Application of national pollutant inventories for monitoring trends on dioxin emissions from stationary industrial sources in Australia, Canada and European Union

Autoři: Khushbu Salian aff001;  Vladimir Strezov aff001;  Tim J. Evans aff001;  Mark Taylor aff001;  Peter F. Nelson aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia aff001
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article


Industrial sources, including iron ore sintering, municipal waste incineration and non-ferrous metal processing have been prominent emitters of dioxins to the environment. With the expanding industrial sectors, many international conventions were established in order to reduce the emission of dioxins in the past two decades. The Stockholm convention, a global monitoring treaty, entered into force in 2004 with the aim to promote development of strategies to reduce or eliminate dioxin emissions. According to the convention, parties are required to develop national inventory databases to report emission levels and develop a national implementation plan (NIP) to reduce further dioxin emissions. In order to understand the trend of dioxin emissions since 1990s this study provides a comparative assessment of dioxin emissions from different industrial sources by deriving emission data from the national inventory databases of Australia, Canada and the 28 European countries (EU-28). According to the data collected, iron and steel production and electricity generation were the highest emitters of dioxins in 2017 for Europe, Canada and Australia, when compared to other stationary industrial sources. The change in the trend of dioxin emissions from the iron and steel industry and the public electricity sector was also assessed. The emission of dioxins during 1990–2017 from both iron and steel production and electricity generation revealed a relative decreasing trend, except for Spain and Italy who showed higher level of emissions from iron and steel production in 2017. Furthermore, comparing emission data for metal production revealed that the blast furnace process was the prominent emitter of dioxins comparing to electric arc furnace process. Further investigation was performed to compare the amount of dioxin emitted from three different fuel types, black coal, brown coal and natural gas, used for electricity generation in Australia. The study showed that dioxin emissions from brown coal were higher than black coal for the last two years, while power production from natural gas emits the lowest amounts of dioxins to the environment.

Klíčová slova:

Australia – Canada – Coal – Electricity – Iron – Pollutants – Steel – Power stations


1. Stockholm Convention. 2008a. What are POPs. [ONLINE] [Accessed 23 August 2018] Available at:

2. Altarawneh M, Dlugogorski BZ, Kennedy EM, Mackie JC. Mechanisms for formation, chlorination, dechlorination and destruction of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs). Progress in Energy and Combustion Science. 2009;35(3):245–74.

3. Dopico M, Gomez A. Review of the current state and main sources of dioxins around the world. J Air Waste Manag Assoc. 2015;65(9):1033–49. doi: 10.1080/10962247.2015.1058869 26068294

4. Qian L, Chun T, Long H, Li J, Di Z, Meng Q, et al. Emission reduction research and development of PCDD/Fs in the iron ore sintering. Process Safety and Environmental Protection. 2018;117:82–91.

5. Sany SB, Hashim R, Salleh A, Rezayi M, Karlen DJ, Razavizadeh BB, Abouzari-lotf E. Dioxin risk assessment: mechanisms of action and possible toxicity in human health. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2015 Dec 1;22(24):19434–50. doi: 10.1007/s11356-015-5597-x 26514567

6. Steenland K, Bertazzi P, Baccarelli A, Kogevinas M. Dioxin revisited: developments since the 1997 IARC classification of dioxin as a human carcinogen. Environmental health perspectives. 2004 Jun 10;112(13):1265–8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.7219 15345337

7. Quass Ulrich, Michael Fermann, Günter Bröker. 2000. The European Dioxin Emission Inventory, Stage II. [ONLINE] [Accessed 29 August 2018]. Available at:

8. Suzuki K, Kasai E, Aono T, Yamazaki H, Kawamoto K. De novo formation characteristics of dioxins in the dry zone of an iron ore sintering bed. Chemosphere. 2004;54(1):97–104. doi: 10.1016/S0045-6535(03)00708-2 14559262

9. Guerriero E, Bianchini M, Gigliucci PF, Guarnieri A, Mosca S, Rossetti G, et al. Influence of Process Changes on PCDD/Fs Produced in an Iron Ore Sintering Plant. Environmental Engineering Science. 2009;26(1):71–80.

