• 1 Department of Science and Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Technology and Human Development, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, 86400 Parit Raja, Batu Pahat, Johor, Malaysia
J Environ Radioact, 2013 Jan;115:1-5.
PMID: 22846873 DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2012.05.013


This work presents a study of human hair as a bio-indicator for detection of heavy metals as part of environmental health surveillance programs project to develop a subject of interest in the biomedical and environmental sciences. A total of 34 hair samples were analyzed that consisting of 29 samples from sanitation workers and five samples from students. The hair samples were prepared and treated in accordance to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recommendations. The concentrations of heavy metals were analyzed using the energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) technique by X-50 Mobile X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) at Oceanography Institute, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu. The performance of EDXRF analyzer was tested by Standard Reference Material (SRM 2711) Montana Soil which was in good agreement with certified value within 14% deviations except for Hg. While seven heavy metals: Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, Se, and Sb were detected in both groups, three additional elements, i.e. As, Hg and Pb, were detected only in sanitation workers group. For sanitation workers group, the mean concentration of six elements, Mn, Fe, Cu, Zn, Se, and Sb, shows elevated concentration as compared to the control samples concentration. Results from both groups were compared and discussed in relation to their respective heavy metals concentrations.

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