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Global emissions of trace gases, particulate matter, and hazardous air pollutants from open burning of domestic waste
Wiedinmyer, C., R. Yokelson, AND B. Gullett. Global emissions of trace gases, particulate matter, and hazardous air pollutants from open burning of domestic waste. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 48(16):9523-9530, (2014).
This is perhaps the first, comprehensive global inventory of air emissions from the practice of residential waste burning. The inventory results suggest that many of the pollutants from this source are a greater fraction of the global output than previously thought, suggesting a more structured approach to residential waste management is necessary.
The open burning of waste, whether at individual residences, businesses, or dump sites, is a large source of air pollutants. These emissions, however, are not included in many current emission inventories used in chemistry and climate modeling applications. This paper presents the first comprehensive and consistent estimates of the global emissions of greenhouse gases, particulate matter, reactive trace gases, and toxic compounds from open waste burning. Global emissions of CO2 from open waste burning are relatively small compared to total anthropogenic CO2. However, regional CO2 emissions, particularly in many developing countries in Asia and Africa, are significant. Further, emissions of reactive trace gases and particulate matter from open waste burning are more significant on regional scales. For example, the emissions of PM10 from open domestic waste burning in China is equivalent to 22 % of China’s total reported anthropogenic PM10 emissions. The results of the emissions model presented here suggest that emissions of many air pollutants are significantly underestimated in current inventories because open waste burning is not included, consistent with studies that compare model results with available observations.