Feet in danger: short exposure to contaminated soil causing health damage—an experimental study
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In this study, hematological and behavioral changes in Wistar rats exposed to soil collected from urban areas next to an industrial complex were investigated. Animals were exposed to soil samples placed at the bottom of cages for 4 days. After this period, behavioral parameters were measured by the open field test and the elevated plus-maze. Blood was collected to measure hematological parameters. The soil from the vicinity of the oil refining industry caused changes in hematological parameters and altered behavioral parameters in both tests. The soil from the vicinity of the petroleum refining industry and fertilizer industries increased the density of white blood cells and decreased exploratory activity in the exposed animals. The results demonstrate that contact with contaminated soils, even for short periods, can cause physiological damage in organisms and that special attention should be given to people who live under constant exposure to these soils.
KeywordsContaminated soils Open field Elevated plus-maze Hematology
Compliance with ethical standards
All the animal experiments carried out followed the Brazilian standards dictated by the Brazilian College of Animal Experimentation (COBEA, 1991) and were approved by the Ethics Committee of the Health Area Research/FURG (No. 53/2008).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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