Magneto-biomonitoring of intra-urban spatial variations of particulate matter using tree leaves

A. Power, A. Worsley, C. Booth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Preliminary mineral magnetic results from a pilot project investigating the suitability of roadside tree leaves as depositories of vehicular pollution are presented. Tree leaf surfaces (Lime: Tilia europaea; Sycamore: Acer pseudoplatanus) at four roadside and one woodland location in Wolverhampton, UK, have been monitored (July 2003 to November 2003). Mineral magnetic technologies have revealed spatial variations of particulate pollution concentration throughout the conurbation and data analysis indicates that magnetic concentration parameters are suitable proxies for fine particulate pollution, which are particularly hazardous to health. Site-specific traffic management and associated vehicle behaviour appear to be chiefly responsible for the magnetic concentration differences between sites. Magneto-biomonitoring in this way allows the high-resolution spatial mapping of particulate matter (PM) pollution, which may also benefit epidemiology in better assessing exposure to vehicular-derived particulates. Given the speed, measurement sensitivity and non-destructive nature of the technique, it is proposed that this low-cost approach offers some advantages over centralised monitoring stations to monitor urban roadside particulate pollution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-325
JournalEnvironmental Geochemistry and Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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