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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Moss Effective in Pinpointing Air Pollution Sources, Drexel and USDA Forest Service Researchers Find

Dornsife School of Public Health faculty members Dr. Igor Burstyn and Dr. Yvonne Michael co-authored a study published in Science of the Total Environment with United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service researchers Ms. Sarah Jovan, Mr. Geoffrey Donovan, Mr. Demetrios Gatziolis, and Mr. Vicente Monleon. With air quality monitors few and far between in cities, a study of naturally growing tree moss at more than 300 sites across Portland, Oregon, proved that moss can be an effective tool for identifying sources of atmospheric pollution. Air monitor results affirmed what was found in the moss samples, and researchers concluded that this method of analysis served as a reliable indicator to pinpoint areas of elevated pollution levels. Cities could potentially map sources of pollution using naturally growing moss.

Drexel press release