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The evaluation of environmental compartments can be made with mechanical apparatus or by using indicators and bio-indicators. These last two methods can provide a considerable amount of information on the concentration of elements, the identification of the source of the contamination and the prediction of their behaviour in the future. The combination of soils and mosses can be used to investigate both large areas, like continents, and also individual fields. The elements that can be analysed are metals and metalloids, but also organic substances such as dioxins. A study, undertaken in an urban waste landfill site, using mosses and soil to assess contamination levels gave interesting qualitative results about the amount and the origin of the trace elements.

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Authors: CENCI R M, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: Settimana Ambiente Italia 2002 Organised by: Gruppo Scientifico Italiano Studi e Ricerche Held at: Milano (IT), 25 February to 1 March 2002
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