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Title: Assessment of gold exposure and contamination in galvanizing workplace by neutron activation analysis
Title of periodic: Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: Menezes, Maria Ângela de Barros Correia
Maia, E.C.P.
Albinati, C.C.B.
Amaral, Ângela Maria
Affiliation: Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais/UFMG, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
Prefeitura Municipal de Belo Horizonte. Secretaria de Saúde, Belo Horizonte, Mg, Brasil
Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear/CDTN, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
Issue Date: 2007
Keywords: Occupational exposure;gold;industry;hair;nail;urine;neutron activation analysis
Abstract: Gold is not included in the current list of elements considered essential to humans and there are many controversies related to its toxicity. According to the chemical characteristics of the element, Au1+ is favored for binding at sites with S donor, such as sulfhydryl group (-SH) in proteins in biological systems. This tendency raises the possibility of health-related risk, mainly linked to a long-term exposure to high and low levels of gold. This paper highlights the determination of gold by instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) during the assessment of exposure levels to metals and possible workers' contamination in three galvanizing factories applying the same processes. This assessment is aimed at giving support to Worker's Health Awareness Program of the Municipal Department of Health of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. INAA, mix of k0 and monostandard methods was applied to air filter, hair and toenail samples, and to urine samples. Solvent extraction of gold was carried out followed by comparative INAA. The results revealed that gold was present in all matrixes, indicating the exposure in the workplace and suggesting endogenous contamination. Is gold playing a role as a toxic element?
Access: L
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