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Biomonitoring research Madrid, Spain 2021

This research in the area around the Valdemingómez waste incinerator was performed by Action Spain network. At first an exploration was undertaken to identify the possibilities of biomonitoring in the region around the waste incinerator on biomarkers such as backyard chicken eggs and vegetation (pine needles, leaves and mosses). The main focus in this study is on mosses, pine needles of the Aleppo pine - Pinus halepensis, leaves of broadleaf tree (Field elm - Ulmus minor), and evergreen trees of Arizona cypress - Cupressus arizonica. Vegetation samples are taken on locations concentrated in a circle of < 2 km distance from the waste incinerator Valdemingómez.

Pines are widespread among evergreen species and are characterized by a high-fat content. Pine needles have been used for many decades to monitor atmospheric persistent organic pollutants (POPs) like dioxins (PCDD/Fs) pollution on a global and regional scale.

Pine needles will last for more than 2-5 years on pine trees, depending on the species of pine trees. The uptake of dioxins through pine needles can take place continuously year after year.

Since 2018 Valdemingómez is incinerating more than 300,000 t / year. The energy of this WtE incineration plant of recoverable fraction currently comes from several sorting and recycling plants that process municipal solid waste (MSW): the La Paloma plant, the Las Dehesas plant, and the Las Lomas plant itself. All these plants are located on Valdemingómez Technology Park.

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