Contribution and Effects of PM2.5-Bound Lead to the Cardiovascular Risk of Workers in a Non-Ferrous Metal Smelting Area Considering Chemical Speciation and Bioavailability

Xiaochong He, Qiting Zhao, Xuyang Chai, Yuanyuan Song, Xuelan Li, Xingwen Lu, Shoupeng Li, Xin Chen, Yong Yuan, Zongwei Cai*, Zenghua Qi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Lead is known to have toxic effects on the cardiovascular system. Owing to its high concentration, transmission range, and absorption efficiency in organisms, inhalation of fine particulate matter (PM2.5)-bound lead (PM2.5-Pb) may cause significant cardiovascular damage. However, the contribution and adverse effects of PM2.5-Pb on workers and residents in non-ferrous metal smelting areas are not fully understood. In this work, the concentration and chemical speciation of PM2.5-Pb were analyzed to determine its pollution characteristics at a typical non-ferrous metal smelting site. A panel study conducted among factory workers revealed that PM2.5-Pb exposure makes an important contribution to the human absorption of Pb. Although the chemical speciation of PM2.5-Pb suggested poor water solubility, a high bioavailability was observed in mice (tissue average value: 50.1%, range: 31.1-71.1%) subjected to inhalation exposure for 8 weeks. Based on the bioavailability data, the relationship between PM2.5-Pb exposure and cardiovascular damage was evaluated in animal simulation experiments. Finally, a damage threshold and cardiovascular-specific risk assessment model were established for the non-ferrous metal smelting area. Our project not only accurately estimates the risk of PM2.5-bound heavy metals on the cardiovascular system but also offers a scientific basis for future prevention and therapy of PM2.5-Pb-related diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1743-1754
Number of pages12
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Volume57
Issue number4
Early online date23 Jan 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • cardiovascular damage
  • health risk assessment
  • PM2.5-Pb
  • pollution characteristics
  • relative bioavailability

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