Biomedical Research

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Simultaneous determination of some heavy metals in nail samples of Saudi Arabian smokers by inductive coupled plasma mass spectrometry

In the present study, the levels of some heavy elements in the nails of smokers and non-smokers were estimated to study the relationship between smoking and the presence of toxic elements in Saudi Arabia population. Nail samples were collected from cigarette smokers, tobacco pipe smokers, and non-smoker volunteers. The concentration of toxic metals was measured using inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry after microwave acid digestion. The validity of the proposed method was investigated by analysing metals ions in certified water samples. The average concentration of Nickel (Ni), Chromium (Cr), Zinc (Zn), Cadmium (Cd), Lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) was 10.68 ± 7.96, 70.89 ± 34.58, 89.35 ± 27.91, 0.08 ± 0.08, 13.11 ± 19.34, and 1.43 ± 1.19 in cigarette smoker, 12.73 ± 9.12, 62.01 ± 22.51, 85.5 ± 15.92, 3.64 ± 4.48, 0.09 ± 0.11, and 1.84 ± 1.44 in tobacco pipe smoker, and 5.21 ± 4.94, 42.36 ± 16.84, 65.02 ± 28.89, 1.56 ± 0.99, 0.06 ± 0.05, and 0.81 ± 0.58 in non-smoker samples, respectively. Statistical analysis indicated a significant correlation between the concentration of these metals and smoking (either cigarette or tobacco pipe), compared with non-smokers. Moreover, there was a correlation between the concentration of these elements and the period of smoking.

Author(s): AL-Ramadi MA, NA AL-Askar, Mostafa GAE