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Toxic trace elements (TEs) can pose serious risks to ecosystems and human health. However, a comprehensive understanding of atmospheric emission inventories for several concerning TEs has not yet been developed. In this study, we systematically reviewed the status and progress of existing research in developing atmospheric emission inventories of TEs focusing on global, regional, and sectoral scales. Multiple studies have strengthened our understanding of the global emission of TEs, despite attention being mainly focused on Hg and source classification in different studies showing large discrepancies. In contrast to those of developed countries and regions, the officially published emission inventory is still lacking in developing countries, despite the fact that studies on evaluating the emissions of TEs on a national scale or one specific source category have been numerous in recent years. Additionally, emissions of TEs emitted from waste incineration and traffic-related sources have produced growing concern with worldwide rapid urbanization. Although several studies attempt to estimate the emissions of TEs based on PM emissions and its source-specific chemical profiles, the emission factor approach is still the universal method. We call for more extensive and in-depth studies to establish a precise localization national emission inventory of TEs based on adequate field measurements and comprehensive investigation to reduce uncertainty.


Xiaoxuan Bai, Hezhong Tian, Chuanyong Zhu, Lining Luo, Yan Hao, Shuhan Liu, Zhihui Guo, Yunqian Lv, Dongxue Chen, Biwu Chu, Shuxiao Wang, Jiming Hao. Present Knowledge and Future Perspectives of Atmospheric Emission Inventories of Toxic Trace Elements: A Critical Review. Environmental science & technology. 2023 Jan 31;57(4):1551-1567

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PMID: 36661479

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