Home > Effect of trace and toxic elements of different brands of cigarettes on the essential elemental status of Irish referent and diabetic mellitus consumers.

Afridi, Hassan Imran and Talpur, Farah Naz and Kazi, Tasneem Gul and Brabazon, Dermot (2015) Effect of trace and toxic elements of different brands of cigarettes on the essential elemental status of Irish referent and diabetic mellitus consumers. Biological Trace Element Research, 167, (2), pp. 209-224.

Cigarette smoking interferes with the metal homeostasis of the human body, which plays a crucial role for maintaining the health. A significant flux of heavy metals, among other toxins, reaches the lungs through smoking. In the present study, the relationship between toxic element (TE) exposure via cigarette smoking and diabetic mellitus incidence in population living in Dublin, Ireland is investigated. The trace [zinc (Zn) and selenium (Se)] and toxic elements arsenic (As), aluminum (Al), cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), mercury (Hg), and lead (Pb) were determined in biological (scalp hair and blood) samples of patients diagnosed with diabetic mellitus, who are smokers living in Dublin, Ireland. These results were compared with age- and sex-matched healthy, nonsmokers controls. The different brands of cigarette (filler tobacco, filter, and ash) consumed by the studied population were also analyzed for As, Al, Cd, Ni, Hg, and Pb. The concentrations of TEs in biological samples and different components of cigarette were measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrophotometer after microwave-assisted acid digestion. The validity and accuracy of the methodology were checked using certified reference materials (CRM). The recovery of all the studied elements was found to be in the range of 96.4-99.7 % in certified reference materials. The filler tobacco of different branded cigarettes contains Hg, As, Al, Cd, Ni, and Pb concentrations in the ranges of 9.55-12.4 ng/cigarette, 0.432-0.727 μg/cigarette, 360-496 μg/cigarette, 1.70-2.12 μg/cigarette, 0.715-1.52 μg/cigarette, and 0.378-1.16 μg/cigarette, respectively. The results of this study showed that the mean values of Al, As, Cd, Hg, Ni, and Pb were significantly higher in scalp hair and blood samples of diabetic mellitus patients in relation to healthy controls, while the difference was significant in the case of smoker patients (p < 0.001). The levels of all six toxic elements were twofolds to threefolds higher in scalp hair and blood samples of nondiabetic mellitus smoker subjects as compared to nonsmoker controls. The high exposure of toxic metals as a result of cigarette smoking may be synergistic with risk factors associated with diabetic mellitus.


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