Exploration of management options
Paper for the 6th meeting of the UNECE CLRTAP Task Force on
Persistent Organic Pollutants,
Vienna, 4-6 June 2007
Annemiek van der Zande
VROM, the Ministry of Environment
Date 20 June 2007
Updated version on the basis of the outcome of the
Sixth Meeting of the Task Force on POPs,
4-6 June 2007, Vienna, Austria
Table of Contents
Summary ................................................................................................................................................. 3
1 Introduction ........................................................................................................................................ 5
2 Characteristics of Pentachlorobenzene ........................................................................................... 6
3 Current sources of emission ............................................................................................................ 7
Production and use ........................................................................................................................... 7
Emissions from production and use ............................................................................................... 7
Unintentional emissions ................................................................................................................... 8
4 Management options .......................................................................................................................11
Overview of existing legislation in the UN-ECE region ...............................................................11
Substitution, alternatives and emission control techniques ......................................................12
Possible management options ......................................................................................................13
Costs and benefits of control.........................................................................................................13
Possible management options under the UN-ECE POP protocol ..............................................14
5 Reference list ....................................................................................................................................15
Annex: information from questionnaire .............................................................................................17
Pentachlorobenzene, abbreviated to PeCB, is a cyclic aromatic hydrocarbon with 5 chlorine atoms. It
belongs to the group of chlorobenzenes. PeCB has been used in the production of the pesticide
quintozene (pentachloronitrobenzene) as feedstock or intermediate. In the past PeCB has been used
in combination with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in heat transfer equipment and in electrical
equipment. PeCB nowadays enters the environment mainly due to historic use and unintentional
releases, such as by-product formation in thermal processes.
Production, use and emissions
Commercial production of PeCB in the UN-ECE region stopped many years ago. For outside the
UN-ECE region this is unkown. PeCB formerly was used for producing quintozene, it might still be
present as an impurity in quintozene stockpiles. In the EU the use of quintozene was eliminated in
2002. World-wide quintozene is still used, although it is unclear if it was manufactured using PeCB.
PeCB was used in PCB containing equipment. In the 80’s production of PCBs stopped and the use
of PCBs in equipment declined considerably in the UN-ECE region. Trace amounts of PeCB might
be released into the environment when there are spills of dielectric fluids from PCB-containing
equipment. When most of the existing PCB equipment is taken out of service, the PeCB amounts
released from spills will tend towards zero.
Unintentional releases of PeCB are mainly due to by-product formation during incineration and
combustion processes, thermal metallurgic processes and the production of chlorinated chemicals.
Waste incineration is potentially the most significant source of PeCB. PeCB may be produced
whenever organic compounds are burned in the presence of a chloride source. In low temperature
solid waste incineration and combustion processes, like barrel burning, emission of far larger
amounts of chlorobenzenes occurs in comparison with high temperature controlled incineration.
Unintentional releases of PeCB may come from the use of pentachlorophenol for wood treatment as
it contains PeCB as an impurity. Within most of the EU countries the use of pentachlorophenol
already has stopped. In North America pentachlorophenol is still used. Reported emissions in
Canada represent approximately 6% of the total annual release of PeCB in Canada.
For the year 2000 the emission of PeCB in the UN-ECE region was calculated to be zero, based on
data from individual countries and expert estimates. The reported emissions in Canada in the year
2001 were about 40 kg, of which barrel burning of household waste represents the largest source.
TRI data of the US show a total amount of 0.7 tonnes PeCB released in 2005 in the US.
Commercial production and use
In the UN-ECE region commercial production and use has stopped and use of PeCB no longer
occurs. Impacts involved with a ban on the commercial production and use are expected to be
Releases from quintozene use
The use of quintozene has already stopped in most UN-ECE countries. An alternative production
process for quintozene is generally available and applied. Therefore current PeCB releases from this
source are very low. When commercial use of PeCB is banned, PeCB-emissions related to
quintozene will consequently phase out with time.
Releases from PCB equipment
PCB is one of the substances scheduled for elimination in the POP-protocol. Actions taken to
eliminate the use of PCBs will subsequently eliminate any related PeCB emissions. No additional
management actions are required.
By-product formation in thermal processes
Measures given in Annex V to control the emissions of PCDD/F will also lead to a reduction of the
emissions of PeCB. No additional management actions are required. Emission reduction by
addressing residential/domestic combustion sources, like barrel burning, is difficult to control.
Providing a residential waste management infrastructure can be an alternative to open burning of
garbage in rural areas. No information on costs and impacts is available.
In order to reduce PeCB emissions a possible ban of the use of pentachlorophenol for wood
treatment may not balance the environmental gains. Management actions are preferably aimed at
reducing PeCB impurities in pentachlorophenol. These actions only concern North America.
Costs of eliminating production and use
There are no additional costs for eliminating the production and use of PeCB, since industry has
substituted this use already.
Costs of controlling unintentional emissions
PeCB is emitted as unintentional release from the same sources as the POP compounds dioxins and
furans. As measures are already implemented to reduce the emissions of PCDD/F no extra costs are
expected for industry to reduce emissions of PeCB.
Costs for consumers
Price increases are not expected, however costs may be involved when barrel burning or residential
combustion is restricted.
Costs for state budgets
For the UN-ECE region costs are expected to be negligible. When management actions or strategies
are required, such as measures on barrel burning or residential combustion, costs are involved.
