Air pollution with metals poses an important risk for human health, as it is associated with high incidence of respiratory, cardiovascular and neoplastic pathologies. Along the direct determination of metals concentration in air, the biomonitoring approach using plant or tree species allows the identification of polluted and unpolluted areas, especially in cities, where the atmospheric metal contents can vary widely in short distances. Northern white-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) is an evergreen tree widespread in cities that requires low maintenance and has ornamental and curtaining roles. In this study white-cedar was used as a biomonitor of air pollution with Cu, Pb, Zn, Cr and Ni, by analyzing these metals in the leaves of white cedar from areas with high and low traffic in Cluj-Napoca. The obtained results revealed no significant differences in the average content of Pb and Cr in the two studied areas and two times higher content of Cu, Zn and Ni in the samples collected near roads with intense traffic. These results indicate that traffic is a source of Cu, Zn and Ni in urban areas.

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