Air Monitoring

2006-2016: 10 years of continuous dioxins monitoring in Italy. Which assessment for which perspective?

May 24 2018 Read 460 Times

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2006-2016: 10 years of continuous dioxins monitoring in Italy. Which assessment for which perspective? Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDD) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDF), more commonly named dioxins and furans are odorless, highly thermally stable, insoluble in water, highly liposoluble micropollutants present in traces in the environment, mainly produced during combustion with insuffi cient temperature (over 850°C PCDD and PCDF are destroyed). These chemicals properties made of them Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They tend to concentrate in living organisms and increase
their concentration, reaching also high toxicity levels. Some congeners are confirmed carcinogens.

These substances are considered by many institutions as key pollutants, but their low concentration (ng/m3 in emissions), the difference of toxicity between the different congeners, their presence in all phases (dust, droplets and gases), lead to sampling diffi culties (long time sampling, reliability of instrumentation, experienced technicians...) and complex analysis technology (GC/MS/MS) slowed down their monitoring.

Italy was 2006, after Belgium, the fi rst country where semi-continuous samplers were installed on a large scale to monitor dioxins and furans in all kind of industries (power industry, cement industry, metal industry, chemical industry...). In 10 years, long term isokinetic sampling passed from a niche to a common application. The installation of semi-continuous isokinetic samplers on all kind of processes, the monitoring of traces of chemicals (ng/m3) in a continuous way, and the regular collect and analysis of samples on stacks, changed the approach of POPs monitoring in stack emissions. Pollution of air by dioxins, furans and other POPS is more and more taken into account by institutions that will increase their monitoring in stack emissions. Italy was the laboratory of PCDD/PCDF semi-continuous samplers, and is now a mature market for these instruments (instruments start to be renewed). Italian experience can help to figure out what may be the future for these pollutants monitoring.

Through the exposition of several case studies taken from diverse industries, the evolution of legislation and the emergence of standards (CEN/TS 1948-5:2015), the speaker will explain the challenge of mass installation of semi-continuous dioxins samplers in Italy, the changes it bring to industrial way of working, and the maturation of this kind of monitoring. Thanks to these 10 years of experience, he will then try to draw the future of trace pollutants monitoring in stack emissions.

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