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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 227; doi:10.3390/ijerph14030227

Analysis of Blood Concentrations of Zinc, Germanium, and Lead and Relevant Environmental Factors in a Population Sample from Shandong Province, China

1
School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan 250062, China
2
Shandong Academy Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, 18877 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250062, China
3
Department of Occupational Diseases Control and Prevention, Fengtai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100071, China
4
Shandong Provincial Western Hospital, Jinan 250022, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Helena Solo-Gabriele
Received: 11 January 2017 / Revised: 10 February 2017 / Accepted: 17 February 2017 / Published: 24 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1029 KB, uploaded 24 February 2017]   |  

Abstract

Trace elements, including zinc (Zn) and germanium (Ge), are essential for health; deficiency or excess levels of trace elements results is harmful. As a result of industrial and agricultural production, Pb widely exists in people’s living environment. It is absorbed mainly through the respiratory and digestive tracts, producing systemic harm. Reference values for a normal, healthy population are necessary for health assessment, prevention and treatment of related diseases, and evaluation of occupational exposures. Reference ranges for the Chinese population have not been established. From March 2009 to February 2010; we collected data and blood samples (n = 1302) from residents aged 6–60 years living in Shandong Province, China. We measured blood concentrations of Zn, Ge, and Pb using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to determine reference ranges. Results were stratified by factors likely to affect the concentrations of these trace elements: sex, use of cosmetics or hair dye, age, alcohol intake, smoking habits, and consumption of fried food. The overall geometric mean (GM) concentrations (95% confidence interval) were 3.14 (3.08–3.20) mg/L for Zn, 19.9 (19.3–20.6) μg/L for Ge, and 24.1 (23.2–25.1) μg/L for Pb. Blood Zn concentrations were higher in women than in men (p < 0.001), while the opposite was found for Pb (p < 0.001) and sex did not influence Ge (p = 0.095). Alcohol use was associated with higher blood concentrations of Zn (p = 0.002), Ge (p = 0.002), and Pb (p = 0.001). The GM concentration of Zn was highest in 20–30-year-olds (p < 0.001), while Pb concentrations were highest in 12–16-year-olds (p < 0.001). Use of hair dye was associated with lower blood concentrations of Ge (p < 0.05). GM blood concentrations of Pb differed significantly between those who consumed fried foods 1–2 times/month (18.7 μg/L), 1–2 times/week (20.9 μg/L), and every day (28.5 μg/L; p < 0.001). Blood Pb concentrations were higher in subjects who used cosmetics (p < 0.05), hair dye (p < 0.05), and who smoked cigarettes (p < 0.001) than in those who did not. View Full-Text
Keywords: reference values; blood; metal; trace element reference values; blood; metal; trace element
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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, L.; Xu, G.; Shao, H.; Zhang, Z.-H.; Pan, X.-F.; Li, J.-Y. Analysis of Blood Concentrations of Zinc, Germanium, and Lead and Relevant Environmental Factors in a Population Sample from Shandong Province, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 227.

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