TABLE 5-8 Degrees of Concern for Potential Health Effects of Waste Incineration as Judged by the Committeea

 

Before MACT Complianceb

After MACT Complianceb

Substance

Potential Effects on Workers at a Facilityc

Potential Effects from a Single Facility on a Local Populationd

Potential Effects from Multiple Facilities on a Broader Population e

Potential Effects on Workers at a Facilityc

Potential Effects from a Single Facility on a Local Populationd

Potential Effects from Multiple Facilities on a Broader Population e

Particulate matter

Substantial

Substantial

Minimal

Substantial

Minimal

Minimal

Dioxinf

Substantial

Minimal

Substantial

Substantial

Minimal

Substantial

Lead

Substantial

Substantial

Moderate

Substantial

Minimal

Moderate

Mercury

Substantial

Moderate

Moderate

Substantial

Minimal

Moderate

Other metalsg

Substantial

Moderate

Moderate

Substantial

Minimal

Moderate

Acidic gasesh

Moderate

Minimal

Negligible

Moderate

Negligible

Negligible

Acidic aerosolsi

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Moderate

Minimal

Minimal

a The four degrees of concern (substantial, moderate, minimal, negligible) were chosen based on general estimates of the following aspects: incineration emissions; persistence of emitted substances in the environment; mobility through air, soil, water, and food; potential total exposure through routes of inhalation, ingestion, and dermal absorption; and relative toxicity of the individual substances inferred from studies not involving incineration. The degrees are intended to represent the committee's qualitative assessment and consensus judgment of the possibility of health effects to workers and segments of the general public from incineration emissions. The degrees of concern are not derived from direct evidence of adverse health effects observed from incineration use. Also, a particular degree of concern is not intended to imply the extent to which the committee believes health effects are actually occurring. In addition, the selection of a particular degree resulted only from a preliminary screening effort in the absence of sufficient information to characterize all the important parameters accurately. For example, in this preliminary assessment, the committee did not attempt to assign different degrees of concern according to types of waste incinerated, design and operation of the facility, emission controls, or extent of worker protection. It is possible that a degree of concern for a particular pollutant and category might change after more specific information is obtained. The term “substantial” is used to express the committee's highest degree of concern about possible exposures that could lead to health effects among workers, a local population, or a broader population. Lower degrees of concern correspond to less possibility that the specific groups are exposed to concentrations associated with adverse health effects.



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