Reducing Risk to Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Through Trilateral Cooperation


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Beatriz Cardenas, Director of Air Pollution Monitoring and Characterization, National Institute of Ecology (INE-Semarnat) and co-Chair of the Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Task Force of the SMOC project spoke at the CEC Chemicals Management Forum in San Antonio, Texas, on May 15, 2012. More info:

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Reducing Risk to Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Through Trilateral Cooperation

  1. 1. Reducing Risk to Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Through Trilateral Cooperation Chemicals Management Forum San Antonio, Texas May 15-16, 2012Commission for Environmental Cooperation 1
  2. 2. Dioxins, Furans and Hexachlorobenzene Task Force Established in 2000, by the Sound Management of Chemicals (SMOC) Working Group of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NACEC). The mandate of the Task Force, comprised of delegates from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, is to work collaboratively toward effective management to reduce risk associated to dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene in North America, which are in line with the strategic objectives of the SMOC. The Task Force has developed a North American Strategy for Catalyzing Cooperation on Dioxins and Furans, and Hexachlorobenzene which highlights a range of activities in keeping with this mandate. 2
  3. 3. North American Strategy for Catalyzing Cooperation on Dioxins and Furans, and Hexachlorobenzene The ultimate goal of this work within the North American context, is that this will lead to a reduction in the risk to human and environmental health posed by dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene. This work also has the potential to minimize cross-border movement of these substances either as waste materials or as contaminants in the atmosphere. Capacity building is a key aspect of this trilateral undertaking and this should minimize resources required by individual countries to achieve their management goals for dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene. 3
  4. 4. Monitoring and AssessmentMonitoring Dioxins & Furans in Air to Assess Baseline andEffectiveness of Implementing Actions  Air Monitoring Networks first established in U.S. (National Dioxins Air Monitoring Network -NDAMN) and Canada (National Air Pollution Surveillance Network - NAPS) and in Mexico (the Mexican Dioxin and Furans Monitoring Network - MDFAMN) in 2007 (Task Force project).  Levels of dioxins in background and semi-urban sites similar in the three countries.  Levels at urban sites in Mexico are as high as those measured in the U. S. and Canada in the late 1990s when fewer risk management actions were in place than today.  Continue operation  MDFAMN in two sentinel sites for trends  NAPS in different sites  Assessment and tri-country comparison of air monitoring data currently underway; report available by end of July 2012. 4
  5. 5. Monitoring and AssessmentFreshwater Sediment Cores Significant data on lake sediments for U.S. and Canada, especially those from the Great Lakes Basin. Data collection for Mexican sediments to evaluate deposition over time initiated and ongoing.Soil In collaboration with Stockholm Convention Group of experts, dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene measured in soils near Mexican brick kilns (Kenya and South Africa data as well). 5
  6. 6. Monitoring and AssessmentHuman Biomonitoring Tri-country compilation of dioxin, furan and hexachlorobenzene levels in mothers published October 2011. Comparison of Mexican and Canadian data to be published at later date. Canada-wide maternal and infant monitoring for dioxins underway. Canadian Health Measures Survey (2007-2009) to be published in the spring of 2012 • Preliminary results show dioxin concentrations are positively correlated with age, with the exception of a spike in the 6-11 year age group, and levels and patterns are similar to those in the U.S. and Europe. 6
  7. 7. Monitoring and AssessmentHuman Biomonitoring cont. On-going U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) monitoring and data compilation for dioxins. Recent data shows elevated levels of hexachlorobenzene and other toxic substances in Mexican children living near brick kilns. Human biomonitoring program focused on most exposed populations underway for Mexico, which would support compilation of a preliminary North American databank on human exposure to these substances. 7
  8. 8. Monitoring and AssessmentFood Pathways Analysis On-going U.S. and Canadian programs for food analysis, food consumption patterns, monitoring of animal feeds and products and trace-back programs to identify origin of contamination. Recent acquisition of food analysis capacity by Mexico and other on- going studies to determine dioxins and furans in foods. Study underway to examine exposure pathways unique to Mexico, to include food production, distribution and consumption patterns, as part of a tri-national program to determine potential for contamination. 8
