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  • Accepted rev Hofman Maher et al June 2017 ES&T

    Rights statement: This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.7b00832

    Accepted author manuscript, 2.44 MB, PDF document

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Biomagnetic monitoring of atmospheric pollution: a review of magnetic signatures from biological sensors

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Jelle Hofman
  • Barbara Ann Maher
  • Adrian R. Muxworthy
  • Karen Wuyts
  • Ana Castanheiro
  • Roeland Samson
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>20/06/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Science and Technology
Issue number12
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)6648-6664
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date25/05/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Biomagnetic monitoring of atmospheric pollution is a growing application in the field of environmental magnetism. Particulate matter (PM) in atmospheric pollution contains readily measurable concentrations of magnetic minerals. Biological surfaces, exposed to atmospheric pollution, accumulate magnetic particles over time, providing a record of location-specific, time-integrated air quality information. This review summarizes current knowledge of biological material (“sensors”) used for biomagnetic monitoring purposes. Our work addresses the following: the range of magnetic properties reported for lichens, mosses, leaves, bark, trunk wood, insects, crustaceans, mammal and human tissues; their associations with atmospheric pollutant species (PM, NOx, trace elements, PAHs); the pros and cons of biomagnetic monitoring of atmospheric pollution; current challenges for large-scale implementation of biomagnetic monitoring; and future perspectives. A summary table is presented, with the aim of aiding researchers and policy makers in selecting the most suitable biological sensor for their intended biomagnetic monitoring purpose.