CIGARETTE SMOKE OR EXHAUST GAS FROM WASTE INCINERATION – WHERE ARE MORE DIOXINS?
Author / authors
In Poland, incineration is a relatively new method of waste treatment. Modern installations for waste
incineration have two functions: they reduce the quantity (volume) of the waste and are a source of electricity
and/or heat. During all combustion processes including waste incineration, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins
(PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCD/Fs) (well known as dioxins) are formed. These compounds are
considered to be extremely dangerous for living organisms including human beings.
Dioxins are formed in any process of combustion of solid and liquid fuels in the presence of chlorine, oxygen
and organic matter at appropriate temperatures. Combustion processes also occur during cigarette smoking,
which is also a source of dioxin emissions. Although smoking has been classified as a less important source of
dioxins in the environment, it directly affects our health.
This work’s aim is to determine and compare the degree of harmfulness caused by the amount of inhaled
dioxins: cigarette smoking or living near a waste incineration plant.
Based on literature and experimental data, the concentration of dioxins in cigarette smoke and exhaust gases
generated by municipal waste incineration plants as well as number of dioxins absorbed per day by the body
will be presented.