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Environ Res. 2019 Jul 5;176:108578. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2019.108578. [Epub ahead of print]

Metals in biological tissues of the population living near a hazardous waste incinerator in Catalonia, Spain: Two decades of follow-up.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain.
2
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain; Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Department d'Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Av. Països Catalans 26, 43007, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.
3
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Sant Llorenç 21, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain. Electronic address: joseluis.domingo@urv.cat.

Abstract

During the period 1996-1998, a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) was built in Constantí (Tarragona County, Catalonia, Spain). Because of the potential adverse effects of toxic emissions, mainly metals and dioxins and furans, waste incinerators in general have been an important cause of concern for the public opinion. For that reason, to assess its environmental impact on the surroundings, as well as the potential human health risks of the HWI, environmental and biological monitoring studies have been carried out since 1996-1998, when the baseline concentrations were established. This article summarizes all the results corresponding to metals in biological tissues of the population living near the HWI, two decades after the construction of the facility. In 1996-1998, the baseline concentrations of a number of elements (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Tl and V) were determined in samples of hair, blood and autopsy tissues (bone, brain, liver, lung and kidney) of subjects living in the area. In successive 5-year periods, new surveys were conducted to periodically measure the levels of metals in the same biological tissues. The daily dietary intake of these metals was also estimated for the population of the area. The results of this surveillance program do no suggest additional adverse health risks of metals for the population living near the HWI. However, special attention should be paid to Cr, due not only to the increases of this element observed in most analyzed biological tissues, but also in its dietary intake.

KEYWORDS:

Autopsy tissues; Blood; Dietary intake; Hair; Hazardous waste incinerator; Human biomonitoring; Metals

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