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Multimedia emissions inventory of polychlorinated biphenyls for the U.S. Great Lakes states.

Erdal-S; Berman-L; Hryhorczuk-DO
J Air Waste Manage Assoc 2008 Aug; 58(8):1022-1032
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were banned in the United States in 1979, and since then a significant decline in their release to the environment has been observed. This decline has now reached a plateau. Several new regulatory programs have been put in place to further reduce PCB emissions/releases. However, our ability to measure the effectiveness of these regulatory/voluntary programs and to support regional fate/transport and source/receptor modeling efforts depend on reliable emission information. In this study, we attempt to improve the emission inventory for PCBs by compiling and analyzing the multimedia total PCB emission/release data reported for the U.S Great Lakes states for each year from 1990 to 2000. Although Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), National Emissions Inventory (NEI), Great Lakes Regional Air Toxic Emissions Inventory (GLRATEI), and Integrated Atmospheric Deposition Network (IADN) data formed the basis of estimating air emissions, we used the TRI, National Response Center (NRC), and PCB transformer inventory data to estimate PCB releases to land. We used the Permit Compliance System and NRC data to obtain estimates of PCB discharges to water systems in the Great Lakes states. The Remedial Action Plans for each area of concern were the primary source for estimating PCB loads of dredged sediments. On the basis of the NEI, IADN, and GLRATEI data, the total air emissions within the decade were approximately 126 t. The regionwide discharges to water systems and releases to land in the form of landfills and accidental spills in 1990-2000 were estimated as approximately 170 and 3225 t, respectively. We estimated that approximately 1.3 million t of PCB-contaminated sediment were removed or targeted for removal in five lakes of the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes basin. We stress that these estimates were based on reported amounts and the unreported PCB releases/emissions could result in significantly higher estimates.
Airborne-dusts; Airborne-particles; Pollutants; Pollution; Analytical-methods; Monitors; Environmental-pollution; Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Soil-analysis; Water-analysis; Emission-sources
Serap Erdal, Division of Environmental and Occupational Health, Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois, 2121 West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-T42-CCT-510424; Grant-Number-T42-OH-008672
Issue of Publication
Priority Area
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Source Name
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Performing Organization
University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division