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J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2019 Sep;29(5):613-623. doi: 10.1038/s41370-019-0144-3. Epub 2019 May 14.

Urinary and hair concentrations of trace metals in pregnant women from Northeastern British Columbia, Canada: a pilot study.

Author information

1
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Université de Montréal, 2375 chemin de la Cote-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC, H3T 1A8, Canada. elyse.caron-beaudoin@umontreal.ca.
2
Université de Montréal Public Health Research Institute (IRSPUM), Université de Montréal, 7101, Parc Ave., Montreal, QC, H3N 1X7, Canada. elyse.caron-beaudoin@umontreal.ca.
3
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Well-Being, Health, Society and Environment (CINBIOSE), Université du Québec à Montréal, C.P. 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montreal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada. elyse.caron-beaudoin@umontreal.ca.
4
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Université de Montréal, 2375 chemin de la Cote-Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, QC, H3T 1A8, Canada.
5
Université de Montréal Public Health Research Institute (IRSPUM), Université de Montréal, 7101, Parc Ave., Montreal, QC, H3N 1X7, Canada.
6
Chaire d'analyse et de gestion des risques toxicologiques, Université de Montréal, 2900 Edouard Montpetit, Montréal, QC, H3T 1J4, Canada.
7
GW Solutions, Inc. 201-5180 Dublin Way, Nanaimo, BC, V9T 0H2, Canada.
8
Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Centre, 3175 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC, H3S 2G4, Canada.
9
Centre de toxicologie du Québec, Institut National de la Santé Publique du Québec, 945 avenue Wolfe, Québec, QC, G1V 5B3, Canada.
10
Axe Santé des Populations et Pratiques Optimales en Santé, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement, 1050 Chemin Ste-Foy, Québec, QC, G1S 4L8, Canada.
11
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, École de Santé Publique (ESPUM), Université de Montréal, 7101 Av du Parc, Montréal, QC, H3N 1X9, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Northeastern British Columbia (Canada) is an area of intense natural gas exploitation by hydraulic fracturing. Hydraulic fracturing can release contaminants, including trace metals, many of which are known developmental toxicants. To date, there is limited data on human exposure to contaminants in this region.

OBJECTIVE:

We aimed to examine trace metals in urine and hair samples from 29 Indigenous and non-Indigenous pregnant women from two communities (Chetwynd and Dawson Creek) in Northeastern British Columbia.

METHODS:

We recruited 29 pregnant women who provided spot urine samples over five consecutive days and one hair sample. We measured 19 trace metals in pooled urine samples from each participant and in the first 2 cm of hair closest to the scalp. We compared urinary and hair concentrations to those measured in women from the general population using data from the Canadian Health Measure Survey (CHMS), or reference values found in the literature for trace metals not measured in the CHMS.

RESULTS:

Median urinary (0.49 μg/L) and hair (0.16 μg/g) concentrations of manganese were higher in our participants than in the CHMS (<0.05 µg/L in urine) or reference population (0.067 μg/g in hair). In hair, median values for barium (4.48 μg/g), aluminum (4.37 μg/g) and strontium (4.47 μg/g) were respectively 16, 3, and 6 times higher compared with median values in a reference population. Concentrations of barium and strontium in hair were higher in self-identified Indigenous participants (5.9 and 5.46 μg/g, respectively) compared to non-Indigenous participants (3.88 and 2.60 μg/g) (p-values = 0.02 and 0.03).

CONCLUSION:

Our results suggest higher gestational exposure to certain trace metals in our study population compared to reference populations.

KEYWORDS:

Biomonitoring; Gestational exposure; Hydraulic fracturing; Trace metals

PMID:
31089244
DOI:
10.1038/s41370-019-0144-3

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