A low-cost method shows potentially toxic element levels in dust correlated with elevated blood levels of these chemicals in children exposed toan informal home-based production environment

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Abstract:

Dust is recognized as a route of exposure to environmental pollutants. The city of Limeira, Sao Paulo state, Brazil, is a production center for jewelry and fashion jewelry, where part of this jewelry production is home-based, informal, and outsourced. The aim of this study was to valuate exposure to Potentially Toxic Elements (PTE: Cr, Sn, Mn, Sb, Ni, Cu, Zn, Cd, Pb, and As) in dust among children from households of informal workers using electrostatic dust cloths (EDC). Dust samples were collected in 21 exposed and 23 control families using EDC from surfaces where dust deposits had accumulated for approximately 14 days. In exposed families, dust samples were also collected from welders’ workstations. PTE concentrations were then determined using inductively coupled mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The results raised concerns in relation to Cr, As, and Cd exposure among children within the informal home-based production environment. Blood PTE concentrations in children showed a moderate correlation with levels of Cr (Rho 0.40), Zn (Rho −0.43), and As (Rho 0.40), and a strong correlation with Cd (Rho 0.80) (p < 0.05), detected in dust. In conclusion, analyzing dust collected using EDC proved a potentially low-cost tool for determining PTE in dust. In addition, the results confirmed that informal home-based work poses a risk for children residing in these households. Public policies are needed to assist these families and promote better conditions of occupational health and safety for the whole family.

Reference:
BARROZO, Fairah; ALMEIDA, Gilmar Alves de; LUZ, Maciel Santos; OLYMPIO, Kelly Polido Kaneshiro. A low-cost method shows potentially toxic element levels in dust correlated with elevated blood levels of these chemicals in children exposed toan informal home-based production environment. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, v.19, 16236, 14 p., 2022.

Access to the article on the Journal’s website
https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/23/16236#

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