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Transplanted Lichen Pseudovernia furfuracea as a Multi-Tracer Monitoring Tool Near a Solid Waste Incinerator in Italy: Assessment of Airborne Incinerator-Related Pollutants


The ability of a transplanted lichen, Pseudovernia (P.) furfuracea, to act as a multi-tracer biomonitoring tool for As, Cd, Ni, Pb, 12 PAHs, 17 polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and 27 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was evaluated at six areas of varying risk (high, medium, negligible) of pollutant fallout from a municipal waste incinerator in central Italy. Transplanted P. furfuracea proved to be an useful tool to biomonitor PCDDs/Fs and PCBs. Concentrations of As, heavy metals, PAHs, PCDDs/Fs resulted similar for all monitored stations. Small differences in total PCBs (4378 and 4631 pg/g dw vs 3298, 4123, 3676 and 4022 pg/g dw) and dioxin-like PCBs (1235 and 1265 pg/g dw vs 794, 1069, 1106 and 1188 pg/g dw) were observed. Air concentrations of monitored compounds appear to be more related to general air pollution than point emissions from the incinerator.

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Correspondence to Matteo Vitali.

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Protano, C., Owczarek, M., Fantozzi, L. et al. Transplanted Lichen Pseudovernia furfuracea as a Multi-Tracer Monitoring Tool Near a Solid Waste Incinerator in Italy: Assessment of Airborne Incinerator-Related Pollutants. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 95, 644–653 (2015).

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  • Biomonitoring
  • Lichen
  • Transplant technique
  • Biomonitoring tool
  • Heavy metals
  • Persistent organic pollutants