Lead and zinc concentrations in hair and nail of some Kano inhabitants
The advantages of hair and nail tissues analysis over other biological samples are that trace metal concentrations in them are not subjected to rapid fluctuation due to diet, air and water hence a long term stable nutritional status. Lead and zinc concentrations in hair and nail samples were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS). The mean zinc concentration in hair and nail were 0.695 ± 0.33 mg/g and 0.640 ± 0.52 mg/g respectively while the mean lead concentrations in hair and nail were 0.384 ±0.34 and 0.463 ± 0.364 mg/g respectively. A progressive increase in zinc concentrations in hair and nails with age indicated no significant difference when their means were compared suggesting that zinc in hair and nails originate from a common source, comparing the mean lead concentrations in hair with the nails a significant difference is indicated in the 2 tissues (p ≤ 0.05). Human hair and nails are therefore recording filaments that can reflect metabolic changes of many elements over long periods of time and hence furnish a print out of post nutritional event as dietary levels of some of the essential micro-elements.
Key words: Lead, zinc, hair, nail, AAS, Kano, Nigeria.