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Regional air quality study by assessing trace metal atmospheric deposition.

This study addresses the atmospheric deposition of trace elements investigated in Albania, Croatia and Macedonia in 2010 as part of the European Moss Study. This study provides data on the concentration of ten metals (Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, V, Zn, Fe, Al, and Li) in naturally growing mosses. In general, all concentration data follow a lognormal distribution. Cd, Cr, Ni, and Zn show strong fluctuations in the moss samples from Albania and Macedonia, and Pb, Fe, and Al in the mosses from Croatia. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, and Zn were higher in the samples from Croatia than in those from Albania and Macedonia; the concentrations of Cr, Ni, V, Fe, Al, and Li were higher in the samples from Albania than in those from Croatia and Macedonia; and a higher concentration of Pb was found in the samples from Macedonia. The observed relationship between the concentration of lithogenic elements (Al, Fe, and V) and the air quality index (AQI) confirms that moss species have a high capacity to retain atmospheric deposition particles. The anthropogenic emission sources of these elements from local and long-range transport were considered to be the most important factors affecting air quality in the studied areas.

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