Guidelines for biomonitoring persistent organic pollutants (POPs), using lichens and aquatic mosses—a review

Sofia Augusto, Cristina Máguas, Cristina Branquinho
Environmental Pollution 2013, 180: 330-8
During the last decades, awareness regarding persistent organic pollutants (POPs), such dioxins and furans (PCDD/Fs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), has become a cutting-edge topic, due to their toxicity, bioaccumulation and persistency in the environment. Monitoring of PCDD/Fs and PAHs in air and water has proven to be insufficient to capture deposition and effects of these compounds in the biota. To overcome this limitation, environmental biomonitoring using lichens and aquatic mosses, have aroused as promising tools. The main aim of this work is to provide a review of: i) factors that influence the interception and accumulation of POPs by lichens; ii) how lichens and aquatic bryophytes can be used to track different pollution sources and; iii) how can these biomonitors contribute to environmental health studies. This review will allow designing a set of guidelines to be followed when using biomonitors to assess environmental POP pollution.

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