The aim of this book is to provide the reader with a basic understanding of the use of bioindicators both in assessing environmental quality and as a means of support in environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures. The book primarily deals with the applicability of these studies with regard to both research results concerning the basal quality of ecosystems and from an industrial perspective, where evaluations prior to the construction of major projects (often industrial plants) are extremely important. Environmental pollution and related human health concerns have now reached critical levels in many areas of the world. International programs for researching, monitoring and preventing the causes of these phenomena are ongoing in many countries. There is an imperative call for reliable and cost-effective information on the basal pollution levels for both areas already involved in intense industrial activities, and for sites with industrial development potential.
Biomonitoring methods can be used as unfailing tools for the control of contaminated areas, as well as in environmental prevention studies. Human biomonitoring is now widely recognized as a tool for human exposure assessment, providing suitable and useful indications of the 'internal dose' of chemical agents. Bioindicators, biomonitors, and biomarkers are all well-known terms among environmental scientists, although their meanings are sometimes misrepresented. Therefore, a better and full comprehension of the role of biological monitoring, and its procedures for evaluating polluting impacts on environment and health is needed. This book aims to give an overview of the state-of-the-art of relevant aspects of biological monitoring for the evaluation of ecosystem quality and human health.
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