Shisha and bio-indicator posters win air quality prizes

Two air quality posters, covering monitoring with bio-indicators and air inside shisha premises, have won awards for their analysis and research work

Two air quality posters, covering monitoring with bio-indicators and air inside shisha premises, have won awards for their analysis and research work.

The authors of both posters were recognised at an awards ceremony held during the Air Quality and Emissions show in Telford last month (April 22) and were presented with certificates by Environmental Protection UK.

Poster winners AQE 2015

Poster winners: (l-r) Paolo Leonesio and Matteo Masperi of Brescia University and Gam Gurung of Birmingham city council

The work on bio-indicators was carried out by students Matteo Masperi and Paolo Leonesio of the University of Brescia in Italy.

In their work, leaves are used as bio-indicators of the presence of potentially toxic metals in atmospheric aerosols, which were collected in different areas of the city of Brescia.

The environmental engineering students explained that leaves of different trees in the geographical area were considered the best means for the study. “In this work a new approach was based on the use of total reflection X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy instead of the conventional spectroscopic techniques. This is a very high sensitivity technique, which allows the identification of trace elements and is particularly suitable for the chemical analysis of surfaces.”

The study, which is produced on a poster, found that maple and linden trees were most the suitable species for monitoring deposited matter.

Mr Leonesio said: “Air quality in Brescia is a problem because we have a lot of factories and also a very large incineration plant that burns garbage from the north and south.”

He explained that the city also has a lot of contaminated land from old industries including chemical plants.

More information is available at

Shisha pollution

Also a prize winner was Gam Gurung of Birmingham city council who with colleagues Janet Bradley and Dr Juana Delgado, produced a poster looking at the exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) and PM2.5 within shisha premises in Birmingham.

The poster explains how shisha smoking has become more prevalent in the major cities of the UK among both non-smokers and cigarette smokers.

It states: “There is a misconception that shisha smoking is a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. However, recent studies illustrate that people are exposed to harmful pollutants such as black carbon, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide within shisha premises.”

The conclusions were that PM2.5 levels inside the shisha premises pose risks to owners, customers and employees, particularly in non-compliance with the smoke-free legislation. And, localised short-term exposure could cause acute health impacts.

Related Links:

AQE Show 2015


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