Main content area

Dioxin Content in Compost Samples

Conesa, Juan A., Galvez, Araceli, Marhuenda-Egea, Frutos, Bustamante, Maria Angeles, Moral, Raul
Communications in soil science and plant analysis 2009 v.40 no.1-6 pp. 672-681
dioxins, furans, composts, grape pomace, sewage sludge, toxic substances, pollutants, toxicity, composting, duration
Dioxin and furans (PCDD/Fs) are released into the environment from many possible sources, including incineration, industrial processes, and internal combustion engines. The PCDD/Fs have been identified as agents responsible for many toxic responses in exposed individuals, including cancer and developmental/reproductive dysfunctions. Because of their stable structure and lipophilic properties, PCDD/Fs have been the focus of many environmental and toxicological studies over the past several years, and these chemicals have been identified in diverse environmental samples from a range of countries. Although the composting of agricultural and urban residues such as winery and distillery residues (WDR) and sewage sludge is a useful method for producing a stable material that can be used for agricultural purposes, composting is a biological process that probably changes the dioxin and congener distribution, promoting the formation or destruction of some specific congeners. In this experiment, the presence and quantity of dioxins in a composting pile prepared with winery-distillery residues (grape stalk and marc, GS and GM, respectively; exhausted grape marc, EG) and sewage sludge were determined at different stages of the composting process. The results showed that composting did not significantly increase the amount and distribution of dioxin and congeners, but the use of sewage sludge seemed to induce a significant increase of these hazardous components.