Moss bags as active biomonitors of air pollution: Current state of understanding, applications and concerns

Chaudhuri, Sriroop and Roy, Mimi (2024) Moss bags as active biomonitors of air pollution: Current state of understanding, applications and concerns. Nature Environment & Pollution Technology, 23 (2). pp. 829-841. ISSN 0972-6268 | 2395-3454

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Dual concerns involving the rise in airborne pollutant levels and bulging need to protect-preserve human health have propelled the search for innovative means for air quality monitoring to aid in evidence-based decision-making (pollution prevention-mitigation). In this regard, moss bags have gathered a great deal of attention as active biomonitors. In this reflective discourse, we systematically review the world literature to present a bird’s eye view of moss bag applications and advances while highlighting potential concerns. We begin with a brief note on mosses as biomonitors, highlighting the advantages of moss bags over the passive technique (native moss), other living organisms (lichens, vascular plants), and instrument-based measurements. A major strand of moss bag research involves urban ecosystem sustainability studies (e.g., street tunnels and canyons, parks), while others include event-specific monitoring and change detection (e.g., SARS-CoV-2 Lockdown), indoor-outdoor air quality assessment, and change detection in land use patterns. Recent advances include biomagnetic studies, radioisotopic investigations, and mobile applications. Efforts are currently underway to couple moss bag results with a suite of indicators [e.g., relative accumulation factor (RAF), contamination factor (CF), pollution load index (PLI), enrichment factor (EF)] and spatially map the results for holistic appraisal of environmental quality (hot spot detection). However, while moss bag innovations and applications continue to grow over time, we point to fundamental concerns/uncertainties (e.g., lack of concordance in operational procedures and parameterization, ideal species selection, moss vitality) that still need to be addressed by targeted case studies, before the moss results could be considered in regulatory interventions.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Moss bag | Urban sustainability | Metal and PAH monitoring | Air quality assessment | Environmental indicators | Parameterization
Subjects: Physical, Life and Health Sciences > Environmental Science, Policy and Law
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2024 04:25
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 04:25
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