the amount of methane generated annually from landfills and a PCB to methane ratio of 0.3 .mu.g of PCBs/m3 of CH4 found from the landfills sampled, indicates that the annual PCB emissions from sanitary landfills in the USA is on the order of 10-100 kg/year. The concentrations of PCBs from the incinerator stacks sampled ranged from 0.3 to 3 .mu.g/m3, and the annual emissions per stack sampled were 0.25 kg/year. The emission rates found here are small compared to the 900,000 kg/year of PCBs estimated to cycle through the atmosphere over the USA annually.

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