Use of moss and lichen species to identify 210Po-contaminated regions
210Po concentration in urban air fluctuates as a result of natural 222Rn radionuclide exhalation and technical activity that is especially linked with high-temperature processes. Each year, an average 11 GBq of 210Po is released from local power plants into urban air. Over two months, about 180 samples in central Poland were collected. To detect the concentration of 210Po activity, two common species of biomonitors were chosen: the moss Pleurozium schreberi and the lichen Hypogymnia physodes. For the same locale, 210Po in lichen shows an average of twice the amount of activity concentration than the moss. In moss, 210Po concentrations in Lodz ranged from 41.5 Bq kg−1 to 258.0 Bq kg−1, while in lichen it ranges from 74.2 Bq kg−1 to 670.9 Bq kg−1. On the basis of the measured activity of 210Po maps, radionuclide distribution has been prepared. For areas identified with higher concentrations of 210Po, Quantum Gis has been applied.