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Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020 Jan 30. doi: 10.1007/s12011-020-02051-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Trace Elements in Blood of the Population Living near a Hazardous Waste Incinerator in Catalonia, Spain.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain.
2
Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Departament d'Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43007, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain.
3
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201, Reus, Catalonia, Spain. marti.nadal@urv.cat.

Abstract

In 2012, the concentrations of trace elements (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Tl, and V) were measured in blood samples of the population living in the vicinity of a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) located in Tarragona County (Catalonia, Spain). This study is part of a wide surveillance program aimed at assessing the impact of the facility on the public health conducted since 1998, before the HWI started operating. Lead was the metal occurring with the highest concentration (21.7 μg kg-1), followed by Mn (19.7 μg kg-1) and Hg (4.62 μg kg-1). Arsenic (6.99 μg kg-1) showed a low detection rate (49%), while the rest of the analyzed trace elements were not detected. In 2017, a new sampling campaign was conducted, and three new trace elements (Co, Cu, and Sb) were added. In the most recent survey, Cu reached a mean concentration of 931 μg kg-1, up to 60-fold higher than that corresponding to the remaining trace elements. Relatively high levels were also found for Sb (16.0 μg kg-1), Mn (13.9 μg kg-1), and Pb (13.0 μg kg-1). In comparison with the baseline study (1998), Hg, Mn, and Pb significantly decreased over time. Some trace elements showed significant differences according to sex, age, and area of residence. In general, the concentrations of trace elements in blood were similar to, or even lower than, those reported in the scientific literature. Hence, the exposure to trace elements does not mean any additional health risk for the population living near the HWI. This conclusion is in agreement with other studies carried out in the framework of this surveillance program, in which trace elements have been measured in different biological matrices, such as hair and autopsy tissues (brain, bone, kidney, liver, and lungs).

KEYWORDS:

Blood; Hazardous waste incinerator; Health risks; Spain); Tarragona County (Catalonia; Trace elements

PMID:
32002791
DOI:
10.1007/s12011-020-02051-9

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