Fast consumption, increasing energy needs, unplanned urbanization, and unconscious discharge of industrial wastes cause pollution of air, soil, food and water resources. Among these pollutants, heavy metals and metalloids are not biodegradable and accumulate in compartments such as water, soil and plants, threatening human and environmental health. Monitoring studies show that heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, zinc, copper, chromium and trace elements are in first place according to their availability in the environment. Preventive and remedial measures should be taken to reduce the effects of heavy metals. Legal regulations, monitoring studies, the use of soluble and non-toxic compounds in environmental compartments (air, water, soil and plants) in industrial processes, heavy metal-free pesticides, appropriate wastewater treatment plants and use of renewable energy sources instead of fossil fuels are among the priority measures to reduce concentrations of heavy metals in the environment. As a bioremediation approach, removing toxic wastes from the environment by using bioaccumulatory organisms such as plants or mussels maintains its importance among studies aimed at recovery. Studies have shown that integrated methods - especially the combination of suitable plants and microorganisms - are very effective in mitigating the effect of heavy metals in the environment.
Part of the book: Heavy Metals