Possible management actions under the UN-ECE POP protocol
Option 1: listing of PeCB in Annex I of the POP protocol in order to prevent production and use.
Option 2: listing of PeCB in Annex I and Annex III of the POP protocol.
At the 24th session of the Executive Body the Parties to the POP Protocol decided that
Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) is to be considered as a POP as defined under the Protocol. The EB
requested the Task Force to continue with the Track B review of the substance and to explore
management options for it. The Task Force was invited to complete the reviews preferably in time
for presentation to the 40th session of the Working Group on Strategies and Review (WGSR) in
Also at the 24th session of the Executive Body the Parties to the POP Protocol requested the WGSR
to prepare a proposal, as appropriate, for revising the Protocol in the light of the on-going work on
management options for PeCB. This document “Exploration of Management Options for PeCB“ is,
therefore, an important building stone for the Task Force to report on management options for PeCB
and together with the report of the Task Force for the WGSR to prepare these proposals.
This document is based on the information in the dossier and its addendum that was used to submit
PeCB to be included in the POP Protocol, completed with new information received from a
questionnaire and with information available in literature and on the Internet.
At its fifth meeting in Tallinn, 2006, the Task Force agreed that a questionnaire was to be sent to
countries and stakeholders including industry within the UN-ECE region. This questionnaire was
aimed at gaining a better view on management strategies and options in Europe and North America.
In February 2007 the questionnaire was sent to the Parties to the Convention on Long-range
Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP) and to a group of stakeholders from industry. Questions
concerned production, import and stockpiles, use and substitutes, emissions, contaminated sites and
emission reduction measures of PeCB.
In total 61 questionnaires were sent, resulting in 13 responses regarding PeCB. The information
received from the questionnaire is included in this document. A summary of the results of the
questionnaire is presented as an annex to this document. In general it can be stated that the
questionnaire yielded relatively limited new data. Because the time between the preparation of the
dossiers for the Task Force and the questionnaire was relatively short (2 to 4 years) not much new
research was done and not many new inventories were made. Furthermore, data on emissions are
scarce because the production and use of most of the POPs under consideration have decreased
significantly or have completely stopped.
About this document
This document gives information on the characteristics of PeCB (chapter 2), an overview of the
known use and sources of emissions in the UN-ECE region (chapter 3), and presents information on
management options (chapter 4). Sources of information that are used to draft this management
strategy options document are listed as references in chapter 5.
How to use this document
This document is a summary of several sources of information. For a complete and correct
interpretation of the information provided in this document it is recommended to consult the sources
of information referred to in the text.
2 Characteristics of Pentachlorobenzene
Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) belongs to the group of chlorobenzenes. PeCB is a chlorobenzene with
five chlorine atoms substituting for hydrogen atoms in the benzene ring.
Chemical structure of pentachlorobenzene:
CAS number: 608-93-5
Chemical Formula: C6HCl5
Chemical and physical properties
The physical-chemical properties of PeCB are listed in Table 1.
Table 1. Physico-chemical properties of PeCB 
Melting point 86 C
Boiling point 277 C
Vapour pressure 2.2 Pa at 25 C
Log Kow 4.8 – 5.18
Solubility in water 0.56 mg/l at 20 C
Appearance Solid, crystalline, white
Molecular mass 250.32 g/mol
Density 1.834 g/ml at 20 C
3 Current sources of emission
Production and use
In the dossier on PeCB  the authors conclude that PeCB appears to be no longer produced in the
UN-ECE region. The exception to this may be the Czech Republic, where, as reported in the
addendum to the dossier  it is unclear whether production of PeCB occurs. The chemical is not
listed on the HPV-LVP Chemicals Database of the European Chemicals Bureau (ECB). In the
dossier and the addendum no data are given on production, recent or past, outside the UN-ECE
Historically PeCB may be used as a fungicide and flame retardant. The dossier on PeCB 
indicates that it is unknown if PeCB still has these uses.
Specifically, PeCB has been used in the production of the pesticide quintozene
(pentachloronitrobenzene) as feedstock or intermediate. The information in the dossier and the
addendum indicate that quintozene is no longer produced using PeCB in the UN-ECE region.
No data are given on the production of quintozene outside the UN-ECE region.
In the past PeCB was one component of a chlorobenzenes mixture used to reduce the viscosity of
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) products employed for heat transfer. PeCB has also been used in
combination with PCBs in dielectric fluids used for electrical equipment (capacitors, transformers
etcetera). Since the 80’s the use of PCBs in equipment declined considerably.
Additional information resulting from the questionnaire 
In their response to the questionnaire Italy, Cyprus, Denmark, France, the Czech Republic, Canada
and the UK report no current production of PeCB in their country. The other respondents have no
data available to confirm that PeCB is currently not produced. From other information sources it can
be concluded that PeCB is not commercially produced in the Netherlands .
Most of the respondents (UK, Belgium, US, Canada, Italy, Denmark, Germany, France and the
Netherlands) confirm that there is no current use of PeCB in their country. Switzerland and the
Czech Republic have no data available on the use of PeCB.
