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Associated topic: Heavy metals

Emissions monitoring period: since 1990

Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017


Sources of the pollutant

Nickel (Ni) is mainly released by the combustion of heavy fuel oil, which contains traces of this metal, and by electric steel mills.


Effect of the pollutant

According to the World Health Organisation, exposure to nickel compounds by inhalation is carcinogenic to humans.

Heavy metals can be toxic for the biosphere. Most being under particulate shape, they accumulate in the water, the grounds, the food and the air.


Classification of sub-sectors* with the highest emission levels in 2015

Classification Sub-Sectors Share of sub-sector in total national emissions in mainland France
1 Petroleum refining 18%
2 Tertiary sector 15%
3 Ferrous metals production 14%
4 Chemical industry 13%
5 District heating 5.2%
6 Electricity production 5.2%
7 Paper and board manufacture 5.1%

*: one sector out of six (energy transformation, manufacturing industry, residential/tertiary, agriculture/forestry, road transport and other transport) is broken down into sub-sectors.


Emissions and trends

Minimum observed: 40 t in 2015
Maximum observed: 308 t in 1991
Emissions in 2015: 40 t
Trends 2015/1990: -86.3%
Trends 2015/maximum: -87.0%
Trends 2015/minimum: 0%

Measurement unit: t (tonne)

Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Graph Ni 17

Graph Legende sans UTCFv2

Source CITEPA / SECTEN format – April 2017

Tab Ni 17

(*) Following UNECE/NEC definitions : emissions classified "except total" are not included, i.e. emissions from international maritime, emissions from domestic and international air transport cruise (≥ 1000 m), emissions from agriculture and forestry biogenic sources and emissions from non-anthropogenic sources.
(e) preliminary estimate



Nickel (Ni) emission levels in 2015 in mainland France were the lowest level observed during the entire 1990-2015 period.

Nickel emissions are released by all sectors, in very uneven amounts... (to read more, consult the SECTEN report online via your login and password)

Data source: CITEPA / SECTEN format - April 2017