Indoor particulate matter and blood heavy metals in housewives: A repeated measured study

Dong Wook Lee, Jongmin Oh, Shinhee Ye, Youngrin Kwag, Wonho Yang, Yangho Kim, Eunhee Ha

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3 Scopus citations


Background: Particulate matter (PM) less than 2.5 μm in diameter and 10 μm (PM10) contains heavy metals, but whether exposure to PM is significantly associated with the burden of heavy metal exposure in the population is unknown. We investigated the association between exposure to PM and blood concentrations of lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and mercury (Hg) in Korean housewives. Materials & Methods: From July 2017 to January 2020, we recruited 115 housewives in Ulsan, Republic of Korea. After excluding participants with missing information, we finally included 88 Korean housewives in our study. We measured the concentrations of indoor PM using a gravimetric method 24 h before blood sampling and the concentrations of Cd, Pb, and Hg in blood, twice at a 1-year interval. We used a linear mixed effect model to estimate the associations between indoor PM and blood heavy metals. Results: Exposure to PM10 was significantly associated with blood concentrations of Cd among Korean housewives. A 10 μg/m3 increase of PM10 the previous day was associated with a 2.8% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1%, 4.6%) and a 1.5% (95% CI = −0.1%, 3.1%) increase in blood concentrations of Cd and Pb in the linear mixed effect model, respectively. Conclusion: There was a significant association between indoor PM exposure and blood Cd concentrations among Korean housewives. This result suggests that the body burden of heavy metals is significantly associated with air pollution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111013
JournalEnvironmental Research
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by the National Strategic Project-Fine particle of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), the Ministry of Environment (ME), and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) ( NRF-2017M3D8A1092010 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Air pollution
  • Cadmium
  • Environmental exposure
  • Heavy metal
  • Particulate matter


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