Dioxins and furans are classified highly contaminating toxic chemicals having serious effect on human health. This chapter begins with a brief summary on the formation, occurrence and toxicity of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) with their potential health effects, mitigation measures of these harmful compounds. Depending on position of chlorine atoms on aromatic rings, about 210 chemically different PCDD/PCDFs known as “congener” are present in the environment. The expected biological activity of PCDD/PCDFs is expressed relatively to the activity of 2,3,7,8-tetrachloro-dibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) using a common metric. TCDD is the most biologically potent among all the congeners. Toxic level of a mixture of PCDD/PCDFs is therefore expressed in TCDD toxicity equivalents or TEQs. There are two mechanisms for the formation of dioxins and furans, one from precursors and other by de novo synthesis. PCDD/PCDFs followed a mechanism which uses macromolecule carbon and chlorine in fly ash to form dioxins at low temperature. There are various sources of the formation of PCDD/PCDFs like hospital waste incinerators, industrial combustion and burning of domestic waste. Dioxins and furans have very harmful effects on the human health causing cancer, diabetes, neurotoxicity, immunotoxicity and chloracne. It has been experienced that hybrid method secure a sustainable future for the incinerators and PCDD/PCDFs removal technologies. This chapter will help the researchers and practitioners for better understanding and decision making for future research to establish a sustainable PCDD/PCDFs free life.
Part of the book: Air Pollution