Air quality, metal(loid) sources identification and environmental assessment using (bio)monitoring in the former mining district of Salsigne (Orbiel valley, France) - Chimie Agro-Industrielle Access content directly
Journal Articles Chemosphere Year : 2024

Air quality, metal(loid) sources identification and environmental assessment using (bio)monitoring in the former mining district of Salsigne (Orbiel valley, France)

Abstract

The former mining district of Salsigne is situated in the Orbiel valley. Until the 20th century, it was the first gold mine in Europe and the first arsenic mine in the world. Rehabilitation has been performed during the 20 years that followed closure of the mines and factories, which led to the accumulation of storage of several million tons of waste in this valley. Nevertheless, a detailed description of the air quality of this area is still missing. The goal of the present study is to evaluate atmospheric contamination in the valley and identify the potential sources of this contamination. Active monitors (particulate matter samplers) and passive bioindicators (Tillandsia usneoides) were placed in strategic sites including remote areas. Over the year 2022, we assessed the air quality using microscopic and spectroscopic techniques, as well as environmental risk indicators to report the level of contamination. Results indicate that the overall air quality in the valley is good with PM10 levels in accordance with EU standards. Elemental concentrations in the exposed plants were lower than reported in the literature. Among the different sites studied, Nartau and La Combe du Saut, corresponding to waste storage and former mining industry sites, were the most affected. Chronic exposure over 1 year was highlighted for Fe, Ni, Cu, Pb, Sb and As. Pollution Load Index and Enrichment Factors, which provided valuable information to assess the environmental condition of the valley’s air, suggested that dust and resuspension of anthropogenic materials were the principle sources for most of the elements. Finally, this study also highlights that using T. usneoides could be a convenient approach for biomonitoring of metal(loid)-rich particles in the atmosphere within a former mining area, for at least one year. These results in turn allow to better understand the effects of chronic exposure on the ecosystem.
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Dates and versions

hal-04579727 , version 1 (18-05-2024)

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Aude Calas, Eva Schreck, Jérôme Viers, Astrid Avellan, Alain Pages, et al.. Air quality, metal(loid) sources identification and environmental assessment using (bio)monitoring in the former mining district of Salsigne (Orbiel valley, France). Chemosphere, 2024, 357, pp.141974. ⟨10.1016/j.chemosphere.2024.141974⟩. ⟨hal-04579727⟩
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