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Revista mexicana de física

Print version ISSN 0035-001X


MARTINEZ-CARRILLO, M.A. et al. Atmospheric Pollution in the Tula Industrial Corridor studied using a biomonitor and nuclear analytical techniques. Rev. mex. fis. [online]. 2011, vol.57, suppl.1, pp.75-79. ISSN 0035-001X.

This study deals with the application of nuclear analytical techniques to analyze trace elements in the biological monitor Tillandsia usneoides. Biological monitors provides an alternative advantageous way of particulate matter sampling in air pollution studies, since there is no need of special sampling devices, accumulation time can be as long as desired. T. usneoides, which occurs naturally throughout México, was used to monitor air quality of Tula-Vito-Apasco (TVA) industrial corridor at central México. This area is considered one of the critical zones of the country because of atmospheric contaminants high concentration. Particulate matter is regulated by Mexican norms, but its chemical composition is not. Plants were transplanted from a clean environment to four sites at the TVA corridor, and exposed for 12 weeks from February to April 2008. Trace element accumulation of plants was determined by Particle induced X ray Emission PIXE and Neutron Activa-tion Analysis (NAA). Results reveal differences in trace elements distribution among sites in the TVA corridor. Furthermore, anthropogenic elements (S, V) and crustal elements (Ca) in T. usneoides exhibit high levels. Highly toxic elements such as Hg, As and Cr although present at trace levels, showed un enrichment relative to the initial values, when transplanted to the TVA corridor. Results show that monitoring with T. usneoides allows a first approximation of air sources to provide insights of the atmospheric pollution in the TVA corridor.

Keywords : PIXE; NAA; biomonitors; Tillandsia usneoides; trace elements; Mexico.

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