South African Journal of Science
On-line version ISSN 1996-7489
Print version ISSN 0038-2353
NAIDOO, Sivapregasen; AFRICA, Algernon and DALVIE, Mohamed Aqiel. Exposure to CCA-treated wood amongst food caterers and residents in informal areas of Cape Town. S. Afr. j. sci. [online]. 2013, vol.109, n.7-8, pp.01-07. ISSN 1996-7489.
We investigated the absorption of chromium, copper and arsenic released from treated wood used by street food caterers and household residents in an informal urban area and a peri-urban area in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants (n=78) selected included an equal number of caterers and residents in each area. All participants answered an exposure questionnaire and were tested for urinary chromium, copper and arsenic, while the urine of 29 participants was also tested for toxic arsenic. Urinary chromium and arsenic exceeded the environmental exposure limit in 12% and 30% of participants, respectively. Toxic arsenic was detected in 30% of samples of which 24% exceeded the environmental exposure limit of 6.4 µg/g creatinine. Urinary chromium, copper, arsenic and toxic arsenic levels were not significantly different between participants from the two areas or between caterers and household residents, controlling for confounding effects. The study provides evidence of chromium and arsenic exposure amongst both informal caterers and household residents, which requires further investigation.
Keywords : arsenic; chromium; informal food caterers; treated wood; wood fuel.