In Italy PeCB was used as a flame retardant until 1980. In the UK PeCB was used for the production
of quintozene, which stopped in 1991. In the US PeCB is not used as an end-product. It has been
used as an intermediate in the production of quintozene. PeCB is subject to a Toxic Substances
Control Act Significant New Use Rule requiring notification prior to manufacture, import or
processing of 10,000 pounds (4.54 metric tons) or more of PeCB per year per facility for any use.
No such notification has been received by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Emissions from production and use
Since PeCB is probably not produced and used anymore within the UN-ECE region, it is unlikely
that PeCB nowadays enters the environment as a result of production and current use.
Use for the production of quintozene
Since PeCB was used in the production of quintozene it might still be present as an impurity in the
product. Use of quintozene therefore might lead to releases of PeCB. World-wide quintozene is still
used, but the EU has banned the use. The dossier indicates that as a result of regulations, the use of
quintozene in the EU has stopped since June 2002. Furthermore, quintozene nowadays is made by
chlorination of nitrobenzene without using PeCB . It is unlikely that there are any stockpiles of
quintozene containing appreciable quantities of PeCB, since quintozene-producers (Amvac
Chemical and Uniroyal Chemical Corporations) have stated that they no longer use PeCB for their
production processes. In their comment to the dossier and addendum on PeCB the World Chlorine
Council has put forward the possibility that other minor producers of quintozene still may have
PeCB as an impurity .
Use in PCB-products
PeCB was one component of a chlorobenzenes mixture used with PCBs in electrical equipment and
in equipment for heat transfer. Trace amounts of PeCB are released to the environment when there
are spills of dielectric fluids used for PCB transformers that contain these substances. Such spills
would be expected to occur from in-use equipment as opposed to equipment in storage. PCBs are
taken out of service in many countries of the world so that any related PeCB emissions are expected
to be decreasing with time (extracted from the World Chlorine Council submission to the UNEP-
questionnaire regarding PeCB considered under the Stockholm POPs Convention, ). Some old
electrical equipment in North America and Europe may still contain PCBs so that there is a small
potential for release of PeCB from these sources.
Municipal solid waste incineration and barrel burning
Waste incineration is identified as a potentially significant source of chlorobenzenes. It is identified
that PeCB may be produced whenever organic compounds are burned in the presence of a chloride
source. The yield of PeCB formed strongly depends on combustion conditions and the presence of
catalytic materials. At low temperatures more PeCB is emitted than at high temperatures. In the
addendum of the dossier the authors report that barrel burning of household waste emits far larger
amounts of chlorobenzenes than incineration and could be a potentially significant source. The
estimated releases from barrel burning represented 52% of the total annual releases of PeCB in
Canada in 2001 [2,6].
Hazardous waste incineration
PeCB has been found in releases from hazardous waste incinerators and cement kilns burning waste-
derived fuels. Given the temperatures achieved in the hazardous waste incinerator, there is no
scientific or practical basis for suggesting that flow-through emissions of PeCB will occur. For the
same reasons, any bottom ash residues leaving the incinerator are unlikely to contain PeCB since
these compounds would volatilize into the gas stream if present in materials charged to the furnace.
The only chlorobenzenes released from hazardous waste incineration would therefore come from
their creation in the incineration process .
Production of metals
The formation of chlorobenzenes is likely to occur during various metals production processes, such
as the degassing of aluminium, carbochlorination of magnesium oxide, recovery of copper, etcetera
Use of pentachlorophenol for wood treatment
As cited in the addendum to the dossier, PeCB is contained in pentachlorophenol as an impurity.
Pentachlorophenol is used for wood treatment. PeCB releases from wood treatment plants include
air emissions, which are generally localized, and releases to water and solid wastes in various forms.
Treated wood, such as in-service posts and pilings, also releases PeCB while in use, once land filled
or during incineration . Many EU countries have already succeeded in banning the use of
pentachlorophenol. As a result of autonomous measures the use will be banned in 2010 throughout
the EU. Since the average service life of treated wood is 15 years, PeCB emissions from in use
treated wood may still occur in the EU, although they are likely to be very low and become
negligible with time .
PeCB may also be present as an impurity in some fungicides and pesticides, like hexachlorobenzene
(HCB. Since the use of HCB has virtually ceased, the release of PeCB through this route is
negligible. Other identified sources of PeCB-emissions are the production and use of chlorinated
solvents, waste streams from pulp and paper mills, iron and steel mills, petroleum refineries, and
activated sludge waste water treatment. There may also be releases of PeCB from landfills.
The addendum to the dossier on PeCB reports that in Canada total releases of PeCB have been
estimated to be 41.8 kg/year. Table 2 indicates the sources and releases of PeCB in Canada in 2001.
Table 2: Estimated releases of PeCB in Canada, 2001 
Source Release of PeCB
Barrel burning of household waste 21.93 kg/year
Pentachlorophenol treated wood 2.34 kg/year
Pesticide use 6.2 kg/year
Dielectric fluid spill and clear up Less than 5.6 kg/year
Municipal solid waste incineration 2.36 kg/year
Hazardous waste incineration 1.84 kg/year
Magnesium production 1.53 kg/year
Solvent use 0.04 kg/year
Total 41.8 kg/year
In the TNO-study to the effectiveness of the POP Protocol  calculated emission data for PeCB in
UN-ECE-Europe are given. For the year 2000 the emission in UN-ECE-Europe was calculated to be
zero tonnes/year. This value is based on data from individual countries and expert estimates where
detailed data are missing.
