SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2002

Environmental Effects of Zinc Runoff from Roofing Materials — A New Multidisciplinary Approach


The objective of this work is to study changes in concentration and bio-availability of zinc-containing runoff water, released from roofing materials, upon passage through soil. The experimental approach is based on simulating the interaction between zinc in artificial runoff water and soil in a column system.

The total zinc concentration of runoff was substantially reduced when passing through the soil and suggests marked zinc retention. During a constant flow and supply of zinc into the soil, equivalent to three and a half years of precipitation in Stockholm, a zinc retention capacity of approximately 99% was recorded. Not only the total concentration, but also the bio-available portion of the total zinc concentration was reduced after passage through soil. Most of the retained zinc was located in top 3 cm of the soil core and suggests the total capacity for zinc retention of the investigated soil to be about 140 years per kilogram soil in an isolated system. In real systems, changes of temperature, pH, microbial activity, weathering of minerals and deposition of new organic material must be considered.

The results form part of the effect assessment, preceding future risk assessment of the environmental effects of dispersed zinc.

Author Information

Bertling, S
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Wallinder, IO
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Leygraf, C
Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Berggren, D
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden
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Developed by Committee: G01
Pages: 200–215
DOI: 10.1520/STP10894S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5467-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2896-5