Distribution of uranium, thorium and some stable trace and toxic elements in human hair and nails in Niska Banja Town, a high natural background radiation area of Serbia (Balkan Region, South-East Europe)
AuthorsSahoo, S. K.
Žunić, Zora S.
MetadataShow full item record
Human hair and nails can be considered as bio-indicators of the public exposure to certain natural radionuclides and other toxic metals over a long period of months or even years. The level of elements in hair and nails usually reflect their levels in other tissues of body. Nigka Banja, a spa town located in southern Serbia, with locally high natural background radiation was selected for the study. To assess public exposure to the trace elements, hair and nail samples were collected and analyzed. The concentrations of uranium, thorium and some trace and toxic elements (Mn, Ni, Cu, Sr, Cd, and Cs) were determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). U and Th concentrations in hair varied from 0.0002 to 0.0771 mu g/g and from 0.0002 to 0.0276 mu g/g, respectively. The concentrations in nails varied from 0.0025 to 0.0447 mu g/g and from 0.0023 to 0.0564 mu/g for U and Th, respectively. We found significant correlations between some elements in hair and nails. Also ...indications of spatial clustering of high values could be found. However, this phenomenon as well as the large variations in concentrations of heavy metals in hair and nail could not be explained. As hypotheses, we propose possible exposure pathways which may explain the findings, but the current data does not allow testing them. Crown Copyright (C) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Hair / Nail / Uranium / Thorium / High natural background radiation area / Trace elements
Source:Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 2015, 145, 66-77
- An integral study to identify the regional genetic and environmental risk factors for the common noncommunicable diseases in the human population of Serbia - INGEMA_S (RS-41028)
- Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan [P11503], NIRS