Heavy Metals Pollution in Copsa Mica

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Transylvania University

Faculty of Economics and Business Administration


Dumitriu Monica

Business Administration

1st Year – Group 8801

Coordinating professor:Ruxandra Albu



The reason for chosing to study Copsa Mica area is because this area is very close to my home town Medias, and Copsa Mica, alongside Baia Mare and Zlatna are known as the representative areas for nonferrous metallurgy in Romania. As a result of this almost 70 years old industrial activity, the Copsa Mica area is strongly polluted with heavy metals like: Cd, Pb, and Zn. The present paper presents some aspects impact of metals on environment and human health. There are presented concentration data about 13 metals (including heavy metals) in the dump and on the premises of SOMETRA SA measured with X-ray fluorescence technique, and also about the biomarkers of exposure and effect upon children exposed to lead. [pic]


At the present time of society development level, the industry has became the most important pollutant, affecting large geographic areas. Urbanization is most often associated with an economic, productive, development that can lead to major benefit for the health and environment.In some countries, Romania is included, the lack of an adequate infrastructure and services for controlling the pollution, environmental and health related problems, all lead to the situation in which costs related to water supply, health services, hygiene, garbage collection both for domestic and for industrial source are much higher and, in fact transferred in ht environment and health budget. Recently, an increase in the people’s awareness was noticed regarding the risk of exposures from the physical and chemical agents from the environment that can harm the health of the people exposed.In the Copsa Mica area, the non-ferrous industry started here in 1939 a modest plant for zinc. At the present SC.SOMETRA SA Copsa Mica is a company concerned with the extraction mainly of zinc and lead from the mining concentrates, but also of other existing metals, such as cadmium, bismuth, antimony, copper, gold and silver.


Copsa Mica area stretches for a lengthways of about 30 km from E to W and for a breadth of about 15 km on the N - S direction. Because is situated through the length of Tarnava Mare River the transportation of pollutants in the area is favored by the existing air currents. In order to determine the pollution degree of this area, soil samples have been collected from some localities situated along the Tarnava Mare River, upstream and downstream from Copsa Mica industrial area.


The level of pollution in Copsa Mica is one of the major environmental problem and risk for the health of the population in Romania. It is well known that in some concentrations, most of the metals are essential to life, but in excess, those same metals could be dangerous. Similarly,, the prolonged exposure to high concentrations of heavy metals can affect people’s health and can have severe effects in the long term. The heavy metals that pose greatest risk to health are lead (Pb), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg). Heavy metals were largely used in industry starting the XIXth century, thus being present in the environment nowadays. Sources of heavy metals include: emissions from industries that use solid fuels, especially charcoals, smelters and other industries (Pb, Cd and As), incinerators (Hg and Cd), mining lucrative facilities, pesticides industries and wood preservatives (As and Cr), fertilizers for soils (Cd for example can be found in phosphate based fertilizers), old house water supply systems (Pb) and old house paintings (Pb).

The heavy metals can appear in the environment because of natural processes. As an example, in some parts of the USA, natural sediment of As suffered geological processes and as a...
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