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Environmental Assessment

Emissions of PCDD/F from Uncontrolled, Domestic Waste Burning

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Emissions of polychlorinated bibenzodioxin and dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) result from inefficiencies of combustion processes, most typically waste combustion. Uncontrolled combustion, such as occurs during so-called "backyard burning" of domestic waste, may therefore produce optimal conditions for formation and emission of PCDD/F. however, few assessments of PCDD/F emissions are available from these sources. This work describes the first comprehensive assessment of PCDD/F emissions from uncontrolled, domestic waste burning. Emissions were copious, but highly variable, ranging over several orders of magnitude. The potential for emissions appears to be related primarily to combustion parameters and concentrations of various gas-phase species, the latter which may be affected by changes in waste composition, waste orientation, and/or combustion conditions.

Brian K. Gullett
  • by phone at:   919-541-1534
  • by fax at:   919-541-0554
  • by email at:  gullett.brian@epa.gov

Additional Information

The full paper is available in the Downloads section.


Gullett, B., P. Lemieux, C. Lutes, C. Winterrowd, AND D. Winters. Emissions of PCDD/F from Uncontrolled, Domestic Waste Burning. Chemosphere 43:721-725, (2001).

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