Animal Hair as Biological Indicator For Heavy Metal Pollution in Urban and Rural Areas

Animal hair is a good biomonitoring tool for heavy metals assessment and reflects the content of heavy metals in the forage and soil. Heavy metals Fe, Mn, Co and Ni as well as toxic metals Cd and Pb were determined in goat, sheep and camel hair, forage and soil collected from four different environmental urban and rural regions. These regions are Aswan city farms, Allaqi desert pasture, Kalabsha farms and Halaiub desert pasture at far south of Egypt. The results reveal that sheep hair contains the highest levels of Fe and Mn (879 and 55 μg/g, respectively), camel hair contains the highest Pb, whereas for goat Cd and Ni were the highest. Heavy metal concentrations in the studied hair reflect the presence of these metals in the surrounding forage and soil and vary from one area to another, and give knowledge of pollution in the area. Correlation statistics analysis and cluster analysis show a good and significant value between metals in hair and plants.

M. Nageeb Rashed and M. E. Soltan (Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2005)