Data produced by the SEpiAs-CCM 2010 Study (“Epidemiologic surveillance in areas with environmental pollution by arsenic of natural or anthropogenic origin”) indicated that the frequency of subjects with high urinary values of Arsenic (As) is particularly high in the area di Gela (91 evaluated adult subjects). The conclusions of the SEpiAs study recommend to repeat human biomonitoring over time in order to understand the exposure trends.
As part of the RESPIRA project (Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality and Respiratory Health in Malta and Sicily) – P.O. Italy-Malta 2007-2013, Project Code A1.2.3-72 – in the years 2012-2013 222 1st grade secondary school students (aged 10-15 years, 113 M and 109 F) and 299 adult subjects (aged 19-72 years, 97 M and 202 F), residing in municipalities of the Gela Health District (Gela, Niscemi, Mazzarino and Butera) were evaluated.
All subjects, as per protocol approved by the local Ethics Committee on December 15, 2011, performed a venous blood sample for the determination of total IgE. The subjects’ serum was stored at -80° C.
All parents also completed a respiratory health questionnaire (ISAAC modified) for their child and an IMCA questionnaire (Indicators for Monitoring COPD and Asthma) relating to their health. The questionnaires also contained information relating to the characteristics of the home and lifestyles. It is now possible to evaluate the longitudinal trend, 6 years later, of the blood levels of AS on a residential basis, habits and lifestyles and any school or work commuting.
This one-year study aims to evaluate:
– the distribution of As levels in the blood at T0 (May 2012 -January 2013) in samples of adolescent and adult population of the Gela Health District on a residential basis, by determining and speciation of the inorganic and organic As components of this element in preserved sera;
– relationship between As values in the blood at T0 and the level of inflammatory cytokines;
– the trend of As values – and its inorganic and organic components – through the determination in the blood in the sera collected at T0 and T1 (during 2020) in order to study their variations over time in relation to the area of residence and to the exposure;
– distribution of heavy metal levels in the blood to T1 on a residential basis;
– analysis of the levels of inflammatory biomarkers present in the serum collected at T0 (May 2012 – January 2013) and T1 (during the year 2020) in relation to the area of residence and exposure.
The results will allow to evaluate the trend of the As values over the time on the basis of the territorial distribution of examined subjects also identifying intervention strategies aimed at reducing individual risk through indications aimed at changing habits and lifestyles.
Fabio Cibella CNR-IRIB Senior Researcher WP5
Silvia Ruggieri Research fellow
Gaspare Drago Research fellow
Elisa Eleonora Tavormina Research fellow