Possible reference values of carcinogenic elements (As, Be, Cd, Ni

Possible reference values of carcinogenic elements (As,
Be, Cd, Ni) in the hair of children aged 6-9 years of the
Community of Madrid, Spain
Antonio Peña-Fernández1,
Marίa Jose González-Muñoz1 and
Marίa del Carmen Lobo-Bedmar2
University of Alcalá, Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Instituto Madrileño de Investigación y Desarrollo Rural
Agrario y Alimentario (IMIDRA), Alcalá de Henares, Spain
Human hair can be used as a biomarker of environmental exposure
to metals and metalloids (trace elements) but to date very few
studies have suggested reference values of trace elements in hair.
This is because of the different factors that affect the presence of
metals in human hair such as age, gender, ethnicity, etc. However,
the application of strict inclusion criteria to select participants in biomonitoring surveys of human hair could reduce the impact of these
factors (Peña-Fernández, 2011; Peña-Fernández et al., 2014). A biomonitoring study was conducted to establish the possible reference
values of arsenic (As), beryllium (Be), cadmium (Cd) and nickel
(Ni) in the hair of children aged 6-9 years from Alcalá de Henares,
Community of Madrid (Spain). Hair samples were taken from the
scalp close to the occipital region in 117 healthy and non-exposed
children who met the strict inclusion criteria. The levels of these
elements were monitored by ICP-OES. Concentrations of As and Be
were below the detection level. Reference values were established
using the methodology and recommendations suggested by the
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). The
95% confidence intervals for 95th population percentile (CI-PP95) for
each carcinogenic element were as follows: <0.02 µg/g for As, <0.05
µg/g for Be, 0.83-1.03 µg/g for Cd, and 0.96-1.12 µg/g for Ni. These
reference values may be used to identify whether any child that lives
in the Community of Madrid has been exposed. These values might
also be used in other same-age populations with similar background
exposure and life-styles.