Determination of Heavy Metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) Contents Using the Lichen Dirinaria picta in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


A biomonitoring study on lichens was conducted to assess the levels of atmospheric heavy metal and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) at ten sites at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Campus, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia. Dirinaria picta, epiphytic lichen which commonly found at lowland areas was used as the bioindicator in this study where samples were collected from the bark of palm trees at sites ranging from areas with high volume of traffic to isolated areas in the campus. Eight metals (Cr, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn , Al, Pb), and ten PAH; naphthalene (PAH1), acenaphtylene (PAH2), acenaphthene (PAH3), fluorine (PAH4), anthracene (PAH5), phenanthrene (PAH6), fluoranthene (PAH7), pyrene (PAH8), benzo (b) anthracene (PAH9) and chrysene (PAH10) were analyzed in the naturally growing thallus of Dirinaria picta. The average concentration of the metals was observed to be in the range of 230.6 ppm (Fe) to 0.3 ppm (Co) and for PAH, it was observed in the range of 612 ppm (PAH1) to 79.5 ppm (PAH10). The One-way ANOVA analysis for both the heavy metals and the PAHs showed Ho was rejected. There are significant differences in heavy metals and PAHs concentrations between sites. The selectivity sequence of heavy metals were Fe > Cr > Ni > Al > Zn > Pb > Cu. Meanwhile for PAH, the sequence is PAH1 > PAH3 > PAH2 > PAH6 > PAH5 > PAH7 > PAH4 > PAH8 > PAH9 > PAH10.

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M. Samdudin, H. Azahar, A. Abas and Z. Zakaria, "Determination of Heavy Metals and Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) Contents Using the Lichen Dirinaria picta in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 760-765. doi: 10.4236/jep.2013.48088.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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