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Assessment of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in sludges according to the European environmental policy

AuthorsMartínez Guijarro, Karell ; Abad Holgado, Esteban ; Palacios Ruiz, Óscar ; Caixach Gamisans, Josep ; Rivera Aranda, Josep
KeywordsOrganic pollutants
Waste water treatment residues
Issue Date14-Aug-2007
CitationEnvironment International 33(8): 1040-1047 (2007)
AbstractThe amount of sewage sludge generated in Europe is expected to surpass the 10 million tons/year in 2006 as a result of the waste water treatment process according to the Water Policy in European Union. Sewage sludge is what is left behind after water is cleaned in waste treatment plants and is characterized for this high content in nitrogen and phosphorous that could be of great importance in agriculture as fertilizer or soil conditioner. On the other hand, pollutants like metals and organic contaminants are usually removed from water and are accumulated in the sewage sludge, reaching the food chain if their concentrations are not below the safe limits established by the European legislation. The latter issue is of great concern nowadays and in this sense, different works alert against the use of the sewage sludge in agriculture arguing that serious illnesses, even resulting in death as well as adverse environmental impacts are associated to the application of sewage sludge.
This work is a continuation of a former comprehensive survey on of priority organic pollutant in sludges for agricultural purposes carried out by our group in Catalonia and this time is focused on the polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F), one of the most toxic group of organic compounds listed in the Work Document on Sludge which is the reference tool in this field in Europe and is also included in the Stockholm Convention. Eighty eight samples were collected from the end of 2003 to April 2006 and the concentrations detected were lower than the 100 ng/kg I-TEQ limit recommended by the European legislation (EC, 2000). Thus, sewage sludges generated in Catalonia do not represent a threat to human health if they are used as fertilizers in agriculture.
Description8 pages, 4 figures.-- PMID: 17698193 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Nov 2007.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2007.06.005
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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