Send to

Choose Destination
Sci Total Environ. 2010 Sep 15;408(20):4468-74. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.07.003. Epub 2010 Jul 24.

Heavy metal levels (Pb, Cd, Cr and Hg) in the adult general population near an urban solid waste incinerator.

Author information

Research Unit, Cruces Hospital, Barakaldo, Bizkaia, Spain.


In 2005 an urban solid waste incinerator (SWI) was commissioned in Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain). Serum and urine samples were collected from 95 and 107 volunteers in 2006 and 2008 respectively, of which 62 were repeats from the same individuals. Blood lead levels (BPb) were determined, as were the concentrations of cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr) and mercury (Hg) in urine (UCd, UCr and UHg). The town of Alonsotegi and a borough of Bilbao (Altamira, Rekalde) were considered to be close, less than 2 km from the plant, and correspond to an urban environment with high traffic density. The areas of reference were a borough of Bilbao (Santutxu-Zurbaran), 5 km from the plant, also in an urban area with high traffic density, and a small town with little industrial activity and low traffic density (Balmaseda) 20 km from the plant; neither of these is downwind from the site with respect to prevailing winds. There was a significant correlation for BPb, r=0.63 (p<0.001), between the two surveys. However, there was no linear correlation for the other three metals (UCd, UCr and UHg), between the two sampling periods (p>0.05). Multiple linear regression models did not show increases over time of the levels of BPb, UCd, UCr and UHg in the areas close to the SWI compared to those of areas located further away, after adjusting for confounding variables. These results reinforce the hypothesis that populations near modern plants for solid waste incineration do not manifest increased levels of heavy metals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center