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Urinary arsenic species concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines in South Korea

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Arsenic is a carcinogenic heavy metal that has a species-dependent health effects and abandoned metal mines are a source of significant arsenic exposure. Therefore, the aims of this study were to analyze urinary arsenic species and their concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines and to monitor the environmental health effects of abandoned metal mines in Korea.

Methods: This study was performed in 2014 to assess urinary arsenic excretion patterns of residents living near abandoned metal mines in South Korea. Demographic data such as gender, age, mine working history, period of residency, dietary patterns, smoking and alcohol use, and type of potable water consumed were obtaining using a questionnaire. Informed consent was also obtained from all study subjects (n = 119). Urinary arsenic species were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS).

Results: The geometric mean of urinary arsenic (sum of dimethylarsinic acid, monomethylarsonic acid, As3+, and As5+) concentration was determined to be 131.98 μg/L (geometric mean; 95% CI, 116.72–149.23) while urinary inorganic arsenic (As3+ and As5+) concentration was 0.81 μg/L (95% CI, 0.53–1.23). 66.3% (n = 79) and 21.8% (n = 26) of these samples exceeded ATSDR reference values for urinary arsenic (>100 μg/L) and inorganic arsenic (>10 μg/L), respectively. Mean urinary arsenic concentrations (geometric mean, GM) were higher in women then in men, and increased with age. Of the five regions evaluated, while four regions had inorganic arsenic concentrations less than 0.40 μg/L, one region showed a significantly higher concentration (GM 15.48 μg/L; 95% CI, 7.51–31.91) which investigates further studies to identify etiological factors.

Conclusion: We propose that the observed elevation in urinary arsenic concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines may be due to environmental contamination from the abandoned metal mine.

Trial registration: Not Applicable (We do not have health care intervention on human participants).

No MeSH data available.


The five provinces and locations of abandoned metal mines in this study
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Fig1: The five provinces and locations of abandoned metal mines in this study

Mentions: Initially, we selected villages located within 3 km from the abandoned metal mines and the mine is located upstream of the each villages. urinary arsenic was measured in 974 samples obtained from residents living near abandoned metal mines using hydride generation-graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Subsequently, arsenic species analyses were carried out in a subset of samples with urinary arsenic concentrations in the 90th percentile. Therefore this study analyzed urinary arsenic concentrations in 119 adults (45.4% male, 54.5% female) from residing near abandoned metal mines identified by the Ministry of Environment, Korea. The study included 19 villages located in East, West, South and Central Korea and was carried out between May and November, 2014. The abandoned mines are located in the Gangwon/Gyeonggi/Inchon (five villages), Daegu/Gyeongbuk (five villages), Busan/Ulsan/Gyeongnam (three villages), Jeonnam/Jeonbuk (three villages), Chungnam/Chungbuk (3 villages) regions of the Korean Peninsula (Fig. 1). These villages were selected as they are the most densely populated and are located within 3 km from the abandoned metal mines. Furthermore, the National Institute Environmental Research (NIER), Korea has conducted previous studies on heavy metals in farmland soil and drainage at abandoned metal mines area. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Dong-A University (ref. no. 2-1040709-AB-N-01-201404-BR-04-04). Informed consent was obtained from all participants and personal interviews were conducted to acquire demographic and lifestyle information such as age, drinking water source, current dietary habits, ongoing or previous disease, alcohol consumption, smoking status, type of drinking water being used and period of residency in the study area. Any history of working in mines was also obtained.Fig. 1


Urinary arsenic species concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines in South Korea
The five provinces and locations of abandoned metal mines in this study
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5120503&req=5

Fig1: The five provinces and locations of abandoned metal mines in this study
Mentions: Initially, we selected villages located within 3 km from the abandoned metal mines and the mine is located upstream of the each villages. urinary arsenic was measured in 974 samples obtained from residents living near abandoned metal mines using hydride generation-graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS). Subsequently, arsenic species analyses were carried out in a subset of samples with urinary arsenic concentrations in the 90th percentile. Therefore this study analyzed urinary arsenic concentrations in 119 adults (45.4% male, 54.5% female) from residing near abandoned metal mines identified by the Ministry of Environment, Korea. The study included 19 villages located in East, West, South and Central Korea and was carried out between May and November, 2014. The abandoned mines are located in the Gangwon/Gyeonggi/Inchon (five villages), Daegu/Gyeongbuk (five villages), Busan/Ulsan/Gyeongnam (three villages), Jeonnam/Jeonbuk (three villages), Chungnam/Chungbuk (3 villages) regions of the Korean Peninsula (Fig. 1). These villages were selected as they are the most densely populated and are located within 3 km from the abandoned metal mines. Furthermore, the National Institute Environmental Research (NIER), Korea has conducted previous studies on heavy metals in farmland soil and drainage at abandoned metal mines area. The study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Dong-A University (ref. no. 2-1040709-AB-N-01-201404-BR-04-04). Informed consent was obtained from all participants and personal interviews were conducted to acquire demographic and lifestyle information such as age, drinking water source, current dietary habits, ongoing or previous disease, alcohol consumption, smoking status, type of drinking water being used and period of residency in the study area. Any history of working in mines was also obtained.Fig. 1

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Background: Arsenic is a carcinogenic heavy metal that has a species-dependent health effects and abandoned metal mines are a source of significant arsenic exposure. Therefore, the aims of this study were to analyze urinary arsenic species and their concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines and to monitor the environmental health effects of abandoned metal mines in Korea.

Methods: This study was performed in 2014 to assess urinary arsenic excretion patterns of residents living near abandoned metal mines in South Korea. Demographic data such as gender, age, mine working history, period of residency, dietary patterns, smoking and alcohol use, and type of potable water consumed were obtaining using a questionnaire. Informed consent was also obtained from all study subjects (n = 119). Urinary arsenic species were quantified using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP/MS).

Results: The geometric mean of urinary arsenic (sum of dimethylarsinic acid, monomethylarsonic acid, As3+, and As5+) concentration was determined to be 131.98 μg/L (geometric mean; 95% CI, 116.72–149.23) while urinary inorganic arsenic (As3+ and As5+) concentration was 0.81 μg/L (95% CI, 0.53–1.23). 66.3% (n = 79) and 21.8% (n = 26) of these samples exceeded ATSDR reference values for urinary arsenic (>100 μg/L) and inorganic arsenic (>10 μg/L), respectively. Mean urinary arsenic concentrations (geometric mean, GM) were higher in women then in men, and increased with age. Of the five regions evaluated, while four regions had inorganic arsenic concentrations less than 0.40 μg/L, one region showed a significantly higher concentration (GM 15.48 μg/L; 95% CI, 7.51–31.91) which investigates further studies to identify etiological factors.

Conclusion: We propose that the observed elevation in urinary arsenic concentration in residents living near abandoned metal mines may be due to environmental contamination from the abandoned metal mine.

Trial registration: Not Applicable (We do not have health care intervention on human participants).

No MeSH data available.