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Environmental fate & pathways

Bioaccumulation: aquatic / sediment

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The aquatic bioaccumulation and the worldwide interest of pyrite cinder is strictly linked to some metals such as Cd, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn and overall As. Elevated levels of arsenic have been reported in soils and groundwater worldwide. The maximum concentration limit (MCL) recommended for As in drinking water by the World Health Organization (WHO) is 10 µg/l. Elevated levels of arsenic in drinking water can seriously impact human health and have been implicated in human diseases and mortality.

The basis of arsenic biogeochemistry in subsurface lies primarily in bioaccumulation, microbially mediated oxidation-reduction and methylation-demethylation processes.

High arsenic concentrations can be accumulated in microbes (e.g. bacteria, fungi and algae) and plants even from substrates containing low concentrations.