Exposure assessment to heavy metals in general population in a polluted area through biological monitoring
1 Interdisciplinary Department of Medicine – Section of Occupational Medicine “B.Ramazzini” - University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Bari, Italy
2 ARPA Puglia, Bari, Italy
3 ARES Puglia, Bari, Italy
4 Apulia Cancer Registry, Bari, Italy
5 Department of Prevention – Health Local Organization, Taranto, Italy
6 Statistics – Epidemiology Unit – Health Local Organization, Taranto, Italy
In polluted areas, a major issue is the correct assessment of the exposure of general population to industrial pollutants. The objectives were: to evaluate the exposure to heavy metals emitted from the industrial area of Taranto; to correlate biological monitoring data with environmental data, in order to clarify the impact of industrial pollution in terms of internal dose. A cross sectional study has been designed to measure levels of urinary arsenic, lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese in 300 inhabitants of Taranto, Statte and Laterza. Adult subjects have been selected by a two-stage random stratified sampling. Results are based on 272 subjects (131 men and 141 women). The observed concentrations of metals in the whole study population are overall high. The median values for lead (7.4 μg/l) and chromium (0.4 μg/l) are higher than the 95° percentile of the range of reference values. For manganese and arsenic the 95° percentile of concentration in the whole study population is higher than the 95° percentile of the range of reference values. Concentrations of mercury in the whole study population are comparable to reference.
Key words: heavy metals / environmental exposure / biological monitoring / cross sectional study
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