Emissions of mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to NFR 3

Solvent and Other Product Use in Nordic countries

image of Emissions of mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to NFR 3

PCBs and dioxins are among the most toxic organic chemicals and where the latter is an unwanted bi-product primarily from residential wood burning, fires, municipal waste incineration and steel reclamation, PCBs have been widely used in a number of industrial and commercial products and activities. PAHs have carcinogeni/mutagenic properties and are produced when materials containing carbon and hydrogen are burned. The heavy metal mercury is also one of the most toxic chemicals that is being used today and although there are legally binding instruments in force within the EU and globally, which aim to limit the use and spreading of mercury in the environment it is still found in various consumer and commercial products. The use of these chemicals gives rise to emissions to air. This joint Nordic project contributes to improving the emission inventories for mercury, PAHs, dioxins and PCBs related to the sector Solvents and Other Product Use", which will help the Nordic countries to assess whether they reach the overall environmental objective of clean and healthy surroundings and several targets in the Nordic Environmental Action Programme 2009-2012 and the international air quality conventions such as Convention on Long-Range, Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The report is mainly aimed at experts performing the national emission inventories but also policy-makers and the general public may find information on sources to emissions, working procedure of emission inventories and on measures implemented on an international and national level for reducing emissions."



Introduction and background

There is an increasing awareness on the effect of chemicals on the environment, human health and the global climate. Chemicals in focus are i.a. organic compounds and heavy metals, each comprising a large group of chemicals with diverse characteristics in terms of persistence and toxicity towards humans and the environment. They are used in numerous industrial activities in closed and open processes and are comprised in various household consumption products such as cosmetics, detergents, packaging, paints and foodstuff. Some organic compounds occur in the vapour phase at normal ambient conditions and these Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOCs) are susceptible to increasing the greenhouse effect and long-range transboundary air pollution. Even less volatile chemicals may sorb onto air bound particulate matter, and thus constitute regional and global concern.


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