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Boletín de la Sociedad Geológica Mexicana

Print version ISSN 1405-3322


KAPPER, Kathrin Lisa et al. The use and misuse of magnetic methods to monitor environmental pollution in urban areas. Bol. Soc. Geol. Mex [online]. 2020, vol.72, n.1, e111219.  Epub Dec 22, 2020. ISSN 1405-3322.

This review compiles the current understanding of magnetic monitoring of natural and anthropogenic pollutants, with the focus on biological matrices. Magnetic methods are used to identify ferromagnetic (s.l.) minerals, which serve as tracer for anthropogenic pollutants. These methods have become more popular in the last two decades due to their cost-effectiveness and rapid implementation compared to chemical analyses. The growing interest in the study of anthropogenic pollution arose due to advancements in the understanding of the negative effects of pollutants to our health and the ecosystem. The importance of quantifying the amount, type, and pathways of pollutants is obvious in air quality regulation policies and strategies to mitigate pollution in urban areas. In this context, this article reviews the pathways and matrices of pollutants, magnetic mineral proxies, and their measurements and interpretation. Furthermore, the most recent results within the area of magnetic monitoring in urban areas are presented, including their advantages as well as shortcomings. The review concludes with potential future steps of magnetic studies applied to anthropogenic pollution and their conclusions.

Keywords : Biomagnetic monitoring; Environmental pollution; Anthropogenic pollutants; Particulate matter; Heavy metals; Health.

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