Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans in workplace air in waste incineration and metal recycling plants

Project No. BIA 2022


completed 12/1996


Investigations into emissions and their environmental effects showed that waste incineration and metal recycling are important sources of dioxin and furan pollution. In the same way, exposure to these substances is likely to occur at the corresponding industrial workplaces. No results concerning dioxin and furan workplace concentrations had so far been published. A measurement programme will be conducted to determine exposure at a number of representative workplaces.


Measurements were carried out at workplaces in waste incineration plants, in the non-iron metal recycling industry, in the steel industry, in coking plants and in the plastics processing industry. The results were synthesised in a so- called "Dioxin Report", which laid the basis for an evaluation of dioxin exposure in the mentioned industries. The Report describes workplace situations, gives an evaluation of the results and suggests protective measures wherever possible.


A newly developed sampling method for dioxins was tested and validated in an interlaboratory trial. It is a reference method for the determination of carcinogenic substances in the workplace atmosphere approved by the German Berufsgenossenschaften and published in their ZH1/120- index. The measuring results served as a basis for the atmospheric limit value when it was defined by the committee for hazardous substances of the Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs.

Further informations:

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
  • Edel- und Unedelmetall-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Gemeindeunfallversicherungsverband Westfalen-Lippe
Research institution(s):
  • BIA
  • BG 10
  • BG 5
  • BG 6
  • BG 1
  • BG 11
  • BG 9
  • BG 8
  • GuVV Westfalen-Lippe

waste management

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


Exposition, Krebserregende Stoffe, Messverfahren

Description, key words:

dioxins, furans, waste incineration, metal recycling, steel industry, coking plants, plastics processing, measuring method