Accounting for Resources: The Life Cycle of Materials: No.2

This companion to Accounting for Resources, 1 tracks the life cycle of specific elements, such as chlorine and heavy metals, in order to estimate the generation and dissipative losses of material wastes. The book begins with a succinct review of the life-cycle analysis methodology and evaluates some of its weaknesses in estimating the generation of waste. The authors propose a new quantitative measure of the potential for environmental harm of waste materials. They include case studies to add weight to their proposal. Four horizontal life-cycle case studies are included; one for chlorine and chlorine chemicals; one for mercury; one for arsenic and cadmium; and the other for copper, lead and zinc. The book also includes a longitudinal study of heavy metals use and dissipation, during the period 1880-1980 with reference to the Hudson-Raritan basin. The book concludes with an overview, including some recommendations for future research and for policy changes with respect to governmental statistical data collection and organization.