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Environmental Air pollution In Malaysia

Malaysia is swiftly developing towards being an commercial country. Many business such as heavy and light sectors, small and medium companies and backyard industries have been growing in the last a decade. The upsurge in professional and agricultural activities has generated a new demand in casing, urbanization, vehicles and medication as the population increase. Each one of these will contribute to environmental problems especially air pollution because of the accumulation of unsafe chemicals such as heavy metals in environment.

Environmental pollution has turned into a major issue that will require immediate action as it may effects individual health. Pollution can take many forms such as drinking water and air that we inhale and exhale. Urbanization in developed and development country, civilization and industrialization make the problem of the surroundings worsened as such that there is no more safe destination to live. In the chemistry dictionary, air pollution can be define as an undesirable change in the physical, chemical, or natural characteristics of the environment, as a result of man's activities. It may be harmful to human being or non living things. In essence there are two main classes of pollutants which can be biodegradable this means it can be rendered harmless by natural functions and need therefore cause no permanent harm if effectively dispersed or treated such as sewage. Another type is nonbiodegradable which can't be decomposing by microbial activity. For example heavy metals such as lead, DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons used as pesticides, which eventually collect in the environment and could be concentrated in food chains.

Pollution also can be describes as the benefits of foreign substances into the biosphere. It may affect the soil, streams, seas, or the atmosphere. The pollutants that are released from the anthropogenic activities such as agricultural sectors, open burning, solid waste disposal, sewage treatment plants and transport produce harmful and poisonous pollutants such as SO2, NOx, heavy metals and hydrocarbon compounds that effects not only real human but also both vegetation and animals that can cause fatality. A few of these hazardous pollutants find their way into the individual system through the meals web. They may undergo biotransformation, metabolism and excreted without the chance of toxicity depending on the substance characteristics of the ingredient and the dosage in body. However, some of the pollutants avoid chemical and natural transformation and collect in the tissues, including the nerves, to cause toxicity. The adverse effects of these pollutants on the nerves system bring about neurotoxicity. Rana et al. , (2004); Katranitsas et al. , (2003) found that there is facts that increasing contact with toxic elements in marine and terrestrial organisms is having undesirable toxicological repercussions. Therefore heavy metals pollution become serious issues that must been concerned.

Unlike other contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons and home and municipal litter which may visibly build up in the environment, track metals in the environment may accumulate unnoticed to dangerous levels. Generally, human health issues associated with track metal contamination have been well-highlighted in the literature. Regardless of the relatively low degree of professional activity in less developed regions there is certainly nevertheless a high potential of toxic heavy metal pollution. The syndication of metals in the surroundings is because natural functions (volcanoes, erosion, spring normal water, bacterial activity) and anthropogenic activities (fossil fuel combustion, commercial and agricultural functions) (Florea and Busselberg, 2006).

Heavy metals such as arsenic business lead, copper, cadmium, or zinc are released from the globes crust in to the environment through anthropogenic options such as non-ferrous metal industry or non-renewable energy ingestion. These substances can cause major damage to human health or to ecosystem stability even at low concentrations in soils. To get over this problem, many countries have taken numerous initiatives especially the developed country. For instance, in 2001 europe council authorized the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary POLLUTING OF THE ENVIRONMENT on Heavy Metals (Europa, 2007). Therefore there are numerous methods to assess and examine the presence of these substances. One of these is natural used.

The request of biological varieties as the signals is the best ways to evaluate environmentally friendly condition. Corresponding to (Szczepaniak and Biziuk, 2003; Bargagli, 1998), in order to detect, evaluate and minimize the consequences, there has been an emphasis in the use of natural bioindicators to keep an eye on atmospheric quality in both metropolitan and rural environments. Examples of bioindicators are lichens, fish, and mosses.

One of the bioindicators you can use is lichens. Lichens are well known as an outstanding indicator to determine the environment. Lichens play importance functions to forest areas. Lichens represent a rare source of readily digestible food all the time of 12 months and in diverse surroundings due to their ability to survive in extreme climate condition. More generally, lichens act as pioneer kinds in barren or disturbed environments; their progress on rock floors is one of the primary stages of garden soil creation in such surroundings (Brkenhielm, 1998; Cooper, 1953 in Dawson, 2008). Lichens are small, non-vascular plants consisting of a fungus and an alga growing alongside one another in one muscle. Normally lichens are found on the bark of trees and shrubs, or the reindeer lichens growing on the ground, but many other species increase on stones, fences, roofs, tombstones, and other objects. The attribute of lichen that delicate to the changes of the surrounding makes them as an outstanding bioindicators and biomonitors for air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide pollution, given that they derive their drinking water and essential nutrition mainly from the atmosphere somewhat than from the land.

