This project was largely based on the closely linked work of two post-graduate students, an MSc Student (APN) and a PhD student (IWE) way back in the 1980s. at Sheffield City Polytechnic. The work was based on developments in large batch digestion procedures for heavy metal extraction from soil and flame and furnace AAS using solid sample introduction. Outputs also included applications of these techniques to field surveys and plant growth experiments It represents Alan Newman's first steps in publishable research and was a pre-cursor to work which was established at Coventry in the 1990s. The project was also continued when Ken Jackson moved to the University of Saskatchewan in the mid 1980s. Funding was mainly by Sheffield City Polytechnic but, although not a collaborative project, additional funding and benefits in kind were provided by NEDDC and Associated Octel.