Impact of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emissions from medical waste incinerators on the urban atmosphere

Wen Jhy Lee, Ming Chu Liow, Thomas Jeng Ho Chen, Perng Jy Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions from two batch-type medical waste incinerators (MWIs), one with a mechanical grate and the other with a fixed grate, both operated by a medical center, were assessed. Both MWIs shared the same air-pollution control devices (APCDs), with an electrostatic precipitator and a wet scrubber installed in series. Results show that when APCDs were used, total PAHs and total benzo- [a]pyrene equivalent (total BaPeq) emission concentrations of both MWIs were reduced from 2220 to 1870 µg/m3 and 50 to 12.4 µg/m3, respectively. We used the Industrial Source Complex Short Term model (ISCST) to estimate the ground-level concentrations of the residential area and the traffic intersection located at the down-wind side of the two MWIs. For the traffic intersection, we found both total PAHs and total BaPeq transported from MWIs to both studied areas were not significant. For the residential area, similar results were found when APCDs were used in MWIs. When APCDs were not included, we found that total PAHs transported from MWIs accounted for <12%, but total BaPeq accounted for >90%, of the on-site measured concentrations. These results suggest that the use of proper APCDs during incineration would significantly reduce the carcinogenic potencies associated with PAH emissions from MWIs to the residential area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1149-1157
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Air and Waste Management Association
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Sept

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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