A great deal of studies towards lichens have been done related to pollution especially polluting of the environment in most Europen countries and THE UNITED STATES Asia. Through the period 1973-1988, about 1500 documents were published on the effects of polluting of the environment on lichens Richardson (1988) cited in Ahmadjian (1993), and many general reviews of lichens and air pollution have been put together (Ahmadjian, 1993). The legislation about quality of air that they made has been goes by through out the countries especially in growing countries where air pollution is bad. In Malaysia, several studies has been conducted (Mokhtar et al. , 2006) to determine the heavy metals pollution level using lichen at difference places. From the study, they found out that the sensitivity of lichens towards heavy metals vary from each species. Most of types of lichen have a broad geographical distribution, which allows for a study of pollution covering extensive areas and its own high capacity to accumulate metals (Burton, 1986). Hutchinson et al. , (1996) mentioned that lichens don't have seasonal variations and therefore accumulation of contaminants can occur all year-round. Lichens and mosses usually have considerable durability, which resulted in their use as long-term integrators of atmospheric deposition (Sloof, 1993). The benefits associated with using lichens as quantitative biological screens of air metallic deposition compare to regular air sampling techniques go up from that lichens can be found generally in most terrestrial habitats, are perennial, inexpensive and easy reproduced (Baffi et al. , 2002).

Problem statement

Nowadays the amount of heavy metals in the surroundings increasing daily as the entire world becomes a lot more developed. This is because the uncontrolled released of heavy metals contributes to the pollution because of the extreme anthropogenic activities. The continuous loading of heavy metals into inland and coastal water make the situation worsens. Anthropogenic activities such as mining, smelting and agriculture have locally increased the levels of heavy metals such as cadmium (Compact disk), copper (Cu), chromium (Cr), business lead (Pb), arsenic (As) and nickel (Ni) in garden soil up to dangerous levels for plants, animals and humans. Although with the forest all around us, the status of heavy metals level quite crucial as the result of human day to day activities, dense society area nearby the forest and also an increasing of the travel. These activities give undesirable effect to the life span being as they enter the environment. Other than that the restrictions provided by Malaysian federal government which is the Environmental Quality Act 1974 by Office of Environment, still not totally been forced because of the involvement other celebrations such as local power to take action when the level of pollutants exceed the typical given especially in coastal area. This is due to the several department have different responsibilities. Nevertheless these people can be work together to create a much better life. Meanwhile due to the lack of studies on the lichens inside our country, the info obtained can help the neighborhood authority in decision making process thus preserved the quality. Besides that, it would create an analysis about environmentally friendly condition and perhaps to improve environmental quality status.


This analysis was carried out in order to attain as the followings:

To quantify the heavy metals present in lichens.

To measure the level of heavy metals in lichens.

To build the relationship of heavy metals contaminants in lichens with the encompassing environment.

Significant of study

By knowing that different varieties has different sensitivity towards heavy metals, it allow bettering understanding about the awareness of lichens towards heavy metals at bordering environment. The occurrence or absences of varieties in areas can provide better understanding about the level of sensitivity of lichens towards the pollutants. The info obtained also can be used to assess the toxicology results not and then the lichens but also on man. Heavy metals can very poisonous if the amount of the pollutants higher than the limited given. The data can also create the syndication habits of lichens at that place. The air pollution level and position place also can be determined. This study provides a reference point record for conducting further biomonitoring studies.

Thesis organization

The willpower of heavy metals in lichens as bioindicators is a thesis based on previous research in several sampling location. Overall, this thesis involves five chapters which are to aid in understanding and ease to organize through writing process. The chapters in this thesis have been arranging as follows:

Chapter 2 generally discuss about the applied to lichens as bioindicators. In this chapter, it also has detailed explanation on the morphology of lichens that play important role in accumulate heavy metals. In addition, it include the history on the technological research on lichens, the significant role on absorb the heavy metals and the consequences of polluting of the environment and metal pollution towards lichens.

Chapter 3 is more concentrating on research methodology. In this part, it is split into three parts which are the description on area of study, sampling collection and last but not least laboratory evaluation which is the procedure to determine heavy metals using Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).

Chapter 4 is concentrating on the results obtained and dialogue. In this section, it discuss about the info obtained after analyze by ICP-MS. In addition, it include the statistical tools to investigate the precision of the data obtain in order to truly have a good data. In addition, it suggests the results and the data interpretation between your samples.

Chapter 5 is the last chapter which is the final outcome. On this part, it concludes for your section in the thesis. It related on the aim of the study like the recommendation to enhance the research on lichens.

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