UK scientists give vanadium contamination warning

Date: Nov 9, 2018

A group of UK-based scientists has called for improvements in the risk assessment of the element vanadium as an environmental contaminant, describing emerging sources as a “growing problem requiring wide-scale intervention”.

The rate of its release is increasing, leading to accumulation in the environment and increased likelihood of acute exposure, the scientists say.

Vanadium can disperse and persist in the environment to a greater degree than other contaminants, such as arsenic or phosphorus.

“The element also exhibits multiple interactions within surface environments including complexing to organic and inorganic matter in sediments and uptake into flora and fauna,” they say.

However, our understanding of the geochemistry of the element remains “relatively poor” compared with other contaminants.

The scientists are affiliated with state-funded research organisation CEH, charity the Craigencalt Rural Community Trust and five UK universities.

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