Biomonitoring of PAHs by using Quercus ilex leaves: Source diagnostic and toxicity assessment

De Nicola, Flavia and Lancellotti, Claudia and Prati, Maria Vittoria and Maisto, Giulia and Alfani, Anna (2011) Biomonitoring of PAHs by using Quercus ilex leaves: Source diagnostic and toxicity assessment. Atmospheric Environment, 45. pp. 1428-1433. ISSN 1352-2310

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Quercus ilex L. leaves were sampled at nineteen urban sites and two remote sites in order to evaluate PAH contamination degree. One-, two- and three-year-old leaves were collected and leaf lipid content was measured to investigate the influence of leaf age and lipids in PAH accumulation. Some PAH diagnostic ratios, such as Ant/Antþ Phen, Flt/Flt þ Pyr, B[a]A/B[a]A þ Crys and IP/IPþ B[g,h,i]P, were calculated. The results suggest that Q. ilex leaves are effective biomonitors of PAH air contamination: in fact, a great PAH accumulation in leaves from the urban areas, until 30-time higher compared to those from the remote sites, has been observed. At each site, the similar total PAH concentrations in leaves of different age, probably due to a canopy effect, indicate an ability of all leaf age classes to monitor local PAH concentrations in air, remarking practical implications for air biomonitoring. The findings suggest that PAH adsorption in Q. ilex leaves does not result limited by leaf lipid content. Moreover, this study demonstrates the source-diagnostic potential of Q. ilex leaves, because, in particular, the Flt/Fltþ Pyr and IP/ IPþ B[g,h,i]P ratios indicate vehicular traffic as the main source of PAHs in the urban areas and wood combustion in the remote areas. Moreover, to distinguish biomass combustion source, a promising tracer PAH as DB[a,h]A could be used. The high contribution of DB[a,h]A to total PAH concentrations at the remote sites determines a high carcinogenic potential in this area, similar to that calculated for the urban area where the carcinogenic PAH concentrations in absolute values are often higher

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Leaf age; leaf lipid; leaf dry weight; Carcinogenic PAH; PAH diagnostic ratio
Subjects: 600 Tecnologia - Scienze applicate > 620 Ingegneria e attivita' affini > 629 Altri rami dell'ingegneria > 629.2 Veicoli terrestri a motore; Cicli > 629.25 Motori (Classificare qui il controllo dell'inquinamento)
Depositing User: Rosina Serpe
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2012 10:45
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2012 10:45

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