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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Biomonitoring of Trace Elements in Hair of Schoolchildren Living Near a Hazardous Waste Incinerator—A 20 Years Follow-Up

1
Laboratory of Toxicology and Environmental Health, School of Medicine, IISPV, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43201 Reus, Catalonia, Spain
2
Environmental Engineering Laboratory, Departament d’Enginyeria Quimica, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, 43007 Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Toxics 2019, 7(4), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics7040052
Received: 26 August 2019 / Revised: 19 September 2019 / Accepted: 27 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Toxic Metals, Chronic Diseases and Related Cancers)
Since 1998, a monitoring program is periodically performed to assess the environmental and human health impact of air chemicals potentially emitted by a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) located in Constantí (Catalonia, Spain). In 2017, samples of hair were collected from 94 schoolchildren (aged 10–13 years) living nearby and the levels of 11 trace elements (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Tl and V) were determined. The concentrations showed the following descending order: Pb > Hg > Ni > Sn > Mn > Cr. In turn, As, Be and Tl were not detected, while Cd and V were found only in a few samples. Some metal levels were significantly, positively correlated. Some significant differences were also noticed according to the gender and the specific zone of residence. Finally, the levels of trace elements showed fluctuations through time. Cr and Pb showed a significant decrease in comparison to the concentrations obtained in the baseline study (1998). According to the current results, metal emissions from the HWI are not relevant in terms of human health impact since their levels were similar and even lower than those reported in other contaminated areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: Trace elements; hair; children; hazardous waste incinerator; Constantí (Catalonia, Spain) Trace elements; hair; children; hazardous waste incinerator; Constantí (Catalonia, Spain)
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Esplugas, R.; Mari, M.; Marquès, M.; Schuhmacher, M.; Domingo, J.L.; Nadal, M. Biomonitoring of Trace Elements in Hair of Schoolchildren Living Near a Hazardous Waste Incinerator—A 20 Years Follow-Up. Toxics 2019, 7, 52.

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