The effect copper runoff has on the environment
Knowledge of the total amount of released metals is only a quantitative measure on diffuse metal flows, it is not sufficient to assess any potential risks. The assessment of potential environmental risks induced by the dispersed metals from various architectural surfaces requires information on the chemical form (speciation) of the released metal and how it changes upon environmental interaction and where it ends up.
The free copper ion will for example rapidly change its speciation by for instance forming non-available complexes and compounds in contact with solid surfaces such as pavement, limestone, downspouts etc. Such surfaces hence act as efficient sinks for released metals (up to 99% for copper). Reactions with organic matter form different complexes also change the chemical speciation of released metal in a similar way.
- The interaction between concrete pavement and corrosion-induced copper runoff from buildings, B. Bahar, G. Herting, I. Odnevall Wallinder, K. Hakkila, C. Leygraf, M. Virta, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 140, 175-189 (2008)
- Long term corrosion-induced copper runoff from natural and artificial patina and its environmental fate, S. Bertling, I. Odnevall Wallinder, D. Berggren, C. Leygraf, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25(3), 891-898, (2006)