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A Pilot Study Determining Hair Arsenic and Lead Levels in Residents of a Community Established on a Former Landfill in Puerto Rico

Abstract

Arsenic (As) and lead (Pb) were determined in hair of 12 adult women and 27 children living in a soil–metal contaminated community in Puerto Rico. Average concentrations in residential soils ranged from 24 to 109 μg/g for As and from 42 to 1,585 μg/g for Pb. For hair–As, about 75 % of the samples were below 0.08 μg/g. Hair–Pb presented levels of health concern, with 10 % of the samples above a reference value of 5 μg/g, indicating significant exposure to Pb. Multivariate analyses revealed that children’s Pb hair levels were predicted by age and sex, while consumption of home-grown animals influenced the association with soil–Pb.

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Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Karellie Vázquez, Leslie A. Acevedo-Marín, and Lourdes Pérez for field and laboratory work; and Rodolfo Vargas for his valuable help in statistical analyses. This study was financially supported by the UPR-COPENIC and RCMI-G12RR03051 grants.

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Correspondence to Imar Mansilla-Rivera.

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Moreno-Santini, V., Mansilla-Rivera, I., García-Rodríguez, O. et al. A Pilot Study Determining Hair Arsenic and Lead Levels in Residents of a Community Established on a Former Landfill in Puerto Rico. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 572–576 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0715-7

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Keywords

  • Arsenic
  • Lead
  • Hair
  • Puerto Rico