Blood Levels of Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury in Healthy Women in their 50s in an Urban Area of Poland: A Pilot Study
Adam Prokopowicz1, Natalia Pawlas1, Patryk Ochota1, Magdalena Szuła1, Andrzej Sobczak1,2, Krystyna Pawlas1
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1Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health,
Koscielna 13, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
2Department of General and Analytical Chemistry, Medical University of Silesia,
41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2014;23(1):167–175
In 2009 we investigated exposure to lead, cadmium, and mercury in 80 women aged 50-59 in an urban area of Poland. Blood levels of lead, cadmium, and total mercury were used as biomarkers. The participants completed an extended questionnaire to identify potential sociodemographic, lifestyle, and nutritional correlates for the concentration of metals in the blood. The geometric means in the study population were: 21.5 μg/l (95% CI 20-23) for blood lead, 0.67 μg/l (95% CI 0.56-0.79) for blood cadmium, and 0.75 μg/l (95% CI 0.64- 0.87) for total mercury in the blood. Regression analyses revealed that the increased lead levels in the blood were significantly associated with BMI values under 25 kg/m2, being postmenopausal, smoking habits, the use of heating sources other than electricity or centrally heated buildings, and frequent or constant trucks passing through a residential area. The levels of cadmium in the blood were significantly higher in subjects who smoked cigarettes and decreased as education increased. Fish consumption and the number of teeth containing amalgam were the only factors that were significantly associated with blood mercury levels.