Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheet 2017, Published: 19 January 2018
Editor: Alexey Gusev, EMEP MSC-E
Annual emissions of dioxins and furans in HELCOM countries have
decreased during the period from 1990 to 2015 by 31%.
This indicator shows the levels and trends in emissions of dioxins
and furans from anthropogenic sources of HELCOM countries to the atmosphere.
These emissions represent the pressure of emission sources on the atmosphere of
the Baltic Sea region and subsequently on the Baltic Sea aquatic environment.
HELCOM adopted a Recommendation in May 2001 for the cessation of
hazardous substance discharges/emissions by 2020, with the ultimate aim of
achieving concentrations in the environment near to background values for
naturally occurring substances and close to zero for man-made synthetic
On the European level the relevant policy to the control of
emissions of PCDD/Fs to the atmosphere is being taken in the framework of UN
ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). The
Executive Body of CLRTAP adopted the Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants
on 24 June 1998 in
Aarhus (Denmark). According to one of the basic obligations, Parties to
the Convention shall reduce their emissions of PCDD/Fs below their levels in
1990. The Protocol has been entered into force in 2003 and has been signed and/or
ratified by 36 countries.
Annual emissions of dioxins and furans have decreased in HELCOM
countries during the period from 1990 to 2015 by 31% (Figure 1). The most significant drop of PCDD/F emissions
can be noted for Germany (92%) and Denmark (64%) (Figure 2). In 2015 total
annual PCDD/F emissions of HELCOM countries amounted to 1.87 kg TEQ. Among the
HELCOM countries the largest contributions to total annual PCDD/F emission of
HELCOM countries belong to Russia (75%) and Poland (16%).
Maps with time-series of annual total PCDD/F emissions of HELCOM
countries are shown in Figure 2. The diagrams on the map also show the
fractions of emissions deposited to the Baltic Sea. The highest fractions
belong to Denmark and Sweden (18% and 10%, respectively), and the lowest one to
the Russian Federation (about 0.4%).
Figure 1. Total
annual emissions of PCDD/Fs to air from HELCOM countries in period 1990-2015 (%
Figure 2. Map of PCDD/F emissions of HELCOM Contracting Parties (CP) to air as totals in tonnes/year for the period 1990-2015. Red sections of the bars identify the fraction of emission deposited to the Baltic Sea. Green bars indicate expert estimates. (Emission data of the CP refer to the total area of the CP except for Russia, where emissions from the territory of Russia within the EMEP domain is used). Note: different scales have been used for
Numerical data on PCDD/F anthropogenic emissions of HELCOM countries are
given in table 1 via this MS Excel file.
1. Total annual PCDD/F
emissions from anthropogenic sources of HELCOM countries in period from 1990 to
UN ECE Secretariat
2. Description of data:
Annual total emissions of dioxins and furans were officially reported to the UN ECE Secretariat by HELCOM countries. These data can be obtained from the EMEP Centre on Emission Inventories and Projections (CEIP) (http://www.ceip.at/).
3. Geographical coverage:
4. Temporal coverage:
Data on PCDD/F annual emission totals are available for the period 1990 – 2015 for all HELCOM countries but Russia. The Russian Federation did not submit the information on emissions. Values of PCDD/F emissions from Russia were estimated by CEIP (Tista et al., 2017b).
5. Methodology and frequency of data collection:
National data on PCDD/F emissions are annually submitted by countries Parties to CLRTAP Convention to the UN ECE Secretariat. The methodology is based on combination of emission measurements and emission estimates based on activity data and emission factors. Submitted data are processed using quality assurance and quality control procedure and stored in the UN ECE/EMEP emission database at EMEP/CEIP Centre.
6. Strength and weakness:
data on emissions are annually submitted, checked and stored in the database
gaps in time series of national emissions, uncertainties in national emissions,
lack of gridded emissions, and incompleteness
Among the HELCOM countries the
level of uncertainty of official data on PCDD/F emission was reported by Denmark,
Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Poland, and Sweden. From the other EMEP countries the
information on uncertainties of PCDD/F official emissions is available for Belarus,
Belgium, France, Croatia, Cyprus, and the United Kingdom. The uncertainty of
reported data on PCDD/F emissions expressed as percentage relative to mean
value of emission is as follows:
Finland: ±40 – 53%
8. Further work required:
Further work of
national experts on emissions of dioxins and furans is required to fill the gaps
in the emission time-series and to reduce their uncertainties.
Tista M., Wankmueller R. and K.Mareckova
[2017b] Methodologies applied to the CEIP GNFR gap-filling 2017. Part II: Persistent
organic pollutants (Benzo(a)pyrene, Benzo(b)fluoranthene, Benzo(k)fluoranthene,
Indeno(1,2,3-cd)pyrene, Dioxin and Furan, Hexachlorobenzene). Technical report
CEIP 03-2/2017. (http://www.ceip.at/fileadmin/inhalte/emep/pdf/2017/POP_gap-filling_documentation_2017.pdf)
For reference purposes, please cite this Baltic Sea environment fact sheet as follows:
[Author's name(s)], [Year]. [Baltic Sea environment fact sheet title]. HELCOM Baltic Sea Environment Fact Sheets. Online. [Date Viewed], http://www.helcom.fi/baltic-sea-trends/environment-fact-sheets/.