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Re: dioxin fingerprints in POTWs
Untreated landfill leachate is commonly sent to POTWs in the Boston area.
Our regional POTW is attempting to reduce these untreated discharges and has
suggested that landfills which send leachate must accept POTW sludge at no
cost in return. (Now that's recycling eh?) Obviously landfills should meet
the same pretreatment standards that the rest of us do.
After much lurking on the subject of dioxins in POTW residuals, I must admit
to skepticism about TP, paper products, and chlorination as sources. I would
expect that airborne fallout, other nonpoint sources, and the occasional odd
industrial discharge would be much more likely sources.
This doesn't exhonerate anyone, but merely points out the ubiquitous nature
of dioxins in current industrial environments. It would appear that there is
little chance of any solution to dioxins in any one waste stream such as POTW
residuals, if global dioxin cycling continues.
It may be that if we are to accept the use of chlorinated feedstocks to
thermal chemical reactions (whether in manufacturing or in waste
transformations) we will have to learn to also accept that dioxins will
appear throughout our economy/ecology.
For the benefit of Sam and Bill (please pardon me for singling you'll out)
this is not the same as advocating a chlorine phase out. It does however
provide a driving force for changing the synthetic pathway chosen to make
many specific products. Business types refer to this as "responding to a
changing market." American Industry (think about Chrysler, Apple Computer,
Penn Central) has sometimes been strikingly bad at doing this.
Boston Chemical Data Corp.