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    We report for the first time the Os isotopic composition of tree bark samples from a steel town. Osmium concentrations and 187Os/188Os isotopic ratios of ashed bark samples range from 1.40 to 24 ppt and 0.70 to 1.54, respectively, with the lowest 187Os/188Os recorded in samples close to the steel plant. Compositional variations in the bark samples can be explained by mixing between at least two sources with different Os isotopic signatures: a radiogenic source consistent with crust-derived materials and a relatively less radiogenic source consistent with mantle-derived chromite. The exact origin of the radiogenic Os component cannot be constrained, as background signatures and crustal materials used in the steel industry (e.g., coal and iron ore) likely have overlapping radiogenic signatures. Cr shows a similar distribution pattern to Os, indicating that both metals have a common origin, which provides further evidence that the Os budget in the bark samples is controlled primarily by the chromite used in the steel manufacturing. This study shows that Os isotopes are an effective tool for tracing steel production-related emissions. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Masoomeh Kousehlar, Elisabeth Widom, David Kuentz. Osmium isotope geochemistry of steel plant emissions using tree bark biomonitoring. Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987). 2021 Mar 01;272:115976

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    PMID: 33172700

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