Next Article in Journal
Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages in Mississippi: Is There A Disparity? Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2012
Previous Article in Journal
Occupational Safety and Health Conditions Aboard Small- and Medium-Size Fishing Vessels: Differences among Age Groups
Article Menu
Issue 3 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(3), 227;

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

School of Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Jinan-Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Jinan 250062, China
Shandong Academy Occupational Health and Occupational Medicine, 18877 Jingshi Road, Jinan 250062, China
Department of Occupational Diseases Control and Prevention, Fengtai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 100071, China
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)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1029 KB, uploaded 24 February 2017]   |  


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

Figure 1

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).

Share & Cite This Article

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.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top