Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12429
Title: Hair Heavy Metal and Protein Analysis in Oceania: Effects of mining and lifestyle changes
Contributor(s): Khawar, Sitwat Lubna (author); Jones, Graham (supervisor)orcid ; Watson, Kenneth (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 1996
Copyright Date: 1995
Open Access: Yes
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/12429
Abstract: Hair has advantages over other tissues as a biological sampling milieu since it can be easily and atraumatically collected, stored and analysed. Hair preserves a mid to long range record of exposure to many metals (some, like lead, toxic in high levels) that can be studied and analysed. In this thesis, a group of Melanesian people living close to a copper and gold mine (Ok Tedi) in Papua New Guinea and another group from the same racial background living far from the mine site have been examined to obtain evidence for enhanced exposure to metals that may have occurred as a consequence of mining operations. For comparative purposes, hair samples from Australian Europeans (predominantly Anglo-Celtic origin) living in a non-industrial rural environment (Armidale, NSW) and Australian Aboriginals living close to a manganese mine (Groote Eylandt) were also analysed. Results showed that each group displayed a characteristic pattern of metal distribution in hair. Distressingly high levels of copper, lead and mercury analysed in the Aboriginal group may be related to environmental pollution and/or maladaptive lifestyle practices among that group while the levels shown by test sites (Ok Tedi) were found to be largely well below the previously published values concerning Westernised urban populations. It was concluded that the elevated heavy metal levels among the Melanesian Ok Tedi population by comparison with the Melanesian control group may be correlated less with the mining activity and more with a changed life style and diet. A longitudinal analysis of key heavy metals (Fe, Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Hg) from 1983 (premining) to 1990 (6 years post mining) showed generally that the Ok Tedi group changed from a profile strongly resembling the Melanesian controls to one much closer to the Australian European control group in Armidale.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 1995 - Sitwat Lubna Khawar
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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