Assessment the Exposure Level of Rare Earth Elements in Workers Producing Cerium, Lanthanum Oxide Ultrafine and Nanoparticles

In order to assess occupational exposure level of 15 rare earth elements (REEs) and identify the associated influence, the authors used inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) based on closed-vessel microwave-assisted wet digestion procedure to determinate the concentration of Y, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu in urinary samples obtained from workers producing ultrafine and nanoparticles containing cerium and lanthanum oxide. The results suggest that La and Ce were the primary component, together accounting for 97% of total REEs in workers. The urinary levels of La, and Ce among the workers (6.36, 15.32 ?g g(-1) creatinine, respectively) were significantly enriched compared to those levels measured in the control subjects (1.52, 4.04 ?g g(-1) creatinine, respectively) (p < 0.05). This study simultaneously identified the associated individual factors, the results indicate that the concentrations in over 5 years group (11.64 ± 10.93 for La, 27.83 ± 24.38 for Ce) were significantly elevated compared to 1-5 years group (2.58 ± 1.51 for La, 6.87 ± 3.90 for Ce) (p < 0.05). Compared the urinary levels of La and Ce at the separation and packaging locations (9.10 ± 9.51 for La, 22.29 ± 21.01 for Ce) with the other locations (2.85 ± 0.98 for La, 6.37 ± 2.12 for Ce), the results show urinary concentrations were significantly higher in workers at separation and packaging locations (p < 0.01). Inter-individual variation in levels of La and Ce in urine is the result of multi-factorial comprehensive action. The authors concluded that further research should focus on the multiple factors contributing to the REEs levels of the occupationally exposed workers. Authors: Li Y, Yu H, Li P, Bian Y. ;Full Source: Biological Trace Element Research. 2016 Jul 9. [Epub ahead of print] ;