Rare Earth Elements in the Soil Environment

Author(s): Ramos, Silvio J.; Dinali, Guilherme S.; Oliveira, Cynthia; Martins, Gabriel C.; Moreira, Cristiano G.; Siqueira, José O.; Guilherme, Luiz R. G.;
Summary: Rare earth elements (REE) are a homogenous group of 17 chemical elements in the periodic table that are key to many modern industries including chemicals, consumer electronics, clean energy, transportation, health care, aviation, and defense. Moreover, in recent years, they have been used in agriculture. One of the consequences of their worldwide use is the possible increase of their levels in various environmental compartments. This review addresses major topics concerning the study of REE in the soil environment, with special attention to the latest research findings. The main sources of REE to soils, the contents of REE in soils worldwide, and relevant information on the effects of REE to plants were explored. Ecological and human health risk issues related to the presence of REE in soils were also discussed. Although several findings reported positive effects of REE on plant growth, many questions about their biological role remain unanswered. Therefore, studies concerning the actual mechanism of action of these elements on cellular and physiological processes should be further refined. Even more urgente is to unveil their chemical behavior in soils and the ecological and human health risks that might be associated with the widespread use of REE in our modern society.
Journal: Current Pollution Reports
Year: 2016
Volume: v. 2
Pages: p. 28-50
DOI: 10.1007/s40726-016-0026-4
Available at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40726-016-0026-4
Publisher and ISSN: Springer