University of Oulu

Assessing industrial pollution by means of environmental samples in the Kemi-Tornio region

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Author: Pöykiö, Risto1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Chemistry
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 2002
Publish Date: 2002-11-29
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Raahensali (Auditorium L 10), Linnanmaa, on November 29th, 2002, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Doctor Pekka Parviainen
Professor Lauri Pyy


The results of the comparison of various dissolution methods for sulphur showed, that HNO3 together with H2O2 gave more complete decomposition of organic components than HNO3 alone. The acid procedure with a mixture of HNO3+H2O2 slightly underestimated the S concentrations of plant material. The losses of sulphur were the highest in the dry ashing digestion procedure (HF(DAC)). The Leco combustion technique with infrared (IR) detection gave good precision and accuracy for sulphur. For the determination of heavy metals in plant materials, both the HNO3 and HNO3+H2O2 procedures were especially effective for determining Cr. However, the HNO3+HClO4 procedure gave lower results, and HF and HF(DAC) procedures greater values for Cr.

Sulphur accumulation in pine needles around the pulp and paper mills was clearly higher than other points in the Kemi area. For example, within a radius of about 1-1.5 km around the mills of Oy Metsä-Botnia Ab Kemi Mills, the sulphur concentrations for (C) and (C+1) needles were 28 % and 26 % higher than those in the corresponding background samples collected in Kuivaniemi at a distance about 25 km from Kemi. Pine needles do not appeared to be appropriate a method for monitoring the accumulation of Fe, Zn, V and Pb emitted from pulp and paper mills. However, the Ca concentrations in (C+1) needles in the vicinity of the Oy Metsä-Botnia Ab Kemi Mills was 48 % higher than the average Ca concentration calculated from all (C+1) needles; thus it is likely that part of the Ca in the needles is derived from the mills.

The regional distribution pattern of Cr and Ni in mosses in the Kemi-Tornio area in 2000 showed clearly that the most polluted area (Cr > 200 μg/g and Ni > 20 μg/g) appeared to lie within a few kilometres of the ferrochrome and stainless steel works of AvestaPolarit Stainless Oy. Within this area, the Cr concentrations in mosses were 4-13 times higher than those outside the urban area of Tornio. The area most polluted by the opencast chromium mining complex (Cr > 200 μg/g and Ni < 20 μg/g) appeared to be in the immediate vicinity of complex.

All the 95th percentile values for TSP (total suspended particles) in the mine area of AvestaPolarit Chrome Oy Kemi Mine were below the current Finnish air quality limit value of 300 μg/m3. However, the 98th percentile value exceeded the Finnish air quality guideline value of 120 μg/m3 at one monitoring site.

According to leaching studies, the sum of calculated annual airborne pollution impact of water-soluble fraction (H2O) and environmentally mobile (CH3COONH4) fraction from the AvestaPolarit Chrome Oy Kemi Mine was Cr 1.2 kg, Fe 29 kg, Cu 63 kg, Ni 2.5 kg and Cd < 100 mg.

According to the homogeneity studies of heavy metal deposition on TSP filters, Cr, Ni, Cu and Fe were non-uniformly distributed over the glass fibre filters. The rsd values varied between 5.4-33.9 % for Cr, between 7.5-35.0 % for Ni, between 3.6-25.9 % for Cu, and between 6.6-19.9 % for Fe.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. A, Scientiae rerum naturalium
ISSN-E: 1796-220X
ISBN: 951-42-6870-9
ISBN Print: 951-42-6869-5
Issue: 393
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2002. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.