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Original Article
Urinary Mercury Levels Among Workers in E-waste Shops in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand
Somsiri Decharat
J Prev Med Public Health. 2018;51(4):196-204.   Published online June 19, 2018
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.18.049
  • 7,879 View
  • 177 Download
  • 16 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
Objectives
To determine urinary mercury levels in e-waste workers in Southern Thailand and the airborne mercury levels in the e-waste shops where they worked, to describe the associations between urinary and airborne mercury levels, and to evaluate the prevalence of mercury exposure-related health effects among e-waste workers.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted by interviewing 79 workers in 25 e-waste shops who lived in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand. Information on general and occupational characteristics, personal protective equipment use, and personal hygiene was collected by questionnaire. Urine samples were collected to determine mercury levels using a cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometer mercury analyzer.
Results
The e-waste workers’ urinary mercury levels were 11.60±5.23 μg/g creatinine (range, 2.00 to 26.00 μg/g creatinine) and the mean airborne mercury levels were 17.00±0.50 μg/m3 (range, 3.00 to 29.00 μg/m3). The urinary and airborne mercury levels were significantly correlated (r=0.552, p<0.001). The prevalence of self-reported symptoms was 46.8% for insomnia, 36.7% for muscle atrophy, 24.1% for weakness, and 20.3% for headaches.
Conclusions
Personal hygiene was found to be an important protective factor, and should therefore be stressed in educational programs. Employers should implement engineering measures to reduce urinary mercury levels and the prevalence of associated health symptoms among e-waste workers.
Summary

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Assessing Neurobehavioral Alterations Among E-waste Recycling Workers in Hong Kong
    Gengze Liao, Feng Wang, Shaoyou Lu, Yanny Hoi Kuen Yu, Victoria H. Arrandale, Alan Hoi-shou Chan, Lap Ah Tse
    Safety and Health at Work.2024; 15(1): 9.     CrossRef
  • Bridging the knowledge gap! Health outcomes in informal e-waste workers
    Béla Eckhardt, Andrea Kaifie
    Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Soil heavy metal pollution from waste electrical and electronic equipment of repair and junk shops in southern Thailand and their ecological risk
    Panatda Pibul, Siriuma Jawjit, Supabhorn Yimthiang
    Heliyon.2023; 9(10): e20438.     CrossRef
  • Interactions between heavy metals and sleep duration among pre-and postmenopausal women: A current approach to molecular mechanisms involved
    Hai Duc Nguyen
    Environmental Pollution.2023; 316: 120607.     CrossRef
  • Is exposure to chemical pollutants associated with sleep outcomes? A systematic review
    Danielle A. Wallace, Jayden Pace Gallagher, Shenita R. Peterson, Seyni Ndiaye-Gueye, Kathleen Fox, Susan Redline, Dayna A. Johnson
    Sleep Medicine Reviews.2023; 70: 101805.     CrossRef
  • Review on E-waste management and its impact on the environment and society
    Muskan Jain, Depak Kumar, Jyoti Chaudhary, Sudesh Kumar, Sheetal Sharma, Ajay Singh Verma
    Waste Management Bulletin.2023; 1(3): 34.     CrossRef
  • Electronic waste pollution and the COVID-19 pandemic
    Deblina Dutta, Shashi Arya, Sunil Kumar, Eric Lichtfouse
    Environmental Chemistry Letters.2022; 20(2): 971.     CrossRef
  • Mercury Exposure and Its Health Effects in Workers in the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) Sector—A Systematic Review
    Kira Taux, Thomas Kraus, Andrea Kaifie
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2022; 19(4): 2081.     CrossRef
  • Health risk assessment of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) in Mexico City
    Benedetto Schiavo, Ofelia Morton-Bermea, Elias Salgado-Martínez, Rocío García-Martínez, Elizabeth Hernández-Álvarez
    Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.2022;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • E-waste scenario in South-Asia: an emerging risk to environment and public health
    Alviti Kankanamalage Hasith Priyashantha, Nidyanandan Pratheesh, Pratheesh Pretheeba
    Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology.2022; 37(3): e2022022.     CrossRef
  • Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Mercury Exposure among Populations and Environments in Contact with Electronic Waste
    Gwen Aubrac, Ashley Bastiansz, Niladri Basu
    International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.2022; 19(19): 11843.     CrossRef
  • Electronic waste generation, regulation and metal recovery: a review
    Rajarathinam Nithya, Chandrasekaran Sivasankari, Arunachalam Thirunavukkarasu
    Environmental Chemistry Letters.2021; 19(2): 1347.     CrossRef
  • Characterization of inhalation exposure to gaseous elemental mercury during artisanal gold mining and e-waste recycling through combined stationary and personal passive sampling
    Melanie A. Snow, Godfred Darko, Opoku Gyamfi, Eugene Ansah, Knut Breivik, Christopher Hoang, Ying Duan Lei, Frank Wania
    Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts.2021; 23(4): 569.     CrossRef
  • Health Problems Among Workers Who Recycle Electronic Waste in Southern Thailand
    Somsiri Decharat, Peeranart Kiddee
    Osong Public Health and Research Perspectives.2020; 11(1): 34.     CrossRef
  • Mercury exposure in relation to sleep duration, timing, and fragmentation among adolescents in Mexico City
    Erica C. Jansen, Emily C. Hector, Jaclyn M. Goodrich, Alejandra Cantoral, Martha María Téllez Rojo, Niladri Basu, Peter X.K. Song, Libni Torres Olascoaga, Karen E. Peterson
    Environmental Research.2020; 191: 110216.     CrossRef
  • Mercury pollution in modern times and its socio-medical consequences
    Lygia Therese Budnik, Ludwine Casteleyn
    Science of The Total Environment.2019; 654: 720.     CrossRef
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Assessment of Di (2-ethylhexyl) Phthalate Exposure by Urinary Metabolites as a Function of Sampling Time.
Moon Seo Park, Yun Jung Yang, Yeon Pyo Hong, Sang Yon Kim, Yong Pil Lee
J Prev Med Public Health. 2010;43(4):301-308.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2010.43.4.301
  • 5,383 View
  • 97 Download
  • 12 Crossref
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
In most DEHP exposure assessment studies, single spot urine sample was used. It could not compare the exposure level among studies. Therefore, we are going to represent the necessity of selection of proper sampling time of spot urine for assessing the environmental DEHP exposure, and the association urinary DEHP metabolites with steroid hormones. METHODS: We collected urine and plasma from 25 men. The urine sampling times were at the end of the shift (post-shift) and the next morning before the beginning of the shift (pre-shift). Three metabolites of DEHP {mono(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate [MEHP], mono-(2-ethyl-5-hydroxyhexyl)phthalate [MEHHP], and mono(2-ethyl-5-oxohexyl)phthalate [MEOHP]} in urine were analyzed by HPLC/MS/MS. Plasma luteinzing hormone, follicle stimulating hormone, testosterone, and 17beta-estradiol were measured at pre-shift using a ELISA kit. A log-transformed creatinine-adjusted urinary MEHP, MEHHP, and MEOHP concentration were compared between the post- and pre-shift. The Pearson's correlation was calculated to assess the relationships between log-transformed urinary MEHP concentrations in pre-shift urine and hormone levels. RESULTS: The three urinary metabolite concentrations at post-shift were significantly higher than the concentrations in the pre-shift (p<0.0001). The plasma hormones were not significantly correlated with log-transformed creatinine - adjusted DEHP metabolites. CONCLUSIONS: To assess the environmental DEHP exposure, it is necessary to select the urine sampling time according to the study object. There were no correlation between the concentration of urinary DEHP metabolites and serum hormone levels.
