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Historical pollution of seldom monitored trace elements in Sweden: Part B: sediment analysis of silver, antimony, thallium and indium
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
Örebro University, Department of Natural Sciences.
2006 (English)In: Journal of Environmental Monitoring, ISSN 1464-0325, E-ISSN 1464-0333, Vol. 8, no 7, p. 732-744Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sediment cores from four boreal and remote lakes in a south to north transect in central Sweden were analysed for acid leachable silver, antimony, thallium and indium in the solid sediment phase and the corresponding porewater. Dating of the cores was made by their content of acid leachable lead and the 206Pb/207Pb ratio, in one lake also by 210Pb. The impact of diagenesis on element redistribution in the sediments was included and found to be minor except for thallium. The results show lowered concentrations towards the north and most intense accumulation after the Second World War, which is taken as evidence for atmospheric deposition being the primary source. Indium has declining concentrations in recent strata while silver and antimony increase. Thallium has lowered acid-leachable concentrations in recent strata. For all metals the impact of domestic industrialisation as well as the early industrialisation of central Europe is discernible. Only thallium appears to reach a geological background at depths that correspond to the late 18th century. For the other metals elevated levels are concluded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 8, no 7, p. 732-744
National Category
Environmental Sciences Chemical Sciences
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3053DOI: 10.1039/B601948JOAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-3053DiVA, id: diva2:136697
Available from: 2006-03-09 Created: 2006-03-09 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Environmental levels of thallium: influence of redox properties and anthropogenic sources
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental levels of thallium: influence of redox properties and anthropogenic sources
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thallium is a highly toxic element that humans are exposed to mainly by consumption of drinking water and vegetables grown in soil with high thallium content but also through inhalation of particles in the air. Thallium is also present in fossil fuels, alloys, and in electronic utilities. The increasing use of the element and emissions from notably energy production has lead to a higher load on the surface of the Earth. This study aims at increasing the knowledge about the behaviour of thallium in aquatic environments. Focus has been on the redox chemistry of thallium in relation to its mobility, which is of great importance because Tl(I) and Tl(III) have very different properties in this respect.

The relationship between Tl(I) and Tl(III) in surface waters from contaminated and uncontaminated environments was examined by ion chromatography connected on line to ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry). It was found in controlled systems that even though Tl(III) is thermodynamically unstable under fresh water conditions Tl(I) was oxidised in the presence of light and iron(III). This was also confirmed in field studies. When lake water samples were exposed to light, Tl(I) was oxidised and thallium was lost from the solution. The most likely explanation for this was adsorption of thallium to particle surfaces.

The concentration of thallium in Swedish lakes and soil were measured. In unpolluted lakes the concentration ranges between 4.5-12 ng/l, the sediment concentration was 0.07-1.46 mg/kg. The anthropogenic load was found to have increased since the end of the Second World War although concentrations above background were found since the early industrialisation. In contaminated areas the concentration in soil ranges from 0.64-88 mg/kg, high concentrations were found in systems with alum shale and in soil exposed to runoff from a lead and zinc enrichment plant.

The mobilisation of thallium from solid phases in contaminated areas was dependent on pH and about 50% of the leachable content was mobilised already at pH 5-6. Once it had been released to water it was highly mobile. These conditions suggest that in a large part of the Swedish environment a high mobility of thallium can be expected.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 44
Series
Örebro Studies in Chemistry, ISSN 1651-4270 ; 5
Keyword
thallium, Tl(I), Tl(III), separation, ion chromatography, fresh water, sediment, mine waste, fly ash, redistribution, ICP-MS
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Chemistry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-356 (URN)91-7668-474-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-03-31, HSP1, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-03-09 Created: 2006-03-09 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved
2. Lake sediment as environmental archive: natural and anthropogenic influence on the chronology of trace elements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lake sediment as environmental archive: natural and anthropogenic influence on the chronology of trace elements
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The focus of this thesis is the historical pollution of some seldom-monitored trace elements (SMTEs; Ag, Be, Ga, In, Sb and Tl) that have been involuntarily released for several thousands of years but whose usage have increased during the industrial era. Sediment cores from four rural lakes in a south to north transect in central Sweden, and two urban lakes have been used as environmental archives for chronological studies. The historical development of the SMTEs is put in perspective of frequently monitored elements (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) that serve as a well-known anthropogenic signal. Dating of the sediments is made with 210Pb, 137Cs and 239,240Pu as well as acid leachable lead and the 206Pb/207Pb ratio. The impact of diagenetic redistribution is included, when necessary.

The results show that site-specific reference concentrations are required in order to estimate the present pollution as well as its historical development. Atmospheric deposition is the principal pathway of transport in rural lakes and the concentrations are lowered towards the north. It is not possible from this material, however, to separate the direct deposition on the lake surfaces from the contribution from their catchments. From 21Pb, acid-leachable Pb and the 206Pb/207Pb ratio a minimum of four periods of pollution can be discerned. For the SMTEs the quantitatively most important period of pollution took place from the Second World War until present. The growth of the domestic industrialisation as well as the early industrialisation of central Europe and the British Isles are also distinguishable. The pollution history of Ag, In and Sb goes back for several centuries as a result of metal processing whereas the levels of thallium mainly increase as a result of industrialisation. For Ag and Tl in-sediment diagenetic redistribution limits the precision of the historical estimate. The preliminary interpretation of 137Cs and 239,240Pu indicates that they are less suitable as chronological markers in the system studied. The urban impact on the trace metal sediment content in the urban lakes was lower than expected, except for Au. There is a large impact from hydrological conditions on the studied system why further investigations are recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitetsbibliotek, 2006. p. 54
Series
Örebro Studies in Environmental Science, ISSN 1650-6278 ; 9
Keyword
lake sediment, environmental pollution, trace elements, chronology, diagenesis, Ag, Be, Ga, In, Pb, Sb, Tl
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Enviromental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-372 (URN)91-7668-473-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-03-30, HSP1, Prismahuset, Örebro universitet, Örebro, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2006-03-09 Created: 2006-03-09 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Grahn, EvastinaKarlsson, StefanKarlsson, UlrikaDüker, Anders

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