University of Oulu

Kirsti Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, Ingo Müller, Susan Reichel, Celia Jones, Fabienne Battaglia-Brunet, Mark Elert, Marina Le Guédard, Tarja Hatakka, Jennifer Hellal, Isabel Jordan, Juha Kaija, Riitta L. Keiski, Jana Pinka, Timo Tarvainen, Auli Turkki, Esa Turpeinen, Hanna Valkama, Risk management for arsenic in agricultural soil–water systems: lessons learned from case studies in Europe, Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 424, Part D, 2022, 127677, ISSN 0304-3894,

Risk management for arsenic in agricultural soil–water systems : lessons learned from case studies in Europe

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Author: Loukola-Ruskeeniemi, Kirsti1; Müller, Ingo2; Reichel, Susan3;
Organizations: 1Geological Survey of Finland, P.O. Box 96, FI-02151 Espoo, Finland
2Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology, Dep. 42 Soil, Contaminated Sites, Halsbrückerstr. 31a, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
3G.E.O.S. Ingenieur-gesellschaft mbH, Postfach 1162, 09581 Freiberg, Germany
4Kemakta Konsult AB, Box 126 55, 112 93 Stockholm, Sweden
5BRGM, 3 avenue Claude Guillemin, BP 36009, 45060 Orléans Cedex 2, France
6LEB Aquitaine Transfert-ADERA, 71. Avenue Edouard Bourlaux, CS20032, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France
7University of Oulu, Environmental and Chemical Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4300, FI-90014, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 7.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-01-27


Chronic exposure to arsenic may be detrimental to health. We investigated the behaviour, remediation and risk management of arsenic in Freiberg, Germany, characterized by past mining activities, and near Verdun in France, where World War I ammunition was destroyed. The main results included: (1) pot experiments using a biologically synthesized adsorbent (sorpP) with spring barley reduced the mobility of arsenic, (2) the Omega-3 Index ecotoxicological tests verified that sorpP reduced the uptake and toxicity of arsenic in plants, (3) reverse osmosis membrane systems provided 99.5% removal efficiency of arsenic from surface water, (4) the sustainability assessment revealed that adsorption and coagulation–filtration processes were the most feasible options for the treatment of surface waters with significant arsenic concentrations, and (5) a model was developed for assessing health risk due to arsenic exposure. Risk management is the main option for extensive areas, while remediation options that directly treat the soil can only be considered in small areas subject to sensitive use. We recommend the risk management procedure developed in Germany for other parts of the world where both geogenic and anthropogenic arsenic is present in agricultural soil and water. Risk management measures have been successful both in Freiberg and in Verdun.

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Series: Journal of hazardous materials
ISSN: 0304-3894
ISSN-E: 1873-3336
ISSN-L: 0304-3894
Volume: 424
Issue: Part D
Article number: 127677
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2021.127677
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
1171 Geosciences
215 Chemical engineering
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: The AgriAs project “Evaluation and management of As contamination in agricultural soil and water” was co-funded from 1.4.2017 to 31.12.2019 by the European Union and the Academy of Finland (grant numbers 312056 and 312078), L'Agence nationale de la recherche from France (grant ANR-16-WTW5-0003-04), Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft from Germany (grant 2816ERA02W) and Forskningsrådet FORMAS from Sweden (grant number 2017-00027) under the ERA-NET Cofund WaterWorks2015 Call. The ERA-NET is an integral part of the 2016 Joint Activities developed by the Water Challenges for a Changing World Joint Programme Initiative (Water JPI). Kemakta Konsult AB, as a subcontractor, thanks the KTH Royal Institute of Technology for channelling the funding from Water JPI / FORMAS for the AgriAs project work. In addition, the following organizations have financially supported the scientific post-project activities during 2020 and 2021: The Geological Survey of Finland and the University of Oulu from Finland, the Saxon State Office for Environment, Agriculture and Geology and G.E.O.S. Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH from Germany, Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières – BRGM – and LEB Aquitaine Transfert from France, and the Kemakta Konsult AB from Sweden. The Geological Survey of Finland has provided long-term funding for geochemical research. Risk assessment and risk management of arsenic was investigated in three projects coordinated by the Geological Survey of Finland and co-funded by the European Union: (1) the RAMAS project 2004–2006 ‘Risk assessment and risk management procedure for arsenic in the Tampere region’ (grant LIFE04 ENV/FI/000300) and (2) the ASROCKS project 2011–2014 ‘Guidelines for sustainable exploitation of aggregate resources in areas with elevated arsenic concentrations’ (grant LIFE10/ENV/FI/000062), and (3) the above-mentioned Water JPI AgriAs project 2017–2019 ‘Evaluation and management of arsenic contamination in agricultural soil and water’.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 312078
Detailed Information: 312078 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (