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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis was applied to assess trace elements concentrations in head hair from healthy elderly people living in the São Paulo metropolitan area. Concentrations of As, Br, Ca, Cl, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, K, La, Mn, Na, Sb, Se and, Zn were determined. Comparisons were made between the results obtained for dyed and non-dyed hair as well as for hair from females and males of two different age groups. The results were also compared with range values established by clinical laboratories and published data.

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Abstract  

A sediment core from an estuarine area receiving drainage from the highly industrialized Cubatão River basin (SE Brazil) showed 226Ra and 210Pb activities up to 80 and 213 Bq kg−1, respectively, which are greater than activities considered as regional background levels. Radionuclides and the elevated phosphorus concentrations (up to 0.3% sediment dry weight) found along the sediment core were significantly correlated with each other, indicating source similarity. These results indicate that 226Ra and 210Pb activities are affected by fertilizer industry-derived inputs in addition to natural sources. This interpretation was supported by 210Pb/226Ra ratios (found to be between 2.6 and 3.9) that indicate disequilibrium between 226Ra and its decay product 210Pb, as expected for phosphogypsum-affected sediments.

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Abstract  

Neutron activation analysis was applied to assess trace element concentrations in brain tissues from normal (n = 21) and demented individuals (n = 21) of both genders aged more than 50 years. Concentrations of the elements Br, Fe, K, Na, Rb, Se and Zn were determined. Comparisons were made between the results obtained for the hippocampus and frontal cortex tissues, as well as, those obtained in brains of normal and demented individuals. Certified reference materials, NIST 1566b Oyster Tissue and NIST 1577b Bovine Liver were analyzed for quality of the analytical results.

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Abstract  

In this study, blood serum trace elements, biochemical and hematological parameters were obtained to assess the health status of an elderly population residing in São Paulo city, SP, Brazil. Results obtained showed that more than 93% of the studied individuals presented most of the serum trace element concentrations and of the hematological and biochemical data within the reference values used in clinical laboratories. However, the percentage of elderly presenting recommended low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol concentrations was low (70%). The study indicated positive correlation between the concentrations of Zn and LDL-cholesterol (p < 0.06).

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Summary  

In this study a protocol for blood serum analysis was defined and the concentrations for Br, Ca, Cl, Fe, Na, Rb, Se and Zn were obtained by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Blood samples were collected from healthy elderly volunteers who were selected based on the SENIEUR protocol. Contamination of blood by the collection procedure was also evaluated and found negligible. The serum was separated by centrifugation, then freeze-dried and analyzed. Most of results obtained were within the acceptable value ranges used by physicians for normal population. The certified reference material, NIST SRM 1566b Oyster Tissue was analyzed for quality control.

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