Pollution Research Paper

Vol 37, Issue 1, 2018; Page No.(269-277)

TEMPORAL DISTRIBUTION CHARACTERISTICS OF AIRBORNE TRACE METALS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH BLOOD METAL CONCENTRATION IN A METROPOLITAN CITY OF SOUTH KOREA

KYUNGHWA SUNG, HYUNJI KIM, HAESOO KIM, JAENA HA, YOUNGHEE KIM, EUNJU KIM, SANGWOOK SEO, JUNGAE JANG5, SOOYEUN LEE1 AND KISOK KIM,

Abstract

In this study, trace metal concentrations were measured at four different locations in Daegu, South Korea over the period from 2010 to 2013. We analyzed the data to explore the possible influences of temporal factors on metal distribution characteristics and to determine the association between the airborne levels of metals and body burden of metals among the residents of Daegu. We used data on the concentration of airborne metals and levels of blood metals provided by the Daegu Metropolitan Institute of Health & Environment and Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, respectively. According to our analysis, the concentrations of most metals, except lead (Pb) and cadmium (Cd), tended to decrease throughout the study period. For all elements except Cu, systematic seasonal variations in the airborne concentration were observed. In addition, the geometric mean blood Pb levels of the study subjects tended to decrease over the four study years, while the blood Cd level did not display a trend over the study period. In the analysis of the association between airborne and blood metal concentrations, Cd showed a much stronger positive association than Pb. The findings of our study suggest that the airborne concentration of some metals can be strongly influenced by temporal factors and that inhalation exposure to some metals may lead to an increased body burden of those metals.

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