Heavy metals in the vascular plants of Tatra Mountains
Heavy metals deriving from anthropogenic activities are important pollutants in the environment. The term "heavy metals" is used for the group of elements with the density higher than 5 g.cm-3. Some of them are necessary for living organisms (Cu, Zn, Mn, Cr, Co), but they can have a toxic effect in the greater amounts. The others are inessential and risk due to their toxicity and ability of accumulation in soils and organisms because they are not degradable. Heavy metals naturally occur in pure form or in salts and they can be transported in biological and geochemical cycles. Anthropogenic emissions originate mainly from mining, industrial production, combustion of fossil fuels and application of fertilizers and pesticides.
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