Heavy metals and ecosystem
This project aimed at developing a framework for the economic valuation of long-term benefits of the control of metal emissions on ecological systems and human health based on emission control scenario analyses.
Together with Prof. Ed Tipping (CEH Lancaster), a dynamic modelling approach (based on the IDMM model) of soil metal concentrations over time was developed for application across various European ecological and geo-political regions.
One of the main outcomes was that further reductions of metal emissions (mainly Cadmium (Cd) and to a lesser extent Lead (Pb)) would be very costly and would not lead to measurable changes in soil or wheat metal concentration, so that the benefits for human health would be negligible. However, the study also indicated that there are likely to be potential benefits from further reducing Mercury (Hg) emissions during the coming decades, with potential benefits for aquatic ecosystems and the health of those members of the society whose diet is largely fish-based.
The project was funded by Defra.