Highlighted in this compilation of papers is the role and importance of heavy metals in the environment. It provides up-to-date information in a field of active research and progress, where the focus is on effects and interactions between the environment and organisms, as well as contaminant dynamics. Several papers address the impact of heavy metals on our health. The influence of metals on plants is described in an exhaustive study on lichens, which have been widely used as biomonitors for environmental contamination by heavy metals. Metals are also accumulated by animals, as seen in a chapter which focusses on sediment/benthic organism interactions and biomonitoring in fish. Soil interactions are discussed, as well as regional studies of freshwater sediments and the marine environment. The final part of the book addresses a crucial problem: the management of stabilized municipal waste sludges. As a result, the most important and significant recent trends are included, emphasizing interactions with and impacts of heavy metals on humans, animals, plants and soils.
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