Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 252–267 | Cite as

Why air quality in the Alps remains a matter of concern. The impact of organic pollutants in the alpine area

  • P. Schroeder
  • C. A. Belis
  • J. Schnelle-Kreis
  • R. Herzig
  • A. S. H. Prevot
  • M. Raveton
  • M. Kirchner
  • M. Catinon
Review Article

Abstract

In the middle of Europe, the Alps form a geographical and meteorological trap for atmospheric pollutants including volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds emitted in the surrounding lowlands. This is due to their barrier effects, high precipitation rates, and low ambient temperatures. Also the pollutants emitted in the cities inside the Alps spread in the region depending on orographic and meteorological conditions. Although a number of studies on the distribution and effect of pollutants in the Alps has been published, comprehensive information on potential hazards, and ways to improve this sensible environment are lacking. This opinion paper is the result of a discussion during the Winterseminar of the AlpsBioCluster project in Munich. It summarizes the current literature and presents some case studies on local pollution sources in the Alps, and the possibility of using biomonitoring techniques to assess critical pollution loads and distributions.

Keywords

Organic xenobiotics Wood burning Particles Bioindication 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Schroeder
    • 1
  • C. A. Belis
    • 2
  • J. Schnelle-Kreis
    • 3
  • R. Herzig
    • 4
  • A. S. H. Prevot
    • 5
  • M. Raveton
    • 6
  • M. Kirchner
    • 3
  • M. Catinon
    • 6
  1. 1.Helmholtz Zentrum München, GmbH, Research Unit Microbe Plant InteractionsNeuherbergGermany
  2. 2.European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and SustainabilityIspraItaly
  3. 3.Helmholtz Zentrum München, GmbH, Cooperation Group Comprehensive Molecular AnalyticsNeuherbergGermany
  4. 4.AGB, Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Bioindikation, Umweltbeobachtung und ökologische PlanungBernSchwitzerland
  5. 5.Paul Scherrer Institute, Laboratory for Atmospheric ChemistryVilligenSwitzerland
  6. 6.Laboratoire LECA, UMR 5553, Research Unit Pollution—Environment–Ecotoxicology–EcoremediationUniv. J. FourierGrenobleFrance

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