Municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) have long been the major contributors of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) to ambient air in Taiwan. After stringent MSWI emission standards were introduced in 2001, the long-term continuous monitoring of flue gas and ambient air quality became necessary to ensure the effectiveness of the related control strategies. Three MSWIs and the surrounding ambient air were investigated in the current study for PCDD/F characteristics during 2006 to 2011. The average concentrations in the flue gas ranged from 0.008 similar to 0.0488 ng I-TEQ/Nm(3), which is much less than the emission standard in Taiwan (0.1 ng I-TEQ/Nm(3)) (I-TEQ is the abbreviation of International Toxic Equivalent). This led to extremely low levels in the ambient air, 0.0255 pg I-TEQ/Nm(3), much less than the levels seen in most urban areas around the world. Additionally, the results obtained using the Industrial Source Complex Short-Term Dispersion Model (ISCST3) indicate that the PCDD/F contributions from the three MSWIs to the ambient air were only in the range from 0.164 similar to 0.723 %. Principal component analysis (PCA) showed that the PCDD/Fs in the air samples had very similar characteristics to those from mobile sources. The results thus show that stringent regulations have been an effective control strategy, especially for urban areas, such as Taipei City.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research, v.21 n.18, pp.10751-10764