Multielement analyses of human scalp hair samples from three distant towns in southeastern Nigeria

  • IC NNorom
  • JC Igwe
  • JC Ejimone
Keywords: Scalp hair, lead, trace metals, automobile exhaust

Abstract

Hair samples were collected from three distant towns in Southeastern Nigeria and analyzed for their contents of the trace metals, Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni, Cu, and Cr by atomic absorption spectrometry. Higher geometric mean values for Pb, Zn, Ni, Cu, and Cr were obtained in hair samples of donors from the
industrialized areas, Aba and Onitsha. Higher levels of Pb and Cr were observed in hair samples of male donors while higher levels of Zn and Cu were obtained in hair samples from the unindustrialized area, Isuochi. For the general population studied, geometric mean values of 65.4 ìg/g (range 9.1 to 194.5 ìg/g); 1.2 ìg/g (0.4 to 6.6 ìg/g); 146.2 ìg/g (57.7 to 510 ìg/g); 26.4 ìg/g (5.0 to 143.2 ìg/g); 117.2 ìg/g (29.4 to 363.5 ìg/g); 35.1 ìg/g (19.5 to 60.6 ìg/g) were obtained for the metals, Pb, Cd, Zn, Ni, Cu, and Cr, respectively. Our result indicates that ~ 89% of the population had Pb levels >30 ìg/g, indicative of occupational exposure, while about 20% had levels >110ìg/g which is considered dangerous.
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