Archives September 2001

In the early 1 980s, on illegal battery-disposal operation in Hong Kong's Junk' boy was releasing large amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls, lead and zinc into the water. But the crime did not go unwitnessed. The barnacles and mussels living in the bay concentrated the pollutants in their tissues. The evidence they gave up to local researchers and their colleagues helped the authorities shut the low-breakers down. The idea that studies of living organisms can provide information about environmental hazards is not new before the advent of modern safety equipment, miners kept an eye on the health o( caged canaries to warn them of dangerous gas build-ups. Recently Italian lichenologists hove devised an index of lichen biodiversity, and the sampling methods to calculate if as an indicator of the atmospheric levels of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen Coupled with this, the accumulations of 17 trace metals are measured in a more...


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