Related topics: water · pollution

Microplastics could make other pollutants more harmful

Microplastics—small plastic pieces less than five millimeters in length—are becoming a ubiquitous ecological contaminant. Studies suggest that on their own, these tiny bits are potentially harmful, and it's unclear what ...

Mangroves: Environmental guardians of our coastline

They are the salt-tolerant shrubs that thrive in the toughest of conditions, but according to new UniSA research, mangroves are also avid coastal protectors, capable of surviving in heavy metal contaminated environments.

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Heavy metal (chemistry)

A heavy metal is a member of an ill-defined subset of elements that exhibit metallic properties, which would mainly include the transition metals, some metalloids, lanthanides, and actinides. Many different definitions have been proposed—some based on density, some on atomic number or atomic weight, and some on chemical properties or toxicity. The term heavy metal has been called "meaningless and misleading" in an IUPAC technical report due to the contradictory definitions and its lack of a "coherent scientific basis". There is an alternative term toxic metal, for which no consensus of exact definition exists either. As discussed below, depending on context, heavy metal can include elements lighter than carbon and can exclude some of the heaviest metals. Heavy metals occur naturally in the ecosystem with large variations in concentration. Nowadays anthropogenic sources of heavy metals, i.e. pollution, have been introduced to the ecosystem. Waste derived fuels are especially prone to contain heavy metals so they should be a central concern in a consideration of their use.

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