WAACNewsletter
Volume 11, Number 2, May 1989, p.10

Health & Safety: Dioxins from Bleaching?

by Chris Stavroudis

In the March 1989 issue of Paper Conservation News, Tom Collings discusses the possible hazards of dioxin formation in the chlorine bleaching of wood pulp. Dioxin, one of the most hazardous and toxic families of chemicals produced by man, can be formed as a by-product of the reaction of chlorine with lignin. Mr. Collings points out that it is not sound conservation practice to bleach wood pulp with hypochlorites anyway. He also cautions that lignin can be present in modern papers assumed to be lignin free and advises that before bleaching, a phloroglucinol test should be performed.

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