Nine heavy metals were estimated in lichen, Phaeophyscia hispidula (Ach.) Moberg, collected from 12 different sites of Dehradun, capital city, to analyze the air quality of Uttarakhand. Total metal concentration was the highest at Mohkampur Railway Crossing, Hardwar Road (42,505 μg g−1). Dela Ram Chowk, located in the center of the city, also had higher metal concentration, 34,317 μg g−1, with maximum concentration of Pb at 12,433 μg g−1, while Nalapani forest area had minimum total metal concentration (1,873 μg g−1) as well as minimum Pb level at 66.6 μg g−1, indicating anthropogenic activity, mainly vehicular activity, responsible for the increase in metal concentration in the ambient environment. In comparison with the earlier years 2004 and 2006, air pollution as indicated by similar lichen shows a considerable increase in the total metal concentration (especially Pb) in the ambient air of Dehradun city, which may be attributed to exponential rise in the traffic activity in the last 5 years.
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One of the authors (M.R.) is grateful to the Director, Uttarakhand State Council for Science and Technology for financial support. Author, V.S., wishes to thank SERC Division, D.S.T., New Delhi for the award of fellowship. Authors wish to thank Dr. Sudhir Shukla for his guidance in carrying out the statistical analysis and Ms Anu Rastogi for the valuable help. Author (M.R.) is thankful to Mr. Jitendra for help during collection.
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