Inventory of U.S. 2012 dioxin emissions to atmosphere

Waste Manag. 2015 Dec;46:242-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.08.009. Epub 2015 Aug 18.


In 2006, the U.S. EPA published an inventory of dioxin emissions for the U.S. covering the period from 1987-2000. This paper is an updated inventory of all U.S. dioxin emissions to the atmosphere in the year 2012. The sources of emissions of polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), collectively referred to in this paper as "dioxins", were separated into two classes: controlled industrial and open burning sources. Controlled source emissions decreased 95.5% from 14.0 kg TEQ in 1987 to 0.6 kg in 2012. Open burning source emissions increased from 2.3 kg TEQ in 1987 to 2.9 kg in 2012. The 2012 dioxin emissions from 53 U.S. waste-to-energy (WTE) power plants were compiled on the basis of detailed data obtained from the two major U.S. WTE companies, representing 84% of the total MSW combusted (27.4 million metric tons). The dioxin emissions of all U.S. WTE plants in 2012 were 3.4 g TEQ and represented 0.54% of the controlled industrial dioxin emissions, and 0.09% of all dioxin emissions from controlled and open burning sources.

Keywords: Dioxin sources; Emissions; Landfill fires; TEQ dioxins; Total dioxins; U.S. inventory; WTE; Waste-to-energy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / analysis*
  • Dioxins / analysis*
  • Environmental Monitoring*
  • United States


  • Air Pollutants
  • Dioxins