PRIMEQUAL Project has the intention of describing the exposure of French urban populations to the atmospheric particles, with an aim of carrying out an evaluation of the risk. Three sites of studies subjected to very different pollution conditions are selected: Montagney, Saclay and Dunkirk, close to the co-operating respective laboratories in the Primequal program.
Montagney: This site is localised to 30 km in the West of Besancon, a town of average importance, 120 000 inhabitants. There is no strongly polluting industry. Montagney is a village of 2000 inhabitants. The activities are typically rural. There is no road axis in the vicinity. One must also announce the presence of the town of Dijon 40 km away in the East of Montagney. The site of Montagney is the most distant from pollution sources related to human activities. This site will be used as reference of comparison.
Saclay: The site of Saclay is localised to 1 km of the nuclear center of Saclay, at the exit of a village of less than 1000 inhabitants but approximately 100 meters away a road axis of first importance of the Paris area, where 65000 vehicles per day circulate (Figure 1). It is about the Trunk road 118, which is one of the western exits of Paris. All the modes of circulation are represented, the high speed and the traffic jam. This explains why the site of Saclay is subjected to the emanations of the mufflers thus that to the particles resulting from the wear of the brakes, the tires and the machine elements.
To try to bring an answer to these questions about the mechanisms of transfer of metals of the atmosphere towards the biomoniteurs, we developed, as from January 2002, an experiment of biomonitoring active. The selected site is a station of monitoring of the site of Saclay, located apart from the perimeter of the center of Saclay, in the village of Saclay.
Dunkirk: The town of Dunkirk is inhabited by 220.000 people and the site of taking away is in the middle of the city. Moreover, it is one of the most industrialized cities in France. One finds there large steel-works, an oil refinery, productions of chemicals, non-ferrous metals, agro-alimentary products. It is finally an important port giving place to an intense traffic of all kinds of mobile sources of pollution: ships, trucks, cars.
During one year, the sampling of dust and rain were continuous. More than 30 minor elements and traces were determined by Neutron Activation (filters) and ICP-MS (filters and rains). That constitutes a data base which allows:
-to characterize the sources of pollutants on this station,
-to apprehend the average values and the seasonal variations of the heavy metal repercussions in Paris area.
Two species of bryophyte are exposed on the station: Scleropodium purum and Ceratodon purpureus. The system of collection of aerosols “Partisol” selected in this experiment is equipped with a selective head of the particles lower than 10 microns (PM10). This category of particles is very interesting because it corresponds to breathable particles, therefore likely to have a more or less toxic interaction with the human pulmonary system. This class of particles was studied in many contexts of pollution and a comparison of the results is consequently possible.