Excretion of Ni, Pb, Cu, As, and Hg in Sweat under Two Sweating Conditions

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Apr 4;19(7):4323. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19074323.


Physiologists have long regarded sweating as an effective and safe means of detoxification, and heavy metals are excreted through sweat to reduce the levels of such metals in the body. However, the body can sweat through many means. To elucidate the difference in the excretion of heavy metals among sweating methods, 12 healthy young university students were recruited as participants (6 men and 6 women). Sweat samples were collected from the participants while they were either running on a treadmill or sitting in a sauna cabinet. After they experienced continuous sweating for 20 min, a minimum of 7 mL of sweat was collected from each participant, and the concentrations of nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), copper (Cu), arsenic (As), and mercury (Hg) were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the sweating method affected the excretion of heavy metals in sweat, with the concentrations of Ni, Pb, Cu, and As being significantly higher during dynamic exercise than during sitting in the sauna (all p < 0.05). However, the concentrations of Hg were unaffected by the sweating method. This study suggests that the removal of heavy metals from the body through dynamic exercise may be more effective than removal through static exposure to a hot environment.

Keywords: dynamic exercise; heavy metal excretion; hot environment; sweating condition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lead
  • Male
  • Mercury*
  • Metals, Heavy* / analysis
  • Nickel
  • Sweat / chemistry
  • Sweating


  • Metals, Heavy
  • Lead
  • Nickel
  • Mercury
  • Arsenic