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Blood, Urine, and Sweat (BUS) Study: Monitoring and Elimination of Bioaccumulated Toxic Elements

Stephen J. Genuis, Detlef Birkholz, Ilia Rodushkin, Sanjay Beesoon

Abstract

There is limited understanding of the toxicokinetics of bioaccumulated toxic elements and their methods of excretion from the human body. This study was designed to assess the concentration of various toxic elements in three body fluids: blood, urine and sweat. Blood, urine, and sweat were collected from 20 individuals (10 healthy participants and 10 participants with various health problems) and analyzed for approximately 120 various compounds, including toxic elements. Toxic elements were found to differing degrees in each of blood, urine, and sweat. Serum levels for most metals and metalloids were comparable with those found in other studies in the scientific literature. Many toxic elements appeared to be preferentially excreted through sweat. Presumably stored in tissues, some toxic elements readily identified in the perspiration of some participants were not found in their serum. Induced sweating appears to be a potential method for elimination of many toxic elements from the human body. Biomonitoring for toxic elements through blood and/or urine testing may underestimate the total body burden of such toxicants. Sweat analysis should be considered as an additional method for monitoring bioaccumulation of toxic elements in humans.

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