Exposure to Metal Carcinogens In The General Population

  • Max Costa
Part of the Biological Methods book series (BM)

There are a number of areas where non-occupational exposure to metal carcinogens occur. These metals or their compounds are present in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the biomaterials we implant in our bodies, and in the cigarets we smoke. Using nickel and cadmium as examples of carcinogenic metals that the general population is exposed to, we will discuss the various ways that these exposures may occur. We will then discuss the exposure of the general population to other metals and how this correlates with carcinogenesis.

Atmospheric Content of Carcinogenic Metals

Nickel levels in the environment vary depending upon the location sampled. The average level from widely scattered atmospheric samples in the US in 1964–1965 was about 340 ng/m3 (1). Metallic nickel constitutes about 0.03% of the particulate matter suspended in the atmosphere (2). Nickel compounds, including sulfides, oxides, and carbonyls, are also present in the atmosphere. These compounds are...


Coal Combustion Cadmium Level Volatility Profile Carcinogenic Activity Threshold Limit Value 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas Medical School at Houston

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