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South Korea to measure air quality with pine needles

23.07.2021 52 просмотров

The new technology will make it possible to use pine needles as bioindicators and use them to determine the level of presence of heavy metals in the atmosphere. 


According to The Korea Times, the technology was developed by experts from the National Institute for Environmental Research (NIER) under the leadership of the Ministry of the Environment of the Republic of Korea. The invention was based on the natural mechanism of absorption and accumulation of airborne metal particles by tree foliage.  

According to The Korea Times, to check the level of air pollution in an area, pine needles are required, the minimum age of which is one year, and height - not less than 3 meters. The collected needles are stored at a very low temperature, crushed, and then go through the process of homogenization. 

After all the necessary procedures and pre-treatment, the samples are examined with special devices. The devices detect the presence of contaminants such as lead, cadmium, chromium, etc. in needles. 

NIER said that because pine is a fairly common plant, this technology is of great value in facilitating access to information about the state of the environment. This method of monitoring can be especially useful for remote regions where there are no air quality measurement stations. 

“We will create other bioindicators to more accurately determine the degree of environmental pollution: both in air and in water , and in the soil,” The Korea Times quotes the director of the Department of Natural Resources Research Yu Myung-soo. 

The publication notes that the choice of pine as the first bioindicator is justified by the long life of the plant. In addition, new pine needles do not fall off for at least two years, giving them enough time to absorb heavy metals. 

It is planned that field trials of the development will take place next year. 
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