Korean J Fam Pract. 2016; 6(1): 44-48  https://doi.org/10.21215/kjfp.2016.6.1.44
The Effect of Smoking and Second-Hand Smoking on the Concentration of Mercury, Lead and Cadmium in the Blood: Based on the Fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Sang-Won Moon, Jung-Im Gwak*, Young-Ho Park
Department of Family Medicine, SAM Anyang General Hospital, Anyang, Korea
Jung-Im Gwak
Tel: +82-31-467-9114, Fax: +82-31-449-0151
E-mail: eury77@nate.com
Received: August 25, 2015; Revised: August 25, 2016; Accepted: October 8, 2015; Published online: February 20, 2016.
© Korean Academy of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract
Background: Smoking exposes smokers and secondhand smokers to various toxic materials, including heavy metals. Therefore, this study evaluated the relationship between smoking, both first- and secondhand, and the concentration of heavy metals in the blood.
Methods: Five thousand eight hundred and twenty-two subjects aged 19 and older who had concentrations of heavy metals in their blood were selected from the participants in the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2010?2012). The correlation between first- and secondhand smoking and the concentration of mercury, lead, and cadmium in the blood was analyzed.
Results: The odds ratio between smoking and the concentration of cadmium and lead in the blood was 4.818 and 1.766, respectively. These values are statistically significant, and show a clear correlation between smoking and heavy metals in the blood. (P<0.0001, P=0.0017) Smoking was found to have no correlation with the concentration of mercury in the blood, and secondhand smoking was found to have no correlation with the concentration of any heavy metals in the blood.
Conclusion: Smoking and secondhand smoking leads to exposure to various toxic materials and heavy metals. Since heavy metals can be harmful even in low concentrations, we need to work on expanding anti-smoking campaigns to improve public health.
Keywords: Smoking; Secondhand Smoking; Blood Mercury; Blood Lead; Blood Cadmium
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