The World Chlorine Council submission to the UNEP-questionnaire regarding PeCB considered
under the Stockholm POPs Convention  reports estimated global releases of PeCB (see table 3).
The WCC-submission was extracted from Bailey, B., 2007. Pentachlorobenzene – Sources,
environmental fate and risk characterization, Euro Chlor Science Dossier (in press). The data
provided are calculated by scaling the Canadian data, using emission factors and logic. Therefore a
considerable uncertainty exists about the size of each of these estimated PeCB emissions, potentially
an order of magnitude. As presented in table 3 global emissions of PeCB are clearly dominated by
combustion sources. Of all sources, combustion of biomass (43,900 kg/year), combustion of solid
waste (32,740 kg/year) and combustion of coal (6113 kg/year) represent the three largest sources.
Industrial sources are relatively minor. Improvements in industrial practices have probably led to
significant reductions in environmental concentrations of PeCB, as remarked by the World Chlorine
Table 3: Estimated annual global emissions of PeCB as provided by the World Chlorine Council  and .
The data provided by the World Chlorine Council were extracted from Bailey, B., 2007. Pentachlorobenzene –
Sources, environmental fate and risk characterization, Euro Chlor Science Dossier (in press).
Source Release of PeCB
PCB use losses (use in dielectric fluids) 373
Chlorinated solvents <2
Pesticide use 342
Chemical manufacturing and waste disposal 431
Aluminium casting 1100
Combustion of solid waste 32,740
Combustion of coal 6113
Combustion of biomass 43,900
Total annual emission 85,001
Additional information resulting from the questionnaire 
The US indicate that PeCB may be produced as a by-product or impurity during the production of
chlorinated organic compounds. The following data are provided, as extracted from the Toxics
Release Inventory (data for all U.S. pentachlorobenzene industries):
for 2004, a total of 2,533 lb. (1.14 tonnes) was reported to the Toxics Release Inventory for
on-and off-site disposal or other releases, of which 238 lb. (0.11 tonnes) was released to air
and water and of which 2296 lb. (1.03 tonnes) was disposed off to landfills;
for 2005 the total PeCB reported was 1,545 lb. (0.70 tonnes) of which 244 (0,11 tonnes) was
released to air, 3 (0,01) to water and 1,297 (0,58 tonnes) was disposed off to landfills.
The Czech Republic reports 19.1 tonnes of PeCB transferred to waste in 2005 in their response to
The World Chlorine Council has provided the data as are presented in table 3 of this management
Canada has provided the data as presented in table 2 of this management document. For releases of
dielectric fluids Canada reports that the current rate of chlorobiphenyl attrition will lead to a
discontinuation of the use of PeCB found in equipment containing PCBs. When most of the existing
PCB equipment is taken out of service the amounts released from spills fluids will tend towards zero
(scheduled for December 31, 2009 for equipment containing 500 mg/kg or more PCB, December 31,
2014 for equipment containing between 50 and 500 mg/kg of PCBs and December 31, 2025 for
specified equipment containing 50 mg/kg or more of PCBs). For releases of chlorinated solvents:
PeCB has not been detected in the emissions of the only chlorinated solvent manufacturing facility
in Canada. However, small amounts of PeCB are found in perchloroethylene and carbon
tetrachloride. The two most important sources of releases for perchloroethylene are dry cleaning and
solvent degreasing. Two regulations that came into effect in 2003 for the dry cleaning sector and the
solvent degreasing sector, will work towards reducing the use of perchloroethylene. As a result
PeCB releases will also be reduced. Furthermore PeCB can be found as an impurity in quintozene
and other pesticides, several herbicides and fungicides currently in use in Canada.
4 Management options
Overview of existing legislation in the UN-ECE region
In Canada PeCB was added to the List of Toxic Substances of the Canadian Environmental
Protection Act in 2005. The ultimate environmental objective of this is virtual elimination of the
release to the environment. The Regulations Amending the Prohibition of Certain Toxic Substances
Regulations, 2005 (2-Methoxyethanol, Pentachlorobenzene and Tetrachlorobenzenes) prohibit the
manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and import of PeCB, or any mixture or product containing
PeCB, except where they are used with chlorobiphenyls or they are contained in a pest control
product. Canadian regulations allow the use of PeCB in chlorobiphenyl liquid such as liquid used for
servicing equipment containing chlorobiphenyls, which is regulated under the Chlorobiphenyls
Regulations and the Storage of PCB Material Regulations. The addendum to the dossier reports
more specific regulations and strategies towards the various sources of PeCB-emissions in Canada,
like barrel burning, wood treatment, perchloroethylene use, etcetera .
PeCB is identified as a level II substance on the Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy under the
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement between the U.S. and Canada. The strategy works towards
the goal of virtual elimination of certain toxic persistent substances, resulting from human activity,
from the Great Lakes Basin.
PeCB is subject to a Toxic Substances Control Act Significant New Use Rule requiring notification
prior to manufacture, import or processing of 10,000 pounds (4.54 metric tons) or more of PeCB per
year per facility for any use. The U.S. Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts include PeCB.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed PeCB as a hazardous constituent in the
US Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Anyone who generates, transports, treats,
stores or disposes of waste containing PeCB must notify the US EPA within 90 days.
