Heavy metals such as cadmium and lead are typically found at high levels in fly ash from refuse incinerators. In two earlier studies it was found that such heavy metals on grass or tree foliage in the vicinity of old refuse incinerators with relatively low stacks and limited or no emission control devices showed a high degree of correlation between diminishing foliar concentration and the logarithm of sampling distance from the incinerator. In the study reported here of the concentration of cadmium and lead on foliage near a modern refuse incinerator with a high stack and efficient emission controls, the foliar concentrations of the metals showed no significant diminution with sampling distance from the incinerator. Factors affecting heavy metal emissions from refuse incinerators and contamination of nearby areas are discussed. © 1992.
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