Heavy metals and metalloids contamination in soils, water, food and livers of wild rats have been studied in Kumasi, Ghana and despite the estimated risks to residents, there is no epidemiological study to ascertain these projections. In addition, the World Health Organization and International Agency for Research on Cancer have reported an increase in respiratory diseases and cancers, in Ghana. The study's purpose was therefore to explore the potential associations between metal exposure and occurrences of respiratory diseases, lipid peroxidation and/or DNA damage to different age groups and sexes in Kumasi. Human urine was collected from the general population in urban and control sites in Kumasi and nine metals were measured in each sample. Results showed that although Zn was the most abundant total urinary As concentration was higher in 83% of samples compared to reference values. Urinary concentrations of metals, malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine (8-OHdG) were higher in urban sites compared to the control site. Based on the results obtained, there was no significant correlation between urinary metals and age. However, urinary Cd and MDA were highest in age groups 61–85 and 3–20 years, respectively. Significantly higher levels of urinary Co, As and Cd were detected in female participants. The study revealed that exposure to As was significantly associated with increased odds of asthma (odds ratio (OR) = 2.76; CI: 1.11–6.83) and tachycardia (OR = 3.93; CI: 1.01–15.4). Significant association was observed between urinary metals and MDA and 8-OHdG indicating possibility of lipid peroxidation and/or DNA damage in Kumasi residents.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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