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Journal of Chemistry
Volume 2015, Article ID 278326, 13 pages
Research Article

Application of Neutron Activation Analysis for Determination of As, Cr, Hg, and Se in Mosses in the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Toluca, Mexico

1National Institute for Nuclear Research, Carretera México-Toluca S/N, La Marquesa, 52750 Ocoyoacac, MEX, Mexico
2Departamento de Posgrado, Instituto Tecnológico de Toluca, Ex-Rancho la Virgen S/N, 50120 Metepec, MEX, Mexico
3Division for Latin America, Department of Technical Cooperation, International Atomic Energy Agency, Wagramer Strasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Vienna, Austria

Received 12 December 2014; Revised 26 March 2015; Accepted 23 April 2015

Academic Editor: Qiang Jin

Copyright © 2015 R. Mejía-Cuero et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This research presents a study of environmental monitoring at different sampling sites from the Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Toluca (MAVT), Mexico, using mosses (Leskea angustata (Tayl.) and Fabronia ciliaris (Brid.)) and soil samples. The epiphytic mosses and soils were sampled in two campaigns within two periods of the year, a rainy and dry-cold season. The selected sampling sites included urban regions (UR), transitional regions (TR), and protected natural areas (PA). The samples were analyzed by the Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (INAA) to determine As, Cr, Hg, and Se principally. However, due to the versatility of the analytic technique used, other elements including Cs, Co, Sc, Sb, Rb, Ce, La, Eu, and Yb were also detected. Statistical analysis (As, Cr, Hg, and Se) was carried out with principal components and cluster analysis methods; this revealed that a good correlation exists between metal content in mosses and the degree of pollution in the areas sampled. The obtained results in mosses showed that the concentrations of As, Cr, Co, Cs, Rb, Ce, La, and Yb increased with respect to the concentrations obtained during the first sampling, whereas Se, Sc, Sb and Eu, concentrations were decreased. For As and Hg, the concentrations were similar in both sampling periods. The soil samples present the most significant concentration.