Air pollution monitoring using emission inventories combined with the moss bag approach

P. Iodice , P. Adamo , F. Capozzi , A. Di Palma , A. Senatore , V. Spagnuolo , S. Giordano


Inventory of emission sources and biomonitoring with moss transplants are two different methods to evaluate air pollution. In this study, for the first time, both these approaches were simultaneously applied in five municipalities in Campania (southern Italy), deserving attention for health-oriented interventions as part of a National Interest Priority Site. The pollutants covered by the inventory were CO, NOx, particulate matter (PM10), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and some heavy metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn). The biomonitoring survey was based on the use of the devitalized moss Hypnum cupressiforme transplanted into bags, following a harmonized protocol. The exposure covered 40 agricultural and urban/residential sites, with half of them located in proximity to roads. The pollutants monitored were Al, As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn, as well as total polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) only in five sites. Using the emission inventory approach, high emission loads were detected for all the major air pollutants and the following heavy metals: Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb and Zn, over the entire study area. Arsenic, Pb, and Zn were the elements most accumulated by moss. Total PAH postexposure contents were higher than the preexposure values (~20–50% of initial value). Moss uptakes did not differ substantially among municipalities or within exposure sites. In the five municipalities, a similar spatial pattern was evidenced for Pb by emission inventory and moss accumulation. Both approaches indicated the same most polluted municipality, suggesting their combined use as a valuable resource to reveal contaminants that are not routinely monitored.

Source: nbsp; Science of the Total Environment 541 (2016) 1410–1419