, Volume 141, Issue 1-3, pp 131-149
Date: 05 Jun 2010

Evaluation of Status of Trace and Toxic Metals in Biological Samples (Scalp Hair, Blood, and Urine) of Normal and Anemic Children of Two Age Groups

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Anemia affects a substantial portion of the world’s population, provoking severe health problems as well as important economic losses to the region in which this condition is found. This study was designed to compare the levels of essential trace and toxic elements in scalp hair, blood, and urine samples of anemic children (n = 132) with age range 1–5 and 6–10 years of both genders. For a comparative study, 134 non-anemic age- and sex-matched children as control subjects, residing in the same city, were selected. The metals in the biological samples were measured by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry/electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry prior to microwave-assisted acid digestion. The proposed method was validated using certified reference samples of hair, blood, and urine. The results indicated significantly lower levels of iron, copper, and zinc in the biological samples as compared to the control children of both genders (p = 0.01–0.008). The mean values of lead and cadmium were significantly high in all three biological samples of anemic children as compared to non-anemic children of both age groups (p = 0.005–0.001). The ratios of essential metal to toxic metals in the biological samples of anemic children of both age groups were significantly lower than that of controls. Deficiency of essential trace metals and high level of toxic metals may play a role in the development of anemia in the subjects under study.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-010-8922-8