Persistence and bioaccumulation of tungsten and associated heavy metals under different climatic conditions
B. Wilson and F.B. Pyatt

This research examines the dispersion and persistence of tungsten in areas surrounding abandoned tungsten mines in the UK, USA and Australia. Soils collected from workings dating back to the mid-19th century, and subsequent analysis of soil and vegetation, confirmed the presence of tungsten and other heavy metals. Tungsten, copper, zinc and lead were detected at all sites, and arsenic was present in significant concentrations at the UK site, illustrating the environmental persistence of these metals in areas of diverse climatic conditions. Bioaccumulation of tungsten by vegetation growing in the sites under examination was indicated, and partitioning of target heavy metals within different tissues demonstrated. Unusual bioaccumulation factors relating to tungsten in Australia and Arizona, and their possible relevance to arid ecosystems, are highlighted, and possible accumulation by animals and humans is indicated. 

Key words: accumulation factor, bioaccumulation, dispersion, heavy metals, particulates, partitioning, tungsten 

Land Contamination & Reclamation, 17 (1), 93-100 (2009) 

DOI 10.2462/09670513.935

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Article code 935