Burn barrels major source of dioxin –EPA
BurnBarrel.org smoking burn barrel link to homepage

"Open burning of household waste in barrels is potentially one of the largest sources of airborne dioxin and furan emissions in the United States ... " says Paul Lemieux, Ph.D., a scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Risk Management Research Laboratory and one of the study's co-authors.

Quoted in Environmental News Bulletin, Backyard Burning Could be Major Source of Dioxins Washington, DC, January 4, 2000.

The EPA's fact sheet on dioxin (PDF 149kb) says "Currently, the uncontrolled burning of residential waste and accidental fires at landfills are thought to be among the largest sources of dioxins to the environment in the U.S." in answer to question number: "G8. What are the major sources of dioxins?"

From the EPA's Database of Sources of Environmental Releases of Dioxin-like Compounds in the United States (reproduced below) it can be seen that in 1995 burn barrels were the second largest source. In 2002, EPA estimates emissions from burn barrels may have moved up to the number one category of sources of dioxin.

EPA dioxin inventory chart

BurnBarrel.org is a project of American Environmental Health Studies Projects