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Integrated criteria document Zinc

[Basisdocument Zink.]

Synopsis

This report contains information on zinc and zinc compounds concerning standards, emissions, exposure levels and effect levels. It includes a risk evaluation and presents proposals for maximum permissible concentrations of zinc in the environment. This study indicates that the concentration of zinc in the top soil in the Netherlands is (still) increasing. Environmental zinc levels in surfacewater and ambient air have been decreased in the last decade. The current exposure levels do not pose a threat to humans, however, there is a risk for both aquatic and terrestric ecosystems. In Dutch surfacewater, on the average, the intended minimum protection level of 95% is not achieved ; according to model calculation the percentage of species protected is about 82%. Possible effects on soil ecosystems are difficult to interprete, as a result of both factors determining the bioavailability of zinc and the natural role that this essential element may play in achieving diversity in ecosystems. Apart from the contribution from foreign sources, the main emission sources to soil and surfacewater are corrosion and agriculture.
 

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