Assessing the contributions of metals in environmental media to exposure biomarkers in a region of ferroalloy industry

Lindsey Butler, Chris Gennings, Marco Peli, Laura Borgese, Donatella Placidi, Neil Zimmerman, Hsiao Hsien L. Hsu, Brent A. Coull, Robert O. Wright, Donald R. Smith, Roberto G. Lucchini, Birgit Claus Henn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Residential proximity to ferroalloy production has been associated with increased manganese exposure, which can adversely affect health, particularly among children. Little is known, however, about which environmental samples contribute most to internal levels of manganese and other ferroalloy metals. We aimed to characterize sources of exposure to metals and evaluate the ability of internal biomarkers to reflect exposures from environmental media. In 717 Italian adolescents residing near ferromanganese industry, we examined associations between manganese, lead, chromium, and copper in environmental samples (airborne particles, surface soil, indoor/outdoor house dust) and biological samples (blood, hair, nails, saliva, urine). In multivariable regression analyses adjusted for child age and sex, a 10% increase in soil Mn was associated with increases of 3.0% (95% CI: 1.1%, 4.9%) in nail Mn and 1.6% (95% CI: −0.2%, 3.4%) in saliva Mn. Weighted-quantile-sum (WQS) regression estimated that higher soil and outdoor dust Mn accounted for most of the effect on nail Mn (WQS weights: 0.61 and 0.22, respectively, out of a total of 1.0). Higher air and soil Mn accounted for most of the effect on saliva Mn (WQS weights: 0.65 and 0.29, respectively). These findings can help inform biomarker selection in future epidemiologic studies and guide intervention strategies in exposed populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)674-687
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Ferroalloy
  • Lead
  • Manganese
  • Weighted quantile sum regression

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