In Korea, there have been a number of efforts to measure levels of exposure to environmental pollutants among the population. This paper focuses on investigating the distribution of, extent of, and factors influencing the blood levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the Korean population, working from data obtained from the Second Korean National Human Exposure and Bio-monitoring Examination. To that end, blood metal concentrations were analyzed from a total of 2369 participants who were 18 years of age and older. The geometric mean concentrations and their 95% confidence intervals of metals in blood were found to be lead, 1.72 μg/dL (95% CI, 1.68-1.76); cadmium, 1.02 μg/L (95% CI, 1.00-1.05); and mercury, 3.80 μg/L (95% CI, 3.66-3.93). Regression analyses indicate that the levels of metals in the blood are mainly influenced by gender, age, and the education levels of the participants. Current smoking status is also found to be a significant factor for increasing both lead and cadmium levels. Although our study, as the first nationwide survey of exposure to environmental pollutants in Korea, has value on its own, it should be expanded and extended in order to provide information on environmental exposure pathways and to watch for changes in the level of exposure to environmental pollutants among the population.
- Korean National Human Exposure and Bio-monitoring Examination
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)