Improved toxicity risk assessments of pollutants are obtained via human biomonitoring, which typically uses blood or urine. Because this is ethically problematic with children/adolescents, non-invasive biomonitoring-methods utilizing nails or shed teeth require development.
Previous As-exposure monitoring (SW-England, Portugal) using bulk finger/toenails validated their usage, with elevated As toenail concentrations (≤45× compared to control group) strongly correlating with exogenous As. Moreover, toenail As, Pb etc. levels are correlated with biomarkers of immunological/genotoxic effect.
Spatially-resolved analysis by LA-ICPMS can be applied to assess the spatial/temporal heterogeneity of nails or (milk)teeth, and can reconstruct exposure time-series via their sequential growth. This studentship proposal utilizes LA-ICPMS to investigate the biomonitoring requirement related to the recent lowering of blood-lead-levels, particularly for children/adolesents given Pb’s neurotoxicty.