Blood levels of cadmium and lead in residents near abandoned metal mine areas in Korea
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We analyzed national data on blood lead levels (BLL) and blood cadmium levels (BCL) in residents living near 38 abandoned metal mining areas (n = 5,682, 18–96 years old) in Korea that were collected by the first Health Effect Surveillance for Residents in Abandoned Metal mines (HESRAM) from 2008 to 2011. The geometric mean BCL and BLL were 1.60 μg/L (95 % CI = 1.57–1.62 μg/L) and 2.87 μg/dL (95 % CI = 2.84–2.90 μg/dL), respectively, notably higher than levels in the general population in Korea and other countries. We found significantly higher BLL and BCL levels in people living within 2 km of an abandoned metal mine (n = 3,165, BCL = 1.87 μg/L, BLL = 2.91 μg/dL) compared to people living more than 2 km away (n = 2,517, BCL = 1.31 μg/L, BLL = 2.82 μg/dL; P < 0.0001) and to the general population values reported in the literature.
KeywordsBlood lead Blood cadmium HESRAM Environmental exposure
This work was supported by National Institute of Environmental Research. In particular, the authors would like to thank all of the study subjects who were willing to participate in this study for their cooperation.
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