Heavy Metals in Fingernails and Scalp Hair of Children, Adults and Workers from Environmentally Exposed Areas at Aswan, Egypt
M.N. RASHED AND F. HOSSAM
Chemistry Department, South Valley University, Aswan, Egypt
Healthy Technology Institute, Aswan, Egypt
Biological materials are widely used as a bioindicator for environmental pollution with heavy metals. Among these are human hair and nails, which also recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for worldwide environmental monitoring. Heavy metals Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were determined in fingernails and scalp hair from different sexes and ages of school children, adults and workers from polluted (Kima area and industrial region) and unpolluted areas (West Aswan) located at the West Nile of Aswan, Egypt. The atomic absorption spectroscopic technique was used for determination of the studied metals at their recommended conditions. The results reveal that individual nails and hair from polluted areas showed significantly higher concentrations of Cd and Pb (in children) and Cd, Cu and Pb (in adults and workers) than in those from unpolluted ones. Concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in nails and hair depend on human sex but little on the ages. Studied metal concentrations in fingernails and scalp hair were in the order Zn > Cu > Pb > Cd. This study proved that human scalp hair and fingernails could be used successfully as a biological indicator for the assessment of heavy metal pollution.
Download the full article below.