Critical loads of heavy metals in a highly polluted catchment area in Egypt
Heavy metals in different environmental compartments can be hazardous to ecosystems. Budgets of Cd, Pb and Zn in small ecosystems of the Shubra El-Kheima area in Egypt are presented. The budgets are not in steady state because they change with time. So the concentrations of the metals are a function of time. The critical loads of heavy metals to soils can be calculated from an inventory of inputs and outputs of the trace components in the catchment area. Critical time is an important parameter for critical load evaluation because it can indicate which of the heavy metals may be the most acute threat to the soils. Egyptian soil in the Shubra El-Kheima area seems to be in danger of heavy metal pollution by Zn, Cd and Pb. The calculated critical loads and their exceedances are approximate indicators of the hazards in the soil system. The critical time is a warning signal to initiate an environmental evaluation of possible pollution hazards.
Key wordsheavy metal critical load exceedance pollution
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