Exposure of passive samplers and epiphytic lichens for mercury sampling in air within MercOx project / 19.02.2020

During last days co-workers on MercOx project exposed passive samplers and epiphytic lichens for detection of mercury in air at several locations around project experimental site Cement Plant Anhovo and mercury mine area in Idrija.

Aim of exposure of passive samplers and lichen within WP4 is to test and validate under field conditions new and existing methods for on-line and sorbent trap measurements of mercury and its forms in air obtained in other work packages.

Epiphytic lichens live on different tree species, interacts only with air, and therefore are perfect for heavy metals and radionuclides in air monitoring. This was confirmed in many previous studies done at Department. Clean epiphytic lichens (Hypogymnia physodes) were collected on Pokljuka, prepared and pack in lab, and exposed for different time periods at several locations around cement plant and Idrija Hg mine, where highest Hg concentrations are expected.

Passive samplers are of different designs and sorbents, and produced by MercOx project partners CNR Italy, PSA Great Britain and Environment Canada. Samplers will be exposed for different time periods and compared within each other and on-line Hg measurements by Tekran air Hg speciation system and PSA Sir Galahad total air Hg detector. On-line measurements are at reference location above cement plant while other locations are checked by Lumex RA915 detector regularly.