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Landfill Gas Primer - An Overview for Environmental Health Professionals

Table of Contents

Historical Document

This document is provided by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ONLY as an historical reference for the public health community. It is no longer being maintained and the data it contains may no longer be current and/or accurate.

November 1, 2001

Prepared by:
Department of Health and Human Services
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation



Preface

Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Landfill Gas Basics

  What is landfill gas composed of?
How is landfill gas produced?
What conditions affect landfill gas production?
How does landfill gas move?
What conditions affect landfill gas migration?
How far can landfill gas travel?
How does landfill gas enter buildings and homes?
What types of landfills might be found in communities?
Are landfill gas emissions regulated?
Additional Resources
References
   
Chapter 3: Landfill Gas Safety and Health Issues

  How are people exposed to landfill gas?
Explosion Hazards
    When does landfill gas pose an explosion hazard?
What types of gases can pose an explosion hazard?
How can I assess whether a landfill in my community poses an explosion hazard?
  Asphyxiation Hazards
Heath Issues Associated with Landfill Gas Emissions
    Can the presence of odors trigger symptoms?
What do we know about the potential health effects of exposure to landfill gas?
How can environmental health professionals assess whether landfill gas emissions
may be posing a health threat?
  Landfill Fires
Additional Resources
References
   
Chapter 4: Monitoring of Landfill Gases

  Landfill Gas Sampling Approaches: An Overview
Soil Gas Monitoring

    What is soil gas monitoring?
Why is soil gas monitored at landfills?
How are soil gas samples collected?
What do soil gas monitoring data tell you?
Where can I get more information about soil gas monitoring?
  Near Surface Gas Monitoring
    What is near surface gas monitoring?
Why is near surface monitoring performed at landfills?
How is near surface gas monitoring performed?
What do near surface gas monitoring data tell you?
Where can I get more information about near surface gas monitoring?
  Emissions Monitoring
    What is emissions monitoring?
Why are emissions monitored at landfills?
How are emissions measured?
What do emissions monitoring data tell you?
Where can I get more information about emissions monitoring?
  Ambient Air Monitoring
    What is ambient air monitoring?
Why is ambient air monitored at or near landfills?
How are ambient air concentrations measured?
What do ambient air monitoring data tell you?
Where can I get more information about ambient air monitoring?
  Indoor Air Monitoring
    What is indoor air monitoring?
Why is indoor air sampled at or near landfills?
How are indoor air concentrations measured?
What do indoor air monitoring data tell you?
Where can I get more information about indoor air monitoring?
  Air Modeling
    What is air modeling?
How can models be used at landfill sites?
What factors should be considered when reviewing models?
Where can I get more information about models?
 

Additional Resources

   
Chapter 5: Landfill Gas Control Measures

 

Why would control measures be implemented at a landfill?
What are the components of a landfill gas control plan?
How is landfill gas collected?
What methods are available to treat landfill gas after collection?
What methods are available to control landfill gas if it reaches nearby structures?
Are there any beneficial uses for collected landfill gas?
What landfills can be used for gas recovery and how is energy generated from landfill gas?
Additional Resources
References

   
Chapter 6: Communication

  Basic Guidelines for Health Risk Communication
    How can you best communicate scientific information?
What if you don’t know the answer?
  Additional Resources
References
   
Appendices

Appendix A: Acronyms
Appendix B: Atsdr Guidelines
 

ATSDR Guidelines for Public Health Actions in Response to Landfill Fires
ATSDR Guidelines for Evaluating Gases Migrating from Landfills

Appendix C: Health Studies Related to Landfill Gas Exposures
Appendix D: Wright-Patterson Air Force Base—a Case Study
Appendix E: Examples
   

List of Tables

  Table 2-1: Typical Landfill Gas Components
Table 2-2: Factors Affecting Landfill Gas Production
Table 3-1: Potential Explosion Hazards from Common Landfill Gas Components
Table 3-2: Health Effects from Oxygen-deficient Environments
Table 3-3: Common Landfill Gas Components and Their Odor Thresholds
Table 4-1: Key Features of Different Types of Monitoring of Landfill Gases
Table D-1: Summary of Ambient Air Data
Table D-2: Summary of Ambient Air Data
   
List of Figures

  Figure 2-1: Production Phases of Typical Landfill Gas
Figure 3-1: Potential Exposure Pathways to Landfill Gas
Figure 3-2: Health Effects from Hydrogen Sulfide Exposures
Figure 5-1: Passive Gas Collection System
Figure 5-2: Active Gas Collection System
Figure 5-3: Landfill Gas Recovery System
   

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