Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 123, Issue 1–3, pp 14–26 | Cite as

Blood Levels of Lead, Cadmium, and Mercury in Residents of Tehran

  • Leila Farzin
  • Mojtaba Amiri
  • Hadi Shams
  • Mohammad Amin Ahmadi Faghih
  • Mohammad Esmail Moassesi


Monitoring of toxic trace elements for human blood has been of interest to researchers in the fields of environmental chemistry and medical science. The amount of blood toxic elements can reflect the disease state of the person or the environment where that person resides or works. Chronic, low-level exposure to toxic metals such as lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) is an increasing global problem. This study focuses on obtaining the usual value of Pb, Cd, and Hg in normal human blood. These elements were determined in 61 male and 40 female volunteers resident in Tehran (Iran). The subjects were non-drug abusers and aged 6–62 years old. Procedures were developed for the collection, storage, and preanalytical treatment of samples. The lead and cadmium were determined by graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry, and mercury was measured by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry technique. The blood levels of Pb, Cd, and Hg in normal volunteers living in Tehran were 123.75 ± 56.42, 1.82 ± 0.67, and 8.48 ± 4.42 μg/L. There was no significant gender-related difference in blood Cd and Hg concentrations (p < 0.06 and p < 0.41). However, the results indicated significantly higher content of Pb in blood of males compared to females (138.11 ± 65.43 and 101.84 ± 51.38 μg/L, respectively, p < 0.05).


Toxic metals Atomic absorption spectrometry Blood Lead Cadmium Mercury 



The authors wish to thank the participants for providing blood samples and Danesh Laboratory for sampling.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Farzin
    • 1
  • Mojtaba Amiri
    • 1
  • Hadi Shams
    • 1
  • Mohammad Amin Ahmadi Faghih
    • 1
  • Mohammad Esmail Moassesi
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Laboratory, Nuclear Science Research School, Nuclear Science & Technology Research InstituteAtomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI)TehranIran

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