Author(s): Han FX, Su Y, Monts DL, Plodinec MJ, Banin A,
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Abstract Arsenic, a carcinogenic trace element, threatens not only the health of millions of humans and other living organisms, but also global sustainability. We present here, for the first time, the global industrial-age cumulative anthropogenic arsenic production and its potential accumulation and risks in the environment. In 2000, the world cumulative industrial-age anthropogenic arsenic production was 4.53 million tonnes. The world-wide coal and petroleum industries accounted for 46\% of global annual gross arsenic production, and their overall contribution to industrial-age gross arsenic production was 27\% in 2000. Global industrial-age anthropogenic As sources (as As cumulative production) follow the order: As mining production>As generated from coal>As generated from petroleum. The potential industrial-age anthropogenic arsenic input in world arable surface in 2000 was 2.18 mg arsenic kg(-1), which is 1.2 times that in the lithosphere. The development of substitute materials for arsenic applications in the agricultural and forestry industries and controls of arsenic emissions from the coal industry may be possible strategies to significantly decrease arsenic pollution sources and dissipation rates into the environment.
This article was published in Naturwissenschaften
and referenced in Journal of Bioremediation & Biodegradation