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Revista Politécnica

On-line version ISSN 2477-8990Print version ISSN 1390-0129


PAULA, Cordero,; YULIANA, Zambrano,; DIEGO, Heras,  and  CARLOS, Matovelle,. The Suitable Bioindicator for the Detection of Atmospheric Lead From an Experience in Cuenca, Ecuador. Rev Politéc. (Quito) [online]. 2023, vol.52, n.2, pp.7-18. ISSN 2477-8990.

The ecosystem alteration due to heavy metals is one of the biggest environmental and public health problems; generally measured in air, soil and water, but their incidence on living beings is known to a lesser extent. This work focuses on the concentration of lead both in the air and in the bioindicators honey and bee pollen in Cuenca (Ecuador). Samples of atmospheric particles (PM10) were taken at three sites in the urban area and samples of honey and pollen at 6 different sites, with 3 repetitions each. Lead concentration was analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. In honey, the lead found is in a range of 0.033 to 0.08 mg/kg, less than the upper limits according to the standard of the National Standardization Service of Ecuador (INEN): 1 mg/kg, and the European standard 0.10 mg /kg. The amounts of lead detected in pollen do not exceed 0.12 mg/kg, being safe for consumption, since the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) establishes that the maximum consumption of lead per individual is 0.214 mg a day. The lead density in atmospheric particles was established in a category of 1 x 10-7 to 9 x 10-7 ug/m3, within the limits established by the WHO of 1.5 ug/m3. It is concluded from the Yuen index that pollen is a better bioindicator of lead concentration than honey and that there are low occurrences of this metal in Cuenca, Ecuador.

Keywords : air pollution; bioindicator; lead; pollen; honey.

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