Norwegian dioxins fall 96% in 15 years

Huge emissions cut from single magnesium works responsible for most of the decrease

Norway has reduced its annual estimated release of dioxins from 600 grams (g) in 1985 to just 22g last year, according to the government Pollution Control Authority (SFT).

The agency attributes the lion's share of the 96% fall to the installation of cleansing equipment at a single magnesium works at Porsgrunn, a highly industrialised peninsula south-west of Oslo. This alone cut Norway's total release by some 525g per year, SFT estimates.

Other factors include more stringent regulation, "the phasing-out of chlorinated compounds," and closure of an iron ore pelletising plant in Sør-Varanger which accounted for additional cuts of 40g per year from 1995. A number of small sources remain, which are more difficult to supervise than the larger factories and waste incineration plants, SFT notes.

In the meantime, three of the latter - a municipal incinerator in Oslo, and hospital incinerators in Tromsø and Levanger - have been ordered to step up their monitoring and reporting of dioxins on the grounds that emissions last year exceeded permitted levels.

Follow Up:
SFT, tel: +47 22 57 34 00.

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