Platinum, palladium, and rhodium deposition to the Prunus laurus cerasus leaf surface as an indicator of the vehicular traffic pollution in the city of Varese area: an easy and reliable method to detect PGEs released from automobile catalytic converters.
ABSTRACT The widespread use of some platinum group elements as catalysts to minimize emission of pollutants from combustion engines produced a constantly growing increase of the concentration of these elements in the environment; their potential toxicological properties explain the increasing interest in routine easy monitoring. We have found that leaves of Prunus laurus cerasus are efficient collectors of particulate with a dimension <60-80 mum, and a simple and reliable procedure was developed to reveal traces of platinum, palladium, and rhodium released from automotive catalysts. The analysis of the dust deposited on the foliage is a direct indicator of traffic pollution.
Leaves of P. laurus cerasus were washed by sonication in a mixture of water and 2-propanol and the washings, to be discarded, were separated by centrifugation to yield typically 0.05-1.2 g of dust that, after mineralization, was directly submitted for atomic absorption analysis.
Comparison of the 2007 and 2004-2005 results showed a dramatic reduction of the platinum levels and revealed that palladium is now the main component of this traffic-related pollution.
The results are consistent with the increasing diffusion of cars with a diesel engine whose catalysts are made up of Pt and/or Pd alone, and gives a significant insight into the recent evolution in catalyst design that replaces platinum for palladium.
The proposed analytical procedure is simple, with short preparation times, and greatly reduces matrix effects so that atomic absorption spectroscopy can easily detect the three noble metals at the ng/g level in the dust.
The results clearly show that Pd concentrations have increased over time, and must be cause for concern.
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ABSTRACT: Since palladium (Pd) is now increasingly used in modern industry, it progressively accumulates in the environment, especially in aquatic ecosystem. The potential toxicity of Pd has therefore caused extensive concern worldwidely. In the present study, we investigated the toxic effect of Pd on zebrafish development. Acute Pd exposure significantly decreased both the survival rate (LC50: 292.6 μg/L, viz. 2.75 μM) and hatching rate (IC50: 181.5 μg/L, viz. 1.71 μM) of zebrafish during embryonic development. The most common developmental defect observed in Pd treated embryos is pericardiac edema, which occurs in a dose-dependent manner. Whole mount immunostaining and histological studies revealed that Pd exposure would produce the elongated, string-like heart. The heartbeat rate of zebrafish embryos was also decreased after Pd exposure. Consistently, mRNA expression levels of several cardiac-related genes were affected by Pd, suggesting a potential molecular mechanism of Pd-induced cardiac malformation of zebrafish embryo. Moreover, similar to other metals, Pd exposure resulted in the elevated expression of general metal-inducible genes. It was also found that the expression of several antioxidant enzymes was significantly down-regulated in the presence of Pd. Taken together, our study investigated the effects of Pd on zebrafish embryonic development and its potential molecular mechanisms, paving the way for the full understanding of Pd toxicity.Aquatic Toxicology 12/2014; 159. DOI:10.1016/j.aquatox.2014.12.015 · 3.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The increasing emissions of Platinum Group Elements (PGEs), namely Pt, Pd and Rh, may pose a significant risk to ecosystem processes and human health. A periodic assessment of PGEs distribution in the environment is thus of the utmost importance for the implementation of timely measures of mitigation. Although several studies have quantified PGEs in different life forms such as mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans, algae, mosses and even human beings, data about vascular plants need further surveys. This study aimed to test the suitability of the grass Phragmites australis (common reed) as a biomonitor of PGEs atmospheric pollution. The results showed that Pd and Pt concentrations in leaves are significantly higher in urban areas. In particular, Pd showed the highest range of values in line with current studies that consider palladium as the main element of traffic-related pollution. Overall, the leaves of Phragmites australis reflected the different gradient of PGEs emissions, and may thus be considered as potential biomonitors of atmospheric pollution.Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 04/2015; 114. DOI:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2015.01.005 · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Environmental palladium levels are increasing because of anthropogenic activities. The considerable mobility of the metal, due to solubilisation phenomena, and its known bioavailability may indicate interactions with higher organisms. The aim of the study was to determine the Pd uptake and distribution in the various organs of the higher plant Pisum sativum and the metal-induced effects on its growth and reproduction. P. sativum was grown in vermiculite with a modified Hoagland's solution of nutrients in the presence of Pd at concentrations ranging 0.10-25 mg/L. After 8-10 weeks in a controlled environment room, plants were harvested and dissected to isolate the roots, stems, leaves, pods and peas. The samples were analysed for Pd content using AAS and SEM-EDX. P. sativum absorbed Pd, supplied as K2PdCl4, beginning at seed germination and continuing throughout its life. Minimal doses (0.10-1.0 mg Pd/L) severely inhibited pea reproductive processes while showing a peculiar hormetic effect on root development. Pd concentrations ≥1 mg/L induced developmental delay, with late growth resumption, increased leaf biomass (up to 25 %) and a 15-20 % reduction of root mass. Unsuccessful repeated blossoming efforts led to misshapen pods and no seed production. Photosynthesis was also disrupted. The absorbed Pd (ca. 0.5 % of the supplied metal) was primarily fixed in the root, specifically in the cortex, reaching concentrations up to 200 μg/g. The metal moved through the stem (up to 1 μg/g) to the leaves (2 μg/g) and pods (0.3 μg/g). The presence of Pd in the pea fruits, together with established evidence of environmental Pd accumulation and bioavailability, suggests possible contamination of food plants and propagation in the food chain and must be the cause for concern.Environmental Science and Pollution Research 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s11356-015-4132-4 · 2.76 Impact Factor