Sains Malaysiana 42(5)(2013): 571–578


Dioxin/Furan Level in the Malaysian Oil Palm Environment

(Tahap Kandungan Dioksin/Furan di Persekitaran Sawit Malaysia)


Tuan Fauzan Tuan Omar* & Ainie Kuntom

Malaysian Palm Oil Board, No. 6, Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi

43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia


Aishah A. Latiff

Doping Control Center (DCC), University of Science Malaysia

11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia


Received: 22 May 2012 / Accepted: 13 September 2012



Environmental samples collected from oil palm premises were evaluated for dioxins/furans contamination. The samplings were carried out at oil palm premises located in Banting (Premise A) and in Teluk Intan (Premise B), involving two environmental matrices namely ambient air and soil. The soil samples were collected in the plantations while ambient air samples were collected in the vicinity of the mills and refineries. The results of the analyses showed that the level of dioxins/furans in ambient air were generally higher in oil palm premise located adjacent to industrial establishments. The concentration levels at premise A mill and refinery located adjacent to industrial establishments, ranged from 64.14 WHO–TEQ fg m-3 to 131.87 WHO–TEQ fg m-3, while for premise B mill and refinery located in the rural area, ranged from 9.93 WHO–TEQ fg m-3 to 16.66 WHO–TEQ fg m-3. Meanwhile for soil samples, the highest concentrations were recorded in soil collected near roads used heavily by vehicles. The concentration levels of soil samples collected at premise A and premise B plantations ranged from 1.910 WHO-TEQ pg g-1 dry weight to 3.305 WHO-TEQ pg g-1 dry weight.


Keywords: Ambient air; contamination; dioxins/furans; soil



Sampel di kawasan persekitaran premis sawit telah diambil untuk dijalankan penilaian tahap pencemaran dioksins/furan. Persampelan dijalankan di dua premis sawit yang terletak di Banting (Premis A) dan Teluk Intan (Premis B) dan melibatkan dua matriks alam sekitar iaitu udara persekitaran dan tanah. Persampelan tanah dijalankan di ladang sawit manakala sampel udara persekitaran di kawasan sekitaran kilang pemprosesan dan kilang penapisan. Keputusan analisis menunjukkan aras dioksin/furan di udara persekitaran secara umumnya adalah lebih tinggi di kawasan premis sawit yang berdekatan dengan penempatan industri. Aras dioksin/furan di kawasan tersebut (Premis A) adalah daripada 64.14 WHO-TEQ fg m-3 hingga 131.87 WHO-TEQ fg m-3 manakala Premis B yang terletak di kawasan pedalaman menunjukkan aras dioxins/furans daripada 9.93 WHO-TEQ fg m-3 hingga 16.66 WHO-TEQ fg m-3. Manakala untuk sampel tanah pula, aras yang paling tinggi direkodkan di kawasan tanah yang berdekatan dengan jalan yang sering dilalui oleh kenderaan. Aras dioksin/furan yang dicatatkan di kedua-dua ladang Premis A dan B adalah 1.910 WHO-TEQ pg g-1 berat kering hingga 3.305 WHO-TEQ pg g-1 berat kering.


Kata kunci: Dioksin/furan; pencemaran; tanah; udara persekitaran


Alcock, R.E. & Jones, K.C. 1996. Dioxins in the environment: Areview of trend data. Environmental Science and Technology 30(11): 3133-3143.

CCME (Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment), 2002. Canadian Soil Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Environmental and Human Health.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 1998. Toxicological Profile for Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-Dioxins, US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, Atlanta, GA.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 1994. Toxicological Profile for Chlorinated Dibenzofurans, US Department of Health and Human Services, Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry, Atlanta, GA.

Choi, Y.S., Yun, J.S., Eom, J.H., Kim, M.Y., Kim, M.H., Ahn, S.G. & Yu, M.J. 2003. PCDDs/PCDFs level of soil accumulation on the edges of major highway, Seoul. Organohalogen Compounds 62: 423-427.

Coutinho, M., Pereira, M. & Borrego, C. 2007. Monitoring of ambient air PCDD/F level in Portugal. Chemosphere 67: 1715-1721.

Jones, K.C. & Lohmann, R. 1998. Dioxins and furans in air and deposition: Areview of levels, behaviour and processes. The Science of Total Environment 219: 53-81.

Jou, J-J., Lin, K-I., Chung, J.C. & Liaw, S.-I. 2007. Soil dioxins levels at agriculture sites and natural preserve areas of Taiwan. Journal of Hazardous Material 147: 1-7.

Liu, J. & Liu, W. 2009. Distribution of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDDs/Fs) and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dioxin-like PCBs) in the soil in a typical area of eastern China. Journal of Hazardous Materials 163: 959-966.

Luthardt, P., Mayer, J. & Fuchs, J. 2002. Total TEQ emissions (PCDD/F and PCB) from industrial sources. Chemosphere 46: 1303-1308.

Martinez, K., Austrui, J.R., Jover, E., Ábalos, M., Rivera, J. & Abad, E. 2010. Assessment of the emission of PCDD/PCDFs and dioxin-like PCBs from an industrial area over a nearby town using a selective wind direction sampling device. Environmental Pollution 158: 764-769.

Menichini, E., Iacovella, N., Monfredini, F. & Baldassari, L.G. 2007. Atmospheric pollution by PAHs, PCDD/PCDFs and PCBs simultaneously collected at a regional background site in central Italy and at an urban site in Rome. Chemosphere 69: 422-434.

Niewoudt, C., Quinn, L.P., Pieters, R., Jordaan, I., Visser, M., Kylin, H., Borgen, A.R., Giesy, J.P. & Bouwman, H. 2009. Dioxin-like chemicals in soil and sediment from residential and industrial areas in central South Africa. Chemosphere 76: 774-783.

Radojevic, M. 2003. Chemistry of forest fires and regional haze with emphasis on Southeast Asia. Pure and Applied Geophysics 160: 157-187.

Seiki, N., Hasegawa, J., Nishimori, M., Matsumoto, M., Takahashi, G., Sawamoto, N., Matsuda, M., Kawano, M. & Wakimoto, T. 2001. Distribution and congenaric patterns of PCDD/Fs in environmental components from Matsuyama, Japan. Organohalogen Compounds 51: 92-95.

Shih, S.I., Wang, Y.F., Chang, J.E., Jang, J.S., Kuo, F.L., Wang, L.C. & Chang-Chien, G.P. 2006. Comparisons of levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofurans in the surrounding environment and workplace of two municipal solid waste incinerators. Journal of Hazardous Materials B137: 1817-1830.

Shih, S.I., Lee, W.J., Lin, L.F., Huang, J.Y., Su, J.W. & Chang-Chien, G.P. 2008. Significance of biomass open burning on the levels of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in the ambient air. Journal of Hazardous Materials B153: 276-284.

US EPA, 1994. Method 8290 : Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and polychlorinated Dibenzo furans by high resolution mass chromatography/high resolution mass spectrometry, Revision 0, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC. US EPA, 1994. Method 1613, Revision B: Tetra-through Octa-Chlorinated Dioxins and Furans by Isotope Dilution HRGC/HRMS, US EPAPress, Washington, DC.

US EPA, 1999. Compendium Method TO-9A: Determination of Polychlorinated, Polybrominated and Brominated/Chlorinated Dibenzo-p-dioxins and Dibenzofurans in Ambient Air, Centre for Environmental Research Information, US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH.

Wevers, M., De Fr´e, R. & Desmedt, M. 2004. Effect of backyard burning on dioxin deposition and air concentrations. Chemosphere 54: 1351-1356.

Zhang, S., Peng, P., Huang, W., Li, X. & Zhang, G. 2009. PCDD/PCDF pollution in soils and sediments from the Pearl River Delta of China. Chemosphere 75(9): 1186-1195.


*Corresponding author; email: