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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 350; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030350

Direct Quantification of Rare Earth Elements Concentrations in Urine of Workers Manufacturing Cerium, Lanthanum Oxide Ultrafine and Nanoparticles by a Developed and Validated ICP-MS

1,2,†
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1,†
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1
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1
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1
,
1,* and 1,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomás Pereira Taipa, Macau 999078, China
2
Shanghai Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (SIOSH), 369 North Chengdu Road, Shanghai 200041, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Huang-Tsung Chang
Received: 18 December 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 14 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [855 KB, uploaded 22 March 2016]   |  

Abstract

Rare earth elements (REEs) have undergone a steady spread in several industrial, agriculture and medical applications. With the aim of exploring a sensitive and reliable indicator of estimating exposure level to REEs, a simple, accurate and specific ICP-MS method for simultaneous direct quantification of 15 REEs (89Y, 139La, 140Ce, 141Pr, 146Nd, 147Sm, 153Eu, 157Gd, 159Tb, 163Dy, 165Ho, 166Er, 169Tm, 172Yb and 175Lu) in human urine has been developed and validated. The method showed good linearity for all REEs in human urine in the concentrations ranging from 0.001–1.000 μg∙L−1 with r2 > 0.997. The limits of detection and quantification for this method were in the range of 0.009–0.010 μg∙L−1 and 0.029–0.037 μg∙L−1, the recoveries on spiked samples of the 15 REEs ranged from 93.3% to 103.0% and the relative percentage differences were less than 6.2% in duplicate samples, and the intra- and inter-day variations of the analysis were less than 1.28% and less than 0.85% for all REEs, respectively. The developed method was successfully applied to the determination of 15 REEs in 31 urine samples obtained from the control subjects and the workers engaged in work with manufacturing of ultrafine and nanoparticles containing cerium and lanthanum oxide. The results suggested that only the urinary levels of La (1.234 ± 0.626 μg∙L−1), Ce (1.492 ± 0.995 μg∙L−1), Nd (0.014 ± 0.009 μg∙L−1) and Gd (0.023 ± 0.010 μg∙L−1) among the exposed workers were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than the levels measured in the control subjects. From these, La and Ce were the primary components, and accounted for 88% of the total REEs. Lanthanum comprised 27% of the total REEs while Ce made up the majority of REE content at 61%. The remaining elements only made up 1% each, with the exception of Dy which was not detected. Comparison with the previously published data, the levels of urinary La and Ce in workers and the control subjects show a higher trend than previous reports. View Full-Text
Keywords: rare earth elements (REEs); cerium and lanthanum oxide nanoparticles; inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS); urine; human bio-monitoring rare earth elements (REEs); cerium and lanthanum oxide nanoparticles; inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS); urine; human bio-monitoring
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, Y.; Yu, H.; Zheng, S.; Miao, Y.; Yin, S.; Li, P.; Bian, Y. Direct Quantification of Rare Earth Elements Concentrations in Urine of Workers Manufacturing Cerium, Lanthanum Oxide Ultrafine and Nanoparticles by a Developed and Validated ICP-MS. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 350.

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