Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 189, Issue 2, pp 344–353 | Cite as

Assessment of 12 Metals and Metalloids in Blood of General Populations Living in Wuhan of China by ICP-MS

  • Hao-Long ZengEmail author
  • Huijun Li
  • Jie Lu
  • Qing Guan
  • Liming ChengEmail author


Assessment of trace element levels in general population from the specific area is of importance for nutritional and occupational monitoring. In the current study, baseline blood levels of 12 toxic and/or essential metals and metalloids, including arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), chromium (Cr), thallium (Tl), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and magnesium (Mg), in general populations (n = 477) of Wuhan in central China were investigated by using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The geometric means for As, Cd, Pb, Hg, Cr, Tl, Mn, and Cu were measured as 2.25, 0.70, 17.84, 1.90, 0.36, < 0.05, 12.40, and 783.76 μg/L, respectively. The geometric means for Zn, Ca, Fe, and Mg were 5.85, 56.66, 488.98, and 39.44 mg/L, respectively. We found the men had higher blood As, Pb, Hg, Zn, Fe, and Mg levels but had lower blood Cu and Ca levels than the women (p < 0.05). Age-related difference were found for blood Cu, Zn, Ca, Mg, Pb, Mn, As, Cd, and Hg levels (p < 0.05). Moreover, many metal concentrations were found correlated, with the strongest correlations between the pairs Fe–Mg (r = 0.57), Fe–Zn (r = 0.42), As–Hg (r = 0.46), Ca–Cu (r = 0.34), Pb–Hg (r = 0.36), Pb–Cd (r = 0.31), Pb–As (r = 0.25), and Ca–Fe (r = − 0.23). Compared with reports from other countries, most of our results were consistent, except that As Pb, Hg, Mn, and Cu showed different blood levels with European, Korea, or Beijing areas. Our study would be of importance for nutritional, environmental, and/or occupational monitoring of these metals in human.


Metals and metalloids Biomonitoring Whole blood ICP-MS 


Funding Information

The work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (31600666).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Approval was received from Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology Review Board in Wuhan, China. All the procedures involving human samples conformed to the principles outlined in the Declaration of Helsinki.

Competing Interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

12011_2018_1486_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 2.05 MB)
12011_2018_1486_MOESM2_ESM.docx (2.1 mb)
ESM 2 (DOCX 2.05 MB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Laboratory Medicine, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical CollegeHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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