[Pollutants from a plant which burns toxic waste in the Province of Arezzo (Tuscany Region, Central Italy): human biomonitoring pilot study to evaluate the possible type of environmental exposure].

Epidemiologia e prevenzione

PubMedID: 25855544

Chellini E, Fondelli MC, Maurello MT, Sciarra G, Aprea MC, Carreras G. [Pollutants from a plant which burns toxic waste in the Province of Arezzo (Tuscany Region, Central Italy): human biomonitoring pilot study to evaluate the possible type of environmental exposure]. Epidemiol Prev. 2015;39(1):28-35.
OBJECTIVES
to identify the biomarkers to use in order to evaluate the level and trend of exposure to environmental pollutants from a plant which retrieves and refines precious metals and burns toxic waste.

DESIGN
human biomonitoring cross sectional study on a small sample of population resident in the study area.

SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
blood and urinary samples, and questionnaires from volunteers resident at least for 10 years in Civitella in Val di Chiana area (Arezzo Province, Tuscany Region, Central Italy), where the plant is located, and in a control area; they had to be 5-year non-smokers or ex-smokers, in good health status and non occupationally exposed to heavy metals and/or combustion products.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
geometric mean and 95th percentile (P95) of mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) blood concentrations, and of the urinary concentrations of antimony (Sb), silver (Ag), arsenic (As), Cd, cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), Hg, nickel (Ni), platinum (Pt), 1-hydroxypyrene, and trans, trans-muconic acid in the two populations; quantity and pattern of porphyrins in the 24-hour urines of Civitella volunteers. Student's "t" test calculated on the means of data with logarithmic transformation was used to compare the two groups. In case of significant differences linear regression analyses have been performed using questionnaire information. The distribution of observed data was compared with specific reference values.

RESULTS
Sb, Cd, and Ni concentrations were significantly higher in Civitella population (39 subjects), while Cr concentration was higher in the control group (18 subjects). No correlations with the individual characteristics have been observed. The 30.3%of subjects who gave their 24- hour urine had a distorted pattern of porphyrins.

CONCLUSION
the results confirmed the need to perform human biomonitoring in the Civitella area, increasing the number of samples, using urine as biological matrix, and monitoring at least Sb, Cd, Ni, Pt, Ag, and porphyrins.