Comparative Study of Heavy Metals Accumulation in the Nails of Drinkers and Non-Drinkers of River Water
Keywords:heavy metals, nails, AAS, Biological monitoring, Bio-indicator, Forensic examination, Health risk assessment.
Heavy metals can incorporate into humans by contaminated drinking water and can then be distributed
into different tissues, which leads to an internal accumulation that can induce different alterations, adverse
effects and acute/chronic metal poisoning. Nails can be used as bio-indicator for biological monitoring for
the purpose of forensic examination in poisoning cases, assessment of metal exposures, as occupational
marker and for health risk assessment. This paper deals with the comparative quantitative study of iron,
lead, zinc, cadmium, copper and nickel concentration in nails of male subjects drinking and not drinking
water from river. The levels of these metals were analyzed by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS).
The result of this study showed Fe and Cu were significantly higher in concentration in the nail samples of
people consuming river water whereas Zn concentration was slightly higher in the nail sample of people not
consuming river water and Cd, Ni and Pb showed negative result in the both type of subjects. The present
comparative study showed significant difference in heavy metal concentration in both the type of subjects.
So it can be stated that people consuming river water are more affected, due to continuous exposure from
these metal through the river. This study can prove that nail samples can be used as biological indicator and
biological monitoring tool for assessment of heavy metal.
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