Assessing the Sustainability of Heavy Metal Emissions in Europe

  • Till M. Bachmann
  • Bert Droste-Franke
  • Rainer Friedrich


At present, (inter)national accounting frameworks, e.g. the gross domestic product, do not or at least not consistently take into account the state of the environment and risks to human health, although these impacts clearly have an influence on the welfare of society. To change this, a framework for Green Accounting was developed [1]. Indicators for current welfare and sustainability were defined distinguishing between shortterm and long-term effects. Concerning sustainability, a pan-European multimedia long-term average modelling framework is used for the analysis of very persistent contaminants. When assessing human health, long-term, intergenerational effects via ingestion exposure are of prime interest which are analysed based on the temporal course of Intake Fractions. Also, an attempt was made to assess physical impacts on human health despite the general paucity of dose response functions. Furthermore, it was assessed whether the current emission of toxic substances leads to an exceedance of sustainability standards in the long term. The results show that very long time scales are involved for very persistent substances leading to difficulties with respect to their assessment.


Life Cycle Impact Assessment Health Impact Assessment Sustainability Indicator Intake Fraction Sustainability Standard 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Till M. Bachmann
    • 1
  • Bert Droste-Franke
    • 1
  • Rainer Friedrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Energy Economics and the Rational Use of Energy (IER)University of StuttgartStuttgartGermany

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