Environment Pollution and Climate Change
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Open burning of waste at dumpsites is considered to be the easiest mode for wastes disposal, but is also a source of evident
pollution and threat for human and environmental health. Polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and polychlorinated
dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs, or dioxins/furans) are unwanted by-products of combustion processes. Dioxins belong to
persistent environmental pollutants (POPs) and they arise concerns because of highly toxic potential. The known toxicity
and persistence of some congeners in the environment has emphasized the necessity to assess releases of those supertoxicants
at open burning of wastes in some areas of Armenia. Dioxins formation upon wastes burning depends on composition and
combustion conditions. In order to identify characteristics and strength of emission sources of POPs from wastes open burning
in different marzes (provinces) of Armenia and to calculate dioxins emissions to air and soil UNEP methodological guidance
was used. To quantify emissions the ''emission factor'' describing dioxins and furans entry into environment/media per unit of
activity was used, such as toxic equivalent quotient (TEQ). TEQ indicates the potential toxicity of the particular substance itself
as related to the most powerful poison among all dioxins???2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The sum of emission
factors allows estimation of the total ???dioxin??? toxicity of the given source. The key research findings were as follows: emissions
in air varied from 1.749 gTEQ/year (Ararat marz) to 9.382 gTEQ/year (Shirak marz), while emissions on land ranged from
0.061 gTEQ/year (Armavir marz) to 0.3128 gTEQ/year. Hence, efforts are required to reduce the current exposure.
Anahit V Aleksandryan, graduated from Yerevan State University in 1978 with a Diploma in Biophysics. She defended her PhD thesis in Biology at St. Petersburg Institute of Continuing Medical Education in 1985 and then Doctoral Dissertation in Biology in 2011. Her main areas of expertise involve Industrial Toxicology, Ecology, and Hygiene. Since 1996, she is an Employee at the Ministry of Nature Protection of Republic of Armenia. Currently she is Head of Hazardous Substances and Waste Policy Division. She is the focal point of UNEP Stockholm Convention on POPs; UNEP Rotterdam Convention on PIC; Minamata Convention on Mercury; UNECE Convention on Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents; Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and Environment and Health Process (WHO).