Differentiating natural and anthropogenic sources of metals to the environment

G. M. Dias*, G. C. Edwards

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


Since natural and anthropogenic sources can contribute to elevated levels of metals at remote and background sites, identifying the source of a metal is an important step in environmental risk assessment. Various source apportionment procedures are available to identify metal sources, and have been used extensively to determine sources in urban settings and to a lesser extent at remote sites. However, measuring metals at remote or background sites presents unique challenges with respect to experimental design. The state of the science in monitoring techniques and source apportionment procedures is discussed in terms of limitations and applicability to remote sites, and recommendations are made on maximizing information recovery through source apportionment procedures by incorporating appropriate experimental design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-721
Number of pages23
JournalHuman and Ecological Risk Assessment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Apportionment
  • Ecological risk assessment
  • Metals
  • Sources


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