Distribution of trace elements in the human body determined by neutron activation analysis

Arch Environ Health. Jan-Feb 1980;35(1):36-44. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1980.10667459.


Neutron activation analysis and instrumental semiconductor gamma-ray spectrometry were used for analysis of 20 trace elements in 10 autopsied human organs and tissues (liver, kidney, cerebrum, cerebellum, heart, muscle, pancreas, spleen, lung, and aorta) from 63 Japanese persons, whose ages ranged from 15 days to 85 yr. Distributions of aluminum, bromine, magnesium, manganese, rubidium, selenium, and vanadium in human body were almost uniform. High concentrations of cadmium were found in kidney and liver samples. There was a high mercury concentration in the liver, kidney, and brain samples. Concentrations of other elements (arsenic, gold, cobalt, chromium, copper, iron, indium, antimony, selenium, titanium, and zinc) in each organ or tissue are also presented in this paper.

MeSH terms

  • Activation Analysis*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutron Activation Analysis*
  • Sex Factors
  • Spectrometry, Gamma
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Trace Elements / analysis*


  • Trace Elements