  9. 9. Monitoring and AssessmentTechnical Training and Workshops on Source Characterizationand Analytical IssuesWorkshops held annually in Mexico over the last years (2007, 2008, 2009,2010, and 2011) on:  Source characterization steel manufacturing, base metals smelting, cement manufacturing, brick manufacturing, waste incineration.  Emissions inventory activities, environmental monitoring, food and biomonitoring, survey and analysis in foods and fertilizers, regulatory updates, and public communications strategies.  Technical training sessions held on quality assurance/quality control for air sampling analysis and foods analysis in Canada.  Outcome: A regional forum for sharing experiences within the region, critical mass and capacity building. 9
  10. 10. Technical Training and Workshops on SourceCharacterization and Analytical Issues (2011) 10
  11. 11. Monitoring and AssessmentFate and Transport ModellingCapacity building for Mexican technicians and scientists on atmosphericmodelling  Workshops and training held in Mexico in 2009, 2010 and 2012 on short and long range atmospheric modelling.  Development of regional modelling capacity in Mexico toward development of a North American air modelling project for dioxins and furans. 11
  12. 12. Monitoring and AssessmentRisk Assessment Training Series of four human health and environmental risk assessment workshop series provided to Mexico by Canada, completed in February, 2011.  Capacity building on risk assessment for dioxins and furans  Risk assessments for exposure to emissions from wood in open fires when used for cooking and during artisanal brick production underway. 12
  13. 13. Inventories Revisions ongoing for Mexico domestic release inventories to improve quality and comparability of North American inventory data  Experimental determination of emission factors in one source in Mexico to reduce uncertainty and improve comparability among the region. U.S. and Canada have mandatory reporting programs for point sources of dioxins and furans. Mexico´s National Pollutant Release and Transfer Registry also includes point sources of dioxin and furans. Canada has reduced dioxin and furan releases by 85.5% since 1990´s. In 2011, Mexico updated its dioxin and furan release inventory year base 2004 (including artisanal brick production, use of wood for cooking, open burning of garbage). Canada and the U.S. maintain emissions inventories for hexachlorobenzene and preliminary inventory of hexachlorobenzene emissions in Mexico was done in 2010. 13
  14. 14. Pollution Prevention and ControlIndustrial and Other Sources Canada promotes best available techniques and best environmental practices (BAT/BEP) as a part of Canada’s National Implementation Plan under the Stockholm Convention. U.S. applies Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Standards and effluent guidelines toward release control. Mexico applies emission standards limits for cement production and waste incineration.Small-Scale Waste Disposal• U.S. and Canada inventoried formation of dioxins from small-scale incineration specifically residential burning practices.• Mexico in collaboration with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) chemicals and other institutions determined emission factors for open waste burning which were later considered to determine contribution from this source.Pesticides/Fertilizers• Canada and U.S. regulate dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene as microcontaminants in pesticides, and development of tri-national fertilizer standard underway. 14
  15. 15. Pollution Prevention and ControlPotential Co-benefits Identification of uncertainties in dioxins, furans, and hexachlorobenzene releases and experimental determination of emission factors of one source. Mexican study on replacement of indoor fires with outside-vented stoves, indicated significant improvement in respiratory health of resident women and would also include a reduction in exposure to dioxins. Public Information Materials Canada and the U.S. publish information on regulatory activities, policies and health issues related to dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene, and Mexico recently developed general public and sector-specific (artisanal brick making, open waste burning) material. 15
  16. 16. MEETING OUR GOALS Trilateral cooperation on dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene since 2000 constitutes a success in the ongoing work of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation on the Sound Management of Chemicals. Mexico is acquiring significant technical capacity in dioxin management, particularly with respect to food, ambient monitoring, and emissions inventories. Capacity-building has been the focus of the Task Force in its technical training exercises over the past years as part of its Task Force activities, and this substantiates success toward this goal. Continued work of the three countries under the Strategy for Catalyzing Cooperation can be expected to facilitate the betterment of their domestic risk management programs for dioxins, furans and hexachlorobenzene. 16
  17. 17. MERCI THANK YOU GRACIAS Co-chairs Beatriz Cardenas, National Institute of Ecology, Mexico ( Seed, Safe Environments Directorate, Health Canada ( 17
  18. 18. Current Task Force representatives Canada • Lorraine Seed, Health Canada (Co-chair) • Anita Wong, Environment Canada Mexico • Beatriz Cardenas, INE (Co-chair) • Roberto Basaldud, INE • Jose Luis Lara, SEMARNAT • Maria Teresa Lopez Rocha, SEMARNAT USA • Paul Almodovar, EPA • Dale Evarts, EPA Three countries. CEC Secretariat One environment. 18