Trace metals in blood and urine of newborn/mother pairs, adolescents and adults of the Flemish population (2007-2011)
The Flemish Centre for Environment and Health started with human biomonitoring in 2002 (FLEHS I: 20022006). The main goal of the second human biomonitoring cycle (FLEHS II: 20072011), was to determine mean values for a large number of pollutants in a representative sample of the general Flemish population. Values for Cd and Pb were updated, and a group of previously undetermined metals and metalloids (As, Mn, Cu and Tl) were included in some of the age groups. In this human biomonitoring program, three different age groups of the general Flemish population were monitored: 255 newborns and their mothers, 210 adolescents aged 1415, and 204 adults between 20 and 40 years old. Trace elements were determined in cord blood and maternal blood of the mothers, in blood and urine of adolescents and in urine of adults. Determinants of life-style and personal factors were taken into account. The levels of trace elements in cord blood and maternal blood were for most elements at the lower end of the range found in literature. For Pb, As and Tl, a strong correlation (respectively r = 0.43, 0.55 and 0.33; p < 0.05) was found between levels in cord blood (respectively 8.6, 0.54 and 0.017 μg/L) and maternal blood (11.1, 0.64 and 0.028 μg/L), indicating that they are transported via the placenta from mother to fetus. The levels found in the adolescents and adults were compared with results from international biomonitoring studies, and were found to be in the same ranges. With the exception of Pb, all trace elements increased with increasing age group population. Finally, the results also showed that the levels of Cd and Pb in blood for this campaign (e.g. for Pb 8.6 and 14.8 μg/L in neonates and adolescents respectively) were lower compared to the first campaign (e.g. for Pb 14.7 and 21.7 μg/L in neonates and adolescents respectively), indicating a decrease over time. However, differences in sampling strategies might partially explain this observed trend.
Source (journal)
International journal of hygiene and environmental health. - München
München : 2014
217:8(2014), p. 878-890
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
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Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Creation 25.08.2014
Last edited 03.06.2017
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