Summary

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • A Study of the Relationship between Phthalate Exposure and the Occurrence of Adult Asthma in Taiwan
    Tsai-Hui Duh, Chih-Jen Yang, Chien-Hung Lee, Ying-Chin Ko
    Molecules.2023; 28(13): 5230.     CrossRef
  • Effect of the phthalates exposure on sex steroid hormones in the US population
    Yuan-duo Zhu, Xu Han, Xin-qi Wang, Tan-xi Ge, Hang Liu, Lin Fan, Li Li, Li-qin Su, Xian-liang Wang
    Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety.2022; 231: 113203.     CrossRef
  • The Impairment of Thyroid Hormones Homeostasis after Short-Term Exposure to Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate in Adolescent Male Rats
    Sang-Yon Kim, Yeon-Pyo Hong, Yun-Jung Yang
    Development & Reproduction.2021; 25(4): 293.     CrossRef
  • Biomonitoring of occupational exposure to phthalates: A systematic review
    Nadine Fréry, Tiina Santonen, Simo P. Porras, Aleksandra Fucic, Veruscka Leso, Radia Bousoumah, Radu Corneliu Duca, Mounia El Yamani, Marike Kolossa-Gehring, Sophie Ndaw, Susana Viegas, Ivo Iavicoli
    International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health.2020; 229: 113548.     CrossRef
  • Phthalate exposure and male reproductive outcomes: A systematic review of the human epidemiological evidence
    Elizabeth G. Radke, Joseph M. Braun, John D. Meeker, Glinda S. Cooper
    Environment International.2018; 121: 764.     CrossRef
  • Impact of Di-2-Ethylhexyl Phthalate Metabolites on Male Reproductive Function: a Systematic Review of Human Evidence
    Birgit Bjerre Høyer, Virissa Lenters, Aleksander Giwercman, Bo A.G. Jönsson, Gunnar Toft, Karin S. Hougaard, Jens Peter E. Bonde, Ina Olmer Specht
    Current Environmental Health Reports.2018; 5(1): 20.     CrossRef
  • Feminization of the fat distribution pattern of children and adolescents in a recent German population
    Christiane Scheffler, Melanie Dammhahn
    American Journal of Human Biology.2017;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Serum Phthalate Levels and Time to Pregnancy in Couples from Greenland, Poland and Ukraine
    Ina Olmer Specht, Jens Peter Bonde, Gunnar Toft, Christian H. Lindh, Bo A. G. Jönsson, Kristian T. Jørgensen, Jodi Pawluski
    PLOS ONE.2015; 10(3): e0120070.     CrossRef
  • Associations between serum phthalates and biomarkers of reproductive function in 589 adult men
    Ina Olmer Specht, Gunnar Toft, Karin S. Hougaard, Christian H. Lindh, Virissa Lenters, Bo A.G. Jönsson, Dick Heederik, Aleksander Giwercman, Jens Peter E. Bonde
    Environment International.2014; 66: 146.     CrossRef
  • Di(2‐ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites as markers for blood transfusion in doping control: Intra‐individual variability of urinary concentrations
    E. Solymos, S. Guddat, H. Geyer, A. Thomas, M. Thevis, W. Schänzer
    Drug Testing and Analysis.2011; 3(11-12): 892.     CrossRef
  • Rapid determination of urinary di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites based on liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry as a marker for blood transfusion in sports drug testing
    E. Solymos, S. Guddat, H. Geyer, U. Flenker, A. Thomas, J. Segura, R. Ventura, P. Platen, M. Schulte-Mattler, M. Thevis, W. Schänzer
    Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.2011; 401(2): 517.     CrossRef
  • An estimate of phthalate exposure among term pregnant women living in Bucheon: The pilot study
    Tae-Hee Kim, Yeon-pyo Hong, Hae-Hyeog Lee, Soo-Ho Chung, Yun-jung Yang, Sang-yon Kim, Young Lim Kho, Jun-Mo Kim
    Korean Journal of Obstetrics.2011; 54(3): 140.     CrossRef
Original Articles
The Relationship Between Hippuric Acid in Blood Plasma and Toluene Concentration in the Air of Workplace.
Cheon Hyun Hwang, Won Jin Lee, Soung Hoon Chang, Hyoung Ah Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 2000;33(1):45-50.
