Prevalence and Factors Associated with High Levels of Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Hair Samples of Well-Nourished Thai Children in Bangkok and Perimeters
Toxic element exposure increases risk of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, hair element profiles of well-nourished urban resident children were largely unknown. We identified prevalence and the contributing factors of high hair aluminum (Al), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), and mercury (Hg) levels in 111 Thai children (aged 3–7 years old). Most participants were well-nourished with high socioeconomic status. Since ROC curve of hair element data showed inadequate sensitivity for cutoff set-up, US reference hair levels were used to categorize high and low level groups. Nevertheless, compared to the current reference at 5 μg/dL, blood lead cutoff at 2.15 μg/dL provided more consistent results with that of hair lead levels. High As and Pb levels were the first and second most prevalent element, while Al was the element found in highest amount in hair. High hair Al (12% prevalence) levels were associated with being male regardless of age or nutritional status. High hair As levels were associated with living in Bangkok (OR = 6.57) regardless of school type. High hair Pb levels were associated with being under 5 years old and living in Bangkok (OR = 3.06). However, no associations were found between blood Pb, hair Cd, Hg, and tested factors. These findings suggested that under 5-year-old boys living in capital city like Bangkok may be at risk of exposure to multiple toxic elements. Future studies in these children are warranted to identify their exposure sources and proper risk management strategies.
KeywordsHair Toxic element Aluminum Thai children Well-nourished Bangkok Blood lead
This study was funded by National Research Council of Thailand (FY2016; Thesis Grant for Master Degree Student).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
TT has received a research grant from National Research Council of Thailand. TT is an executive member of BBH Hospital. Other authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical Approval for Research Involving Human Participants
The study had been performed in accordance with Declaration of Helsinki. The protocol was approved by the institutional review board of Mahidol University with certificate of approval (COA) No.MU-CIRB 2015/125.2010 and registered in Thai Clinical Trials Registry (TCTR) with study ID of 20151113001.
Written informed consent was obtained from parents or legal representatives of all participants in this study prior to data collection.
- 2.Bailey KA, Smith AH, Tokar EJ, Graziano JH, Kim KW, Navasumrit P, Ruchirawat M, Thiantanawat A, Suk WA, Fry RC (2016) Mechanisms underlying latent disease risk associated with early-life arsenic exposure: current research trends and scientific gaps. Environ Health Perspect 124:170–175PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 8.EPA (2015) Neurodevelopmental disorders. In: America’s children and the environment. 3rd ed. Environmental protection agency, Washington DC, pp.233Google Scholar
- 9.Willhite CC, Karyakina NA, Yokel RA, Yenugadhati N, Wisniewski TM, Arnold IM, Momoli F, Krewski D (2014) Systematic review of potential health risks posed by pharmaceutical, occupational and consumer exposures to metallic and nanoscale aluminum, aluminum oxides, aluminum hydroxide and its soluble salts. Crit Rev Toxicol 44(Suppl 4):1–80CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 11.Tippairote T, Temviriyanukul P, Benjapong W, Trachootham D (2016) A pilot case-control study of lead and other hazardous elements in hair samples and risk of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders in Thai children. Thai J Toxicol (special issue: proceedings of the 7th National Conference in toxicology (NCT7)), Proceeding No1: 75–83Google Scholar
- 16.Carrizales L, Razo I, Téllez-Hernández JI, Torres-Nerio R, Torres A, Batres LE, Cubillas AC, Díaz-Barriga F (2006) Exposure to arsenic and lead of children living near a copper-smelter in San Luis Potosi, Mexico: importance of soil contamination for exposure of children. Environ Res 101(1):1–10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 18.ATSDR (2017) Priority list of hazardous substances. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/spl/: ATSDR; Accessed June 20 2018
- 22.CDC (2012) Low level lead exposure harms children: a renewed call for primary prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/acclpp/final_document_030712.pdf
- 24.WHO (2006) Child growth standards: length/height-for-age, weight-for-age, weight-for-length, weight-for-height and body mass index-for-age: methods and development. In: Group WMGRS (ed). World Health Organization, Geneva, pp 312Google Scholar
- 26.ATSDR (2008) Toxicological profile for aluminum. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp.asp?id=191&tid=34
- 33.Komatsu F, Kagawa Y, Kawabata T, Kaneko Y, Chimedregzen U, Purvee B, Otgon J (2011) A high accumulation of hair minerals in Mongolian people: 2(nd) report; influence of manganese, iron, lead, cadmium and aluminum to oxidative stress, parkinsonism and arthritis. Curr Aging Sci 4(1):42–56CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 36.Pediatric Society of Thailand (2016) Management of lead exposure. http://www.thaipediatrics.org/Media/media-20161229150501.pdf
- 37.Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, Yolton K, Baghurst P, Bellinger DC, Canfield RL, Dietrich KN, Bornschein R, Greene T, Rothenberg SJ, Needleman HL, Schnaas L, Wasserman G, Graziano J, Roberts R (2005) Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environ Health Perspect 113(7):894–899CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 40.Ha M, Kwon HJ, Lim MH, Jee YK, Hong YC, Leem JH, Sakong J, Bae JM, Hong SJ, Roh YM, Jo SJ (2009) Low blood levels of lead and mercury and symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity in children: a report of the children’s health and environment research (CHEER). Neurotoxicology 30(1):31–36CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar