Spectroscopic Analysis of Heavy Metal Contamination of the Environment

Andrzej W. Miziolek and Ernesto R. Cespedes

Contamination of the environment by hazardous chemicals is a growing area of worldwide concern due to the resulting damage that may occur to living creatures as well as to the ecosystem. Heavy metals are a class of chemicals of particular concern due to the toxic effects on the human body and the possibility of bioaccumulation in plants and animals. Metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, beryllium, and chromium are easily recognized as being potentially very dangerous. Therefore, the mere possibility of a site contaminated by such metals is typically a cause for alarm.

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