  • 2,935 View
  • 76 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
This study was undertaken to evaluate correlation between the levels of hippuric acid in blood plasma (HAP) and those of toluene concentration in the workplace air. METHODS: Study subjects were composed of two groups; 21 workers who were occupationally exposed to toluene and 25 rural-area residents who were not exposed to any known occupational toluene source, as an exposed group and a reference group, respectively. Mean age and work duration of the exposed was 42 years and five years, respectively. Mean age of the reference was 42 years. To determine toluene concentrations in the workplace air, air sampling has been conducted for more than six hours using a personal sampler, and analyzed by a gas chromatography-flame ionization detector. Concentrations of hippuric acid in biological samples were determined by a high performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detector. RESULTS: Geometric mean(geometric standard deviation) of HAP and hippuric acid in urine(HAU) for the exposed was 1.39(2.21) mg/L and 2.77(1.46) g/L, respectively, which were significantly different from those of the reference [HAP, 0.45(2.94); HAU, 0.37(0.45)]. Toluene concentration in the workplace air was 86.92(range: 45.18~151.23) ppm. The level of HAP or HAU was significantly correlated (r=0.70 and r=0.63, respectively) with that of toluene in the workplace air. The estimated regression equation was logHAP(mg/L)=-3.60+1.93 log(toluene, ppm) or logHAU(g/L)=-0.85+0.67 log(toluene, ppm). The magnitude of correlation was further enhanced when analyzing relationship between toluene concentrations lower than 100 ppm and its corresponding HAP levels. CONCLUSION: Overall, plasma hippuric acid levels were well correlated with toluene concentrations in the workplace air, and a statistically significant correlation was observed for the samples with toluene concentration lower than 100 ppm.
Summary
A study on renal function indices in lead exposed male workers.
Sung Soo Lee, Young Hwangbo, Kyu Dong Ahn, Byung Kook Lee, Joung Soon Kim
Korean J Prev Med. 1995;28(2):421-432.
  • 1,704 View
  • 21 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
The influence of lead exposure on renal function was studied. Eighty nine lead exposed workers who worked in 2 storage battery factories, and seventy one control workers were chosen for this study. Blood lead(pbB) and zinc protoporphyrin in whole blood(ZPP) were selected as indicators of lead exposure. As indicators of renal function, urinary N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase(NAG), blood urea nitrogen(BUN), serum creatinine(S-Cr), total protein in urine(U-Tp),and serum uric acid(S-Ua) were selected. The results obtained were as follows: 1. while the mean values of lead exposure indicators of lead workers were significantly different from non-exposed ones, the mean values of NAG, U-TP, BUN and S-Cr of renal function indicators of exposed were also significantly different from non-exposed but their mean values were all within normal limits. 2. BUN, logarithmic U-TP, logarithmic NAG and S-Cr showed statistically significant correlation with pbB. 3. The proportion of workers whose values of renal function indicators were over the normal limits(NAG7.5 U/g cr; U-TP 10.9mg/dl; BuN20 mg/dl; S-Cr1.2 mg/dl; S-Ua7.0 mg/dl) by the level of lead absorption in terms of pbB and ZPP were calculated. The proportion of workers with over the normal limits of U-TP among total workers showed the dose-response relationship. when age is adjusted, U-TP showed significantly strong dose-response relationship with the level of pbB and ZPP.
Summary
Hematuria among Benzidine Dye Industry Workers.
Mi A Son, Domyung Paek, Jung Kun Choi, Su Kyeong Park, Jung Soon Park, Se Min Oh, Jung Sun Park, Dong Ook Park
Korean J Prev Med. 1995;28(1):225-243.
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  • 24 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
Benzidine Industry in Korea has started after Japan has banned its production in early 1970's. and it has been in operation in Korea for over 20 years. However, it is not known yet whether any bladder cancer has developed from benzidine exposure. This study was done to screen benzidine-exposed workers for bladder cancer, and to examine the feasibility of employing screening test at the workplace. All the workplaces that manufacture or use benzidine for more than 20 years in Korea have been covered in this study, and they include 2 benzidine manufacturing factories, 5 benzidine using factories, as well as 2 benzidine free factories as an outside control. In total, 516 workers were screened with urine stick test and urine cytology test for the evidence of hematuria and abnormal urothelial cells. Each worker was also asked about risk factors and symptoms of bladder cancer including past medical history, smoking, medication and occupational history. Benzidine in the air was measured by personal and area sampling. Out of 516 screened workers, 84(16.3%)workers showed positive hematuria in urine stick test, and 7(1.4%)workers showed degenerative cells in urine cytology tests. Those workers with abnormal urine test results who have been exposed to benzidine for more than 10 years were further screened, and, in total. 23 workers were examined with intra-venous pyelography and cystoscopy. None of those screened had any evidence of bladder cancer. When workers with only past hematuria history were included in the positive hematuria group, 96(18.5%) had positive hematuria. On the multiple logistic regression analysis, positive hematuria was significantly associated with benzidine exposure history of other occupations with elevated bladder cancer risk, pyuria and glycosuria. The association got stronger as direct benzidine exposure was accounted through individual task analysis, and as exposure duration was accounted with tenure analysis. For those with benzidine exposure with more than 10 years of tenure, the odds of having positive hematuria was elevated 2.14(95%C.I is 1.08 to 4.25) times more than for those without exposure. Even though bladder cancer was not detected for several limitations including short observation period, majority of studied workers with short latency, healthy worker effect, and low sensitivity of single screening test in a cross-sectional study, the study results suggest that hematuria screening is a feasible and very useful test for bladder cancer screening among benzidine exposed workers.
