Metals

Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals

As component of many rocks and minerals metals are ubiquitous in the environment. Many metals and metalloids are essential to living organisms. Their various bonding forms and oxidation states, so called species, play an important role in the control and action of innumerable metabolic reactions.

However, not all metals are essential and some of them may be toxic at rather low doses depending on the metal species, e.g. lead, cadmium, mercury, and thallium. Even essential metals may be toxic at higher doses, e.g. selenium, cobalt, and chromium.

During anthropogenic activities substantial metal concentrations may be released into the environment. Environmentally relevant are mainly the metal salts and their ions. They can be available to humans, animals and plants. The main exposure routes are respiratory organs, skin and food. Some metal compounds are readily accumulated by organisms (bioaccumulation) and enriched in the food web (biomagnification).

Guidelines for Chemical Analysis: Determination of the Elemental Content of Environmental Samples using ICP-MS

Guidelines for Chemical Analysis: Determination of the Elemental Content of Environment Samples using ICP-OES

Substances

  • Naturally occurring non-toxic alkaline earth metal
  • Naturally occurring alkali metal
  • Ubiquitous alkaline earth metal, constituent of many minerals
  • Naturally occurring transition metal
  • Naturally occurring transition metal
  • Naturally occurring transition metal
  • Naturally occurring transition metal
  • Naturally occurring transition metal
  • Common metal widely used by humans
  • Rather common element which occurs mainly in ores
  • Alkaline earth metal with high reactivity that occurs naturally only in compounds with other elements
  • Rare metal which in nature is mostly associated with zinc ores
  • Alkaline earth metal which occurs naturally in rocks and minerals
  • Naturally occurring highly toxic transition metal, which is liquid at standard conditions for temperature and pressure
  • Rare element which occurs naturally as trace element in many minerals
  • Naturally occurring poisonous heavy metal

Specimen

  • Common mussel species as invasive animal in rivers and lakes with high information level for water pollution
  • Bioindicator in rivers and lakes
  • Fine insoluble mineral or organic particles in the water phase
  • Common brown alga of the coastal areas of the North and Baltic Sea
  • One of the most important edible mussel species common in the North and Baltic Sea
  • As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.
  • Inshore, the herring gull mainly feeds from the sea: upon fish, mussels, and crabs.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A major primary producer in semi-natural and anthropogenic affected ecosystems.
  • A deciduous tree typical of ecosystems close to dense conurbations and an indicator for the characterisation of the immission situation during the vegetation period.
  • As the most dominant deciduous tree species in Central Europe, it plays a significant role in most nearly natural and also anthropogenically influenced forest ecosystems up to an altitude of 1100 m.
  • The roe deer is the most common of the larger herbivores (first order-consumer) to be found in the wild in Europe.
  • A pigeon species home in nearly every city.
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • As an organism living at ground level, it is a major driver of the decomposition of organic material (e.g. plant litter).
  • Soil is livelihood and biosphere for humans, animals, plants and soil organisms. All the substances brought in are transported, transformed and/or accumulated in the soil.
  • Student groups with an even number of female and male students at the age of 20 to 29.

Sampling area

Sampling period

1981 - 2019