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      Ecological-geochemical characteristics of lead levels in the environment and human biosubstrates of residents of the Orenburg region

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          Abstract

          Abstract. Data on the content of lead in water, the soil, wheat, and hair of inhabitants of the western, central, and eastern areas of the Orenburg region are presented in this article. 525 samples of water, soil, and wheat and 420 samples of human hair were studied using atomic absorption and mass spectrometry with inductively-coupled plasma, respectively. It is estimated that in underground waters, the soil, and wheat of the eastern area the content of lead is the highest in comparison with the western and central areas of the region. In hair of inhabitants of the eastern area, the level of lead exceeded the respective values in the western and central areas by a factor of 2.2 (p < 0.001) and 1.5 (p < 0.001), respectively.


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          Hazards of heavy metal contamination.

          The main threats to human health from heavy metals are associated with exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These metals have been extensively studied and their effects on human health regularly reviewed by international bodies such as the WHO. Heavy metals have been used by humans for thousands of years. Although several adverse health effects of heavy metals have been known for a long time, exposure to heavy metals continues, and is even increasing in some parts of the world, in particular in less developed countries, though emissions have declined in most developed countries over the last 100 years. Cadmium compounds are currently mainly used in re-chargeable nickel-cadmium batteries. Cadmium emissions have increased dramatically during the 20th century, one reason being that cadmium-containing products are rarely re-cycled, but often dumped together with household waste. Cigarette smoking is a major source of cadmium exposure. In non-smokers, food is the most important source of cadmium exposure. Recent data indicate that adverse health effects of cadmium exposure may occur at lower exposure levels than previously anticipated, primarily in the form of kidney damage but possibly also bone effects and fractures. Many individuals in Europe already exceed these exposure levels and the margin is very narrow for large groups. Therefore, measures should be taken to reduce cadmium exposure in the general population in order to minimize the risk of adverse health effects. The general population is primarily exposed to mercury via food, fish being a major source of methyl mercury exposure, and dental amalgam. The general population does not face a significant health risk from methyl mercury, although certain groups with high fish consumption may attain blood levels associated with a low risk of neurological damage to adults. Since there is a risk to the fetus in particular, pregnant women should avoid a high intake of certain fish, such as shark, swordfish and tuna; fish (such as pike, walleye and bass) taken from polluted fresh waters should especially be avoided. There has been a debate on the safety of dental amalgams and claims have been made that mercury from amalgam may cause a variety of diseases. However, there are no studies so far that have been able to show any associations between amalgam fillings and ill health. The general population is exposed to lead from air and food in roughly equal proportions. During the last century, lead emissions to ambient air have caused considerable pollution, mainly due to lead emissions from petrol. Children are particularly susceptible to lead exposure due to high gastrointestinal uptake and the permeable blood-brain barrier. Blood levels in children should be reduced below the levels so far considered acceptable, recent data indicating that there may be neurotoxic effects of lead at lower levels of exposure than previously anticipated. Although lead in petrol has dramatically decreased over the last decades, thereby reducing environmental exposure, phasing out any remaining uses of lead additives in motor fuels should be encouraged. The use of lead-based paints should be abandoned, and lead should not be used in food containers. In particular, the public should be aware of glazed food containers, which may leach lead into food. Exposure to arsenic is mainly via intake of food and drinking water, food being the most important source in most populations. Long-term exposure to arsenic in drinking-water is mainly related to increased risks of skin cancer, but also some other cancers, as well as other skin lesions such as hyperkeratosis and pigmentation changes. Occupational exposure to arsenic, primarily by inhalation, is causally associated with lung cancer. Clear exposure-response relationships and high risks have been observed.
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            Characterization of silver nanoparticles synthesized by using marine isolate Streptomyces albidoflavus.

            Silver nanoparticles production by the green chemistry approach was investigated using an isolated marine actinomycetes strain. The isolated strain was identified as Streptomyces albidoflavus based on chemotaxonomic and ribotyping properties. The strain revealed production of silver nanoparticles both extracellular and intracellularly. Surface Plasmon Resonance analysis with the function of time revealed that particle synthesis by this strain is reaction time dependent. The produced particles were spherical shaped and monodispersive in nature and showed a single surface plasmon resonance peak at 410 nm. Size distribution histograms indicated production of 10-40- nm-size nanoparticles with a mean size of 14.5 nm. FT-IR spectra of nanopartilces showed N-H, C-H, and C-N stretching vibrations, denoting the presence of amino acid/ peptide compounds on the surface of silver nanoparticles produced by S. albidoflavus. Synthesized nanoparticles revealed a mean negative zeta potential and electrophoretic mobility of -8.5 mV and -0.000066 cm2/Vs, respectively. The nanoparticles produced were proteinaceous compounds as capping agents with -8.5 mV zeta potential and revealed antimicrobial activity against both Gram-negative and -positive bacterial strains. Owing to their small size, these particles have greater impact on industrial application spectra.
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              Author and article information

              Journal
              Trace Elements and Electrolytes
              TE
              Dustri-Verlgag Dr. Karl Feistle
              0946-2104
              2018
              October 01 2018
              : 35
              : 10
              : 200-202
              10.5414/TEX0155407
              © 2018

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