Critical loads of heavy metals for soils

de Vries, Wim; Groenenberg, Jan Engelbert; Lofts, Steve; Tipping, Ed; Posch, Maximilian. 2012 Critical loads of heavy metals for soils. In: Alloway, Brian J., (ed.) Heavy metals in soils: trace metals and metalloids in soils and their bioavailability. 3rd ed. Dordrecht, Springer, 211-237. (Environmental Pollution, 22).

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To enable a precautionary risk assessment for future inputs of metals, steady-state methods have been developed to assess critical loads of metals avoiding long-term risks to food uality and eco-toxicological effects on organisms in soils and surface waters. A critical load for metals equals the load resulting at steady state in a concentration in a compartment (e.g. soil solution, plant, fish) that equals the critical limit for that compartment. This chapter presents an overview of methods to assess critical limits and critical loads of metals, with a focus on cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) in soils in relation to impacts on: (i) agriculture (food quality and crop health) and (ii) ecology (plants, invertebrates and soil organisms invloved in nutrient cycling processes). Results are presented using generic input data. Furthermore, examples of national and European applications are shown. Results are discussed in view of the uncertainty and applicability of the critical load concept for heavy metals in future agreements on the reduction of metal emissions. It is concluded that for policy applications, dynamic models are also needed to estimate the times involved in attaining a certain chemical state in response to input (deposition, fertilisers or manure) scenarios.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biogeochemistry > BGC Topic 3 - Managing Threats to Environment and Health
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Shore
ISBN: 9789400744691
Additional Keywords: critical loads, critical limits, dynamic models, food quality, soil organisms ecotoxicological impacts, human health impacts
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 20 Aug 2012 14:38 +0 (UTC)

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