Substance flow analysis (SFA) has been used to determine the main entrance routes to the environment, the processes associated with these emissions, the stocks and flows within the industrial system as well as the trans-media flows, chemical, physical, biological transformations and resulting concentrations in the environment (see Chapter 9). Spaciotemporal distribution is of high concern in SFA. Results from these analyses are often used as inputs to further analyses for quantitatively assessing risks to substance-specific endpoints.
A variety of studies have been conducted on toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, mercury, lead and zinc (Ayres, Ayres and Tarr 1994; Ayres and Ayres 1996; Ayres and Ayres 1999a; Reiner et al. 1997; Dahlbo and Assmuth 1997; Maag et al. 1997; Hansen 1997; Maxson and Vonkeman 1996; Voet et al. 1994; see also Chapters 27 and 28).
Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus are taken into account mainly because of eutrophication problems and the search for effective mitigation measures (Ayres and Ayres 1996; Voet 1996). The flow of carbon is studied because it is linked to global warming due to current fossil products e.g. diapers, batteries, cars fuel dependence. The accounting for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions and the study of trends, sources, responsible technologies, possible sinks and measures for abatement have been increasingly reported by statistical services.
The flow of chlorine and chlorinated substances has been subject to various studies owing to the toxic potential and various pollution problems through chlorinated solvents and persistent organochlorines (Ayres and Ayres 1999a; Kleijn et al. 1997), the ozone-depleting effect of CFCs (Obernosterer and Brunner 1997) and a controversial debate over risks incurred through incineration of materials such as PVC (Tukker 1998).
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