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  • Know Res., 2015, 2(4),  pp 146-153  

    DOI:10.7598/kor2015.160

    Research Article

    Effects of Dietary Selenium on Mercury Toxicity, using Human Hair and Nail Samples as Bioindicators: A Case Study among Residents of Wassa West District of Ghana

  • B.V SAMLAFO
  • University of Education, Winneba, Department of Chemistry Education. Box 25, Winneba-Ghana
  • Abstract

    This study evaluated the Selenium-to-mercury (Se:Hg) molar ratio model, using human hair and nail as bioindicators, in contrast to the traditional model of measuring mercury alone as index of mercury (Hg) exposure. Fifth year of hair and nail samples collected from volunteers were analysed for Hg and Selenium (Se). Absolute levels of Hg in hair ranged from 1.65 µg/g to 20.46 µg/g with a mean value of 4.64 µg/g. However, ideal levels of Hg in hair is 0.3-0.4 µg/g. Absolute Se levels in hair ranged from 0.5 µg/g to 1.53 µg/g with a mean value of 0.94 µg/g. Ideal Se levels in hair is 1.2 µg/g. Molar concentrations of Hg in hair ranged from 8.23 nM to 101.10 nM with a mean value of 23.09 nM, while molar concentrations of Se in hair ranged from 6.33nM to 19.38 nM with a mean value of 12.0 nM. Absolute Hg in nails ranged from 0.97 µg/g to 31.94 µg/g with a mean value of 10.29 µg/g. Observed Se levels ranged from 0.52 µg/g to 0.85 µg/g with a mean value of 0.70 µg/g. Molar concentrations of Hg in nails ranged from 4.84 nM to 159.23 nM with a mean of 51.32 nM. Molar concentrations of Se in nails ranged from 6.59 nM to 10.76 nM with a mean value of 8.94 nM. Based on traditional model of measuring Hg in hair alone, all the residents were exposed to mercury. However, from the Se:Hg molar ratio model, 62% of the residents were exposed to Hg using hair, while 92% were exposed to Hg using nail samples. The precision and the accuracy of the analytical techniques were assessed by simultaneous activation of certified standard human hair reference material GBW 09101. The values obtained compared strongly with the certified values as Pearsonís correlation coefficient was + 0.99 for the two methods. The measurement precision as specified by the relative standard deviation was within ±0.6%.The experimental values were within ±4% of the certified values.

    Keywords

    Hair, Nail, Interaction, Mercury, Selenium, Mining, Molar ratio, Bioindicator

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