NEW! Hannah’s paper on soil metals!

14 Sep 2022

New paper published by PhD student Hannah Binner on metal contamination of urban soils.

Hannah Binner has published the first paper from her PhD in the prestigious journal STOTEN (Science of the Total Environment). The paper, titled “Metals in urban soils of Europe: a systematic review”, reports that over half of urban locations across Europe – most of them public parks, playgrounds and sports fields – have contaminated soils. In almost 50% of cases, soil contamination can be linked to geogenic sources, i.e. bedrock. In 25% of urban locations, however, soil metal contamination can be linked directly to human activities, especially traffic and industry. Contamination, defined as metal concentrations exceeding national safety thresholds, is most common for Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr and Ni. These data are preliminary, however, because there is no data available on urban soil metals for 14 European countries, so clearly further work is needed.

This study is co-authored by BEES environmental scientist Dr Tim Sullivan and plant scientist Prof. Marcel Jansen with senior author Prof. Maria McNamara. It is the first systematic report on the current state of research on metals in urban soils across Europe. The study is based on an exhaustive literature search on metals in European urban soils across a dataset of 174 peer-reviewed articles and reports from relevant government bodies. Hannah and colleagues analysed trends in the geographic location of studies, the type and concentration of metals studied and the inferred metal sources.

The paper can be accessed here:

Binner, H., Sullivan, T., Jansen, M.A.K., McNamara, M.E., 2022. Metals in urban soils of Europe: A systematic review. Science of the Total Environment, 854, 158734.

Maria McNamara Research Group

Experimental and analytical taphonomy

School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), University College Cork (UCC), Butler Building, Distillery Fields, North Mall, Cork, T23 TK30, Ireland