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Sci Total Environ. 2018 Sep 15;636:709-716. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.04.311. Epub 2018 May 1.

Pattern of blood concentrations of 47 elements in two populations from the same geographical area but with different geological origin and lifestyles: Canary Islands (Spain) vs. Morocco.

Author information

1
Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas, Spain.
2
Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas, Spain; Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERObn), Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas, Spain.
3
Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine Unit, Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain; Medical Sciences and Surgery Department, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
4
Haematology Service, Hospital Universitario Insular de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
5
Toxicology Unit, Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences (IUIBS), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas, Spain; Spanish Biomedical Research Centre in Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERObn), Paseo Blas Cabrera Felipe s/n, 35016 Las Palmas, Spain. Electronic address: octavio.perez@ulpgc.es.

Abstract

The Canary Islands are one of the outermost regions of the European Union (EU), which are located barely 100 km from the coasts of Morocco. Although these islands are located in Africa, the degree of socioeconomic development and lifestyle in this archipelago is comparable to that of any other region of Europe. It is well established that the main determinants of human exposure to elements have to do both, with their place of residence and with habits related to their lifestyle. For this reason, we wanted to study the pattern of contamination by elements of these two populations so geographically close, but so different both in their lifestyle, and the geological origin of the territory where they live. Thus, we have determined the blood concentrations of 47 elements (including 25 rare earth elements (REE) and other minority elements (ME) widely employed in the hi-tech industry) in a paired sample of Moroccans (n = 124) and Canary Islands inhabitants (n = 120). We found that the levels of iron, selenium, zinc, arsenic, cadmium, strontium, and specially lead, were significantly higher in Moroccans than in Canarians, probably due to the intensive mining activity in this country. We also found significantly higher levels of the sum of REE and ME in Moroccans than in Canarians, possibly related to the inappropriate management of e-waste in this country. On the other hand, in the inhabitants of the Canary Islands we found higher levels of manganese, probably related to a higher degree of exposure to heavy traffic and exposure to Saharan dust of the people living in this region, and niobium and bismuth, probably related to the higher economic development in these islands. Our results indicate that the vicinity of both territories is not a major determinant of each other's contamination.

KEYWORDS:

E-waste; Heavy metals; Immigrants; Lead; Rare earth elements

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