Lead and Uranium Uptake by Lichens

  • D. H. S. Richardson
  • S. Kiang
  • V. Ahmadjian
  • E. Nieboer


Interest in the uptake of Pb and U stems from both practical and academic considerations. Lead is currently one of the most widespread environmental contaminants owing to its use as an anti-knock petrol additive. Lead emitted by vehicle exhausts is taken up by both plants and animals and poses a particular health hazard for young children (Richardson, 1982). Uranium is more limited as a pollutant but can be important where this element is mined or refined. Uranium from such operations is accumulated by lichens, mosses and other organisms (Beckett et al., 1982). Monitoring such contamination by using lichens is of value because the environmental impact of U is uncertain but of concern. This element and particularly its decay product, radon, is thought to induce lung cancer in miners (Van Hook, 1979; Band et al., 1982; Gottlieb and Husen 1982).


Uronic Acid Uptake Capacity Lead Uptake Copper Oxalate Uranium Uptake 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. H. S. Richardson
    • 1
  • S. Kiang
    • 1
  • V. Ahmadjian
    • 2
  • E. Nieboer
    • 3
  1. 1.Botany SchoolTrinity CollegeDublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of BiologyClarke UniversityWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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