Emissions/releases must be reported as part of the U.S. Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) program.
PeCB is listed as a priority chemical in the Netherlands under the Indicative Environmental Multi-
Year Programme. There is an emission limit for PeCB within the NeR, the Dutch Emission
Guideline on Air.
International focus on PeCB includes a listing as a priority substance of the EU Water Frame-work
Directive. Within the list of these priority substances a group of so-called priority hazardous
substances is identified which are of particular concern for the freshwater, coastal and marine
environment. These substances will be subject to cessation or phasing out of discharges, emissions
and losses within an appropriate timetable that shall not exceed 20 years. PeCB is regarded as a
priority hazardous substance.
PeCB appears on the OSPAR DYNAMEC list in Group V: Substances with PTB properties, but
which are heavily regulated or withdrawn from the market.
In the EU quintozene is not included as an active substance in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC,
which means that Member States shall ensure that authorizations for plant protection products
containing quintozene are withdrawn and that no authorizations will be granted or renewed (the use
of quintozene will stop after June 2002) . In their response to the questionnaire the UK refer to
the Council Directive 90/533/EEC (amending Directive 79/117/EEC) which bans the use of
quintozene with more than 10g/kg PeCB since 1991 .
Substitution, alternatives and emission control techniques
The dossier on PeCB and the addendum to the dossier do not extensively elaborate on
alternatives/substitutes for PeCB. From the strongly decreased use it can be assumed that the
substance has been replaced by other chemicals or by application of other techniques, as described
below. Other information sources confirm the availability of alternatives.
For the production of quintozene an alternative production process is available. Quintozene
nowadays is made by chlorination of nitrobenzene without using PeCB .
It has been proven to be a difficult task to find suitable substitutes to PCBs in equipment, particularly
for existing equipment with long lifetimes, such as transformers. Nevertheless, by the 80’s chemical
companies within the UN-ECE region had stopped production and marketing of PCBs . PCB is
one of the substances scheduled for elimination in the POP-protocol. Requirements, as given in
Annex II of the protocol, concern the elimination of PCB application in equipment by 2010, the
destruction or decontamination of liquid PCBs by 2015 and the decontamination or disposal of PCB-
containing equipment in an environmentally sound manner. To reduce and control PCB releases
ICCA/WCC/EuroChlor and their member companies consider it appropriate that equipment
containing PCBs are labeled and regularly inspected for any leakage. They support the call for safe
and environmentally sound destruction of all PCBs .
PeCBs can be emitted from the same sources as described for dioxans and furans (PCDD/F) in
Annex V of the POP-protocol: waste incineration, thermal metallurgic processes and combustion
plants providing energy. Annex V contains several emission control techniques that will also lead to
a reduction of PeCB emissions. The removal efficiency for PeCB may not be equal to that for
Emission reduction by addressing residential/domestic combustion sources that are mostly
uncontrolled, like barrel burning, is more difficult to realise. Difficulties concern the legislation,
implementation and enforcement of relevant emission control measures .
Controlled incinerators using air pollution control systems designed to reduce mercury emissions
through the use of powdered activated carbon should also effectively control chlorobenzene
For wood preservation various chemical alternatives for pentachlorophenol are reported, like zinc
naphthenate, copper naphthenate etcetera . Furthermore alternative materials for application in
construction are available, like plastics, concrete, sustainable produced hardwood, untreated wood
etcetera. The major challenge to wood producers is selecting the right alternative that is the most
cost-efficient replacement .
Additional information resulting from the questionnaire 
The UK reports that the emission of PeCB from incineration is strongly reduced when conditions of
high temperature (1100 ºC+) and 2 seconds exposure time are met. This technique is generally
In their response to the questionnaire the World Chlorine Council states that in many cases current
control measures and application of the best available techniques (BAT) and best environmental
practices (BEP) to address other byproducts are likely to also reduce byproduct emissions of PeCBs
from industrial sources and waste incineration. Therefore the World Chlorine Council questions the
environmental benefit and cost-effectiveness of additional measures focused on by-product
emissions. The Draft guidelines on best available techniques and provisional guidance on best
environmental practices developed under the Stockholm POPs convention  describe several
measures to control emissions of polychlorinated dibenzo-pdioxins (PCDD), polychlorinated
dibenzofurans (PCDF), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB). These
measures are also likely to reduce the emissions of PeCB and partly overlap with the measures in the
European Best Available Techniques Reference Documents.
Possible management options
The assumption that PeCB is currently not produced and used in the UN-ECE region has not been
refuted by the responses to the questionnaire. Given this fact, restrictions on either consumption or
production of PeCB, presented, probalby will result in no socio-economic impacts within the UN-
For the production of quintozene other techniques are already available and implemented by
quintozene producers. The use of quintozene has already stopped in most UN-ECE countries.
World-wide quintozene is still used, although it is unclear if this quintozene was manufactured with
PeCB. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that any stockpiles of quintozene containing appreciable quantities
of PeCB are present. Therefore PeCB-emissions from current use of quintozene are expected to be
very low. A ban on the use of quintozene will ensure complete elimination of PeCB emissions
throughout the UN-ECE-region. However, when commercial use of PeCB is banned, PeCB-
emissions related to quintozene will consequently phase out with time.
