Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences / Centre for Ecosystem Management
In 2007, it was shown that the shipping of lead (Pb) through Esperance Port in Western Australia resulted in contamination and increased Pb concentrations in children. A clean-up strategy was implemented; however, little attention was given to other metals. In consultation with the community, a cross-sectional exposure study was designed. Thirty-nine children aged 1 to 12 years provided samples of hair, urine, drinking water, residential soil and dust. Concentrations of nickel (Ni) and Pb were low in biological and environmental samples. Hair aluminium (Al) (lower than the detection limit [DL] to 251 μg/g) and copper (Cu) (7 to 415 μg/g), as well as urinary Al (
- μg/L), manganese (Mn) (
- μg/L), and Cu (
- μg/L), were increased for a small number of participants. Concentrations of nickel (Ni) in urine, soil, and dust decreased with increasing distance from the port, as did soil Pb concentrations. The results suggest exposure to Ni and Pb was limited in children at the time of sampling in 2009. Further investigation is required to determine the source(s) and significance of other increased metals concentrations.