Exposure to airborne metal pollution associated with increased risk of mortality

phys.org | 5/30/2019 | Staff
Mkgirlz (Posted by) Level 3
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One of the moss sample points near Lyon (France), 2018. Credit: S. Leblond & C. Meyer.

Although there is ample evidence that air pollution—specifically airborne particulate matter—is associated with an increased risk of premature death, it is still not known which specific particles are responsible for this effect. The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal), a research centre supported by "la Caixa," participated in a study that used wild moss samples to estimate human exposure to airborne metal particles in order to analyse the relationship between atmospheric metal pollution and risk of mortality.

Unique - Study - Approach - Journal - Environment

This unique study, based on an innovative approach, has been published in the journal Environment International. It included data from 11,382 participants belonging to the Gazel cohort who were living in rural areas throughout France, a cohort that had been followed up for 20 years. The data on mosses came from the BRAMM biovigilance programme, which collects and analyses moss samples from areas all over France situated at a distance from the country's largest industrial and population centres. These samples are analysed in the laboratory to measure the presence of 13 elements: aluminium, arsenic, calcium, cadmium, chromium, copper, iron, mercury, sodium, nickel, lead, vanadium and zinc.

"There have been very few studies on the health effects of airborne metal pollutants, partly because of technical limitations, such as the lack of stations measuring air pollution. We thought that moss, because of its capacity to retain these metals, would be a useful tool for estimating the atmospheric metal exposure of people living in rural areas," explains Bénédicte Jacquemin, ISGlobal and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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