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Environ Sci Technol. 2002 Mar 15;36(6):1320-4.

Formation of PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs from polyvinyl chloride during combustion in an incinerator.

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Gifu Prefectural Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences, Naka, Kagamigahara, Japan.


Exhaust gases from the combustion of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), and theirvarious mixtureswere analyzed for PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in order to investigate the role of PVC in these chlorinated compounds. Total amounts of dioxins (PCDDs + PCDFs) found in the samples were 11.7 ng/g PE alone, 1.17 ng/g from PS alone, 25.3 ng/g from PET alone, 448 ng/g from PE with PVC, 140 ng/g from PS with PVC, 126 ng/g from PET with PVC, 824 ng/g from PVC alone under low-CO level, and 8,920 ng/g from PVC alone under high-CO level. CO level in high-CO level condition was 880 ppm which was 20 times greater than that in low-CO level condition. Formation of coplanar PCBs ranged from 0.095 ng/g (PE alone) to 77 ng/g (PVC alone under high-CO level). There is a clear correlation between dioxin formation and chloride content. PCDFs composed 80% (PET + PVC)--98% (PET alone) of the total dioxins formed in the exhaust gases. The results indicate that PVC contributes significantly to the formation of PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs from mixtures of plastics upon combustion.

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