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Implication of biomagnetic monitoring in urban air quality assessments: composition and health relevance of the magnetisable particulate matter fraction.

Air pollution is now the world's largest single environmental health risk. Nevertheless, current air quality networks obtain poor spatial monitoring resolution due to high investment and maintenance costs. Especially in heterogeneous urban environments, spatial monitoring resolution is generally too limited. Biomagnetic monitoring of roadside plant leaves presents a promising monitoring approach to capture spatio-temporal variation of air pollution. Throughout my PhD, I evaluated biomagnetic monitoring (SIRM) of leaf-deposited particles for both air quality monitoring and modelling purposes, on both spatial and temporal resolutions. Nevertheless, lack of information on magnetisable composition and health-relevancy of magnetic minerals in atmospheric particles impedes the general application of biomagnetic monitoring in environmental air quality assessments. Our research project aims to address this knowledge gap by evaluating the magnetisable composition of urban atmospheric particles, its potential for source attribution in urban areas, and the health-relevancy of biomagnetic properties. While the magnetic mineralogy, grain size and concentration will reflect PM source-contributions, associations with heavy metals and/or elemental carbon might emphasize biomagnetic monitoring as a novel health-related PM proxy. The acquired knowledge will be implemented in two largescale and parallel biomagnetic monitoring campaigns in Antwerp (Belgium) and London (UK).
Date:1 Oct 2015  →  30 Sep 2018
Disciplines:Ecology, Environmental science and management, Other environmental sciences
Project type:Collaboration project