Title: A Compilation of Europe-Wide Databases from Published Measurements of PCBs, Dioxins and Furans
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2010
JRC N°: JRC56756
ISBN: 978-92-79-15066-1
ISSN: 1018-5593
Other Identifiers: EUR 24266 EN
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC56756
DOI: 10.2788/66521
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Chemical risk assessment always entails an evaluation of expected environmental concentrations of substances; these concentrations may be predicted using mathematical models or may be chosen on the basis of experimental observations and monitoring activities. The work discusses the usefulness and limitations in building compilations of published monitoring data by describing a feasibility study on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), for which observed concentration data were retrieved from scientific journal articles published between 2000 and 2009. These chemicals are typical POPs and are of constantly high concern for their potential adverse effects on human health and ecosystems. PCBs were mainly used by the power industry in electrical transformers, capacitors, hydraulic equipment, and as lubricants. PCDD/Fs are formed as unintentional by-products of chemical manufacturing and incineration processes, as well as natural processes such as volcanic eruptions, and biomass burning. Emissions from incineration of industrial wastes such as metal reclamation and domestic heating (especially in central Europe) are considered as current sources of PCDD/Fs to the environment. A database of published observed concentrations of PCBs and PCDD/Fs in air, soil sediments and water was built as described in details in the report. As continental scale assessment is aimed more at the evaluation of the regional distribution of contamination, we excluded from the database those measurements taken close to known PCB or PCCD/F pollution sources of exceptional entity such as waste incinerators or contaminated sites. After presenting and interpreting the results of the literature search, we critically examine the completeness and usability of this information, and the usefulness of data compilations in the framework of chemical risk assessment.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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