Lead and cadmium content in human hair in Central Pomerania (Northern Poland)

Wydanie: 2 / 2010


  • Trojanowski P., Trojanowski J., Antonowicz J., Bokiniec M.

Kategorie: Medicine and veterinary

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2010.15.2.363-384.


Samples of hair collected in 2004-2007 from 416 persons living in Central Pomerania were analyzed. The subjects donating hair represented a vast spectrum of age, from a ten month-old child to a 75-year-old person. The subjects were selected randomly. Lead and cadmium were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry using an ASA-3 spectrometer. The average content of the metals in the hair samples was 3.20 μg g–1 (Pb) and 0.284 μg g–1 (Cd). The highest concentration of lead in human hair (about 3.88 μg g–1)was determined for the age group 61-75 years, and that of cadmium (0.406 μg g–1) – forthe age group 26-50 years. The lowest concentrations of these metals in human hair (2.07 and 0.152 μg g–1, respectively) were determined for the age group of 0-15 years. Most hairsamples (50%) contained 2.01-4.00 μg g–1 Pb, while 45% of the samples contained 0.001-0.300 μg g–1 of cadmium. Studying the dependence of the content of lead and cadmium inhair on the gender of subjects, it was discovered that in all age groups males had morelead and cadmium (3.79 and 0.334 μg g–1, respectively) than females (2.63 μg g–1 and 0.236 μg g–1). This study has also demonstrated that the environment affects the content of the analyzed metals in hair. The average value of lead and cadmium concentrations for people living in the country were 2.39 μg g–1 for Pb and 0.214 μg g–1 for Cd, while for the people living in towns and cities, the respective values were 4.17 and 0.361 μg g–1. The presentstudy has demonstrated how nutrition affects lead and cadmium content in human hair. Among the subjects, 17% had been on some kind of a diet, predominatly easily digestibleand light foods. The lowest content of these metals (on average, 2.08 μg g–1 Pb and 0.141 μg g–1 Cd) was found in hair of people on a diet, while the hiest levels (3.54 μg g–1 Pb and 0.315 μg g–1 Cd) were determined in people who did not limit consumption of meat and dairy products. Among the analyzed population, 241 persons suffered from chronic disease. The average content of lead and cadmium in hair of healthy subjects was 3.05 μg g–1 Pb and 0.257 μg g–1 Cd, but in patients suffering from arthrosclerosis, allergy and hyperplasia prostate the levels of lead and cadmium in hair reached the upper values of these limits. Hair of the patients who suffered from cardiovascular disease showed deificiency of these metals (on average, 1.73 μg g–1 Pb and 0.182 μg g–1 Cd).


Trojanowski P., Trojanowski J., Antonowicz J., Bokiniec M. 2010. Lead and cadmium content in human hair in Central Pomerania (Northern Poland). J. Elem. 15(2): 363-384.

Słowa kluczowe:

lead, cadmium, hair, personal features, environment, nourishment, chronic diseases

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