Hazardous waste characterization implications of updating the toxicity characteristic list


In the United States, the toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP) determines if a waste is toxicity characteristic (TC) hazardous based on leached concentrations of specific chemicals. The TC limits were originally derived from drinking water standards (DWS) adjusted by a dilution attenuation factor of 100. The TC limits have not been updated along with DWS revisions. This research examines potential implications of updating the TC limits to account for new DWS thresholds and elements, as well as tap-water risk thresholds; this allows a further expanded evaluation of elements that might be regulated as drinking water standards in the future. Fossil fuel combustion residues, batteries, electronic wastes, municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI) ashes, and treated wood were examined with TCLP and the leached metal concentrations were compared to revised TC thresholds. The two wastes most affected by updated TC limits would be batteries and MSWI ashes. Thallium and antimony, which were not included on the original TC list, exceeded the TC thresholds for batteries and MSWI ash, respectively. Copper, a chemical used in current preserved wood formulations, did not cause currently marketed treated wood to be hazardous waste, but arsenic did for older wood products.

Authors: Intrakamhaeng V, Clavier KA, Townsend TG.
; Full Source: Journal of Hazardous Materials. 2019 Sep 7; 383:121171. doi: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2019.121171. [Epub ahead of print]