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Atmosphere 2018, 9(7), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9070283

Magnetic Biomonitoring as a Tool for Assessment of Air Pollution Patterns in a Tropical Valley Using Tillandsia sp.

1
Escuela de Ciencias, Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Universidad EAFIT, Carrera 49 7 Sur 50 Av. Las Vegas, 3300 Medellín, Colombia
2
Centro de Investigaciones en Física e Ingeniería del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIFICEN, CONICET-UNCPBA), Pinto 399, B7000GHG Tandil, Argentina
3
Centro Marplatense de Investigaciones Matemáticas (CEMIM-UNMDP), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Deán Funes 3350, B7602AYL Mar del Plata, Argentina
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 5 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 19 June 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomonitoring of Atmospheric Pollution)
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Abstract

Recently, air pollution alerts were issued in the Metropolitan Area of Aburrá Valley (AVMA) due to the highest recorded levels of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) ever measured. We propose a novel methodology based on magnetic parameters and an epiphytic biomonitor of air pollution in order to improve the air pollution monitoring network at low cost. This methodology relies on environmental magnetism along with chemical methods on 185 Tillandsia recurvata specimens collected along the valley (290 km2). The highest magnetic particle concentrations were found at the bottom of the valley, where most human activities are concentrated. Mass-specific magnetic susceptibility (χ) reaches mean (and s.d.) values of 93.5 (81.0) and 100.8 (64.9) × 10−8 m3 kg−1 in areas with high vehicular traffic and industrial activity, while lower χ values of 27.3 (21.0) × 10−8 m3 kg−1 were found at residential areas. Most magnetite particles are breathable in size (0.2–5 μm), and can host potentially toxic elements. The calculated pollution load index (PLI, based on potentially toxic elements) shows significant correlations with the concentration-dependent magnetic parameters (R = 0.88–0.93; p < 0.01), allowing us to validate the magnetic biomonitoring methodology in high-precipitation tropical cities and identify the most polluted areas in the AVMA. View Full-Text
Keywords: Aburrá Valley; environmental magnetism; multivariate statistical analysis; magnetite; magnetic particulate matter; pollution index PLI Aburrá Valley; environmental magnetism; multivariate statistical analysis; magnetite; magnetic particulate matter; pollution index PLI
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Mejía-Echeverry, D.; Chaparro, M.A.E.; Duque-Trujillo, J.F.; Chaparro, M.A.E.; Castañeda Miranda, A.G. Magnetic Biomonitoring as a Tool for Assessment of Air Pollution Patterns in a Tropical Valley Using Tillandsia sp.. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 283.

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