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close this bookIndustrial Metabolism: Restructuring for Sustainable Development (UNU, 1994, 376 pages)
close this folderPart 2: Case-studies
close this folder6. Industrial metabolism at the national level: A case-study on chromium and lead pollution in Sweden, 1880-1980
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentThe use of chromium and lead in Sweden
View the documentCalculation of emissions
View the documentThe development of emissions over time
View the documentThe emerging immission landscape
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences

The use of chromium and lead in Sweden

In Sweden, the use of chromium has been quite extensive owing to the historic importance of steel alloy production. As there are no chromium mines in Sweden, the import of chromium ore has long made up more than half of total Swedish ore imports. These imports have increased dramatically during this century. Imported chromium ore is mainly used for the production of ferrochrome. Since 1920, the Swedish iron and steel industry has been the major user of chromium, particularly for stainless steel. The use of chromium in the leathertanning and textile industries was once important, but with the decline of these industries and the introduction of synthetic materials for tanning and dyeing, this use has decreased rapidly. The chemical industry and anti-corrosion treatment have replaced these industries as the major users of imported chromium compounds.

Lead mining has a long history in Sweden, but it is only since the Second World War that it has really been important; Sweden has become a major lead producer and ore exporter in Europe. Still, imports of various lead products have also been quite significant, particularly between 1945 and 1980. Traditionally, pigments and metal products were the most important uses, but since 1920 the electrical industry (cables and batteries) has been the dominant user, with 7080 per cent of total consumption.