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Home FAQs Text Why should I avoid the term “Heavy Metals”

Why should I avoid the term “Heavy Metals”

The term “Heavy Metals” has about 40 different definitions. Many publications even list arsenic or antimony in tables called “Heavy Metal Analyses” – but neither arsenic nor antimony is a metal at all! Because of that fact, we want you to avoid that term in your papers for “Mine Water and the Environment” and our proceedings. Please substitute the term by either “Metals”, “Potentially Toxic Elements”, “Metals and Semi-Metals” or whichever term is correct.

Read the following papers to understand our reason for this procedure:

PDFDuffus, J. H. (2002): “Heavy Metals” – A meaningless term? – Pure Appl. Chem., 74 (5): 793-807.
Pourret, O. & Hursthouse, A. (2019): It's Time to Replace the Term “Heavy Metals” with “Potentially Toxic Elements” When Reporting Environmental Research. – Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 16(22)  doi:10.3390/ijerph16224446.

The first paper is published here under the copyright of IUPAC©

If, and only if, you really want to use the term “heavy metal” in your paper, we would be glad if it only relates to the music style with the same name:

Martikainen, P., Korhonen, K. & Tarkiainen, L. (2021): Heavy metal toxicity and mortality—association between density of heavy metal bands and cause specific hospital admissions and mortality: population based cohort study. – BMJ, 375:e067633, doi:10.1136/bmj-2021-067633.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 December 2021 10:26  

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