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Furans: Impacts of the Environment

Grade 10 Science
by

Isobel Butler

on 2 November 2012

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Transcript of Furans: Impacts of the Environment

Furans: Impact on the Environment Part A: Explanation of the Source of the Furans and how it gets into the Environment Furans are toxic substances that are not man made.
Furans are not made for any specific purpose;
they are created when products like herbicides are made, and they are also released when garbage or medical waste is burnt.
Furans are introduced into the environment by various pathways (via air emissions, waste water releases, dumping of production residues, contamination of products).
Furans can be absorbed by plants, wildlife and people Animals that eat only plants and are naturally lean, do not accumulate many dioxins and furans.
But animals (predators) that use other animals for food (prey) are higher on the food chain and can build up dioxins and furans. This is called biomagnification.
They enter the food chain predominantly via contamination of vegetables and they are stored in fatty tissues of animals.
They are part of the POPs, or persistent organic pollutants, contaminant group. Part B: Explanation of the impact of Furans Impact on water:

Furans can enter your body through drinking contaminated water. Furans are also insoluble in water, it is toxic and may be carcinogenic. The level that has been found to have harmful health effects by the U.S. EPA, is 0.00003 microgams of 2,3,7,and 8 TCDD per litre of drinking water. Due to furans low solubility in water they persist in the environment and concentrate through food chains. Garbage and medical waste being burnt Equation for Calculating Release of Furans Part B: Impact on Air:

Furans are deposited at ground level. It has been proven that furans have shown the effects on neurological and physical development as well as the immune system. Furans enter the body by inhalation of air containing furans. They contaminate many species because it is hard to isolate the effects of furans, . Graph of Toxic Equivalencies PPG= Points Per Gram Part B: Impact on Soil/ Biosphere:

Furans in soil both affect aquatic and land animals. Livestock may ingest them from the soil or vegetation, as can fish from aquatic sediments. Wildlife exposed to furans experience reduced fertility, growth defects, immuno-suppression and cancer. Minimizing Risk Prepare meat and fish in a way that minimizes your exposure by trimming visible fat from food.
Bake, broil, roast, barbecue or microwave instead of frying, and drain off extra fat after cooking. Vegetables, fruit and grains contain fewer furans than meat, milk products and fish.
Follow provincial/territorial government advisories about eating certain types of fish.
Do not burn garbage, especially construction materials that might contain wood preservatives or plastic.
Limit the amount of wood you burn in your fireplace or stove
learn about wood- burning techniques that release fewer furans The Government of Canada is working to control, and if possible, eliminate releases of these furans into the environment.
Guidelines to minimize the release of furans from municipal solid waste and hazardous waste incinerators.
Regulations requiring elimination of furan releases from pulp mills.
elimination of furans from pest control products used in Canada.
Support for international agreements to reduce releases of these substances on a global basis. Solutions to Furans 1. In warm temperatures POPs evaporate
2. POPs move in air by winds to colder places such as the North
3. In cold temperatures POPs condense and fall to earth
POP Diagram
• Dioxins and furans are common names for toxic chemicals that are found in very small amounts in the environment, including air, water and soil.
• There are 210 different dioxins and furans. All dioxins have the same basic chemical "skeleton," and they all have chlorine atoms as part of their make-up. Furans are similar, but have a different "skeleton”.
• The biggest source of dioxins and furans in Canada is the large-scale burning of municipal and medical waste.
• For most people, about 90% of overall exposure to furans comes through diet.

Did you know?
For more information, contact:
Health Canada's Management of Toxic Substances Division
Room A724, Jeanne Mance Building #19
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9
Telephone: (613) 957-3127
Health Canada's Food Program Web site.
Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating
Environment Canada - Persistent Organic Pollutants - POPs
For tips on safer ways to burn wood, visit Natural Resources Canada, Burn it Smart.
For more on the health effects associated with exposure to dioxins, see the following:
The World Health Organization's Safety Evaluation of Certain Food Additives and Contaminants.
The World Health Organization's Dioxins and their effects on human health.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Draft Dioxin Reassessment.
United States National Academy of Sciences Report, Dioxins and Dioxin-like Compounds in the Food Supply: Strategies to Decrease Exposure.
For information on herbicide use at National Defence, see the National Defence Web site.
For additional articles on health and safety issues go to the It's Your Health Web site.
You can also call toll free at 1-866-225-0709 or TTY at 1-800-267-1245*.
Need more info?
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