Complex Contamination Research and Hazard Assessment of the Waste of the Wooden Railway Sleeper

Rokas Vilniškis, Rasa Vaiškūnaitė


Before being put to use, wooden railway sleepers are impregnated with creosote to increase their longevity and protect them from any adverse environmental impact. Creosote consists of a number of chemical substances, and some of those substances, namely, the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, phenolic compounds and heterocyclic aromatic compounds, are potent carcinogens. Apart from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and phenolic compounds, during their use, sleepers are mostly contaminated with heavy metals and petroleum products. Upon railway reconstruction, wooden railway sleepers become the waste, which must be handled by the current legislation of the European Union. After determining the concentration of contaminants with laboratory research, it is possible to identify their hazard level and classify them as hazardous or non-hazardous waste. After conducting laboratory research on the waste of wooden railway sleeper analysed, they are classified as hazardous waste.


creosote; hazardous waste; heavy metals; phenols; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH); waste of the wooden railway sleeper (WRSW)

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DOI: 10.7250/bjrbe.2018-13.424


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