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The chromium exposure in drinking water is associated with blood and hair chromium levels

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

The chromium exposure in drinking water is associated with blood and hair chromium levels

Researches from CREAL, an ISGlobal alliance research center, participate in a study on biomarkers of chromium in drinking water in Greece, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, that concludes that the personal lifetime chromium exposure via drinking water, calculated from the concentrations in water and individual ingestion ascertained though questionnaires, showed associations with blood and hair chromium levels and certain hematological and biochemical parameters.

This research was coordinated by researchers from the Laboratory of Public Health at the Medical School of the University of Patras (Greece) in collaboration with CREAL researchers. “However, we have found that the subjects whose hematological or biochemical parameters were outside the normal range were not correlated with chromium exposure dose, except for groups of subjects with high triglycerides or low sodium. In addition, motor impairment score was no associated with exposure to chromium”, explains Cristina Villanueva, researcher at CREAL, an ISGlobal Alliance research center, who has participated in the study.

Hexavalent chromium, Cr (VI), is often the result of industrial applications such as the manufacture of chemicals, textiles and leather. Exposure to Cr (VI) can occur by inhalation, skin contact or ingestion.

This epidemiological cross-sectional study was conducted in Greece to investigate health outcomes associated with long-term exposure to chromium via drinking water. The study population consisted of 304 participants. Socio-demographics, lifestyle, drinking water intake, dietary habits, and occupational and medical history data were recorded through a personal interview. Physical examination and a motor test were carried out on the individuals.

Total chromium concentrations were measured in blood and hair of the study subjects. Hematological, biochemical and inflammatory parameters were determined in blood. Chromium in drinking water ranged from <0.5 to 90μg/l in all samples but one. Chromium levels in blood (median 0.32μg/l) and hair (median 0.22μg/l) were found within “normal range” according to the literature.

Eleni Sazakli, Cristina M. Villanueva, Manolis Kogevinas, Kyriakos Maltezis, Athanasia Mouzaki and Michalis Leotsinidis. Chromium in Drinking Water: Association with Biomarkers of Exposure and Effect. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 10125-10145.


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