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Phasing out cadmium, lead and mercury: Effects on urban stocks and flows
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences. (Miljökemi)
University of Kalmar, School of Pure and Applied Natural Sciences. (Miljökemi)
SCB.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Industrial Ecology, ISSN 1088-1980, E-ISSN 1530-9290, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 94-111Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Large stocks of metals have accumulated in the urban technosphere (i.e., the physical environment altered by humanactivity). To minimize health and environmental risks, attempts were begun in the 1980s to phase out the use of cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg). To study the effect of this attempt, we conducted substance flow analyses (SFAs) in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1995 and in 2002–2003, which allow a comparison of the results over time.

The SFAs showed a reduction in the stocks of Cd and Hg by approximately 25% to 30% between 1995 and 2002–2003. For Pb, the stock development was more uncertain. Cd and Hg inflow was substantially reduced during this period, but Pb inflow increased. Amounts of Cd and Pb in waste were still large, whereas Hg flows in waste were decreasing. Furthermore, although emissions of Pb decreased, Cd and Hg emissions were in the same range as in 1995.

The application of SFAs has provided unique data on the accumulation of metals in the Stockholm technosphere, thus serving as a valuable indicator of how the phasing out progresses. The changes can be related to regulations, initiatives by industries and organizations, and the proactive attitude of the local environmental authorities and of the water company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hoboken: Yale University , 2009. Vol. 13, no 1, p. 94-111
Keyword [en]
Chemicals policy, Heavy metals, Industrial ecology, Substance flow analysis (SFA), Toxic substances, Urban metabolism
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hik:diva-1437DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2008.00085.xOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hik-1437DiVA, id: diva2:211097
Available from: 2009-04-08 Created: 2009-04-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Substance flow analyses of metals and organic compounds in an urban environment: – the Stockholm example
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Substance flow analyses of metals and organic compounds in an urban environment: – the Stockholm example
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The intensified use of materials, products and goods in our time involves massive consumption of metals and organic compounds that can be released from society to the environment in the various stages of production, use and waste. Depending on the circumstances this may give rise to environmental risks, as metals in general and certain organic substances may be toxic in the short or long term. So where have those metals and organic substances been utilized? In which products or environments? Substance flow analysis (SFA) is a method to deal with these issues. The results from the analysis are quantifications of flows and stocks in a systematic way and within defined system boundaries.In this thesis four main research areas are identified, which need to be addressed. i) Application of SFA on substances that have not been studied in this respect before, which can give knowledge about flows and stocks related to consumption of goods.  ii) Development of SFA to meet the needs in studies of trends for the substance cycles and studies of quantification of potential changes. iii) Assessment of which different agents and actions that induce the changes, such as chemical regulations, environmental objectives and aims. To what extent can these changes be related to substance flows? iv) Finally to assess, how can SFA be useful in environmental decisions? The specified aims focus on the metals antimony (Sb), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and mercury (Hg) and the group of organic compounds alkylphenol/alkylphenol ethoxylates (AP/APEO), in urban environments, exemplified with case studies of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.This thesis is a result of five studies. Three were based mainly on the methodology of SFA (Paper I-III). It has also been important to develop the chemical analysis of metals in goods where there has been a lack of information (Paper IV). Furthermore, assessment of policy questions and chemical regulations involve qualitative approaches and discussions (Paper I and V).The results show urban flows and stocks of the metals Cd, Hg, Pb and Sb and the group of organic substances AP/APEO. The results confirm that goods are important for the release of the substances studied. For Sb, emissions from brake linings (96%) dominate, but there are small emissions from textiles, potential emissions from flame retarded goods and probably small point sources. For AP/APEO the textile emissions were previously underestimated and the SFA presented here included this and pose textiles and cleaning agents as major emission source to wastewater.To repeat studies and to compare results from different years was a development of the SFA-method, which showed that Cd and Hg are being phased out as the inflow and stocks show diminished amounts, whereas the emissions remain approximately constant when comparing 1995 with 2002/2003. For Pb it is possible to talk about a phase-out of some specific goods, but not in general for inflow and stock.The changes in urban metabolism could be related to environmental decisions, e.g. effects of local initiatives and in some cases voluntary initiatives, but also as result of prevailing chemicals regulation. The utility of SFAs for decision makers may be related to methodological issues, such as the accounting approach. However, the utility was also found to depend on the structure of the monitoring, that is screening in the environment and concentration in wastewaters and sewage sludge precede the source mapping conducted with SFA. Substance Flow Analysis will likely continue to serve as the broad information tool for one substance at a time, which will offer source characterization of diffuse emissions in urban environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kalmar: Högskolan i Kalmar, 2009. p. 50
Series
Dissertation series / University of Kalmar, Faculty of Natural Science, ISSN 1650-2779 ; 68
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Natural Science, Environmental Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hik:diva-1450 (URN)978-91-85993-25-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-04-30, Fullriggaren, Landgången 4, Kalmar, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-17 Created: 2009-04-08 Last updated: 2014-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full textWiley InterScience :: JOURNALS :: Journal of Industrial Ecology

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Månsson, NinaBergbäck, Bo

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