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Issue 10, 2010
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Iridium, platinum and rhodium baseline concentration in lichens from Tierra del Fuego (South Patagonia, Argentina)

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Abstract

Lichen samples of Usnea barbata were used as possible biomonitors of the atmospheric background level of iridium (Ir), platinum (Pt) and rhodium (Rh) in the remote region of Tierra del Fuego (South Patagonia, Argentina). Lichens were collected in 2006 at 53 sites covering 7 different areas of the region (24 transplanted lichens of the northern region and 29 native lichen samples of the central-southern region). A microwave acidic digestion procedure was used to mineralize the samples and a sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry method was developed to quantify the elements. The study of the influence of interferences on analyte signals and a quality control procedure were carried out. The analytical protocol was further applied to evaluate Ir, Pt and Rh bioaccumulation in lichens. The detection limits obtained were 0.010 ng g−1, 0.013 ng g−1 and 0.030 ng g−1 for Ir, Pt and Rh, respectively. Recoveries at different fortification levels were between 96.3% and 106% and precision was 3.3% on average. The metals concentration (as dry weight) spanned the following ranges: Ir, <0.010–1.011 ng g−1; Pt, 0.016–2.734 ng g−1; and Rh, 0.063–1.298 ng g−1. Data on 7 areas were similar suggesting that no specific source, for example traffic or anthropogenic activity, influenced directly the metal concentrations in Tierra del Fuego. Values detected are more likely influenced by the long-range atmospheric transport of these pollutants and, in comparison with densely populated areas in the world, they can represent the baseline for low impacted areas.

Graphical abstract: Iridium, platinum and rhodium baseline concentration in lichens from Tierra del Fuego (South Patagonia, Argentina)

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Apr 2010, accepted on 19 Jul 2010 and first published on 08 Sep 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00097C
J. Environ. Monit., 2010,12, 1857-1863

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    Iridium, platinum and rhodium baseline concentration in lichens from Tierra del Fuego (South Patagonia, Argentina)

    A. Pino, A. Alimonti, M. E. Conti and B. Bocca, J. Environ. Monit., 2010, 12, 1857
    DOI: 10.1039/C0EM00097C

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