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Soil and Fresh Water

Environmental and Ecotoxicology

  1. Trond Peder Flaten PhD Associate Professor,
  2. Eiliv Steinnes Dr Phil Professor

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat096

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Flaten, T. P. and Steinnes, E. 2009. Soil and Fresh Water. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Chemistry, Trondheim, Norway

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


In nature, soil and water systems are intimately inter-related through a complex web of interactions. In this chapter, the nature and properties of soils are reviewed with emphasis on chemical composition and the binding, cycling and transformation of chemical substances in soil. The main focus is on metals, but organic compounds are also discussed. Water is discussed mainly as an exposure route from soil to humans. Various aspects of pollution of soil and water systems are discussed, including industry and mining, long-range atmospheric transport, pesticides and fertilizers and waste disposal sites. The possible health effects of soil and water acidification are treated, with emphasis on cadmium, lead, mercury and aluminium. Finally, some health aspects of drinking water are discussed, with emphasis on instances where toxic substances at least partly have their origin in soils, and where drinking water constitutes an important exposure pathway from soils to humans. This includes arsenic, with a focus on West Bengal, fluoride, water hardness, nitrate and chlorination by-products.


  • soil;
  • drinking water;
  • acidification;
  • cadmium;
  • lead;
  • mercury;
  • aluminium;
  • arsenic;
  • chlorination by-products