Study of heavy metal levels in nails and hairs among vegetable farmers in Malaysia

Nur Zakiah Mohd Saat, S. Y. Chow, A. R. Ghazah, Syarif Husin Lubis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The use of the pesticides and chemical fertilizers in agricultural sector releases plenty types of heavy metals to environment and brings adverse effects to human health. Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), Nickel (Ni) and Cobalt (Co) are toxic heavy metals to harm human health. Presence of keratin in hairs and nails allows the accumulation of metals elements in longer period. Thus, hairs and nails are suitable to be used as biological marker in the study of human exposure to heavy metal elements. The purpose of this study was to determine As, Cd, Pb, Ni and Co levels in hairs, fingernails and toenails of vegetable farmers. There were 90 Bangladesh farmers participated in this research by using universal sampling. Questionnaires have been carried out to collect the demographic data, working periods of the farmers and blood pressure. As, Cd, Pb, Ni and Co levels were analyzed by using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). Result showed that there was significant difference of As, Cd, Pb andNi levels among hairs, fingernails and toenails, p<0.05. The levels of As (90.56±10.19 μg L-1) andCd(34.57±3.44 μg L-1) in toenails were found to be highest whereas the levels of Pb (74.73±7.93 μg L-1) and Ni (694.12±19.70 μg L-1) in fingernails were found to be highest with the mean level. ANOVA test showed that Co levels in toenails were significantly higher in farmers with hypertension (22.51±3.61 μg L-1). Kruskal-Wallis test showed that As (H = 10.64, p<0.05) and Cd (H = 7.34, p<0.05) levels in toenails were significantly higher in farmers with hypertension. There was a significant weak negative relationship among As (r = -0.44, p<0.05), Cd (r = -0.43, p<0.05), Pb (r = 0.32, p<0.05) andNi (r = -0.31, p<0.05) in fingernails together with Pb (r = -0.29, p<0.05) levels in toenails with working periods of farmers shown by Spearman correlation test. Almost all farmers from different blood pressure groups shower after handling pesticides and fertilizers significantly (p<0.05). The 66 famers have good knowledge from different working periods and there was a significant different between individual's knowledge and working periods (p<0.05). As a conclusion, As, Cd, Pb, Ni, Co levels among vegetable farmers were lower than earlier studies and remained at a safety level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalResearch Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume8
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Malaysia
Nails
vegetables
hair
Vegetables
Arsenic
heavy metals
Heavy Metals
Heavy metals
arsenic
Cadmium
cadmium
Cobalt
Nickel
cobalt
nickel
Blood pressure
Fertilizers
hypertension
fertilizers

Keywords

  • Fertilizers
  • Fingernails
  • Hairs
  • Heavy metals
  • Pesticides
  • Toenails

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Engineering(all)

Cite this

Study of heavy metal levels in nails and hairs among vegetable farmers in Malaysia. / Mohd Saat, Nur Zakiah; Chow, S. Y.; Ghazah, A. R.; Lubis, Syarif Husin.

In: Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 9, 2013, p. 449-455.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mohd Saat, Nur Zakiah ; Chow, S. Y. ; Ghazah, A. R. ; Lubis, Syarif Husin. / Study of heavy metal levels in nails and hairs among vegetable farmers in Malaysia. In: Research Journal of Applied Sciences. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 9. pp. 449-455.
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