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Release of Harmful Air Pollutants from Open Burning of Domestic Municipal Solid Wastes in a Metropolitan Area of Korea

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Volume: 13 | Issue: 4 | Pages: 1365-1372
DOI: 10.4209/aaqr.2012.10.0272
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Young Koo Young Koo1, Wooram Kim2, Young Min Jo 2

  • 1 Department of Environmental Engineer, Kangwon National University, Kangwondo, Korea
  • 2 Department of Environmental Science & Engineer, Center for Environmental Studies, Kyung Hee University, Gyeonggido, Korea


Open burning of solid wastes, a potential nonpoint emission source, has recently become a topic of interests, particularly in the metropolitan area of Seoul, Korea. To estimate the effects of irregular open burning on local air quality, we evaluated the emission levels of harmful substances from test combustion of individual types of domestic municipal solid waste (MSW), including paper, wood, and plastics. The emission factors of PM10, PM2.5, PAHs, and heavy metals obtained from laboratory tests differed depending on the combustion material. A brief survey of residents and local government officials showed that more than 10.6% of homes in the metropolitan area have eliminated waste by irregular burning. Based on the public survey in the test area, the average annual emissions of hazardous materials from frequent open burning was estimated to be 71 tons for PM10, 46.6 tons for PM2.5, 914 kg for heavy metals, and 67 kg for PAHs. Open burning creates nearly 0.44% of regional air pollution from PM10.


Open burning Emission factor PM PAHs Heavy metals

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