Fact Sheet on Air Toxics

Toxic comes from the Greek word toxikon which referred to the poison smeared on an arrow. The meaning has changed but not the intent. Air toxics are poisonous airborne pollutants which exist in the atmosphere either as gases or attached to fine particles.

Some air toxics come from natural sources such as dust, forest fires, volcanic gases and soil erosion. But most are created by human activities including industrial processes, the manufacture and use of pesticides, and the burning of fossil fuels such as gas, oil or coal.

Air toxics find their way into the atmosphere in two ways. Some are emitted directly from cars, trucks and train engines or from factories which burn fossil fuels. Others are discharged into water or onto the land, and because they possess the characteristic known as volatility, they escape into the air as gases or attached to fine particles.

The atmosphere plays an important role in the environmental cycle of air toxics. Sometimes it can carry them thousands of kilometres from their source and wash them to earth as rain, snow, fog or mist. The atmosphere may also transform air toxics into even more dangerous porno xxx.

Air toxics pose a serious threat to human health and to wildlife for three reasons.

First, they are poisonous, or may become poisonous after combining with other substances or bioaccumulating in the food chain. The toxics may cause death, disease, birth defects, genetic mutations and behavioural abnormalities as well as physiological or reproductive harm in organisms or their offspring.

Second, the toxics bioaccumulate in the fatty tissue of animals, and are difficult or impossible to metabolize or excrete. Even minute amounts may have a major effect on wildlife as the toxics build up to a dangerous level over the lifetime of the animal. Bioaccumulating in the food chain occurs when, for example, plankton which has absorbed toxic chemicals from the water is eaten by fish, which, after storing the toxics in fatty tissues, are then eaten by birds. Because the birds are at the top of this food chain, they may over time accumulate levels of toxics which are thousands of times higher than those in their prey, which themselves were thousands of times higher than those in the plankton.
Third, these toxics are persistent, meaning that they do not break down easily in the environment and may remain intact for decades or even centuries.

Environment Canada is involved in a range of research projects aimed at understanding how air toxics are emitted, transported, transformed and deposited by the atmosphere. Further, the department is heavily involved in the development and enforcement of regulations to prevent the emission of air toxics into the atmosphere.

The most common culprits:

The industrial world uses more than 65,000 commercial chemicals. In 1985, the International Joint Commission identified 11 pollutants which the Canadian-U.S. body considered critical:

1. Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
2. Mirex
3. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB)
4. Dieldrin
5. DDT
6. 2,3,7,8-TCDD
7. 2,3,7,8-TCDF
8. Benzo[a]pyrene
9. Toxaphene
10. Mercury
11. Alkylated lead

Environmental Protection Act (EPA) & Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC)

Polluting activities and Industrial emissions in the UK have been controlled, to some extent, for over 150 years and are currently regulated under both the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) and the Pollution Prevention and Control Act 1999 (PPC).

There are also a number of other directives that contribute towards the regulation of porno italiani environmental emissions such as the Solvent Emissions Directive (SED) and the Waste Incineration Directive (WID). There are a number of guidance documents available to provide information about the structure and requirements of these regulations.

  • GG Notes (General Guidance)
  • AQ Notes (additional guidance notes on local authority industrial pollution control issues)
  • PG Notes (Process Guidance) The Process Guidance (PG) notes are issued under the EPA and PPC Regulations. They form statutory guidance on what constitute the Best Available Techniques (BAT) for the installations regulated.

In 2000, the PPC regulations came into effect throughout UK industry as required by the EC Directive (96/61). This resulted in the need for significant changes to the regulatory requirements. Since then, old EPA regimes of Integrated Pollution Control (IPC) and Local Air Pollution Control (LAPC) have begun the process of being progressively replaced by the new regimes of PPC. The PPC regulations introduced 3 new systems of pollution control:

  1. Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC), which covers installations known as A(1) installations, which are regulated by the Environment Agency;
  2. Local Authority Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (LA-IPPC) which covers installations known as A(2) installations, which are regulated by local authorities;
  3. Local Authority Pollution Prevention and Control (LAPPC), which covers installations known as Part B installations, also regulated by local authorities.

A(1) installations generally have a greater potential to pollute the environment than A(2) installations and Part B installations would have the least potential to pollute. Similar to the EPA system which required all industrial activities to have an authorisation to operate; all polluting activities which fall under the remit of the PPC regulations are required to be ‘permited’. These ‘permits’ contain conditions of operations which act to reduce or prevent the emissions of pollutants and reduce or prevent the usage of polluting substances.

Best Available Technique (BAT)

The aim of the PPC regime is achieving a high level of protection of the environment. This is achieved by, among other things, requiring operators to use the best available techniques (BAT).

Regulations define BAT as “the most effective and advanced stage in the development of activities and their methods of operation which indicates the practical suitability of particular techniques for providing in principle the basis for emission limit values designed to prevent and, where that is not practicable, generally to reduce emissions and the impact on the environment as a whole”.

Solvent Emissions Directive (SED)

The Solvent Emissions (England and Wales) Regulations 2004, SI 107, which came into force on 20 January 2004.

The aim of this Directive is to prevent or reduce the direct and indirect effects of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the environment (mainly into air), and to minimise the potential risks to human health.

There are strict requirements for those activities using potentially more harmful substances such as halogenated VOCs which are assigned the risk phrase R40 or VOCs that are classified as carcinogenic, mutagenic or toxic to reproduction and which carry the risk phrase R45, R46, R49, R60 or R61.

The Directive also requires Regulators to request ‘Solvent Management Plans’ (SMP) from the permitted installations. The SMP is effectively a tool for determining the VOC or Solvent Usage and emissions.

Waste Incineration Directive (WID)

The Waste Incineration Directive (WID) is a single piece of European legislations which introduces operating conditions and sets minimum technical requirements for waste incineration and co-incineration. It covers virtually all waste incineration, and co-incineration plants.