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Home FAQs Text Why should I avoid the term “Heavy Metals”

Why should I avoid the term “Heavy Metals”

The term “Heavy Metals” has about 40 different definitions. Many publications even list arsenic or antimony in tables called “Heavy Metal Analyses” – but neither arsenic nor antimony is a metal at all! Because of that fact, we want you to avoid that term in your papers for “Mine Water and the Environment” and our proceedings. Please substitute the term by either “Metals” or “Metals and Semi-Metals” or whichever term is correct.

Read the following paper to understand our reason for this procedure:

PDFDuffus, J. H. (2002): “Heavy Metals” – A meaningless term? – Pure Appl. Chem., 74 (5): 793-807.

This paper is published here under the copyright of IUPAC©

Last Updated on Saturday, 12 January 2013 10:34  

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News Flash

Mine Water is the water that collects in both surface and underground mines. It comes from the inflow of rain or surface water and from groundwater seepage. During the active life of the mine, water is pumped out to keep the mine dry and to allow access to the ore body. Pumped water may be used in the extraction process, pumped to tailings impoundments, used for activities like dust control, or discharged as a waste. The water can be of the same quality as drinking water, or it can be very acidic and laden with high concentrations of potentially toxic elements.

(from UNEP/GRID-Arenda web site)