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Urban Metabolism of Mercury: Turnover, Emissions and Stock in Stockholm 1795-1995
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
2001 (English)In: Water, air, & soil pollution. Focus, ISSN 1567-7230, Vol. 1, no 3-4, 179-196 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article accounts for the use of mercury (Hg) in different activities in Stockholm during the time period 1795-1995.Turnover of Hg is estimated to 122-440 tons, amounts recycled: 27-50 tons and total emissions of Hg are estimated to 90-390 tons. The stock was approximately 4.4-8.1 tons in 1995. 19th century handicraft occupations and medical treatment emitted a large part of the Hg, emission sources that hitherto have been unknown in Sweden. Emissions peaked around 1960, thereafter the emissions plummeted, being the result of decreased use of Hg for dental fillings and in products such as batteries, while recycling efforts had a limited effect on reducing total emissions. Based on this finding, the current focus on collectionof Hg containing products for long term storage in bedrock is questioned. If the aim is to reduce the potential for environmental hazards because of Hg it might be better to focusmore attention on the already emitted amounts since these are nearly 30 times greater than the amount of Hg in stock.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 1, no 3-4, 179-196 p.
Keyword [en]
emission, mercury, urban
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-33998DOI: 10.1023/A:1017512423006Local ID: 20278OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-33998DiVA: diva2:254846
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-29Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The trace of metals: Use, emissions and sediment load of urban heavy metals
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The trace of metals: Use, emissions and sediment load of urban heavy metals
2000 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Urban areas have been considered potential ecological hot spots for metal pollution. This is the result of three trends. First, the 20th century saw a rapid increase in the use of many materials, including metals, in the industrialized world. Second, urbanization has made towns and cities areas nodes of material flows. Third, emissions from production activities have received considerable attention and regulation, but emissions via consumption have largely been ignored, so for several metals they have become more important than emissions from production activities. These emissions largely occur from centres of population. Thus, metal pollutionin urban areas is a subject of increasing importance.

Whereas most studies of environmental pollution have dealt with pollutants in the environment, a new research field has evolved that is devoted to earlier identification of the fluxes that cause pollution. A tool in this work is material flux analysis. This thesis presents an extendedmaterial flux analysis of five heavy metals, Cd, Cu, Hg, Pb and Zn, in the city of Stockholm, Sweden. This approach combines an analysis of the metal fluxes within the urban system, with an investigation of sediments, which aims at identifying the current sediment load of metals, and to reconstruct the historical load by using dated sediment cores.

The results indicate that the use of Cd, Hg and Pb have been reduced during the last three decades. Thus emissions to the aquatic environment have been substantially reduced. However, metal concentrations in sediments from central Stockholm, as well as fluxes of metals to the sediments, arc highly elevated compared to other areas. Budget comparisons indicate that the area investigated in and around Stockholm has changed from a positive balance, indicating a net export of Cd, Hg and Pb to the Baltic in the 1970s, to a negative balance, indicating thatthere are unidentified sources of these metals. For Cu, the budget is approximately balanced, and for Zn the area seems to be an exporter to the Baltic Sea.

It is argued that the unbalanced budgets of Cd, Hg and Pb highlight the importance of integrated approaches, and of including sediment loads in environmental monitoring. The results also stress the need for a better understanding of the urban biogeochemistry of heavy metals.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2000. 64 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 221
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-35393 (URN)26549 (Local ID)91-7219-880-X (ISBN)26549 (Archive number)26549 (OAI)
Public defence
2000-12-01, Sal Elysion, Hus-T, Universitetsområdet Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2012-06-29Bibliographically approved

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