Author(s): De Vleeschouwer F, Grard L, Goormaghtigh C, Mattielli N, Le Roux G,
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Abstract Europe has been continuously polluted throughout the last two millennia. During the Roman Empire, these pollutions were mainly from ore extraction and smelting across Europe. Then, during the Middle Ages and the Early times of Industrial revolution (i.e. 1750), these pollutions extended to coal burning and combustion engine. Belgian ombrotrophic peat bogs have proved an effective archive of these pollutants and provide the opportunity to reconstruct the history of atmospheric deposition in NW Europe. The results of recent and past trace metal accumulation and Pb isotopes from a one-meter peat core (in the Misten peat bog) have been derived using XRF and Nu-plasma MC-ICP-MS. Combined with (14)C and (210)Pb dates these data have enabled us to trace fluxes in anthropogenic pollution back to original Roman times. Several periods of well-known Pb pollution events are clearly recorded including the Early and Late Roman Empire, the Middle Ages and the second industrial revolution. Also recorded is the introduction of leaded gasoline, and more recently the introduction of unleaded gasoline. Lead isotopes in this site have also enabled us to fingerprint several regional and global sources of anthropogenic particles.
This article was published in Sci Total Environ
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy