Heavy metals balance in Polish and Dutch agronomy : Actual state and previsions for the future

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    Abstract

    This paper presents the state of agro-ecosystem contamination with heavy metals in relation to the level of agricultural development. For this, the Polish and Dutch agricultural situations were compared. The intensive animal and vegetable production observed in the Netherlands over the past 20-30 years was found to substantially contribute to the heavy metal input of these systems. Agriculture in Poland is on the brink of a rapid economical and technological push promoted by the recent admission of Poland to the EU. The current low levels of organic fertilization in this country are expected to increase dramatically in the next few years, leading to an increased environmental burden of heavy metals, similar to that observed in the Netherlands. Awareness of the danger of heavy metals to public health is slowly taking hold, as the EU takes up its responsibility regarding the maximum limits of some of these compounds allowed in mineral fertilizers. However, the authors would like to stress that the major contribution of heavy metals arises from the use of organic fertilizers. Proper dealing with this through means of adaptation of feed regimes and/or remediation could both safeguard the yet unpolluted soils in Poland and prove essential to halt the ongoing pollution of soils in the Netherlands.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-316
    JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
    Volume107
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

    Keywords

    • netherlands

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