Heavy Metal Pollution and Remediation

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Department of Biological Sciences


Although heavy metals are naturally occurring compounds, anthropogenic activities introduce them in excessive quantities in different environmental matrices, which impose severe threats on both human and ecosystem health. Heavy metals are nondegradable and can bioaccumulate in living organisms; hence they can contaminate the entire food chain. Remediation of heavy metals requires proper attention to protect soil quality, the ecosystem, and human health. Physical and chemical heavy metal remediation technologies are very expensive, often destructive to the local ecosystem, and require handling of a large amount of hazardous waste. On the other hand, emerging technologies such as phytoremediation have great potential. Phytoremediation is a "green" technology that is environment friendly and less expensive compared with other conventional methods. This chapter summarizes the problems related to heavy metal pollution and various heavy metal remediation technologies.

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© 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-809270-5.00015-7

Publication Title

Green Chemistry: An Inclusive Approach