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Geosciences 2011, 1(1), 26-43; doi:10.3390/geosciences1010026

Geoscience of the Built Environment: Pollutants and Materials Surfaces

1,*  and 2
1 Centre of Geological Research, Management and Valorisation of Resources (CIG-R), University of Minho/School of Sciences, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal 2 Instituto Universitario de Xeoloxía “Isidro Parga Pondal”, Universidade da Coruña/Edificio Servizos Centrais de Investigación, Universidade da Coruña, Campus de Elviña, 15071 A Coruña, Spain
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 December 2011 / Accepted: 18 December 2011 / Published: 20 December 2011
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An overview of issues with environmental relevance that arise from the interaction between pollutants and surfaces of the built environment is presented in this paper. Two broad perspectives are considered: decay of materials and recording of pollution characteristics. In relation to the former, we consider the possible implications on human activities restrictions, materials and morphological options, consumption of resources and release of pollutants resulting from the alteration of materials, conservation and restoration procedures. In terms of pollution recording, the interest of the stony materials as passive monitors of pollution, the question of heterogeneous conditions on buildings and the interest of qualitative and quantitative studies are highlighted. The importance of longitudinal studies on new and cleaned surfaces is considered, both for the understanding of materials decay and for the assessment of pollution conditions. The use of tracers to record the characteristics of pollution sources, interaction with materials and pathways of pollutants is also discussed. Finally, some recommendations are presented, based on the issues discussed on this paper that might be relevant for environmental management programs, including environmental education.
Keywords: alteration; stony materials; built environment; environmental studies; pollution monitoring alteration; stony materials; built environment; environmental studies; pollution monitoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Alves, C.; Sanjurjo-Sánchez, J. Geoscience of the Built Environment: Pollutants and Materials Surfaces. Geosciences 2011, 1, 26-43.

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