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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 1982;15(1): 95-110.
A Study on Distribution of Heavy Metals in Normal Korean Tissues.
Seong Gil Jang, Byung Yul Moon, Kyou Chull Chung
1Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Colleeg of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Korea.
ABSTRACT
For the purpose of investigation to identify the quantities of heavy metals contained in the tissues of the Korean people, a series of analyses was conducted with atomic absorption spectrophotometry to measure the amount of lead, cadmium and copper distributed in various tissues, such as brain, liver, kidney, heart, lung, spleen, large intestine, hair, muscle, fat, stomach, costal cartilage, blood and urine, obtained from 30 cadaverous bodies who were believed not exposed to the said heavy metals during their life time either occupationally or therapeutically. 1. Lead content: Inter-individual difference was noted in lead contents in each tissue, vis., the average content of lead in hair was the highest with 14.90+/-9.74 ppm. The next was in costal cartilage that contained 5.06+/-3.86 ppm. The average contents of lead in liver, kidney and muscle were the lowest in value, showing 1.11+/-0.92 ppm, 0.73+/-0.48 ppm and 0.06+/-0.06 ppm, respectively. The lead contents in tissues of children under the age of 10 were significantly lower than those of adults, and the higher values were shown in finales than in females in general. The lead contents in most of the tissues such as hair, costal cartilage, kidney, lung, fat, stomach, large intestine, heart, muscle and urine were well correlated with age. 2. Cadmium content: The average content of cadmium in kidney appeared to be the highest, of ether tissues showing 20.7+/-29.82 ppm, and liver came nest with the value of 1.17+/-0.99 ppm. It was estimated that 83.9% of the total cadmium absorbed into the body was stored in kidney, 4.7% in liver, and the remaining 11.4% was distributed in the rest of the tissues. Cadmium contents in tissues showed difference between both sexes showing higher values in the females than in the males, which was quite contrary to the lead content. Cadmium contents in tissues steadily increased in amount with age, showing a significant correlation with age in all tissues. 3. Copper content: The average content of copper in hair was the highest with 10.36+/-2.21 ppm, and liver came next with 6.31+/-1.24 ppm. The copper that was absorbed into the body w4s distributed in each tissue: 29.9.% in hair, 18.2% in liver, 5~11% in brain, heart and kidney, and 3.0~3.5% in stomach, blood, and lung. The copper contents in tissues of children under the age of 10 showed significantly higher values in liver, kidney, heart and large intestine than those of the adults. The copper contents in brain, costal cartilage and fat were well correlated with age showing the highest correlation coefficient of 0.870 (p<0.01) in brain tissue. There was no difference in copper contents in tissues between both sexes, and the values were, in general, lower than those for Japanese.
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