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Aluminum, Cadmium and Microorganisms in Female Hair and Nails from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Keywords: hair , cadmium , Aluminum , nails , Saudi Arabia

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Abstract:

Mineral analysis from hair and nails may be useful in knowing the elemental concentration in body tissue. This study was conducted to ascertain levels of aluminum, cadmium and microorganisms in hair and nails from 20 adult Saudi women aged between 20-25 years old from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between December 2005 and January 2006. Metal analysis were carried out by Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS) using Electrothermal atomization (Pye Unican Sp9) and done according to Ellis, Ramirez, Buchanan and Gibbons methodology. The levels of aluminum was 5.23±1.31 to 26.02±3.65 μg g-1 and cadmium was 0.04±0.01 to 0.014±0.002 μg g-1 in hair and nail samples. Aluminum is more significantly concentrated in the nails than hair (p<0.0001). Cadmium levels were significantly higher in hair than in nails (p<0.0001). However, levels of aluminum are higher in both hair and nail samples compared to cadmium (p<0.0001). These levels are much lower compared to reports from other countries like Spain, Germany, Norway and USA. Microbial isolates revealed Microsporum, Staphylococcus, Klebsiella, Bacillus and Pseudomonas. Fungal isolates included Penicillium, Trichophyton and Aspergillus. These are all known bacterial and fungal isolates from the soil. Despite lower level findings of aluminum and cadmium compared to other countries, further information is needed on concentrations of elements in the hair of individuals with known exposures to trace elements. Our levels are within the worldwide range for normal occupationally exposed population despite the booming economic growth and rapid industrialization of Saudi Arabia.

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