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Open AccessArticle

Biomonitoring of Metals in Children Living in an Urban Area and Close to Waste Incinerators

1
Division of Internal Medicine, Hospital of Bisceglie (ASL BAT), 76011 Bisceglie, Italy
2
International Society of Doctors for Environment (ISDE), 52100 Arezzo, Italy
3
Clinica Medica “A. Murri”, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70124 Bari, Italy
4
Department of Biomedical Science and Human Oncology, University of Study of Bari “Aldo Moro”, 70124 Bari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(6), 1919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17061919
Received: 5 February 2020 / Revised: 6 March 2020 / Accepted: 10 March 2020 / Published: 16 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental and Food Hygiene)
The impact of waste incinerators is usually examined by measuring environmental pollutants. Biomonitoring has been limited, until now, to few metals and to adults. We explored accumulation of a comprehensive panel of metals in children free-living in an urban area hosting two waste incinerators. Children were divided by georeferentiation in exposed and control groups, and toenail concentrations of 23 metals were thereafter assessed. The percentage of children having toenail metal concentrations above the limit of detection was higher in exposed children than in controls for Al, Ba, Mn, Cu, and V. Exposed children had higher absolute concentrations of Ba, Mn, Cu, and V, as compared with those living in the reference area. The Tobit regression identified living in the exposed area as a significant predictor of Ba, Ni, Cu, Mn, and V concentrations, after adjusting for covariates. The concentrations of Ba, Mn, Ni, and Cu correlated with each other, suggesting a possible common source of emission. Exposure to emissions derived from waste incinerators in an urban setting can lead to body accumulation of specific metals in children. Toenail metal concentration should be considered a noninvasive and adequate biomonitoring tool and an early warning indicator which should integrate the environmental monitoring of pollutants. View Full-Text
Keywords: metals; children; toenails; biomonitoring; waste; incinerators metals; children; toenails; biomonitoring; waste; incinerators
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Di Ciaula, A.; Gentilini, P.; Diella, G.; Lopuzzo, M.; Ridolfi, R. Biomonitoring of Metals in Children Living in an Urban Area and Close to Waste Incinerators. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 1919.

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