Keywords: Fraxinus pennsylvanica, bark, factor analysis, correlation, child respiratory diseases, trace elements, biomonitoring, children, emission sources, environmental pollution, air pollution, air quality, industrial activities, soil contamination, traffic emissions, allergic rush, allergic rhinitis, respiratory infections
Relationship between trace elemental composition in Fraxinus pennsylvanica bark and the incidence of some respiratory diseases in Cordoba, Argentina
In order to evaluate the use of Fraxinus pennsylvanica as a biomonitor of trace elements and to investigate their relationship with the incidence of some respiratory diseases in children, bark samples of F. pennsylvanica were collected at ten sampling sites near healthcare centres in Cordoba city, Argentina, and analysed by Total Reflection X-ray Fluorescence with synchrotron radiation. Factor analysis was used to identify element emission sources. The first factor was associated with industrial activities, the second might represent soil sources and the third factor was related to vehicular traffic emissions. Pearson's correlation analysis between these factors and the incidence of respiratory diseases showed that factor 1 correlated with allergic rush, factor 2 with allergic rhinitis and factor 3 with respiratory infections. The results suggest that bark samples of F. pennsylvanica can be use as an efficient biomonitor to assess the human exposure to trace elements.