Relationship of lead and cadmium to essential elements in hair, teeth, and nails of environmentally exposed people.Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2000; 46(3):265-74EE
The aim of this investigation was to evaluate the environmental exposure to Pb and Cd during 1990-1997 of inhabitants of Katowice District, which is an area of high environmental exposure to lead and cadmium, as well as exposure to Fe, Zn, Cu, Mn, Ni, Cr, Ca, Na, and K, on the basis of concentrations in hair, teeth, and nails. This investigation was to explain if accumulation of Pb and Cd can affect the concentration of such essential metals as Fe, Zn, Cu, and Ca. Inhabitants of the Beskid area constituted a control group. Analysis of the aforementioned elements was carried out on 624 hair samples, 785-tooth- samples, and 338 nail samples taking into consideration sex, age (<15, 16-30, >30 years), and type of teeth (incisor, canine, molar, premolar). Concentrations of elements in the media investigated were determined using atomic absorption spectroscopy. The results were calculated using the Statistica program. The major statistical analysis focuses on determining analysis of variance by MANOVA/ANOVA, Rao R (P<0.05), Spjotvolla-Stoline'a test, and cluster analysis (1-Pearson r). The investigation revealed that among the media investigated, Pb concentration in hair is an environmental marker of exposure to this metal in the human organism and depends on sex and age. It was also observed that an increase in Pb concentration in hair causes a decrease in Fe and Ca concentrations and changes the ratios of essential metals: Fe/Cu, Fe/Zn, and Ca/Zn. It is concluded that not only in blood but also in the hair, lead significantly influences Ca and Fe. Analysis of nail samples of people living in Katowice District indicated that an increasing concentration of Pb decreases concentrations of copper and zinc. Increased accumulation of such metals as Ni, Cr, and Mn in teeth was observed for samples taken from inhabitants of Katowice District.