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Lead and cadmium in blood and hair of cattle exposed to pollution
A very interesting and important study - the trace mineral profile in blood and hair from cows environmentally exposed to lead and cadmium and the examination if these toxic heavy metals in blood and hair could affect blood copper, cobalt, zinc and iron concentrations and their accumulation in hair.

Respective blood and tail hair samples were collected from adult cows above 3 years, reared in different industrial localities.

Samples were also collected from urban areas with small industrial units (n = 55) and areas supposed to be free from pollution.

The concomitant exposure of animals to both the heavy metal pollutants was not recorded in either of the industrial or urban locality.

Blood lead was significantly (P < 0.01) correlated with blood copper (r = −0.339), cobalt (r = −0.224) and iron (r = −0.497).

The increasing blood lead concentrations, irrespective of area of collection of samples, was associated with declining blood copper and iron, and cows with blood lead level above 0.60 ìg/ml had significantly (P < 0.05) lower blood copper and iron.

The higher blood lead but not cadmium significantly influenced the accumulation of lead (r = 0.323, P < 0.01) and cadmium (r = 0.204, P < 0.01) in hair possibly leading to significantly (P < 0.05) higher accumulation of both lead and cadmium in hair from cattle around lead–zinc smelters and closed lead-cum-operational zinc smelter, where blood cadmium level was comparable with that from unpolluted area.

Concentration of zinc (r = 0.237, P < 0.01) and iron (r = 0.183, P < 0.01) but not copper and cobalt in tail hair was significantly influenced by their respective blood concentration. Both the hair lead and cadmium had a significant (P < 0.01) positive correlation with hair copper (r = 0.234, 0.294), zinc (r = 0.489, 0.775), and iron (r = 0.385, 0.643) concentrations.

Thus, it is concluded from the present study that the higher blood lead concentrations in cattle irrespective of locality/industrial operations areas affected trace elements profile in blood and hair.



Source: R. C. Patra, D. Swarup, M. C. Sharma, R. Naresh (2006): Trace Mineral Profile in Blood and Hair from Cattle Environmentally Exposed to Lead and Cadmium Around Different Industrial Units. In: Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series A 53 (10), 511–517.



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