The Effects of Lead and Cadmium Co-exposure on Serum Ions in Residents Living Near a Mining and Smelting Area in Northwest China


In this study, we investigated the associations between cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) co-exposure, and serum ion levels in two populations living near a mining/smelting area and a nature reserve (control area), respectively. A total of 445 participants were included in this study. Their blood cadmium (BCd), blood lead (BPb), and serum ion levels were determined, and the association between exposure levels and serum ion levels was analyzed. The exposure levels of subjects living in the polluted area were significantly higher (p < 0.001). Lower levels of potassium, inorganic phosphorus, and iron were observed in subjects from the polluted area, whereas their sodium and chloride levels were higher (p < 0.01). The anion gap in their serum was also significantly lower. We observed positive dose-effect relationships between Cd and/or Pb exposure and serum sodium and chloride, and negative dose-effect relationships between Cd and/or Pb exposure and serum inorganic phosphorus, iron, as well as the anion gap. High Cd-Pb, high Cd, and high Pb exposure led to modification effects in potassium, calcium, inorganic phosphorus, and iron levels, and the anion gap. No synergistic effects were observed in our results. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that Cd and Pb exposure, alone or in combination, can lead to serum ion imbalances.

Authors: Qian Luo, Honglong Zhang, Haiping Wang, Li Ma, Min Huang, Jingping Niu, Bin Luo, Jun Yan, Xun Li
; Full Source: Biological trace element research 2021 Oct 28. doi: 10.1007/s12011-021-02991-w.