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Region 1: EPA New England

What Pollutants Do They Emit into the Air?

Municipal waste combustors will emit the following air pollutants: acid gas emissions (sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, and nitrogen oxides); metal emissions (mercury, lead, cadmium, and particulate matter); and organic emissions (dioxin/furans and carbon monoxide).

When medical waste is burned it emits a number of toxic air pollutants, including: hydrochloric acid; dioxin/furans; lead; cadmium; and mercury. Also emitted are criteria air pollutants (criteria air pollutants are pollutants for which EPA has established ambient air quality standards), such as: sulfur dioxide; particulate matter; carbon monoxide; and nitrogen oxides. Commercial, industrial and/or institutional units emit the same types of pollutants as the medical waste units. And in general, the air pollutants from the hazardous waste combustion are generally similar to those from municipal waste combustors and medical waste incinerators.

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