Environmental science & technology

Bisphenol A in Solid Waste Materials, Leachate Water, and Air Particles from Norwegian Waste-Handling Facilities: Presence and Partitioning Behavior.

PMID 26055751


The plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA) is commonly found in landfill leachate at levels exceeding acute toxicity benchmarks. To gain insight into the mechanisms controlling BPA emissions from waste and waste-handling facilities, a comprehensive field and laboratory campaign was conducted to quantify BPA in solid waste materials (glass, combustibles, vehicle fluff, waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE), plastics, fly ash, bottom ash, and digestate), leachate water, and atmospheric dust from Norwegian sorting, incineration, and landfill facilities. Solid waste concentrations varied from below 0.002 mg/kg (fly ash) to 188 ± 125 mg/kg (plastics). A novel passive sampling method was developed to, for the first time, establish a set of waste-water partition coefficients, KD,waste, for BPA, and to quantify differences between total and freely dissolved concentrations in waste-facility leachate. Log-normalized KD,waste (L/kg) values were similar for all solid waste materials (from 2.4 to 3.1), excluding glass and metals, indicating BPA is readily leachable. Leachate concentrations were similar for landfills and WEEE/vehicle sorting facilities (from 0.7 to 200 μg/L) and dominated by the freely dissolved fraction, not bound to (plastic) colloids (agreeing with measured KD,waste values). Dust concentrations ranged from 2.3 to 50.7 mg/kgdust. Incineration appears to be an effective way to reduce BPA concentrations in solid waste, dust, and leachate.