Implementation of the work

As outlined above, the main focus of the updating procedure was decided to be on three major fields of research that have attracted considerable interest for the past 5-7 years:

• Flows of trace metals in society, with particular emphasis on the fluxes from the anthroposphere to the environment and on the factors determining the magnitudes of these fluxes.

• Metal speciation in natural waters, sediments and soils, including metal binding to naturally occurring ligands, including biomolecules (in gill tissue, intestines, etc.).

• Use of information on metal speciation for a better understanding of the mobility, bioavailability and biological effects of trace metals.

The metals involved are primarily chromium, copper, nickel and zinc, but information on molybdenum (where existing) will also be included. A brief discussion on essentiality (deficiency - optimal level - regulation -adaptation - toxicity) will be included, as will a discussion on how to assess anthropogenic enhancement of environmental concentrations of metals, relative to natural background concentrations.

The literature sources providing the background material for the update will mostly consist of original papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals of international reputation, but also reports from the "grey literature" (to be used only after careful quality assurance). Moreover, high-quality information compiled in various reports published by or in cooperation with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) and/or other industrial associations will also be used (again after careful scrutiny). A very important source of new information on bioavailability of metals in the environment has been made available through the significant advances made as a result of current research conducted to meet the information needs of the EU Risk Assessment for zinc and other metals (see e. g. Eurometaux, 2003; IZA, 2003).

Additional information will be gathered from recent Swedish reports, such as PhD and Lic. theses on corrosion and runoff from copper and zinc covered roofs and facades, presented at the Div. of Corrosion Sciences, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, or long-term agricultural studies on metal mobility and effects on sludge-amended soils, published by regional agricultural associations. Moreover, a recent account of the environmental consequences of one thousand years of mining activities at Falu Gruva in central Sweden, prepared by Lindestrom (2003), will serve as an important source of information on long-term metal contamination of a large river catchment area. Part of the information on bioavailability and toxicity of copper and zinc in aquatic sediments will be gathered from ongoing compilation and evaluation work, conducted by Landner and commissioned by SCDA and Zinc-Info Norden. Most of the compilation and critical review of information from various sources to be used in the present report on metals in society and in the environment was conducted during the second half of 2002 and the first half of 2003.

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