Biomonitoring of Heavy Metal(oid)s in the Residents of Abandoned Mining District in Northern Cyprus

Kocadal K., Alkas F. B. , ULUTAŞ O. K. , KURT M. A. , Battal D., Sardas S., ...Daha Fazla

BIOLOGICAL TRACE ELEMENT RESEARCH, 2021 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Several heavy metal(oid)s are known mutagens and/or carcinogens. Exposure to these elements can lead to the development of malignancies. Gemikonagi, which is in the western part of Cyprus, was the hometown of mining operations. It is believed that the mining site is a significant heavy metal(oid) source for the environment and residents. In this biomonitoring study, a total of 60 blood samples from Gemikonagi region (n = 30) and from a control region located 40 km northeast from the mining site, Tepebasi (n = 30), and 5 soil samples from each region were collected to conduct heavy metal analysis using ICP-MS. To conduct genotoxicity analysis, alkaline comet assay and in vivo micronucleus assays were used. t test for independent samples and Mann-Whitney U tests were applied. Copper and iron were found to be enriched in Gemikonagi, while arsenic was found to be enriched in Tepebasi. Genotoxicity analyses demonstrated a statistically significant increase in parameters of micronuclei frequency (p value = 0.0001) and Comet Assay statistics upon exposure to some elements, such as arsenic (p value = 0.04) and copper (p value = 0.012). The results indicate that a general enrichment in heavy elements is not endemic to Gemikonagi, but a problem that might be generalized to the entirety of Cyprus.