Analysis of essential, toxic, rare earth, and noble elements in maternal and umbilical cord blood

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Progressive industrialization in recent decades has contributed to the increase of metal levels in the environment, which has a dangerous impact on human health, primarily pregnant women. In this study, we aimed to compare levels of various elements in maternal and umbilical cord (UC) plasma samples collected from 125 healthy pregnant women, conduct correlation analysis among paired plasma samples, and compare our data with other populations worldwide. The study design included the following elements: essential (Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Mo), non-essential (Be, Al, Ni, As, Rb, Sr, Cd, Sb, Pb, U), rare earth (La, Pr, Ce, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Dy, Ho, Er), and noble metals (Ru, Rh, Re, Pt). Levels of 30 elements were higher in maternal plasma than in UC plasma samples. However, no disparities at the statistically significant level were found for Be, Zn, Rb, Cd, Ce, and Ho. Correlation analysis among paired plasma samples revealed only positive/synergistic correlations of different strengths between most elements. Compared to other countries across the globe, our participants had considerably lower plasma levels of Zn and higher levels of Co, Ni, and As. This study provides not only a new and deeper comprehension, but also the first insight into the levels, correlation, distribution, and potential transplacental transfer of 30 elements.




Stojsavljević, A., Rovčanin, M., Miković, Ž., Perović, M., Jeremić, A., Zečević, N., & Manojlović, D. (2022). Analysis of essential, toxic, rare earth, and noble elements in maternal and umbilical cord blood. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 29(25), 37375–37383.

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