The use in PCB-applications (dielectric fluids, heat transfer equipment) declined considerably in the
last decades. All the chemical companies in the UN-ECE region have stopped production and
marketing of PCBs. PeCB nowadays is not used anymore for this purpose. Related PeCB emissions
are low and will become zero with time. Emissions from PCBs are already controlled in the POP
Protocol. Actions taken to eliminate the use of PCBs will subsequently eliminate any related PeCB
emissions, so that no additional management actions are required.
Measures to control the emissions of PeCB from incineration, combustion and thermal metallurgic
processes are given in Annex V of the POP-protocol. The approaches described in Annex V to
control the emissions of PCDD/F will also lead to a reduction of the emissions of PeCB. No
additional management actions are required. Emission reduction by addressing residential/domestic
combustion sources, like barrel burning, is difficult to control. Providing a residential waste
management infrastructure can be an alternative to open burning of garbage in rural areas. However,
no information on costs and impacts is available.
PeCB as impurity might be present in wood preserved with pentachlorophenol. Releases of PeCB
from wood treatment plants and from in use treated wood within the UN-ECE region are low. Many
EU countries have already succeeded in banning the use of pentachlorophenol, in North America
pentachlorophenol is still used. In order to reduce PeCB emissions from wood treatment, a possible
ban of the use of pentachlorophenol may not balance the environmental gains. Management actions
are preferably aimed at reducing PeCB impurities in pentachlorophenol. Because these actions only
concern North America, it is not required to include management options in the POP protocol.
Costs and benefits of control
Costs of eliminating production and use
Industry has substituted PeCB and its use already. As a result no additional costs are expected with
eliminating production and use of PeCB within the UN-ECE region. Elimination of PeCB
production and use in UN-ECE region will not favour production of PeCB in other countries since
the regulation will reduce demand as well as production. The dossier and the addendum  and 
contain no indications that PeCB-containing products are imported in the UN-ECE region.
Assuming no PeCB-containing products are imported, commerce is not affected by a ban of the use
of PeCB within the UN-ECE region.
Costs of controlling unintentional emissions
No specific information is available on costs of controlling unintentional PeCB-emissions. PeCBs
are emitted as unintentional release from the same sources as dioxins and furans (PCDD/F).
Measures to reduce PCDD/F-emissions also reduce PeCB-emissions. Since these measures are
already part of Annex V of the POP-protocol, no additional costs are expected for industry.
Costs for consumers
Price increases are not expected. Substitutes are already in use and control measures do not lead to
additional costs. Costs may be involved when barrel burning or residential combustion is restricted.
Costs for state budgets
Costs depend on the management actions taken. For the UN-ECE region costs are expected to be
negligible, given the assumptions that PeCB is no longer produced and used within the UN-ECE
region, that PeCB-containing products are not imported, that emission levels are very low and that
no additional control measures are required.
When management actions or strategies are required, such as measures on barrel burning or
residential combustion, costs are involved.
Possible management actions under the UN-ECE POP protocol
The objective of the POPs protocol is to control, reduce or eliminate discharges, emissions and
losses of persistent organic pollutants.
In order to remediate concerns and risks related to production and use of PeCB it would be possible
- list PeCB in annex I of the POPs protocol in order to eliminate its production and use,
- list PeCB in annex II of the POPs protocol in order to eliminate certain uses,
- list PeCB in annex III of the POPs protocol in order to reduce total annual unintentional emissions.
Discussion of the options
PeCB is not intentionally produced in the UN-ECE region and there is no commercial demand for it.
PeCB releases arise from the presence as impurity in products and from unintentional by-product
formation in thermal processes. No socio-economic impacts are expected to result from a ban on the
commercial production and use of PeCB. Hence, there are no restrictions listing PeCB in annex I of
the POP protocol in order to eliminate its production and use.
As PeCB is not used in the UN ECE region anymore there is no need to allow for certain uses of
PeCB through a listing in Annex II.
It is possible to list PeCB in annex III of the POP protocol in order to reduce its unintentional
emissions in thermal processes, which represents the largest source of PeCB-emissions. The
measures to control PeCB emissions are comparable with those for controlling PCDD/F-emissions
that are already mentioned in Annex V. Listing PeCB in annex III is expected to have no socio-
economic impacts as well.
5 Reference list
1. Van de Plassche EJ, AMGR Schwegler, M. Rasenberg, A. Schouten. 2002.
Pentachlorobenzene. Dossier prepared for the third meeting of the UNECE Ad hoc Expert
Group on POPs. Royal Haskoning report L0002.A0/R0010/EVDP/TL
2. Belfroid, A., van der Aa, E. and Balk, F. 2005. Addendum to the risk profile of
Pentachlorobenzene (update of the dossier). Royal Haskoning report
3. Belfroid, A., van der Aa, E. and Balk, F. 2006. Response to the comments on the dossier of
Pentachlorobenzene (final report). Royal Haskoning report
4. Track B Review for the UNECE LRTAP Task Force on Persistent Organic Pollutants. 2006.
5. Responses to Questionnaire on management options for reducing production, use and
emissions of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under the 1998 Protocol on POPs, 2007
6. Responses to request for information on Annex E requirements for PeCB proposed under
the Stockholm POPs Convention. 2007.
