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close this bookIndustrial Metabolism: Restructuring for Sustainable Development (UNU, 1994, 376 pages)
close this folderPart 2: Case-studies
close this folder11. Consumptive uses and losses of toxic heavy metals in the United States, 1880-1980
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentProduction-related heavy metal emissions
View the documentEmissions coefficients for production
View the documentConsumption-related heavy metal emissions
View the documentEmissions coefficient for consumption
View the documentHistorical usage patterns
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences

Historical usage patterns

The next and last step is to allocate total domestic usage of each of the eight metals among the ten categories over the past 100 years. The allocation among uses has been far from unchanging. Many formerly important uses have disappeared, while others have emerged as recently as the last decade. Consumption data by use are available, in general, only since the Second World War. For earlier periods one must rely on a scattering of real data supplemented by a variety of other clues.

Our composite picture of historical heavy metals usage patterns for the United States is summarized in tables A-H in the Appendix. Each table represents one metal, and is arranged as follows:

1. Percentage of metal use by consumptive category.

2. Consumption in metric tons (US).

3. Emissions due to consumptive use (US).

The Appendix also includes a final summary table (table I) of productionrelated and consumption-related emissions, and the consumption-related fraction, for seven of the eight metals (excluding silver, for which productionrelated emissions data are not available). The consumption fraction, expressed as a percentage, is plotted for two groups of metals in figure 1.