Beryllium contamination and its risk management in terrestrial and aquatic environmental settings

Shiv Bolan, Hasintha Wijesekara, Mohsin Tanveer, Vanessa Boschi, Lokesh P Padhye, Madhuni Wijesooriya, Lei Wang, Tahereh Jasemizad, Chensi Wang, Tao Zhang, Jörg Rinklebe, Hailong Wang, Su Shiung Lam, Kadambot H M Siddique, M B Kirkham, Nanthi Bolan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Beryllium (Be) is a relatively rare element and occurs naturally in the Earth's crust, in coal, and in various minerals. Beryllium is used as an alloy with other metals in aerospace, electronics and mechanical industries. The major emission sources to the atmosphere are the combustion of coal and fossil fuels and the incineration of municipal solid waste. In soils and natural waters, the majority of Be is sorbed to soil particles and sediments. The majority of contamination occurs through atmospheric deposition of Be on aboveground plant parts. Beryllium and its compounds are toxic to humans and are grouped as carcinogens. The general public is exposed to Be through inhalation of air and the consumption of Be-contaminated food and drinking water. Immobilization of Be in soil and groundwater using organic and inorganic amendments reduces the bioavailability and mobility of Be, thereby limiting the transfer into the food chain. Mobilization of Be in soil using chelating agents facilitates their removal through soil washing and plant uptake. This review provides an overview of the current understanding of the sources, geochemistry, health hazards, remediation practices, and current regulatory mandates of Be contamination in complex environmental settings, including soil and aquatic ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121077
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023


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