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Environmental Sciences - Pollution and Remediation | Metals in Society and in the Environment - A Critical Review of Current Knowledge on Fluxes, Speciation,

Metals in Society and in the Environment

A Critical Review of Current Knowledge on Fluxes, Speciation, Bioavailability and Risk for Adverse Effects of Copper, Chromium, Nickel and Zinc

Series: Environmental Pollution, Vol. 8

Landner, Lars, Reuther, Rudolf

2004, XX, 407 p.

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In 2002, the Swedish Metal Information Task Force (MITF) engaged the Environmental Research Group (MFG) to update previous monographs on copper, zinc and major alloying metals (such as chromium, nickel and molybdenum) in society and in the environment. This book presents new results on metal fluxes from society to the environment, on metal speciation in water, soil and sediment, and its interpretation in terms of mobility, biological uptake and toxicity. The scientific fundamentals of new approaches, like the Acid Volatile Sulphide (AVS) concept to predict metal bioavailability in sediments, and the Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) to calculate the toxicity of metals to aquatic organisms, are critically evaluated, with a focus on copper, nickel, zinc, and, in part, chromium.

Recent scientific advances now offer an improved understanding of the mechanisms and factors controlling the intricate behaviour of trace metals, their interactions, uptake and effect in natural systems. Traditional risk assessment methods usually built on quite crude toxicity tests done in unrealistic "laboratory waters", and did not consider natural conditions. In contrast, modern approaches now increasingly involve the full utilisation of site-specific factors, which are decisive for the formation of bioavailable and toxic metal forms.


This book provides excellent guidance to both scientists focusing on the assessment of the ecological risk of metals, and to authorities, decision makers in industry, educational staff and the interested public concerned with the occurrence and fate of trace metals.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Bioavailability - Megal Fluxes - Risk Assessment - Speciation - Toxicity - ecosystem - ecosystems - environment

Related subjects » Environmental Sciences - Environmental Toxicology - Geochemistry - Physical Chemistry - Pollution and Remediation - Soil Science

Table of contents 

0: Executive Summary and Conclusions.- 0.1. Introduction. 0.2. Metal Fluxes from Society to the Environment and Between Environmental Media. 0.3. Speciation, Bioavailability and Effects of Trace Metals in the Environment. 0.4. General Conclusions. 1: Purpose of this Review.- 1.1. Background and Justification. 1.2. The Need and How to Meet It. 1.3. Target Groups for the Updated Report. 1.4. Implementation of the Work. 2: Global Extraction, Production and Consumption.- 2.1. Copper. 2.2. Nickel. 2.3. Zinc. 3: Metal Cycles in Defined Geographical Areas: Europe, the Netherlands and Stockholm.- 3.1. Example 1: The European Copper Cycle. 3.2. Example 2: Dynamic Modelling of Metal Flows in the Netherlands; Cu and Zn. 3.3. Example 3: Urban Metal Flows – Stockholm; Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn. 4: Critical Steps in Metal Fluxes from Society to the Environment – Some Case Studies.- 4.1. Case Study 1: Corrosion and Runoff of Metals from Roofing Materials made of Copper, Galvanized Steel or Stainless Steel. 4.2. Case Study 2: Relative Importance of the Traffic Sector for Metal Fluxes from the Urban Environment to Aquatic Ecosystems. 4.3. Case Study 3: Metal Fluxes from Households to STPs, Sludge and Agricultural Soils. 4.4. Case Study 4: Metal fluxes from Mine Waste to Rivers – Falun Copper Mine. 4.5. Summing Up: Fluxes of Cr, Cu, Ni and Zn from Society to the Environment. 5: Speciation, Mobility and Bioavailability of Metals in the Environment.- 5.1. Introduction. 5.2. In Surface Waters. 5.3. In Groundwaters. 5.4. In Aquatic Sediments. 5.5. In Soils. 5.6. In Biota. 5.7. A Proposal for 'Natural' or 'Preindustrial’ Regional Background Levels of Metals in the Sediment in Waters Surrounding Stockholm. 6: Biotic Ligand Models.- 6.1. Need for Improved Models to Assess Bioavailable Fraction of Metals. 6.2. Development of Biotic Ligand Models. 6.3. Application of BLMs.7: Toxic and Other Adverse Biological Effects of Trace Metals.- 7.1. Toxicity to Aquatic Organisms in the Water Column. 7.2. Toxicity to Sediment-Dwelling Organisms. 7.3. Toxicity to Soil-Dwelling Organisms and to Higher Plants. 7.4. Essentiality, Regulation and Deficiency. References. Abbreviations. Index.

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