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Slooff W ; Bont PFH ; Hesse JM ; Loos B

50 p in Dutch   1993

Toon Nederlands

English Abstract
This report contains general information on Aluminium and aluminium compounds concerning the existing standards, emissions, exposure levels and effect levels. The document is to be considered as a first evaluation to be used for the national discussion during an exploratory meeting on integrated criteria documents. In this report a difference is made between the risk of aluminium exposure related to acidification resulting into mobilization of (natural occurring) aluminium, and the risk related to the discharge of aluminium in our environment. Acidification results into increased dissolved aluminium levels in surface water and soil. In most cases Dutch surface waters are sufficiently buffered and therefore acidification does not present a problem in terms of increased aluminium toxicity for aquatic ecosystems. In contrast to this, Dutch soils are vulnerable to acidification with regard to aluminium: in the process of leaching out first elevated dissolved aluminium levels at the root zone are harmful to terrestrial ecosystems and, subsequently, may reach levels in groundwater surpassing the current drinking water standards and guidelines. As to emission of aluminium in the environment the figures show an increase of industrial emissions in the last decade. There are indications that current exposure levels may present a risk to both man and ecosystems. Man may be at risk since a provisionally derived toxicological limit value of aluminium in air (0.05 mug Al.m-3) is likely to be exceeded in ambient and indoor air in the Netherlands. However, exposure data are missing and the proposed toxicological limit value is rather conservative. The risk of current exposure levels seems negligible, but for final conclusions an evaluation update is needed. Aquatic life may be endangered in some surface waters, but effects on aquatic species are definitively expected to occur in the vicinity of emission sources. Bioaccumulation may lead to high aluminium content of macrophytes and insects and so, depending on the dietary intake of calcium and phosphoros, herbivorous and insectivorous species may be at risk. It is recommended to initiate activities to obtain further data needed for a more sound risk evaluation.


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( 1993-01-31 )