Anthropogenic Mercury Flows in India and Impacts of Emission Controls

Chakraborty, L B and Qureshi, A and Vadenbo, C and Hellweg, S (2013) Anthropogenic Mercury Flows in India and Impacts of Emission Controls. Environmental Science and Technology, 47 (15). pp. 8105-8113. ISSN 0013-936X

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Abstract

India is a major emitter of mercury, a pollutant of global importance. However, quantitative information on mercury flows in the country is lacking. Here, we quantify major transfer pathways for anthropogenic mercury, its emissions to the environment (air, water, soil), and storage in consumer products and anthropogenic sinks (e.g., landfills) in India in the period 2001–2020, and evaluate the potential influence of six pollution control measures. Total mercury emissions in India were approximately 415 tonnes in 2001, 310 tonnes in 2010, and are projected to rise to 540 tonnes in 2020. In 2010, 76% of these emissions went to the atmosphere. The most important emission sources to atmosphere are coal power plants and zinc production. Pesticides were the most important source for emissions to soil in 2005 and dental amalgam in later years. Mercury stocks in products rose from 700 tonnes in 2001 to 1125 tonnes in 2010, and in landfills and ash-made structures (e.g., embankments) from 920 tonnes in 2001 to 1450 tonnes in 2010. These stocks are expected to rise further and may be regarded as stored toxicity, which may become a concern in the future. Total mercury emissions can be reduced by about 50% by combining pollution control measures that target different mercury emission sources.

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IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Item Type: Article
Subjects: Civil Engineering > Soil Structure Interaction
Divisions: Department of Civil Engineering
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 29 Dec 2014 06:53
Last Modified: 29 Dec 2014 06:53
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/1261
Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es401006k
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