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Biomonitoring of traffic police officers exposed to airborne platinum


Background: Over the past two decades there has been a substantial increase in environmental levels of palladium, platinum, and rhodium, the platinum group elements (PGEs), due to the widespread use of catalytic converters for automotive traction.

Aim: To evaluate urinary platinum levels in occupationally exposed subjects.

Methods: A total of 161 employees from the Rome City Police Force were studied; 103 were traffic police involved in controlling streets with an average flow of vehicles, while the remaining 58 were control subjects engaged only in office work. Platinum quantification in the urine samples of these subjects was carried out by sector field inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between platinum levels in the group of subjects engaged in traffic control and the control group (4.45 (2.42) ng/l v 4.56 (2.84) ng/l, respectively).

Conclusions: Urinary levels were found to be higher than those reported for other urban populations, thus showing a progressive increase in human exposure to Pt.

  • platinum
  • urine
  • urban exposure

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