Human multi-route exposure assessment of lead and cadmium for Korean volunteers

Eunha Oh, Eun Il Lee, Hosub Lim, Jae Yeon Jang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives : We wanted to evaluate the main route of exposure to lead and cadmium for the general population in Korea by using multi-route and multi-media exposure assessment Methods : Samples of air at the homes, samples of the food and water and peripheral blood samples were collected from thirty volunteers living in Seoul (the metropolitan area), Yong-in (the suburban area) and Ansan (the industrial area) in 2001. Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometric methods were used for the determination of the Pb and Cd levels in the air, food, water and blood samples. Results : The average intake of lead through the air, drinking water and food were 5.06 /zg/day (26.3%), 0.002 pg /day (0.1%), and 16.4/zg/day (73.6%), respectively. The average intake of cadmium through the air, drinking water and food were 0.082 /zg/day (0.9%), 0.001 /zg/day (0.007%), and 12.61 /zg/day (99.0%), respectively. The blood lead level was statistically higher in the male subjects than in the female subjects (3.39 and 2.22 /zg/dl, respectively), and only gender was a significant variable on the multiple regression analysis for blood lead. Conclusions : This study showed that the intake of lead and cadmium through food was the major route of exposure. A policy to reduce the pollutants according to the exposure routes should be established. However, more studies will be needed to support these data for the general population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jan


  • Cadmium
  • Environment
  • Exposure assessment
  • Food
  • Lead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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