Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
Abstract Human placental tissue from 100 hospitalized deliveries were analysed for Ag, Al, As, Au, B, Ba, Br, Ca, Cd, Cl, Co, Cr, Cs, Cu, F, Fe, I, Hg, K, La, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, Rb, S, Sb, Sc, Se, Sn, Sr, Ti, V, W and Zn using a combination of pre-chemical separation of sodium with hydrated antimony pentoxide and instrumental neutron activation analysis. Boron and Si values were determined using prompt gamma-ray and fast-neutron techniques respectively. Analysis of NBS-SRM Bovine Liver 1577 and a ‘pooled standard’ placental tissue for 33 elements showed a good agreement with most coefficients of variation less than or equal to 15%, and recoveries of 91–104%. Symmetrical distributions, were obtained for all elemental placental values. Only Cd(−) and Zn(+) showed statistically significant correlations with birth weight, gestational age and placental weight. The influence of cigarette smoking is considered a major factor in producing elevated cadmium levels in the placental tissue of smokers and passive smokers, and hence lower birth weights.
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