What do the trace metal contents of urine and toenail samples from Qatar[U+05F3]s farm workers bioindicate?

Nora Kuiper, Candace Rowell, Jerome Nriagu, Basem Shomar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Qatar's farm workers provide a unique population for exposure study: they are young, healthy males. This study combined trace element profiles in urine and toenail with survey information from 239 farm workers to assess the extent to which the biomarkers provide complementary exposure information. Urinary Mo levels (average=114. μg/L) were elevated; average urinary values (μg/L) for all other elements were: V (1.02), Cr (0.55), Mn (2.15), Fe (34.1), Co (0.47), Ni (2.95), Cu (15.0), As (47.8), Se (25.7), Cd (1.09), Ba (22.5), Pb (2.50) and U (0.15). Average toenail concentrations (mg/kg) were: Mn (2.48), Cu (4.43), As (0.26), Se (0.58), Mo (0.07), Cd (0.03), Ba (1.00), Pb (0.51) and U (0.02). No significant association was found between corresponding elements in urine and toenails. Elemental profiles suggest groundwater (with the exception of Mo) and soil-dust-crop exposure pathways cannot account for elemental variations. The main factors moderating trace element contents are related to depuration processes involving participants[U+05F3] trace element body burden prior to work in Qatar, and interactions of trace element metabolic cycles which over-ride the exposure footprint. Toenail and urine need to be carefully validated before reliable use as biomarkers of exposure in general populations for most elements in the study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-94
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Research
Volume131
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014

Fingerprint

Qatar
agricultural worker
Trace Elements
Nails
urine
Farms
trace metal
Metals
Urine
trace element
Biomarkers
biomarker
Body Burden
Groundwater
Dust
depuration
Population
Crops
Soil
footprint

Keywords

  • Biomonitoring
  • Farm workers
  • Toenails
  • Trace elements
  • Urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

What do the trace metal contents of urine and toenail samples from Qatar[U+05F3]s farm workers bioindicate? / Kuiper, Nora; Rowell, Candace; Nriagu, Jerome; Shomar, Basem.

In: Environmental Research, Vol. 131, 01.05.2014, p. 86-94.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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