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During the period 1996-1998, a hazardous waste incinerator (HWI) was built in Constantí (Tarragona County, Catalonia, Spain). Because of the potential adverse effects of toxic emissions, mainly metals and dioxins and furans, waste incinerators in general have been an important cause of concern for the public opinion. For that reason, to assess its environmental impact on the surroundings, as well as the potential human health risks of the HWI, environmental and biological monitoring studies have been carried out since 1996-1998, when the baseline concentrations were established. This article summarizes all the results corresponding to metals in biological tissues of the population living near the HWI, two decades after the construction of the facility. In 1996-1998, the baseline concentrations of a number of elements (As, Be, Cd, Cr, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Sn, Tl and V) were determined in samples of hair, blood and autopsy tissues (bone, brain, liver, lung and kidney) of subjects living in the area. In successive 5-year periods, new surveys were conducted to periodically measure the levels of metals in the same biological tissues. The daily dietary intake of these metals was also estimated for the population of the area. The results of this surveillance program do no suggest additional adverse health risks of metals for the population living near the HWI. However, special attention should be paid to Cr, due not only to the increases of this element observed in most analyzed biological tissues, but also in its dietary intake.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Environmental research
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Waste products which, upon release into the atmosphere, water or soil, cause health risks to humans or animals through skin contact, inhalation or ingestion. Hazardous waste sites which contain hazardous waste substances go here.
Sites where HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES are deposited. Some have facilities for safely storing, processing, and recycling these waste products.
Differences in measurable biological values, characteristics, or traits, among individuals of a population or between population groups.
Morphological or behavioral traits influenced by various living conditions that a population encounters especially as it pertains to REPRODUCTION and survival of the population (see POPULATION DYNAMICS) such as age at first reproductive event, number and size of offspring, and lifespan.
Complex pharmaceutical substances, preparations, or agents of organic origin, usually obtained by biological methods or assay. They are used especially in diagnosis and treatment of disease (as vaccines or pollen extracts). Biological products are differentiated from BIOLOGICAL FACTORS in that the latter are compounds with biological or physiological activity made by living organisms. (From Webster's 3d ed)
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