It’s time to replace the term “heavy metals” with “potentially toxic elements” when reporting environmental research

Olivier Pourret, Andrew Hursthouse

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Even if the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is relatively well defined, some controversial terms are in still in use. Indeed, the term “Heavy Metal” is a common term used for decades in Sciences, and even more in Environmental Sciences particularly in studies of pollution impacts. The use of the term appears to increase, we emphasise the relevance of the use of the term “Potentially Toxic Element(s)” needs more explicit endorsement and we illustrate the chemical elements which need to be considered.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4446
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2019

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environmental research
Poisons
chemical element
Heavy Metals
Ecology
Chemical elements
Heavy metals
heavy metal
Research
Pollution
pollution
environmental science
science
need

Keywords

  • Heavy metals
  • Contaminants
  • Elements
  • Toxic

Cite this

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AB - Even if the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is relatively well defined, some controversial terms are in still in use. Indeed, the term “Heavy Metal” is a common term used for decades in Sciences, and even more in Environmental Sciences particularly in studies of pollution impacts. The use of the term appears to increase, we emphasise the relevance of the use of the term “Potentially Toxic Element(s)” needs more explicit endorsement and we illustrate the chemical elements which need to be considered.

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