Exposure to Dioxins and Furans at the Bormeh Kingtom Dumpsite in the Western Area of Sierra Leone


Humans and animals can be exposed to Dioxins and Furans through ingestion of fatty food, skin contact, and breathing contaminated air. Resulting health problems include skin disease, immune problems, and cancers. Managing the release of these chemicals is therefore important. The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants requires parties to adopt measures that reduce sources of these chemicals. Sierra Leone developed its National Implementation Plan (NIP) in 2008, in compliance with this requirement. However, no known further steps have been taken, particularly at community level. In 2013, the UNDP’s GEF/SGP funded a pilot project to manage the release of Dioxins and Furans from two dumpsites in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This work was sponsored with funds from that project. The work sought to delineate the exposure of communities within and around the Bormeh-Kingtom dumpsite (Kingtom, Kolleh town, Ascension town, Crab town, and Congo town) to the chemicals. The study considered sources of exposure, relative quantities generated per year, and the routes of exposure. This exposure study is a first step in managing the release from those sources. Enumerators deployed at the dumpsite every day, 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM, for three months, quantifying and recording source materials. The amount of source materials dumped per day informed calculation of Dioxin/Furan releases in grams toxicity equivalence per year. The results revealed a release of 128.914 g TEQ/year in air and residue. This implies that the communities are at high risk of inhalation and dermal exposure. Livestock, mainly pigs, are also exposed as they feed on the waste deposited in the dumpsite. Humans in turn feed on the livestock, a recipe for biomagnification. The project team has been working on developing Best Management Practices to suppress the release of the chemicals.

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Mansaray, A. , Senior, A. , Samai, I. and Koroma, B. (2015) Exposure to Dioxins and Furans at the Bormeh Kingtom Dumpsite in the Western Area of Sierra Leone. Natural Resources, 6, 491-501. doi: 10.4236/nr.2015.69047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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