International network for natural sciences – research journal
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Serum Copper and Zinc level as biomarker for dust exposed lung diseases among coal miners

By: Deepa Agarwal, Jai Krishna Pandey, Bably Prasad, Asim Kumar Pal

Key Words: Serum copper, Serum zinc, AAS, Dust exposure, Biomarker.

J. Bio. Env. Sci. 8(1), 65-74, January 2016.


To elucidate the effect of dust exposure, smoking and alcoholic habit on the serum Copper and Zinc activity as prognosis tool for dust linked lung diseases among coal workers. In the present study, serum Copper and Zinc activity have been examined and correlated with PFT among coal mine workers to determine the extent of lung fibrosis. A cross-sectional study was conducted on two statistically similar groups consisting of 54 dust exposed miners and 50 unexposed control. PFT values using spirometry and serum Cu and Zn level by AAS were determined for all the test subjects. Serum Cu and Zn level increases significantly with duration of dust exposure among miners whereas their PFT values suggest deterioration in lung. Smokers had significantly higher levels of serum Cu (87.38±6.31µg/dl) and Zinc (80.07±5.59 µg/dl) as compared to non-smokers having values 81.50±5.01 µg/dl and 78.62±3.11 µg/dl respectively. Alcoholic habit further deteriorates the PFT values and increases serum Cu and Zn values. The study reveals that serum Cu and Zn concentrations were found to be at significantly higher levels in exposed workers which increases further with smoking and drinking habits. PFT investigations on these subjects suggest that serum Cu and Zn very well correlates with PFT and is a more sensitive indicator for health status of miner’s lung than PFT. This suggests strong possibility of serum Cu and Zn as biomarker for dust linked lung diseases like silicosis.


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