Mydlovary – the end station for toxic chemicals

23.8.2004 - Mydlovary

Company Quail Ltd. “recultivates”  sludge bed in Mydlovary with toxic ashes taken from waste incinerators.

Company Quail Ltd. works on recultivation of a sludge bed in village Mydlovary near České Budějovice but the recultivation is made with the use of mixture contaminated by toxic dioxins (1). The dioxins are present in ashes form incinerators and make an ineligible part of this mixture. About 25% of all ashes produced by all Czech incinerators end among Quail’s material, according to Arnika. Instead of the recultivation, Quail company has been creating a new environmental burden (2).

Quantity of the ashes processed by Quail oscillates between grams and dozens of grams of dioxins (3).  And it is a lot when we realize that quantity of dioxins in the old environmental burden – Spolana Neratovice – is approximately 20 g TEQ dioxins, said Jindřich Petrlík, head of ARNIKA´s program Toxics and Waste.

Risk of contamination also annoys head of townhall in Mydlovary, Petr Cíglbauer. „What I want is making a recultivation of the sludge bed as soon as possible. But not for all toxic chemicals ending in it. Locals are afraid of another environmental burden. There is enough toxics around us,“  Cíglbauer added.

ARNIKA demands monitoring of the content of dioxins and other toxics form incinerator ashes in the surrounding of Mydlovary and Hůrka. „Measures should be also made concerning the content of dioxins and other persistent organic pollutants such as hexachlorbenzene and PCB) in materials used for the recultivation by Mydlovary. Regular monitoring of dioxins and other toxics should be introduced as well, mainly in undersurface and surface water, in dust and eventually also in biological samples,“ Petrlík added.

Until that, as a preventive measure, Quail should stop using the incinerator ashes for the recultivation, ARNIKA says.

ARNIKA has been working for a long time on a campaign which aims to achieve that the incinerators ashes would not be treated as a construction material but as a hazardous waste as they really belong to the hazardous waste. For further work with the ashes, they must be processed, dioxins in them must be removed by a chemical decomposition to a simple chemical compounds. Until that time they must be stored in hermetically closed containers under a strict supervision, eventually in firm packages in single-type landfills for the hazardous waste.

(1) - Dioxins - highly toxic substances dangerous even in trace concentrations. They accumulate in fat tissues. Their concentration in environment is increased also by a small dust particles. Long lasting exposure to the dioxins and PCB harms the immune and nervous systems, causes changes of endocrine system (mainly of the thyroid gland) and of reproductive functions (mainly of male genitals). Some studies proved also other impacts such as a decrease intelligence, reduced ability of concentration and impacts on behavior (child hyperactivity). Dioxins accumulate in human body. (source: websites of the State Health Institute - - “Dioxins in Consumables“)

(2) – Proposal of Implementation Plan of the Stockholm Convention – version January 2004 (Holoubek, I. et al. 2004) marks locations with this type of waste (incinerator ashes) as new sources of pollutions. In case of landfill ashes, one must count with their dehalogenation. Source: ARNIKA´s study „Toxic Waste from Incinerators – a Dangerous Neighbor“.

(3) – For instance, 4,500 tons of ashes processed by Quail in 2003 could contain 1.5- 27 g TEQ dioxins (if the estimation is based on measurement of dioxin content in ashes form incinerator in Lysá nad Labem - 6 mg TEQ/t or in adjusted ashes from incinerator in Liberec: 0,36 mg TEQ/t). Exact quantity of the dioxin content is in the middle of this estimation. With the respect to the fact that large part of material near Hůrka by Temelín is used for the sludge beds recultivation in Mydlovary, we can estimate that quantity of dioxins which ended in Mydlovary sludge bed achieves grams or dozens of grams of dioxins (TEQ).


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