Relationship between Heavy Metal Concentrations in the Soil with the Blood and Urine of Residents around Abandoned Metal Mines

폐금속 광산지역 토양 중 중금속 농도와 주민의 혈액 및 요중 중금속 농도와의 관련성

  • Received : 2011.08.11
  • Accepted : 2011.09.14
  • Published : 2011.10.31


Objectives: This study was conducted in order to examine the relationship between heavy metal concentrations in the soil and the level of heavy metals in the blood or urine of 216 local residents living near abandoned metal mines. Methods: Residents around abandoned metal mines were interviewed about their dietary habits, including seafood consumption, medical history, cigarette smoking, and drug history. Metal concentrations in the soil were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AA-7000, Shimadzu, Japan). Lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd) contents in the blood or urine were analyzed by GF-AAS (AA-6800, Shimadzu). Mercury (Hg) contents in the blood were determined by means of a mercury analyzer (SP-3DS, NIC). Arsenic (As) content in the soil and urine were measured by a HG-AAS (hydride vapor generation-atomic absorption spectrophotometer). Results: The heavy metal concentrations in the soil showed a log normal distribution and the geometric means of the four villages were 8.61 mg/kg for Pb, 0.19 mg/kg for Cd, 1.81 mg/kg for As and 0.035 mg/kg for Hg. The heavy metal levels of the 216 local residents showed a regular distribution for Pb, Cd, Hg in the blood and As in the urine. The arithmetic means were 3.37 ${\mu}g$/dl for Pb, 3.07 ${\mu}g$/l for Cd and 2.32 ${\mu}g$/l for Hg, 10.41 ${\mu}g$/l for As, respectively. Conclusions: As a result of multi-variate analysis for the affecting factors on the bodily heavy metal concentrations, gender and concentration in the soil (each, p<0.01) for blood lead levels; gender and smoking status (each, p<0.01) for blood cadmium levels; gender (p<0.01) for urine arsenic levels; gender, age and concentration in the soil (p<0.01) for blood mercury levels were shown to be the affecting factors.


Heavy metals;Soil;Blood;Urine;Abandoned metal mines


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