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Meet the Metal: Toxicity and Pathways

November 10, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Urbanization is a constant accelerating global phenomenon that demands proper understanding of the interactions between the anthropogenic activities, related emission of pollutants and the urban environment. Metals are one of such group of extensively researched contaminants, ubiquitously present in the urban environment, that get rapidly accumulated and reach toxic levels. Further, intensive infra- structure construction, increasing vehicular densities, and an overall change in lifestyle, especially in developing countries, have further aggravated the problem by enhancing point/diffuse sources of metal emission. Due to their prevalence, toxicity, and persistence, heavy metals are of particular concern in any environmental system. The real concern is that the accumulation of heavy metals in urban soil, sediments, road dust and water bodies should be considered as chemical time bombs waiting to be set off by vulnerable environmental triggers, and thus likely to cause heavy metal contamination to groundwater. The primary concern in heavy metal research is to understand the probable sources of heavy metal pollution in urban areas and their impact on human health and the urban environment. Ironically, human development coincides with metal pollution, and hence metals are probably the most researched environmental concern during last two decades. In this context, a concurrent review becomes more imperative when there is plenty of information available, and researchers need contemporary research directions and goals. It is therefore the aim of this presentation is to provide a scenario of the heavy metal contamination in urban areas, highlighting its migration pathways and the importance of metal speciation and bioavailability. Further, several assessment tools for estimating the different compartments of metals, as well as their contamination levels along with their drawbacks, will be discussed. Potential areas of future challenges in heavy metal research will also identified and discussed. A summary of the main consensus, divergences, and constraints found, as well as some recommendations, will be presented as a set of conclusions, aiming to contribute to more concerted future research. The presentation will emphasize on the fact that there is a lack of efficient assessment criteria and proper quality guidelines, and that better equipped research programs with holistic approaches are needed now to set toxicological standards and improve removal techniques.


November 10, 2017
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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