The objective of the current study is to perform a comparative analysis of hair trace element content in 393 apparently healthy adults living in Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China (94 women and 46 men) and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Sakhalin, Russia (186 women and 67 men). The obtained data indicate that Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk inhabitants were characterized by significantly higher hair Co, Cr, Mn, and V levels, exceeding the respective Taipei values by a factor of 3, 2, 7, and 5, respectively (all p < 0.001). Hair Cu, Fe, and Si levels were also higher in examinees from Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk than those from Taipei by 10% (p = 0.001), 61% (p < 0.001), and 68% (p < 0.001), respectively. It is notable that the only essential element, being significantly higher (+ 30%; p < 0.001) in Taipei inhabitants, is selenium. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk inhabitants were characterized by 60% higher levels of hair Sn, and nearly two- and threefold higher scalp hair content of Be and Cd in comparison to Taipei values, respectively (all p < 0.001). Oppositely, the examinees from Taipei had 14% (p = 0.040) and 47% (p = 0.001) higher levels of hair As and Hg as compared to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk inhabitants. Further analysis demonstrated that men from both Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Taipei were characterized by significantly higher hair Mn, As, and Pb levels in comparison to women. The intensive development of heavy industry in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk may result in increased metal emissions, whereas fish consumption may result in elevation of hair Hg, As, and Se levels in Taiwan inhabitants.
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