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January 7th, 2013:

Dioxins and other U-POPs from test burns of non-POP pesticides in a hazardous waste incinerator

” Despite the overall good destruction and removal efficiency of permethrin (better than 90%) the high emission of U-POPs and CBs from the test burn is of another more serious concern. To our best knowledge the findings of this study are the first of this kind for the Southeast Asia. The findings emphasize that if not properly conducted a standard destruction technology of a non-POP chemical can lead to a release of a range of more dangerous U-POPs into the environment.”

Emission of dioxins/furans and other U-POPs from test burns of non-POP pesticides in a hazardous waste incinerator Original Research Article
Waste Management, Available online 21 December 2012, Pages
Thipsukon Khumsaeng, Nguyen Thi Kim Oanh, Karstensen H. Kare, Chongrak Polprasert


► Test burns of non-POP obsolete pesticides in high temperature incinerator. ► Profiles of dioxins/furans, dioxin-like PCBs, CBs in discharges and fed wastes. ► Emission factors of U-POPs through stack and other discharges. ► Destruction and removal efficiency of non-POP pesticides.

Heat stress index in Australia

These guidelines are for the use of Australian PSA members who may be required to work in hot

conditions, or who are exposed to excessive heat and other adverse climatic conditions during

their employment. The guidelines also cover situations involving both indoor or outdoor



Working in high temperatures may affect the health of individual workers. The health effects

which may result from working in hot conditions are often referred to as Heat Stress.

The effects of heat stress can vary with individual workers …………………

Outdoor work

Generally, workers involved in outdoor work are at greater risk from adverse climatic

conditions. The ‘trigger temperature’ for remedial action for outdoor work

recommended is 30 degrees Celsius. If temperatures reach, and are sustained at this level

for 2 hours, or more, the following procedures are recommended to be followed.

30 – 32 degrees Celsius: 10 minute break per hour from outside work.

32 – 35 degrees Celsius: 15 minute break per hour from outside work

35 – 36 degrees Celsius: 30 minute break per hour from outside work.

37 degrees Celsius, plus: cease outside work until a sustained temperature decrease.

The above temperature/ rest formula applies to light, or very moderate physical activity. If

the work involves any type of heavy work and/or rapid physical activity, the rest ratio in the

formula must be increased by a minimum of 50% for each temperature range.

Any rest breaks, or cessation of work, during normal working hours shall be paid work time.

(37 degrees Celsius is a critical temperature, as workers who are required to carry out

reasonably active physical work at this temperature, or above, irrespective of acclimatisation

to high temperatures, will be at significant risk of increasing their body temperature to the

point where they are in danger of Heat Stroke.)

Current Weather 7 Jan 2013 Welcome to Causeway Bay

Download PDF : Current Weather

Heat Stress Index & Wind Chill Calculator

Heat Index & Wind Chill Temperature Calculator

Had enough of the amateur and childish HK Observatory ‘Cold weather warnings’ or ‘Hot weather warnings’ ?

Enter the available data into this site and see the ‘feels – like’ temperature and conditions. Get ready to be shocked !

Note that the Observatory gives out temperature data taken in the shade – In open sun the temperature can be 7 degrees C higher and when you calculate the heat stress data with high humidity – well, you will be astounded.

Likewise for the ‘feels-like’ effect of Wind Chill.

Calculate Heat Index for Celsius

Enter Air Temperature in number of degrees Celsius:
Enter Relative Humidity: %

Calculate Wind Chill given Celsius & Kilometers Per Hour

Enter Air Temperature in number of degrees Celsius:
Enter Wind Speed in kilometers per hour:


·        Components of air pollution may increase the risk of stillbirth.21 December 2012

Pregnant women exposed to higher concentrations of common air pollutants may be at increased risk of stillbirth. A study from New Jersey found that elevated levels of nitrogen dioxide, which is emitted by vehicles and power plants, increased the risk of stillbirth by 16 percent during the first trimester and 27 percent for the whole pregnancy. Similar links were found to sulfur dioxide. This is one of just a few studies to look at the association between air pollution and fetal death.

Unity on road to cleaner trucks

A green group has joined drivers of commercial vehicles to demand a timetable on the phasing out of polluting trucks.

Monday, January 07, 2013

A green group has joined drivers of commercial vehicles to demand a timetable on the phasing out of polluting trucks.

They want Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to address the problem of aging diesel vehicles in his maiden policy address next week.

To press home their message, they held a rally at Central Government Offices yesterday, followed by a slow drive along Tim Mei Avenue in Tamar.

Friends of the Earth director of general affairs Edwin Lau Chi-fung said a scheme offering truck owners subsidies to replace aging vehicles is ineffective.

Secretary for the Environment Wong Kam-sing said the government will consider banning such vehicles.

Wong acknowledged there is need to retire about 83,000 diesel trucks, especially those pre-Euro, Euro I, II, III that are more than 15 years old.

The latest Environmental Protection Department figures show only 10percent of 120,000 such vehicles are covered by the subsidy that meets 18percent of the cost of replacements.

Stanley Chiang Chi-wai, chairman of Lok Ma Chau China-Hong Kong Freight Association, said the subsidy should be raised to 30percent.

This would be more effective in getting old diesel trucks off the road than imposing a new licensing regime.

The government has already set aside HK$1.4 billion to compensate those drivers prepared to get rid of their old vehicles.

Lau said there are 15,818 pre-Euro heavy diesel trucks still on the road, emitting 34 times the particulate matter and 4.5 times the nitrogen dioxide of a Euro V.

“These vehicles are definitely harming our health and should be phased out as soon as possible,” he said.


Nanoparticles Survive Waste Incineration & Contaminate Fly Ash

Nanoparticles Survive Waste Incineration & Contaminate Fly Ash

07 December 2012

A new study conducted on behalf of the European Commission’s Environment Directorate-General (DG) has shown that nanoparticles can pass through the waste incineration process into fly ash and slag and end up in landfill.

According to the study, the first to follow the fate of engineered nanoparticles through the entire waste incineration chain, the use of nanomaterials in consumer goods is growing, as is their presence in waste.

Engineered nanoparticles are often designed to be insoluble and stable when incorporated into consumer goods, so as not to be released during use, but according to the report this can cause problems if they enter the environment as they may reside for a long time.

The study focused on the nano form of cerium oxide (nano-CeO2), which has a wide range of uses, for example, in ceramics and as a glass polisher.

The researchers added nano-CeO2 particles to waste destined for a large-scale incinerator. The nanoparticles were introduced either directly onto the waste before incineration or into the gas stream exiting the furnace.

Samples were then taken from the flue gas and the residues of the combustion process, such as the fly ash, slag and slag water, and were then analysed for cerium content.

The results showed that the filter systems in the incinerator were highly effective, removing nearly 100% of the nano-CeO2. According to the researchers this suggests that no significant nano-CeO2 emissions can be expected from thermal waste to energy plants provided they have up-to-date flue gas cleaning systems.

The study said that the filters are effective because the nano-CeO2 binds loosely to the solid residues from the combustion process, which can then be efficiently removed using the filter technology.

However, the report also found that the nano-CeO2 is still present in the residues of fly ash and slag and, moreover, its chemical and physical properties have remained unchanged.

This suggests that the problem of disposal is shifted to the handling of slag and fly ash residues in landfills and final deposits.

The study cautioned that exposure to nanoparticles may occur during transportation or immediate storage, or if the slag or fly ash is treated for material recovery, for example, to recover copper, aluminium or zinc.

The research strongly recommends the use of the precautionary principle in developing measures to control nanoparticle waste and further exploring development of degradable nanoparticles.