Biomedical Research

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- Biomedical Research (2010) Volume 21, Issue 2

Level of essential and toxic metals in urban adolescents hair: Preliminary study.

The aim of this work is to monitor essential metals Ca, Cu, Fe, Mg, Ni and Zn, and xenobi-otic environmental metals As, Cd and Pb in hair of young boys. It is a strategic choice that could allow a preliminary study for a synergistic assessment of the possible relationships among diet and environmental local pollution in students of 12 - 13 years old, living in dif-ferent cities of Salerno province with different grade of urban and industrial development and the presence of water pollution (Sarno river and its tributaries) (Figure 1). It’s known that the age and sex samples, for their growth physiological features, are suited to this study. The experimental data, reported in table and compared to reference data, showed signifi-cant ponderal difference in metal levels between the samples collected by sex. Concentration of the above-mentioned elements were determined by means of atomic absorption spec-trometry after a washing procedure following a mineralization in a microwave digestion sys-tem. Particularly the arithmetic mean value of concentrations of lead in hairs of schoolboys of “Salerno” and “Solimena” secondary schools, were 1.50 g/g and 1.44 g/g; moreover “Solimena” schoolboys present a value of nickel (2.79 g/g) highest in comparison with other sampling sites; at last “Scafati” secondary school children’s hairs have a unsafe con-centration of arsenic (2.47 μg/g). Two-way ANOVA demonstrates a significant interaction between sampling site and sex on hair arsenic and nickel levels (P=0.013 and P=0.014 re-spectively) as well as a significant effect of sex and sampling site on cadmium, calcium, cop-per, lead and magnesium levels (P<0.05). The results support the hypothesis that hair metals levels can be considered an indicator of different relative exposure of populations to essen-tial and toxic metals pollution.

Author(s): De Prisco P.P.a, Volpe M.G.a, Petitto F.a, Palladino C.b, Saturnino C.b, Capasso Ab, Di Stasio M.a*, De Prisco R

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