Pioneer studies in trace element contamination of the food chain: disregard of prior work risks re-inventing the wheel
Sommaire de l'article
Current publications tend to make little reference to early work in their field. The study of the contamination of the food chain by trace elements is no exception. It is suggested that among the reasons for the lack of early citations are the reliance on library databases, the need to keep Lists of references concise, and increased specialisation. The contributions of the main pioneers are reviewed together with the principal areas of early investigation, namely trace elements in urban gardens, nonferrous metal-mining spoil, sewage sludge and from atmospheric deposition. An outline is given of the development of the analytical methods that allowed accurate and rapid determination of trace elements. It is concluded that the disregard of the early period work results not only in its omission fi om university courses but in repetition of research.