More worrying results from biomonitoring of waste incineration emissions – ToxicoWatch research

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2022 is bringing us plenty of updates and developments on the harmful effects of waste incineration on both the environment and the health of living organisms (including human health). After starting the year with the publication of Zero Waste Europe’s “The True Toxic Toll: biomonitoring of waste incineration” reports detailing findings in Lithuania, Czechia, and Spain, and after Colletif3R’s report on the nefarious effects of the Ivry-Paris XIII incinerator in France, we now receive further proof in this direction from Belgium.

All in all, the key findings of the TW Biomonitoring study Beringen/Belgium – 2021 show that:

  • 50% of chicken eggs analysed do not meet EU dioxin standard regulations for consumption (if these eggs were produced for the commercial market).

  • The closer a location is to the incinerator, the higher the level of dioxins registered.

  • Monitoring instances done using “Bergerhoff gauges” – a monitoring instrument to measure for dust deposition on-site – show increasing high levels of dioxins during the start-up and elevated levels in operational phases of the Bionerga waste incinerator.

  • Heptachlorodibenzofuran (HpCDF1) and Octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD), typical incomplete combustion-related congeners, are key congeners in the emissions patterns of Bionerga waste incinerator – which was also found in the chemical GC-MS analysis in the eggs.

  • In four egg locations, significantly elevated Heptachlorodibenzofuran (HpCDF1) was registered.

  • In three egg locations, Octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (OCDD) was found to have increased by more than 100%.

  • On a given reference egg location, dl-PCB was found to have increased by a factor of 14, – thus warranting more research in the future.

  • The congener patterns of the short-term measurements of the emissions from the Bionerga waste incinerator show similarities with the analysis results in the chicken eggs stemming from this research.

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