Unintentional formation and emission of the persistent organic pollutants HCB and PCBs in the Nordic countries

Documentation of existing information regarding sources and emissions to air, water and soil, with focus on reporting obligations according to the Stockholm Convention, the UNECE POP protocol, and PRTR registers

image of Unintentional formation and emission of the persistent organic pollutants HCB and PCBs in the Nordic countries

In recent years reporting requirements regarding emissions and releases of unintentionally formed persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been laid on parties to international agreements and members of the EU. Such obligations include those under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the UNECE POP and PRTR protocols and the EU PRTR regulation. The aim of this project has been to assess, whether existing knowledge and data are adequate for the Nordic countries to be able to estimate the emissions eventually to be reported. The project reveals that there is a substantial lack of knowledge related to potential sources in the Nordic countries. It also suggests that even though many of the main potential sources are the same, the relative importance of them differs between countries.



Estimation of emissions and releases of HCB and PCBs

Emission estimates are based on specific activities at country level, as provided in Chapter 2 for each identified potential diffuse or point source for which the necessary data are available. Activity data are multiplied by the emission factor that is judged as most suitable or, if only one relevant emission factor has been found, the available one. Details concerning available and selected emission factors are given in Appendix 1 to 6. Information regarding emissions to soil and water from the energy and industry sectors is limited; nevertheless, activity data for these sources have as far as possible been included in Chapter 2. It is assumed that the potential major sources of release to soil and water may origin from offsite transfer of residue/waste products and wastewater discharge to the municipal sewer system. Therefore, potential sources of unintentional release of HCB and PCBs to soil and water have been included in Chapter 3.3, which presents available information relevant for PRTR code 5 ‘waste and wastewater management’.


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