Analytical Sciences

Abstract − Analytical Sciences, 37(1), 131 (2021).

Potential Anthropogenic Pollution of High-technology Metals with a Focus on Rare Earth Elements in Environmental Water
Akihide ITOH,* Akane YAIDA,** and Yanbei ZHU***
*Department of Environmental Science, School of Life and Environmental Science, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Chuo, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan
**Graduate School of Environmental Health Sciences, Azabu University, 1-17-71 Fuchinobe, Chuo, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5201, Japan
***National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ), National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8563, Japan
In recent years, the utilization of high-technology metals such as rare earth elements (REEs), which exist in extremely low quantities in the Earth, has rapidly increased with the development of new types of industrial materials and pharmaceutical products. This review provides an overview of a new type of potential anthropogenic pollution caused by high-technology metals, with a focus on REEs released into environmental waters from waste treatment plants. In this paper, potential anthropogenic pollution was defined as pollution caused by metals gradually enriched in the environment by human activity, although standard and guideline concentrations of these elements are not regulated by environmental quality standards for water pollution. We review the analytical methods of REEs and the potential anthropogenic pollution of REEs with a focus on Gd, from the viewpoints of a comparison of the degree of Gd anomaly, chemical speciation, ecotoxicology, and bioaccessibility. Moreover, we also highlight the comprehensive analysis based on multielement analysis of high-technology metals as well as REEs for the further screening for potential anthropogenic pollution.