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It’s Time to Replace the Term “Heavy Metals” with “Potentially Toxic Elements” When Reporting Environmental Research

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UniLaSalle, AGHYLE, 19 rue Pierre Waguet, 60000 Beauvais, France
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School of Computing, Engineering & Physical Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley PA1 2BE, UK
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(22), 4446; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16224446
Received: 28 October 2019 / Revised: 11 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 13 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Science and Engineering)
Even if the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements is relatively well defined, some controversial terms are still in use. Indeed, the term “heavy metal” is a common term used for decades in the natural sciences, and even more in environmental sciences, particularly in studies of pollution impacts. As the use of the term appears to have increased, we highlight the relevance of the use of the term “Potentially Toxic Element(s)”, which needs more explicit endorsement, and we illustrate the chemical elements that need to be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: heavy metals; contaminants; elements; toxic heavy metals; contaminants; elements; toxic
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Pourret, O.; Hursthouse, A. It’s Time to Replace the Term “Heavy Metals” with “Potentially Toxic Elements” When Reporting Environmental Research. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4446.

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