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Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

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POPs Testing – In accordance with WM3 the waste sampling strategy should consider the possibility of Persistent Organic Pollutants being present within soils.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

POPs are Persistent Organic Pollutants. Since the Environment Agency issued new guidance on the assessment of hazardous waste (guidance note WM3), waste containing specified POPs at concentrations of 50mg/kg or below qualifies as hazardous waste. If the waste is pop tested and contains dioxins or furans, a concentration of only 15 µg/kg will render the waste hazardous.

POPs Listed in WM3 Include:

  • polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF) (products of incomplete combustion)
  • DDT (1,1,1- trichloro-2,2-bis (4-chlorophenyl)ethane) (insecticide)
  • chlordane (insecticide)
  • hexachlorocyclohexanes (including lindane) (insecticides)
  • dieldrin (insecticide)
  • endrin (insecticide)
  • heptachlor (insecticide)
  • hexachlorobenzene (seed treatment)
  • chlordecone (insecticide)
  • aldrin (insecticide)
  • pentachlorobenzene (used as an intermediate in the manufacture of fungicide)
  • mirex (insecticide)
  • toxaphene (insecticide)
  • hexabromobiphenyl (used in fire retardant)
  • PCB (used in heat exchange fluids, transformers and capacitors).

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