Impacts of air pollution on cultural heritage corrosion at European level: What has been achieved and what are the future scenarios

Francesca Di Turo, Chiara Proietti, Augusto Screpanti, M. Francesca Fornasier, Irene Cionni, Gabriele Favero, Alessandra De Marco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


The interaction of pollutants with Cultural Heritage materials leads to artworks and materials degradation and loss, causing an unpriceless damage. This works aims to estimate the impacts of air pollution and meteorological conditions on limestone, copper and bronze and represents the European risk assessment for corrosion of Cultural Heritage materials. The measures and policies for atmospheric pollution reduction have cut off the SO2concentration and consequently its impact on materials is drastically reduced. Indeed, in 1980 the number of UNESCO sites in danger was extremely high (94% for limestone, 54% for copper and 1% for bronze) while in 2010 these sites did not exceed the tolerable value of surface recession and corrosion. However, some problem related to air pollution persists. In particular, Random Forest Analysis (RFA), highlights PM10as the main responsible for materials corrosion, in 2010. Two scenarios in 2030 have been tested, highlighting that the corrosion levels of limestone, copper and bronze exceed the tolerable limits only in the Balkan area and Turkey. Our results show the importance in the air quality modelling as a powerful tool for the UNESCO sites conservation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586 - 594
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Pollution
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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