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Environmental fate & pathways

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A detailed overview of both background and ambient vanadium concentrations in the environment (air, aquatic, terrestrial and sediment compartment) was made based on monitoring data in order to determine the typical background and reasonable worst case ambient concentration of vanadium in freshwater, sediment, soil and air for the EU-27 and Norway (see attached report for details). Attention has been given on large data sets that originated from National, federal and Academic Environmental Agencies and Institutes, or measurements that were generated in national/international monitoring programs (e.g. EIONET, FOREGS, GEMAS).

The natural background concentration is the natural concentration of an element in the environment that reflects the situation before any human activity disturbed the natural equilibrium (e.g., the situation a few thousands year ago). Because of historical and current anthropogenic input from diffuse sources, the direct measurement of natural background concentrations is not feasible in the European environment. As an alternative, baseline background concentration are measured. This is the concentration of an element in the present or past corresponding to very low anthropogenic pressure (i.e., close to the natural background). Ambient concentrations are defined as the sum of the natural background of an element with diffuse anthropogenic input in the past or present (i.e., influence of point sources not included). Reasonable worst-case (RWC) ambient concentration levels are used for the regional risk assessment (regional PEC).

 Compartment Unit  Typical median baseline background concentration  Reasonable worst case ambient concentration
Fresh surface water  µg V/L 0.49 2.03
Stream sediment  mg V/kg dw  25.7 43.2 
 Agricultural soil (0 -20 cm)  mg V/kg dw 29.5 42.2
 Grazing land (0 -10 cm)  mg V/kg dw 29.5 47.0
 Air  ng V/m3  No data 4.31