Heavy Metals Contamination in Eastern Europe: Background Load from the Atmosphere

Bozo, L., Alcamo, J., Bartnicki, J., & Olendrzynski, K. (1991). Heavy Metals Contamination in Eastern Europe: Background Load from the Atmosphere. IIASA Working Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: WP-91-046

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In recent years there has been an increased interest in trace metals in the atmosphere and the environmental effects of their deposition. This is to large extent because heavy metals can accumulate in the biosphere and may be toxic to living systems. On the basis of IIASA's TRACE model, the total (wet plus dry) deposition of As, Cd, Pb and Zn has been estimated for Eastern Europe. These are annual averages for rural areas, and relate to the situation in Europe in the mid-1980s. The maximum deposition value is 3.5 mg m^{-2} yr^{-1} for As, 1.5 mg m^{-2} yr^{-1} for Cd and 50 mg m^{-2} yr^{-1} for Zn. All these maxima occur in Southern Poland. The highest total deposition of Pb (15.0-20.0 mg m^{-2} yr^{-1}) has been computed for western Czechoslovakia and also for southern Poland. Deposition levels throughout most of Eastern Europe are at least one or two orders of magnitude greater than observed in remote parts of the world.

The annual average concentration of metals in some rural areas are lower, but within a factor of two of drinking water guidelines. This is cause for concern because some short-term concentrations are almost assuredly much higher than the annual average.

Because of long-range transport, there is a very significant transboundary exchange of heavy metals within Eastern Europe. As with acid-causing pollutants, the problem of heavy metals contamination in the region depends on the reduction of this transboundary pollution.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Working Paper)
Research Programs: Transboundary Air Pollution (TAP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:01
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:14
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/3519

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