Dioxins Program - What ARB Is Doing About Dioxins

This page last reviewed July 21, 2015

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Dioxins in California

What ARB Is Doing About Dioxins

2,3,7,8 Tetrachlorodibenzo p dioxin

The ARB has taken aggressive steps to reduce the public's exposure to known sources of dioxins and other air toxics. In 1990, the ARB adopted the Dioxin Airborne Toxic Control Measure for Medical Waste Incinerators to reduce emissions of dioxins from medical waste incinerators by 99 percent. At that time, medical waste incinerators were one of the largest known air sources of dioxins in California. As a result of the control measure, the number of medical waste incinerators in the state dropped sharply from about 150 to less than 10.

2,2,4,4,6 Pentabromodiphenyl Ether
2,2',4,4',6' - Pentabromodiphenyl Ether

2,3,7,8 Tetrachlorodibenzofuran
2,3,7,8 -Tetrachlorodibenzofuran
3,3,4,4,5,5 Hexachlorobiphenyl
3,3',4,4',5,5'- Hexachlorobiphenyl

Currently, the ARB is developing a comprehensive air quality monitoring and testing program to collect ambient data for dioxins, furans, dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and polybrominated di-phenyl ethers (PBDEs) in California. Under this program, the ARB will evaluate potential health impacts, assess the need for additional risk management strategies and identify areas where additional study may be required. The program's components include: the development of the California Ambient Dioxin Air Monitoring Program (CADAMP) at a total of nine locations in the state (five in the San Francisco Bay Area and four in the South Coast Air Basin); the testing of potential dioxin-emitting facilities; and estimating the contribution of dioxins emitted by motor vehicles. The objectives of this program are:

California Ambient Dioxin Air Monitoring Program (CADAMP)

The ARB, with assistance from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and the South Coast Air Quality Management District, is collecting samples at nine air monitoring sites to obtain data on dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. All of the sites are located in densely populated areas where emissions of dioxins could occur. Air monitoring in both the Bay Area and South Coast began in December 2001 and will operate at each site for three years.

CADAMP Air Monitoring Sites

Bay Area Sites South Coast Sites
Fruitvale (Oakland) Boyle Heights
Crockett Wilmington
Richmond Reseda
Livermore Rubidoux
San Jose  

Boyle Heights, Wilmington, Fruitvale, and Crockett are also Children's Health monitoring sites.

Additionally, a U.S. EPA background site on the Marin Headlands at Fort Cronkhite is being operated by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to investigate ambient dioxins, furans, and dioxin-like PCBs coming into the Bay Area.

Stationary and Mobile Source Testing

The ARB has concluded its dioxin testing on two catalytic/thermal oxidation systems used in soil clean up. Analyses of these twotests are currently underway. These data will help us understand how these facilities contribute to dioxin emissions in California. ARB will continue to solicit local air districts and other state and local agencies for dioxin testing to get a better understanding of dioxin emissions from other types of facilities.

The ARB is also investigating several approaches to determine a way to estimate the dioxin contribution from motor vehicles, such as cars and trucks.

The information collected from the source testing will help us determine appropriate risk management strategies to protect public health.

California's Dioxins Program
Air Toxics Program