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Istituto sull'inquinamento atmosferico

Torna all'elenco Contributi in rivista anno 2013

Contributo in rivista

Tipo: Articolo in rivista

Titolo: Contribution of contaminated sites to the global mercury budget.

Anno di pubblicazione: 2013

Formato: Elettronico

Autori: Kocman D., Horvat M., Pirrone N., Cinnirella S.

Affiliazioni autori: JSI, Slovenia; JSI, Slovenia; CNR; CNR

Autori CNR:


Lingua: inglese

Abstract: Global mercury emission inventories include anthropogenic emissions, contributing via current use or presence of mercury in a variety of products and processes, as well as natural source emissions. These inventories neglect the contribution of areas contaminated with mercury from historical accumulation, which surround mines or production plants associated with mercury production or use. Although recent studies have shown that releases of mercury from these historical sites can be significant, a database of the global distribution of mercury contaminated sites does not exist, nor are there means of scaling up such releases to estimate fluxes on a regional and global basis. Therefore, here we estimated for the first time the contribution of mercury releases from contaminated sites to the global mercury budget. A geo-referenced database was built, comprising over 3000 mercury contaminated sites associated with mercury mining, precious metal processing, non-ferrous metal production and various polluted industrial sites. In the assessment, mercury releases from these sites to both the atmosphere as well as the hydrosphere were considered based on data available for selected case studies, their number, the reported extent of contamination and geographical location. Annual average global emissions of mercury from identified contaminated sites amount to 198 (137-260) Mg yr-1. Of that, 82 (70-95) Mg yr-1 contribute to atmospheric releases, while 116 (67-165) Mg yr-1 is estimated to be transported away from these sites by hydrological processes. Although these estimates are associated with large uncertainties, our current understanding of mercury releases from contaminated sites indicates that these releases can also be of paramount importance on the global perspective. This is especially important as it is known that these sites represent a long-term source of releases if not managed properly. Therefore, the information presented here is needed by governments and NGO's in order to re-focus resources in making decisions regarding mitigation and remediation strategies on a global level.

Lingua abstract: inglese

Pagine da: 160

Pagine a: 170


Environmental research Australian Environment Council.
Paese di pubblicazione: Australia
Lingua: inglese
ISSN: 0311-8363

Numero volume: 125

DOI: 10.1016/j.envres.2012.12.011.

Referee: Sė: Internazionale

Stato della pubblicazione: Published version

Parole chiave:

  • Mercury
  • Contaminated site
  • Emission
  • Global

Strutture CNR:


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