Faculty Publications

Title

Atmospheric emissions and depositions of cadmium, lead, and zinc in Europe during the period 1955-1987

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Cumulative deposition, Heavy metals, Historical emission, Trace elements

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Environmental Reviews

Volume

4

Issue

4

First Page

300

Last Page

320

Abstract

This paper presents a preliminary estimate of atmospheric emissions of cadmium, lead, and zinc in Europe during the period 1955-1987. The emission data were used as input to the atmospheric transport model TRACE (trace toxic air concentrations in Europe) of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, to compute cumulative deposition loads of heavy metals onto European soils during the investigated time period. The maxima of cumulative depositions computed with the TRACE model over the entire period were approximately 60 mg/m2 for cadmium, 1450 mg/m2 for lead, and 2600 mg/m2 in the case of zinc. The results presented should be considered first-order approximations. Major uncertainties embedded in such calculations are discussed. Heavy metals enter the soils from atmospheric load and with the application of fertilizers and sewage sludge. Once in the soil the metals can be mobilized, leading to plant and groundwater contamination. This threat is particularly valid for heavily polluted regions in Central Europe. The results of this study can be applied in assessing environmental and health effects of heavy metals and, therefore, are important for scientists as well as policy makers.

Original Publication Date

1-1-1996

DOI of published version

10.1139/a96-016

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