The agri-food sector is more complex than the industrial sector due to different climatic, geomorphologic and cultivation practice factors. Agriculture operations can significantly affect phenomena, such as erosion and leaching, and generate different types of emissions into the environment. These aspects should be considered when performing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on agri-food products, mainly because these elements are influenced by both natural and human factors that generate negative health and ecotoxicological impacts. The “Swiss Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment - heavy metals (SALCA-HM)” allows for calculating heavy metal emissions at the life cycle inventory level as part of LCA at a regional level. This study aims to customise the SALCA-HM for five Italian agricultural products (i.e., durum and common wheat, grapes, olives, and citrus fruits), using region- and crop-specific data. The results showed that, even though all the factors relating to cultivation techniques are constant, the use of site-specific data makes it possible to highlight the influence of the orographic characteristics of the territory. Therefore, the high variability of the results can be perceived as a strength of this regionalised approach, thus overcoming several limitations by using national average data instead. More effort is needed to enable greater data availability both for policy and the scientific community.

Estimation of heavy metals emissions in agricultural productions: The case of Italian products

Ioannis Arzoumanidis;Manuela D'Eusanio;Luigia Petti;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The agri-food sector is more complex than the industrial sector due to different climatic, geomorphologic and cultivation practice factors. Agriculture operations can significantly affect phenomena, such as erosion and leaching, and generate different types of emissions into the environment. These aspects should be considered when performing a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study on agri-food products, mainly because these elements are influenced by both natural and human factors that generate negative health and ecotoxicological impacts. The “Swiss Agricultural Life Cycle Assessment - heavy metals (SALCA-HM)” allows for calculating heavy metal emissions at the life cycle inventory level as part of LCA at a regional level. This study aims to customise the SALCA-HM for five Italian agricultural products (i.e., durum and common wheat, grapes, olives, and citrus fruits), using region- and crop-specific data. The results showed that, even though all the factors relating to cultivation techniques are constant, the use of site-specific data makes it possible to highlight the influence of the orographic characteristics of the territory. Therefore, the high variability of the results can be perceived as a strength of this regionalised approach, thus overcoming several limitations by using national average data instead. More effort is needed to enable greater data availability both for policy and the scientific community.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/806854
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