Summary
A Study of Working Environments and Workers Exposed to Chromium.
Byung Chul Yu, Byung Chul Son, Jin Ho Jun, Yong Soo Han, Hye Sook Son, Chae Eun Lee, Woon Jeong
Korean J Prev Med. 1994;27(3):517-530.
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  • 18 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
For the purpose of providing the basic data for health management of workers who are exposed to chromium and for improving the quality of working environment, the authors evaluated blood and urinary level of chromium, the occupational history, AST, ALT, Hb, Hct, nasal specular examination on 287 workers who have been dealed chromium compounds in 56 manufacturing industries of five types, that is, 38 metal plating services(plating), 4 manufacture of other fabricated metal products (fabricated metal product), 5 manufacturing of dyestuff(dyestuff), 6 dressing and dyeing of leather (leather), 3 others (manufacture of pottery and ceramic household wares, motor vehicles, electronic valves and tubes and other electronic components) and also measured the level of chromium in air from February to october 1993. The results were as follows; 1. The utilized type of chromium compounds was the hexavalent state in plating, fabricated metal product, dyestuff leather and the trivalent state in other, and atmospheric chromium concentration as geometric mean was 0.0138m3(0.001~0.068 mg/m3) in plating, 0.0115 mg/m3(0.006~0.015 mg/m3) in fabricated metal product, 0.068 mg/m3 (0.002~0.019 mg/m3)in dyestuff, 0.0083 mg/m3(0.002~0.028 mg/m3) in leather, 0.0039 mg/m3(0.003~0.005 mg/m3) in other by the type of industry and it exceeded TLV-TWA (0.05 mg/m3) in five(13.6%) of plating services. 2. The geometric mean of chromium in blood was 1.54 microgram/dl(0.10~3.62 microgram/dl) in planting, 0.94 microgram/dl(0.27~2.82 microgram/dl) in fabricated metal product, 0.51 microgram/dl(0.10~3.25 microgram/dl) in dyestuff, 0.87 microgram/dl(0.15~8.00 microgram/dl) in leather 0.55 microgram/dl(0.20~2.28 microgram/dl) in other by the type of industry(P<0.001). 3. The geometric mean of chromiurn in urine was 14.47 microgram/l(6.90~28.00 microgram/l) in planting, 4.63 microgram/l(0.24~43.00 microgram/l) in fabricated metal product, 5.93 microgram/l(1.00~33.00 microgram/l) in dyestuff. 11.09 microgram/l(0.80~48.00 microgram/l) in leather, 12.41 microgram/l(10.10~41.00 microgram/l) in other by the type of industry(P<0.001). 4 As the result of nasal specular examination, twenty four cases(8.4%) of nasal septal perforation among 287 total subjects was observed, and there were 17(9.7%) cases in plating, 4 cases(14.3%) in dressing and dyeing of leather. In the comparison of chromium concentration in blood and urine between the perforated group and nonperforated group the perforated group showed a significantly higher value as 1.883+/-3.055 microgram/dl and 0.793+/-0.815 microgram/dl(P<0.001). 21.31+/-34.610 microgram/L and 9.304+/-11.079 microgram/L(P<0.001). 5. The mean concentration of chromium in blood, urine and the mean level of AST, ALT, Hb and Hct in exposure group were higher than those of control group(P<0.001).
Summary
Evaluation Studies
Evaluation of Fourier Transform Near-infrared Spectrometer for Determination of Oxalate in Standard Urinary Solution.
Yeong Eun Kim, Su Hyung Hong, Jung Wan Kim, Jong Young Lee
J Prev Med Public Health. 2006;39(2):165-170.
  • 1,859 View
  • 39 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
The determination of oxalate in urine is required for the diagnosis and treatment of primary hyperoxaluria, idiopathic stone disease and various intestinal diseases. We examined the possibility of using Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectroscopy analysis to quantitate urinary oxalate. The practical advantages of this method include ease of the sample preparation and operation technique, the absence of sample pre-treatments, rapid determination and noninvasiveness. METHODS: The range of oxalate concentration in standard urine solutions was 0-221 mg/l. These 80 different samples were scanned in the region of 780-1,300 nm with a 0.5 nm data interval by a Spectrum One NTS FT-NIR spectrometer. PCR, PLSR and MLR regression models were used to calculate and evaluate the calibration equation. RESULTS: The PCR and PLSR calibration models were obtained from the spectral data and they are exactly same. The standard error of estimation (SEE) and the % variance were 10.34 mg/l and 97.86%, respectively. After full cross validation of this model, the standard error of estimation was 5.278 mg/l, which was much smaller than that of the pre-validation. Furthermore, the MCC (multiple correlation coefficient) was 0.998, which was compatible with the 0.923 or 0.999 obtained from the previous enzymatic methods. CONCLUSIONS: These results showed that FT-NIR spectroscopy can be used for rapid determination of the concentration of oxalate in human urine samples.
Summary
English Abstract
Heavy Metal as Risk Factor of Cardiovascular Disease : An Analysis of Blood Lead and Urinary Mercury.
Dae Seon Kim, Eun Hee Lee, Seung Do Yu, Jung Hoon Cha, Seung Chul Ahn
J Prev Med Public Health. 2005;38(4):401-407.
  • 2,480 View
  • 143 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
We wanted to investigate the relationship between heavy metal, especially lead and mercury, to the blood pressure and cholesterol level in children. METHODS: This study was undertaken in three primary schools and the study subjects were a total of 274 children. The lead in the blood and the urine mercury were analyzed by performing atomic absorption spectroscopy. RESULTS: All of participants' blood lead levels and urine mercury concentrations were below the suggested level of concern according to the criteria of the CDC and ATSDR. We found no significant correlation between lead, mercury and the blood pressure. The blood lead level did not show any relationship with the blood pressure and cholesterol. However, the urine mercury levels were associated with the serum cholesterol. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that mercury can induce an increase of cholesterol as a risk factor of myocardial infraction and coronary/cardiovascular disease.
Summary
Original Article
Influence of Smoking on Blood Cadmium Concentration in University Students.
Joo Youn Shin, Jong Han Lim, Sin Goo Park, Jee Na Lee, Mi Jang, Chung Song Huh, Dae Hee Kang, Yun Chul Hong
J Prev Med Public Health. 2004;37(3):225-231.
  • 2,132 View
  • 36 Download
AbstractAbstract PDF
OBJECTIVES
This study was performed to examine the influence of smoking on the blood cadmium concentration in university students. METHODS: The study included 300 university students. A questionnaire interview was used to collect data. The urine cotinine and blood cadmium levels were measured as biological exposure indices. The data were analyzed using t-tests ANOVA and ANCOVA. RESULTS: The median value of blood cadmium concentration was equal in both males and females (0.8microgram/liter). This level was relatively low in comparison with the reference value suggested by WHO (2001). ANCOVA showed that smoking related variables, urine cotinine and smoking amount, were significantly associated with the blood cadmium level (P=0.004, 0.015). However, the values with regard to traffic related air pollution were not significantly associated with the blood cadmium level. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking is an important source of nonoccupational cadmium exposure in young people. The Blood cadmium level is at least 10% higher in active smokers than in passive or nonsmokers. The level of urine cotinine can be used as an indicator of non-occupational exposure of respirable cadmium due to smoking, as there is a good correlation bestween smoking amount and the urine cotinine level.
Summary

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