The hair content of arsenic and lead of residents of Cracow, an agglomeration with nearly one-million population, was determined and compared to those of inhabitants of Lubasz (a village with around 3,200 population in central Poland). The sample material (composed of scalp hair samples) was collected in July and August of 2014. The residents who agreed to participate in the test had to be over eighteen years old and in the case of Cracow have been living there for at least two years. The maximum values reached 0.278 mg kg-1 arsenic and 31.7 mg kg-1 lead, and those of lead were determined in the samples collected in Lubasz. The highest mean content of arsenic (0.077 mg kg-1) was obtained for residents of Dębniki, a district of Cracow. The impact of the quality of the environment in which the tested persons lived as well as other selected factors that can affect their hair arsenic and lead content (for example: gender, age, state of health, work place, type of food, smoking, drinking) was assessed. The results have confirmed the general knowledge that a proper diet and a clean, unaffected environment are basic factors minimizing the adverse impact of arsenic and lead on human beings. The factors whose influence on the hair content of arsenic and lead were considered are: the place of residence, occupational exposure, sex, age, diet, alcohol consumption and hair colour. Due to the small number of samples that have been examined this is a pilot study.
Kicińska A., Jelonek-Waliszewska A. 2017. As and Pb and their potential source in the hair of residents of Cracow. J. Elem., 22(2): 517 - 528. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2016.21.3.1223