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Air pollution and deposition patterns of 13 metals (Al, As, Cr, Cu, Hg, Cd, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, V, Ti, Zn) were studied in La Spezia district using biomonitoring techniques (lichens as bioindicators and bioaccumulators), in 3 sessions over six years (1989-1992-1994). Phytotoxic gas pollution, SO(2) particularly, was estimated by means of index of atmospheric purity (IAP) methodology based upon the frequency count of lichen epiphytic species within a sampling grid (calculated at 58 sampling sites).
Metal deposition in a survey area, outside the lichen desert, was evaluated at 30 sampling sites using lichen Parmelia caperata as a bioaccumulator. A good agreement was observed among biomonitoring results (IAP values and metal concentrations in lichen tallium) and pollution data recorded, in the same years, by a continuous pollution monitoring system. Inhabitants of the most polluted areas, identified by bioaccumulators, showed higher Pb blood level.
In conclusion, biomonitoring techniques supplied accurate information about air quality and pollution phenomena proving a valid support to traditional methods of estimating over time, environmental pollution on a large scale.

Additional information

Authors: CENCI R M, JRC Ispra (IT);NERI R, USL La Spezia, Laboratorio Medico Biotossicologico (IT);PALMIERI F, USL La Spezia, Laboratorio Medico Biotossicologico (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Biologi Italiani (1996)
Record Number: 199610318 / Last updated on: 1996-03-29
Original language: it
Available languages: it