7. TRI Explorer, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, available through
8. ECE/EB.AIR/89, Report on the 24th session of the Executive Body held in Geneva from 11-
14 December 2006
9. ECE/EB.AIR/WG.5/2006/10, Technical input for reviewing substances under the 1998
Protocol on Persistant Organic Pollutants, Report to the 38th session of the Working Group
on Strategies and Review.
10. Eurochlor risk assesment for the marine environment, OSPARCOM region North Sea. June
2006, available through http://www.eurochlor.org/upload/documents/document90.pdf
11. Factsheets on priority substances listed under the Indicative Environmental Multi-Year
Programma, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), available
12. Denier van der Gon H.A.C., van het Bolsscher M., Visschedijk A.J.H. and Zandveld
P.Y.J. 2005. Study to the effectiveness of the UNECE Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP)
Protocol and cost of additional measures, Phase I: Estimation of emisssion reduction
resulting from the implementation of the POP Protocol. TNO-report R2006/194.
13. Denier van der Gon, H.A.C., Visschedijk, A.J.H. and van het Bolsscher, M., 2006. Study to
the effectiveness of the UNECE Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) Protocol and cost of
additional measures, Phase II: Estimated emission reduction and cost of options for a
possible revison of the POP Protocol, TNO-report 2006-A-R0187/B.
14. UNEP/POPS/COP.3/INF/4 – Draft guidelines on best available techniques and provisional
guidance on best environmental practices relevant to Article 5 and Annex C (Advance
version), available through
15. Risk Management Strategy for Pentachlorobenzene and Tetrachlorobenzene,
Chemicals Control Branch, Environmental Protection Service, June 2005, available
Annex: information from questionnaire
PeCB Production Consumption Alternatives Releases Emission control Additional notes
Belgium Unclear. PeCB is produced as a by-product. No use No information
No information No information
Canada Never produced PeCB is not currently used in its pure For releases of dielectric fluids: When
No information No information The Regulations Amending the Prohibition
form in Canada, and, currently, there is most of the existing PCB equipment is of Certain Toxic Substances Regulations,
no domestic commercial demand for it. taken out of service (proposed end of use 2005 (2-Methoxyethanol,
Formerly, it could be found in dielectric deadlines in the new draft PCB Pentachlorobenzene and
fluids used to top up PCB transformers Regulations are December 31, 2009 for Tetrachlorobenzenes) prohibit the
and in dyestuff carriers. These equipment containing 500 mg/kg or more manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale and
applications have either been PCB and December 31, 2014 for import of PeCB, or any mixture or product
discontinued (dye carriers) or are being equipment containing between 50 and 500 containing PeCB, except where they are
phased out (dielectric fluids). The mg/kg of PCBs and December 31, 2025 used with chlorobiphenyls or they are
principal current commercial use of for specified equipment containing 50 contained in a pest control product. The
PeCB is as a chemical intermediate in mg/kg or more of PCBs), the amounts Regulations allow the use of PeCB in
the formation of released from spills will tend towards zero. chlorobiphenyl liquid such as liquid used
pentachloronitrobenzene (also known as For chlorinated solvents: PeCB has not for servicing equipment containing
quintozene), a fungicide. PeCB is been detected in the emissions of the only chlorobiphenyls, which is regulated under
present as an impurity in this fungicide. chlorinated solvent manufacturing facility the Chlorobiphenyls Regulations and the
Pentachloronitrobenzene is currently in Canada. However, small amounts of Storage of PCB Material Regulations. The
used, but not produced, in Canada. PeCB are found in perchloroethylene and current rate of chlorobiphenyl attrition will
PeCB can also be found as an impurity carbon tetrachloride. The two most lead to a discontinuation of the use of
in several herbicides, pesticides and important sources of releases for PeCB found in equipment containing
fungicides currently in use in Canada. perchloroethylene are dry cleaning and chlorobiphenyls. When most of the
solvent degreasing. Total releases of PeCB existing PCB equipment is taken out of
have been estimated to be 41.8 kg/year: of service , the amounts released from spills
which 21.93 kg was released by barrel will tend towards zero.
burning of householde waste, 2.34 kg by
pentachlorophenol treated wood, 6.2 kg by
pesticide use, less than 5.6 kg by dielectric
fluid spill and clear up, 2.36 kg by
municipal waste incineration, 1.84 kg by
hazardous waste incineration, 1.53 kg by
magnesium production and 0.04 kg by
Cyprus Never produced. Industry and data base of PeCB is not imported in Cyprus. No data No information No information No information
the Department of Labour Inspection is available at the moment whether
PeCB is contained in any products
imported in Cyprus.
Denmark Never produced Never used No information No information No information Included in EU-Directive 2000/60/EC,
Germany PeCB does not occur on the HPV-LPV PeCB was used as a fungicide or flame No information No information No information
Chemicals Data Base of the European retardant, no current use anymore:
Chemicals Bureau (ECB). completely banned as a pesticide,
PeCB Production Consumption Alternatives Releases Emission control Additional notes
registered in FRG until 1987; in ex-GDR
until 1986. Import of planting material
containing the substance prohibited. An
impurity of the pesticide
pentachloronitrobenzene (PCNB or
Quintozene) is also banned in Germany.
