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Scientific article
Open access
English

Antimony in the environment: knowns and unknowns

Published inEnvironmental chemistry, vol. 6, no. 2, p. 95-105
Publication date2009
Abstract

The objective of the present article is to present a critical overview of issues related to the current state of knowledge on the behaviour of antimony in the environment. It makes no attempt to systematically review all published data. However, it does provide a list of the main published reviews on antimony and identifies subjects where systematic reviews are needed. Areas where our knowledge is strong – and the corresponding gaps – in subjects ranging from total concentrations and speciation in the various environmental compartments, to ecotoxicity, to cycling between compartments, are discussed, along with the underlying research. Determining total antimony no longer poses a problem for most environmental samples but speciation measurements remain challenging throughout the process, from sampling to analysis. This means that the analytical tools still need to be improved but experience shows that, to be useful in practice, this should be directly driven by the requirements of laboratory and field measurements. Many different issues can be identified where further research is required, both in the laboratory and in the field, the most urgently needed studies probably being: (i) long-term spatial and temporal studies in the different environmental compartments in order to collect the data needed to establish a global biogeochemical cycle; (ii) laboratory studies of antimony interactions with potential natural binders; (iii) reliable ecotoxicological studies.

Citation (ISO format)
FILELLA, Montserrat, WILLIAMS, Peter A., BELZILE, Nelson. Antimony in the environment: knowns and unknowns. In: Environmental chemistry, 2009, vol. 6, n° 2, p. 95–105. doi: 10.1071/EN09007
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ISSN of the journal1448-2517
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