California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

LEA Advisory #54—October 26, 1998

1998 Inspection Guide for Solid Waste Landfills--Appendix M

Prevalent Trace Gases Commonly Found at Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

This table presents preliminary data from a gas characterization study conducted by the California Waste Management Board at 63 Class III landfills (CIWMB 1988). Data is presented for the seven most prevalent trace gases found in the landfills tested.

Table2. Prevalent Trace Gases from Class III Landfills.

Compound Range of Concentration (ppm) Percent of Sites Where Detected Permissive Exposure Limit (PEL) (ppm)
Benzene * 0.0-39 73% 10
Dicholoromethane 0.0-230 76%  
Toluene 0.0-280 83% 200
Ethylbenzene 0.0-87.5 78% 100
Tricholoroethylene 0.0-32 41% 100
Tetrachloroethylene* 0.0-180 56% 100
Vinyl Chloride * 0.0-32 43% 1

* = Known Human Carcinogen

Note that the concentration of several trace constituents exceeds the Permissive Exposure Limit (PEL) established for these compounds by OSHA and therefore may have significant impact on landfill workers, users and persons residing near landfills.

Table of Contents | Advisory 54

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Martin Perez: Martin Perez (916) 323-0834