Toxic Metallic Trace Elements in Post-Delivery Mothers and their Newborns Residing near and far from Mining Operating Plants in Lubumbashi
Author(s): Cham LC, Chuy KD, Mwembo TA, Chenge MF, Tamubango H, Kaniki A, Kalenga MK
Background: Many cases of environmental pollution by metallic trace elements (TE) have been documented in Lubumbashi for years. The purpose of this study was to determine blood concentrations of toxic TE and correlation coefficients in post-delivery mothers and their newborns living < of 3km and >3km from the mining processing plants in the city.
Method: Two prospective cohorts were formed based on distance between the home of the pregnant women and mineral processing plants (< of 3km and >3km). Three TE (Al, Cd and Pb) were tested at the laboratory of the Congolese Control Office of Lubumbashi by ICP-OES in total blood samples of 378 post-delivery mothers and 378 newborns, voluntarily and consecutively recruited.
Results: The difference in TE geometric means concentrations between the two cohorts (study population living < of 3km and >3km from the mining processing plants)was not significant (p>0.05).Our study showed excessive geometric means of toxic TE estimated at 28.0 µg/L in the post-delivery mothers and 27.8 µg/L in the newborns for Al (RV: < 9.4 µg/L) ,2.59 µg/L in the post-delivery mothers and 2.83 µg/L in the newborns for Cd (RV: < 1 µg/L) , 17.86 µg/L in the post-delivery mothers and 15.58 µg/L in the newborns for Pb (RV: < 4.13 µg/L).This was confirmed by bioaccumulation factors > 1. The correlation coefficient between TE concentration of the post-delivery mothers and newborns was positive (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Excessive concentration of Al, Cd et Pb and bioaccumulation factor >1 were observed in post-delivery mothers and their newborns residing in the city of Lubumbashi but no difference in geometric means of total blood toxic TE has been observed between the post-delivery mothers and newborns living < of 3km and those residing >3km fro