Bags with oven-dried moss for the active monitoring of airborne trace elements in urban areas.

Research paper by S S Giordano, P P Adamo, F F Monaci, E E Pittao, M M Tretiach, R R Bargagli

Indexed on: 22 May '09Published on: 22 May '09Published in: Environmental Pollution


To define a harmonized methodology for the use of moss and lichen bags as active monitoring devices of airborne trace elements in urban areas, we evaluated the element accumulation in bags exposed in Naples in different spring weather conditions for 6- and 12-weeks. Three different pre-exposure treatments were applied to moss and lichen materials: water-washing, acid-washing and oven-drying. During the different exposure periods in the Naples urban environment the moss accumulated always higher amounts of elements (except Hg) than lichens and the element accumulation increased during wetter weather and higher PM(10) conditions. The oven pre-treatment did not substantially modify the morphology and element composition of moss and the exposure in bags of this material for 6-weeks was sufficient to detect the pattern of airborne trace elements.