, Volume 138, Issue 1-3, pp 107-118
Date: 31 Jul 2007

Atmospheric deposition of trace element pollutants in Macedonia studied by the moss biomonitoring technique

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For the first time the atmospheric deposition of trace metals was studied over the entire territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Samples of the terrestrial mosses Hypnum cupressiforme, Camptothecium lutescens, and Homalothecium sericeum were collected in September–October 2002 at 73 sites evenly distributed over the country, and a total of 43 elements were determined by instrumental neutron activation analysis and atomic absorption spectrometry. Principal component factor analysis was used to identify the most polluted areas and characterize different pollution sources. The most important sources of trace metal deposition are ferrous and non-ferrous smelters, oil refineries, fertilizer production plants, and central heating stations. Four areas appear to be particularly exposed to metal pollution: Veles, Skopje, Tetovo, and Kavadarci-Negotino, whereas the predominantly agricultural regions in the south, southwest, and southeast show levels closer to European median values for most elements of mainly pollution origin.