Risks from Metals Emitted by Sludge Incinerators

by Raymond C. Porter, Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc, Boston, MA, USA,
Lawrence Partridge, Camp, Dresser & McKee Inc, Boston, MA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The types of incinerators most commonly used in the United States are the multiple hearth and fluidized bed designs. Airborne contaminants from either method of sludge incineration may be deposited on land or in water and eventually come into contact with humans. However, the most direct route of human exposure is through inhalation of particulate and gaseous emissions. Of particular concern is the potential public health risk associated with the inhalation of trace metals. Certain metals are suspected human carcinogens, while others can induce acute or chronic health effects. In this analysis, metal emissions from sludge incinerators were mathematically modeled and the associated human health risks evaluated to identify which metals, if any, pose a significant health risk.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Metals (chemical) | Sludge | Incineration | Fluidized bed technology | Human factors | Emissions | Health hazards | United States

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