Using trees as a pollution barometer
by Alan Harten
May 27, 2009
If you want to know how much pollution is in the air, then look up towards the nearest tree.
UK researchers from the University of Lancaster say that you can measure microscopic particles of pollution on urban trees, making the leaves of neighbourhood trees an accurate measure of pollution in the area.
The pollution found on the leaves is left from car engines or factories that burn fossil fuel. This produces compounds which form fine dust that is toxic when inhaled.
These particles can be manifested on the leaves at the same level that a normal human would breathe in the same area.
The Lancaster research team was headed by Professor Barbara Maher and studied a line of 30 trees.
They showed that within seven to ten days an accurate measure can be taken of air pollution in an area.
Maher stated that while they plan to continue to study more trees to make their findings conclusive, the current results mean that every tree can be used as a pollution monitor.
One critical aim of the study is to provide more detailed results about air pollution location, as readings can differ in just a few city blocks if there is a busy intersection or a major pollutant in the direct area.
The particle air pollution can cause asthma, birth defects, developmental problems, strokes, and heart attacks if they are heavily concentrated for a long period of time in an area.
Maher’s study concluded that particle pollution is highest between from 0-.3 metres and 1.5-2 metres which could alter the way air pollution is addressed in the future.
Discuss this in the Fair Home Forums
Related posts to "Using trees as a pollution barometer":
- Ancient trees under threat
- Peru plants 512,820 trees per day
- Trees planted in Scotland to offset Manchester eco-conference
No Comments »
No comments yet.
Leave a comment
Previous: « All British Homes Should Be Painted White
Next: Six year study of lakes under way »
Visited 1680 times, 1 so far today