Pollutant Information: Dioxins (PCDD/F) 

About Dioxins (PCDD/F)

Category: Air pollutants

Dioxins and furans (PCDD/F) are often simply referred to as 'dioxins'. Emissions of dioxins have declined by 83% over the period 1990 to 2014. Dioxins can arise from any thermal process where chlorine is present in any form. One of the largest sources of dioxins emissions in the past has been waste incineration; however emissions from this source have fallen by 97% between 1990 and 2014, driven by the introduction of emission limit values and other control standards. Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) incinerators not meeting these requirements closed in the period leading up to December 1996, and emissions from the sector were significantly reduced from then on. Emissions from plants burning MSW or incinerating other wastes contributed 1% of UK dioxin emissions in 2014. The main sources of dioxins in 2014 were domestic combustion of coal and wood, steel production, and the open burning of waste.

» View and Download Dioxins (PCDD/F) emission summary data

Time series graph

Notable events

Start year End year Sector Information Impact
1990 1995 Waste Incineration & Combustion of fuels (Combustion Residential Commercial, Institutional). Closure of, and abatement fitted to UK waste incineration plant with and without energy recovery. Decrease in emissions
1993 1993 Agriculture Field burning of agricultural waste stopped after 1993. Decrease in emissions

Dioxins (PCDD/F) contributes to the following...

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