ORIGINAL RESEARCH
Effects of Local Industry on Heavy Metals Content in Human Hair
Katarzyna Chojnacka1, Agnieszka Saeid1, Izabela Michalak1, Marcin Mikulewicz2
 
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1Institute of Inorganic Technology and Mineral Fertilizers, Wroclaw University of Technology,
Smoluchowskiego 25, 50-372 Wrocław, Poland
2Department of Dentofacial Orthopeadics and Orthodontics, Medical University of Wroclaw,
Krakowska 26, 50-425 Wrocław, Poland
 
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2012;21(6):1563–1570
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ABSTRACT
In the present work hair mineral analysis of 110 individuals was carried out to determine environmental exposure based on the distance from a subject’s residence to a pollutant source. The subjects were asked to fill in a questionnaire concerning their place of living in the city of Wrocław (lower Silesia, Poland), which was divided in 12 sectors. The content of minerals in hair was determined by ICP-OES and ICP-MS technique in a laboratory certified by the Polish Centre for Accreditation and ILAC-MRA (No. AB 696). The results were elaborated statistically. Each person served as the experimental unit. Post-hoc comparisons were made by Tukey's test and the Spjotvoll/Stolin test. Results were considered significantly different when p<0.1. The differences in the content of As were statistically significant between IV-V regions (p=0.0182), IV-VII (p=0.0720), and IV-XII (p=0.0586). In the case of Cd, statistically significant differences were found between II and XII region (p=0.0377). Hair has been found to be a valuable indicator of environmental pollution in Wrocław. The highest content of Al was found in sector VII, As – IV, Cd – II, Hg – VIII, Ni – V, and Pb – IX. The explanation could be the vicinity to a heat and power generating plant and a non-ferrous metals plant or other industrial units, as well as interactions between elements in a human organism. Additionally, statistically significant differences between Ni content (p=0.0591) in hair of males and females were found. These results showed that hair mineral content reflected exposure to elements from the environment.
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ISSN:1230-1485