France no production. It is unknown whether it has it is not known whether PeCB has been ? one known pollution around the Rhine, No infomation Pentachlorobenzene is mentionned as
been produced intentionally in the past. used in the past in France originating from Germany and having hazardous substance in the list of prority
contaminated some areas in France. Very substances in the field of water policy
little information available on PeCB (directive 2000/60/CE)
contamination levels in soils or
Italy unclear Federation of Italian industries of ? ? ?
chemicals (Federchimica) has stated to
not use the substance from 1980. The
principal use was as flame retardant.
The Unclear, no data available Never used No information No information PeCB is one of the priority hazardous
Netherlands substances of the EU Water Framework
Directive (Dir. 2000/60/EC) and is listed
in the draft Directive for priority
substances within the WFD which defines
water quality standards for European
surface waters. It is the intention to phase
out Releases of priority hazardous
substances by 2020. There is an emission
limit for PeCB within the NeR, the Dutch
Emission Directive on Air.
Czech Stopped, year unknown No/unclear. There are no data No information 19,1 tonnes was transferred to waste in No information
Republic concerning from the inventory of 2005
sources and releases
UK no production, stopped in 1991 PeCB was used for the production of No information No information Reduction of PeCB-emissions Council Directive 90/533/EEC (amending
quintozene. It stopped in 1991. from incineration can be Directive 79/117/EEC) banned the use of
realised at high temperature Quintozene with more than 10g/kg PeCB
(1100C+) & 2 sec exposure after 1991
time. With 100% removal
efficiency. This technique is
PeCB Production Consumption Alternatives Releases Emission control Additional notes
USA Unclear. PeCB is subject to a Toxic unclear. PeCB is not used as an end No information For 2004, a total of 2,533.23 lb. (1.14 No information
Substances Control Act (TSCA) Significant product. It has been used as an metric tons) was reported to the Toxics
New Use Rule requiring notification to EPA intermediate in the production of the Release Inventory for on-and off-site
prior to manufacture, import, or processing fungicide pentachloronitrobenzene disposal or other releases, 238 lb. (0.108
of 10,000 pounds (4.54 metric tons) or more (quintozene). It may be produced as a metric tons) of which was released to air or
of PeCB per year per facility for any use (58 byproduct or impurity during the water (TRI, 2004, data for all U.S.
Federal Register 63516, December 1, 1993, production of chlorinated organic pentachlorobenzene industries; additional
40 CFR 721.1430). No such notification has compounds. data is available at
been received. www.epa.gov/triexplorer)
Switzerland Unclear, no data available unclear No information No information No information No information
WCC production stopped, year unknown. PeCB is No use No information See Stockholm POPs Annex E See WCC Stockholm POPs Furthermore, exisiting measures have
not known to have any commercial uses at Submissions on Sources Annex E Submissions on PeCB already resulted in a dramatic decline in
present (Beck 1986; Environment Canada http://www.pops.int/documents/meetings/p Sources and Trends in the environmental levels of PeCB.
1993). However, in the past, PeCB was one oprc/prepdocs/annexEsubmissions/submiss Environment Specifically, PeCB has been observed only
component of a chlorobenzenes mixture used ions.htm. Using the factors and logic http://www.pops.int/documents/ at extremely low concentrations essentially
to reduce the viscosity of PCB products outlined in WCC Stockholm POPs Annex meetings/poprc/prepdocs/annex everywhere in the environment that has
employed for heat transfer (Environment E submission on PeCB, the estimated Esubmissions/submissions.htm. been carefully analyzed. PeCB
Canada 1993; King et al. 2003). PeCB has global emissions of PeCB around the year In many cases current control concentrations in herring gull eggs on the
also been used in a chlorobenzenes mixture 2000 are summarized in Table 3.3, measures and application of shore of Lake Superior, Canada have
with PCBs in electrical equipment representing a total of about 85,000 kg/y. BAT/BEP to address other dropped by over 90% since the 1970s.
(Environment Canada 2005). PCBs are still As described above there is considerable byproducts are likely to also Concentrations of PeCB have dropped by
in use in some old electrical equipment in uncertainty about the size of each of these reduce byproduct emissions of over 90% since the 1960s in sediments
North America and Europe so that there is a estimated PeCB emissions, potentially an PeCBs from industrial sources near the industrially impacted Niagara
small potential for release of PeCB from this order of magnitude. The global emissions and waste incineration. Falls area of the US and Canada. In the
source (AMAP 2000; Environment Canada are clearly dominated by combustion Therefore, additional measures absence of a complete emission inventory
2003). It can be presumed that some PCBs sources. Of all sources, combustion of focused on byproduct emissions it is difficult to be confident that
are also still in use elsewhere in the world biomass (43,900 kg/y), combustion of are unlikely to provide any management proposals would achieve the
and some fraction of them contain PeCB. solid waste (32,740 kg/y) and combustion detectable environmental desired result.
PeCB was used in the past as an intermediate of coal (6113 kg/y) represent the three benefit and as a result would
in manufacture of pentachloronitrobenzene largest sources. Industrial sources are not be cost-effective.
(quintozene) (van de Plassche et al. 2001). relatively minor and improvements in Guidelines for best available
However, quintozene is now made by industrial practices have probably led to techniques and best
chlorination of nitrobenzene (Feiler 2001). significant reductions in environmental environmental practices for
PeCB may also have been used in the past as concentrations of PeCB. minimizing uinintentional or
a fungicide and flame retardant (van de byproduct POPs has been
Plassche et al. 2001). developed under the Stockholm