The role of geochemical baselines in the assessment of land quality

Smith, B.; Ferguson, A.J.; Baldock, J.W.; Breward, N.; Flight, D.M.A.; Fordyce, F.M.; Green, P.M.; Haslam, H.W.; Hutchins, M.G.; Lister, T.R.; MacKenzie, A.C.; Rawlins, B.G.; Strutt, M.H.; Wiggans, G.N.; Williams, L.. 1999 The role of geochemical baselines in the assessment of land quality. In: Abstracts of the 17th SEGH European Conference. Glasgow, UK, University of Glasgow and SEGH, 1pp.

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In the light of recent European and UK government legislation there is a need to identify and quantify the potential hazard of contaminated land. Previous attempts to define ‘safe levels’ of Potentially Harmful Elements and Species (PHES) have proved to be less than satisfactory. For example, when the Council of European Communities (CEC) guideline for nickel was applied to regional geochemical baseline data in Finland, extensive areas of the north-west of the country were designated as contaminated it spite of their being little evidence of harm to the indigenous population or environment. In the UK, many areas containing high concentrations (i.e. above the Inter-governmental Committee on Redevelopment of Contaminated Land trigger values) of PHES have been identified. There is a clear role for geochemical baselines in assessing and revising these guidelines, and in the assessment of their potential economic impact.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Programmes: BGS Programmes > Chemical and Biological Hazards
NORA Subject Terms: Earth Sciences
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Aug 2012 11:43 +0 (UTC)

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