Analytical Toxicology and Mineral Metabolism Unit


Toxicokinetics and health effects of toxic and essential elements

  • interaction between toxic metals (cadmium, lead, mercury, aluminium) and essential elements (calcium, iron, zinc, copper, selenium) and the assessment of harmful effects on bodily functions and health conditions; effects on female reproductive system and perinatal effects;
  • effects on male reproductive function;
  • effects on blood pressure;
  • effects on respiratory system and skin allergic disorders;
  • effects on the activity of antioxidant enzymes (superoxide-dismutase, glutathione-peroxidase) and their contribution to certain health effects;
  • effects on bone condition;
  • effect of age, gender and lifestyle factors (dietary habits, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress) on metal status in the body;
  • Assessment of human exposure to metals using biological monitoring of toxic and essential metals in groups of occupationally exposed and general population, as well as in vulnerable groups of people;
  • Biological monitoring of indicator organisms and monitoring of metals and metalloids in the environment;
  • Development of methods for quantitative analysis of various metals (Ag, Al, As, B, Ba, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Li, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, Ni, P, Pb, Sb, Se, Sn, Sr, Tl, Zn, U, V) in biological samples (human and animal) and environmental samples using the techniques of inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS);
  • Testing newly synthesised complexing compounds and dietary regimes for reducing toxic metal body burden in laboratory rats;
  • Biological monitoring of aromatic and chlorinated hydrocarbons:
    • determination of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene isomers (BTEX) and their metabolites, trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene in biological samples and water using gas chromatography (GC) with various detectors [mass spectrometer (MS), electron capture detector (ECD) and photoionization detector (PID)];
    • selection of optimal biological indicators in different samples and their comparison;
    • assessment of exposure of working and general population to organic solvents using biological monitoring;
    • assessment of effects on health.
  • Identification of drug abuse in selected populations:
    • development of methods for detecting drugs in hair and urine using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS);
    • comparison of biological indicators of exposure;
  • Assessment of human exposure to passive smoking:
    • determination of nicotine and its metabolite cotinine in hair and urine using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS);
    • assessment of harmful effects on health in vulnerable groups of people (children, pregnant women, puerperas and other).