The ever-increasing production and demand for some elements in developed and developing countries (see Appendix Table 1.1)* suggest the mounting probability of their dispersal and contact with the environment. An element may be dispersed from the time its ore is being mined to the time it becomes usable as a finished product or ingredient of a product. In addition, increasing demands for fertilizers in high-production agriculture may enhance this probability. Land disposal techniques that seem promising for agricultural wastes and other solid wastes may also increase the metal burden of the soil. Trace element research has been intense during the last three or so decades, highlighted by exploration into Itaiitai disease and Minamata disease in Japan. At stake are the integrity and quality of land resources in the United States: 182.1 × 106 hectares (ha) of cropland, 404.7 × 106 ha of forest and range, and 202.4 × 106 ha of nonagricultural land (USDA, 1969). At similar risk are the world’s land resources.


Sewage Sludge Cation Exchange Capacity Appendix Table Animal Waste Municipal Sewage Sludge 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Adriano
    • 1
  1. 1.Biogeochemical Ecology Division, Savannah River Ecology LaboratoryUniversity of Georgia Institute of EcologyAikenUSA

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