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Exposure Assessment of Heavy Metals using Exposure Biomarkers among Residents Living Near a Chungcheongnam-do Province Industrial Complex Area

충청남도 산업단지 인근지역 주민의 생체시료 중 중금속 농도평가

Joo, Yosub;Roh, Sangchul
주요섭;노상철

  • Received : 2016.05.13
  • Accepted : 2016.06.09
  • Published : 2016.06.30

Abstract

Objectives: This study was designed to assess the level of physical exposure to heavy metals among residents who live around a Chungcheongnam-do Province industrial complex and to provide baseline data on the effects and harms of heavy metals on the human body by comparing their exposure levels to those of people from control regions. Methods: We measured blood lead and cadmium levels and urine mercury and chromium levels and conducted a survey among 559 residents from the affected area and 347 residents of other areas. Results: Blood lead and cadmium levels and urine mercury levels were significantly higher in the case region than among those in the control region (p=0.013, p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively). In the thermoelectric power plant area, blood cadmium and urine mercury levels were significantly higher than in the control region (p<0.001, p<0.001, respectively). In the steel mill and petrochemical industry areas, blood cadmium level was significantly higher than that in the control region (p<0.001). Dividing groups by the reference level of blood cadmium ($2{\mu}g/L$), the odds ratios between the case and control regions were 2.56 (95% CI=1.83-3.58), 3.11 (95% CI=2.06-4.71) for the thermoelectric power plant area, 1.78 (95% CI=1.19-2.65) for the steel mill area and 4.07 (95% CI=2.40-6.89) for petrochemical industry area. Conclusion: This study showed that the levels of exposure to heavy metals among residents living near a Chungcheongnam-do Province industrial complex were significantly higher than those in the control region. This seems to be attributable to exposure to heavy metals emissions from the industrial complex. Further research and safety measures are required to protect residents' health.

Keywords

Blood cadmium;blood lead;Chungcheongnam-do Province industrial complex;urine chromium;urine mercury

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