The impact of environmental pollution on immovable cultural Heritage Decaying Mechanisms, Products and Analytical Techniques to Evaluate the Impact (pp. 525-562)
Authors: (Maite Maguregui, I. Martínez-Arkarazo, K. Castro and J.M. Madariaga)
Abstract: In recent decades, environmental pollution has become one of the main causes in the deterioration of the ―Immovable Cultural Heritage‖ (ICH) also known as ―Physical Cultural Heritage‖ (PCH) or ―Built Heritage‖ (BH). There is a wide variety of materials in which the ICH can be built or made, for example, stone, brick, mortar, clay, cement, tiles, marble, glaze, wood, alloys, etc. All these materials can suffer decay processes, most of them due to the impact of anthropogenic sources, such as, synthesized products (pesticides, fertilizers, etc.), heavy metals, irrigation saline waters… But the source which most damages the ICH is the environmental pollution; that is, acid pollutants emission (CO2, SOx, NOx), solid particles, hydrocarbons etc. coming from industrial sources and/or from road traffic. The systematic study of the degradation products of the ICH can provide useful information about the environmental pollution impact on building materials. In fact, the decay processes in buildings provide useful information about the particular environment around the ICH. This article describes the most common atmospheric pollutants types, their degradation process and monitoring of them on the ICH. Furthermore, the study of the reactivity mechanisms between atmospheric pollutants and building materials and the most employed methodologies to characterise the impacts on the artefacts from the ICH are described. Finally, the contribution of biodeterioration to enhance weathering in the ICH is also discussed.