Fresenius' Zeitschrift für analytische Chemie

, Volume 332, Issue 6, pp 556–560 | Cite as

Database for trace element concentrations in biological samples

  • O. Vesterberg
  • G. Nordberg
  • D. Brune


Numerous methods have been published for the determination of the concentration of elements such as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury and nickel in biological samples as blood, tissues and urine. It is not easy but highly desirable to assess the reliability of such methods. Several publications present values of trace element levels in samples from apparently healthy subjects as well as from persons with different diseases and after various exposures. Very often published “normal values” for unexposed subjects differ much — even up to one order of magnitude. There are major problems related to sampling, definition of the reference groups and analysis. Values for such groups can be called reference values rather than normal values.

Therefore it is difficult even for experts to find such accurate and typical values to be used for comparative purposes e.g. in toxicology and occupational medicine. Knowledge is desirable of an average value and also of the respective frequency distribution. In this paper factors are discussed influencing the values such as selection of the reference groups and how to get typical reference intervals. We have worked for several years with developing methods for trace element determination and with evaluating data for use in e.g. occupational health. Therefore we felt a need for systematic evaluation accessible through a database.

The original publications are retrieved by careful literature data search in e.g. Medline and Chemical Abstracts. We plan to offer discettes with evaluated typical concentrations of elements, specified details of sampling and analysis, reliability as well as references to the original publications. These discettes are very easy to use. A frequently updated and easily accessible database system should be very useful. Cooperation is planned with e.g. International Commission on Occupational Health, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH in USA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


Arsenic International Atomic Energy Agency Occupational Health Trace Element Concentration Occupational Medicine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Datenbasis für Spurenelementkonzentrationen in biologischen Proben


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • O. Vesterberg
    • 1
  • G. Nordberg
    • 2
  • D. Brune
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Medical ChemistryNational Institute of Occupational HealthSolnaSweden
  2. 2.Department of Environmental MedicineUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden

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