10. Quaß U, Fermann M, Bröker G. The European Dioxin Air Emission Inventory Project––Final Results. Chemosphere. 2004;54(9):1319–27. doi: 10.1016/S0045-6535(03)00251-0 14659425

11. Environment Protection and Heritage Council. 2005. National Action Plan for addressing dioxins in Australia. [ONLINE] [Accessed 29 August 2018]. Available at:

12. Fiedler H. National PCDD/PCDF release inventories under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Chemosphere. 2007;67(9):S96–S108. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.05.093 17258267

13. Safe SH. Hazard and Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures Using the Toxic Equivalency Factor Approach. Environmental Health Perspectives. 1998;106:1051–8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.98106s41051 9703492

14. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 2018a. Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). [ONLINE] [Accessed 28 August 2018] Available at:

15. United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. 2018b. The Convention and its achievements. [ONLINE] [Accessed 28 August 2018] Available at:

16. Drage DS, Aries E, Harrad S. Studies into the formation of PBDEs and PBDD/Fs in the iron ore sintering process. Sci Total Environ. 2014;485–486:497–507. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.093 24742560

17. Cavaliere P. Dioxin Emission Reduction in Electric Arc Furnaces for Steel Production. In: Cavaliere P, editor. Ironmaking and Steelmaking Processes: Greenhouse Emissions, Control, and Reduction. Cham: Springer International Publishing; 2016. p. 215–22.

18. Chen Y-C, Kuo Y-C, Chen M-R, Wang Y-F, Chen C-H, Lin M-Y, et al. Reducing polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) emissions from a real-scale iron ore sinter plant by adjusting its sinter raw mix. Journal of Cleaner Production. 2016;112:1184–9.

19. Jha G, Soren S. Study on applicability of biomass in iron ore sintering process. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2017;80:399–407.

20. Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. 2003. Canada-Wide Standards for Dioxins And Furans: Iron Sintering Plants. [ONLINE] [Accessed 29 August 2018] Available at:

21. Stockholm Convention. 2008b. History of the negotiations of the Stockholm Convention. [ONLINE] [Accessed 23 August 2018]. Available at:

22. Stockholm Convention. 2008c. Unintentional Persistent Organic Pollutants. [ONLINE] [Accessed 24 August 2018] Available at:

23. Stockholm Convention. 2007. BAT and NEP Guidance. [ONLINE] [Accessed 11 August 2019] Available at:

24. Hung H, Katsoyiannis AA, Guardans R. Ten years of global monitoring under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs): Trends, sources and transport modelling. Environmental Pollution. 2016;217:1–3. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2016.05.035 27302410

25. Katsoyiannis A, Cincinelli A. On persistent organic pollutants in Italy—From Seveso to the Stockholm Convention and beyond. Science of The Total Environment. 2017;579:514–6. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.11.067 27894800

26. Stockholm Convention. 2018d. Status of ratification. [ONLINE] [Accessed 27 August 2018] Available at:

27. Australian Government: Department of Environment and Energy. 2006. Australia's National Implementation Plan. [ONLINE] [Accessed 29 August 2018] Available at:

28. Environment Protection Group. 2002. Sources of Dioxins And Furans in Australia: Air Emissions. [ONLINE] [Accessed 28 August 2018] Available at:

29. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 2005. Standardized Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Dioxin and Furan Releases. [ONLINE] [Accessed 30 July 2019].

30. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 2013. Toolkit for Identification and Quantification of Releases of Dioxins, Furans and Other Unintentional POPs. [ONLINE] [Accessed 31 July 2019] Available at:

31. Centre on Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP). 2016. WebDab. [ONLINE] [Accessed 27 August 2018] Available at:

32. Australian Government: Department of Environment and Energy. 2017. National Pollutant Inventory. [ONLINE] [Accessed 14 August 2018]. Available at:

33. K Bawden, R Ormerod, G Starke and K Zeise. 2004. Australian inventory of dioxin emissions, Technical Report No. 3, Department of the Environment and Heritage [ONLINE] [Accessed 2 August 2019] Available at:

34. Quass U, Pulles T, Kok H. The DG Environment project “Dioxin Emissions in Candidate Countries”: scope, approach and first results. Organohalogen Compounds. 2004;66:878–83.

35. Weng Z, Mudd GM, Martin T, Boyle CA. Pollutant loads from coal mining in Australia: Discerning trends from the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). Environmental science & policy. 2012 May 1;19:78–89.

36. Tang M, Mudd GM. The pollution intensity of Australian power stations: a case study of the value of the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI). Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2015 Dec 1;22(23):18410–24.

37. Leclerc AS, Sala S, Secchi M, Laurent A. Building national emission inventories of toxic pollutants in Europe. Environment international. 2019;130:104785. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2019.03.077 31252167

38. World Steel Associations. 2017. Steel Statistical Yearbook. [ONLINE] [Accessed 24 July 2018] Available at:

39. Arrium Mining and Materials. 2015. Annual Report 2015. [ONLINE] [Accessed 5 July 2018] Available at:

40. Arrium Mining and Materials. 2018. Archived Annual Reports. [ONLINE] [Accessed 3 July 2018] Available at:

41. Eurostat. 2018. Simplified energy balances—annual data. [ONLINE] [Accessed 13 July 2018] Available at:

42. Australian Government: Department of Environment and Energy. 2018. Australian Energy Update 2018. [ONLINE] [Accessed 15 August 2019] Available at:

43. CLEAN ENERGY REGULATOR. 2018. Electricity sector emissions and generation data. [ONLINE] [Accessed 25 July 2018] Available at:

44. Ministry of Environment. 2019. Informative Inventory Report Spain. [ONLINE] [Accessed 15 August 2019] Available at:

45. ISPRA (Institute for Environmental Protection and Research Environmental Assessment). 2019. IIR Italy. [ONLINE] [Accessed 16 August 2019]. Available at:

46. Madias, J., 2016. Electric Arc Furnace. In Ironmaking and Steelmaking Processes (pp. 267–281). Springer, Cham. Available at:

47. Eurostat. 2018. Simplified energy balances—annual data. [ONLINE] [Accessed 13 July 2018]. Available at:

48. Environment Victoria. 2019. Replace Hazelwood. [ONLINE] [Accessed 16 January 2019]. Available at:

49. Li S, Liu G, Zheng M, Liu W, Li J, Wang M, Li C, Chen Y. Unintentional production of persistent chlorinated and brominated organic pollutants during iron ore sintering processes. Journal of hazardous materials. 2017 Jun 5;331:63–70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2017.02.027 28242530

50. Esposito V, Maffei A, Bruno D, Varvaglione B, Ficocelli S, Capoccia C, Spartera M, Giua R, Blonda M, Assennato G. POP emissions from a large sinter plant in Taranto (Italy) over a five-year period following enforcement of new legislation. Science of the Total Environment. 2014 Sep 1;491:118–22. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.03.077 24704243

51. Aries Eric & Anderson David & Fisher Raymond & Fray Trevor & Hemfrey Derek. (2006). PCDD/F and "Dioxin-like" PCB emissions from iron ore sintering plants in the UK. Chemosphere. 65. 1470–80. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2006.04.020 16765418

52. Cavaliere P, Silvello A. Ironmaking and Steelmaking Processes. Springer, Berlin; 2016.

53. Lin LF, Lee WJ, Li HW, Wang MS, Chang-Chien GP. Characterization and inventory of PCDD/F emissions from coal-fired power plants and other sources in Taiwan. Chemosphere. 2007 Aug 1;68(9):1642–9. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2007.04.002 17509649

Článek vyšel v časopise


2019 Číslo 10
Nejčtenější tento týden