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Spridning och effekter av tungmetaller från vägar och vägtrafik: litteraturöversikt
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
2005 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)Alternative title
Dispersal and effects of heavy metals from roads and road traffic : Literature survey (English)
Abstract [sv]

Large amounts of heavy metals originating in the road transportation system enter the environment. Vehicles, traffic, cargo, pavement material, road equipment and road operation and maintenance activities are important sources. Tyre rubber contains much zinc, brake linings much copper. Corrosion of vehicle components introduces iron, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, vanadium, tungsten and zinc, etc into the environment. Galvanised road equipment is a source of zinc. Heavy metal fluxes are governed by the volume and composition of traffic, pavement type, runoff handling, topography, weather conditions, vegetation structure, etc. Snow lying in urban environments accumulates heavy metals that will be introduced into ecosystems serving as snow deposits. Car wash facilities discharge large amounts of heavy metals. Many heavy metals are constituents of enzymes necessary for life. Heavy metals, also the essential ones, are toxic in high concentrations. Metal mobility in soils is governed by many soil factors. Cadmium and zinc are mobile whereas lead is immobile. The uppermost soil layer close to roads has elevated heavy metal concentrations. Animals in roadside habitats can have high levels of heavy metals. Sediments in watercourses which receive runoff are often metal polluted. The health effects of engine exhaust lead are well documented. Owing to the phase-out of petrol lead, the lead load on humans and the environment has decreased considerably. Heavy metals in high concentrations cause damage to the respiratory organs and the neural system. Catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium and rhodium. Of these, palladium has the highest soil mobility but all three are relatively biologically inert and accumulate in the soil surface. The health effects of catalyst metals have not been documented so far, but little is known about long-term health and environmental effects. The review primarily concerns palladium, platinum, rhodium, antimony, lead, cadmium, cobalt, copper, chromium and zinc but also cerium, iridium, iron, mercury, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, thallium, tin, vanadium, bismuth and tungsten. Gaps in knowledge have been identified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut, 2005.
VTI rapport, ISSN 0347-6030 ; 512
Keyword [en]
Swedish, Sweden, Heavy metal, Pollution, Highway, Road transport, Emission, Copper, Zinc, Cadmium, Lead, Nickel, Chromium, Air pollution, Vegetation
National Category
Infrastructure Engineering
Research subject
10 Road: Transport, society, policy and planning, 15 Road: Environment
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-6376OAI: diva2:675253
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2014-10-13Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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