Urban Green, A Sustainable Approach to Air Pollution Mitigation
Air pollution has accompanied in many distinct ways since the onset of industrial revolution. It may be from
agricultural activities, livestock, coal burning, oil production, chemical fumes from the industries, power plants, and exhaust
smoke from tail pipes of auto motor vehicles. All of which are anthropogenic sources of pollution. Among air pollutants,
particulate matter due to its size fraction and chemical composition complexity poses a great risk to human health. In
addition to telemetric air quality monitoring stations, “Magnetic Biomonitoring”is a step forward in complementing air
pollution monitoring, where foliage of trees are analysed magnetically. Saturation Isothermal Remanent Magnetization
(SIRM), a proxy for particulate matter deposition is the remanent magnetization of an object after applying a saturating
magnetic field. This process is rather fast, inexpensive as well as provides high resolution information.The study aims to
thoroughly understand the potentials of contrasting plant species in particle entrapment. Three evergreen plant species
(Hedera helix, Rhododendron, Taxusbaccata)were selected and leaves were harvested during (15th February 2016 – 2nd May
2016). In addition to magnetic analyses, the leaf wettability or hydrophobicity of leaf surfaces were analyzed.Increased
wettability was observed for all three species as the season progressed. A gradual increase in SIRM values were observedfor
all species(p < 0.0001).T.baccata accumulated the most particulate matter on its leaf surface (26-148 x 10-6μA) whereas
H.helix relatively less (10-53 x 10-6μA)endorsing the importance of site specific plant species selection.
Keywords - Pollution mitigation, Saturation Isothermal Remanent Magnetization (SIRM), Leaf wettability.