WorldWideScience

Sample records for human mercury exposure

  1. Human Exposure and Health Effects of Inorganic and Elemental Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Wei

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is a toxic and non-essential metal in the human body. Mercury is ubiquitously distributed in the environment, present in natural products, and exists extensively in items encountered in daily life. There are three forms of mercury, i.e., elemental (or metallic) mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. This review examines the toxicity of elemental mercury and inorganic mercury compounds. Inorganic mercury compounds are water soluble with a bioavailability of 7% to 15% after ingestion; they are also irritants and cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Upon entering the body, inorganic mercury compounds are accumulated mainly in the kidneys and produce kidney damage. In contrast, human exposure to elemental mercury is mainly by inhalation, followed by rapid absorption and distribution in all major organs. Elemental mercury from ingestion is poorly absorbed with a bioavailability of less than 0.01%. The primary target organs of elemental mercury are the brain and kidney. Elemental mercury is lipid soluble and can cross the blood-brain barrier, while inorganic mercury compounds are not lipid soluble, rendering them unable to cross the blood-brain barrier. Elemental mercury may also enter the brain from the nasal cavity through the olfactory pathway. The blood mercury is a useful biomarker after short-term and high-level exposure, whereas the urine mercury is the ideal biomarker for long-term exposure to both elemental and inorganic mercury, and also as a good indicator of body burden. This review discusses the common sources of mercury exposure, skin lightening products containing mercury and mercury release from dental amalgam filling, two issues that happen in daily life, bear significant public health importance, and yet undergo extensive debate on their safety. PMID:23230464

  2. Human biological monitoring of mercury for exposure assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romilda Z. Boerleider

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg is a naturally occurring element that has metallic, inorganic and organic forms, each with their own implications for human health. Exposure to mercury primarily occurs by inhalation of metallic mercury vapors and by dietary intake of organic mercury. Early health effects are often not well detected. Therefore, determination of the internal dose is a valuable approach in primary prevention. With this review, we aim to give an overview of the different human biological monitoring (HBM approaches for short- and long-term exposure to different chemical forms of mercury. We performed a literature search in PubMed using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms as well as free text words. From 417 reviews found, we selected 8 reviews. In addition, online information from national and international health authorities was used. The format of the biological application datasheets from the BIOMONECS project was used to provide an overview of the different biological media for HBM of mercury and methyl mercury. Recent exposure to metallic mercury can be assessed by blood sampling within 24 h after exposure. If children are involved, breath sampling can be considered as a less invasive alternative. Urinary mercury levels mainly reflect long-term inhalation exposure to elemental mercury vapors and divalent mercury. Mercury in blood and hair reflects mid- and long-term exposure to methyl mercury, whereas analysis of a hair segment close to the scalp indicates recent exposure. A flow chart was developed to support the selection of the most suitable HBM approach. For each of the different biological matrices, we provided an overview of advantages and limitations. Depending on the source and duration of exposure, blood, exhaled air, urine or hair can be used for mercury exposure assessment.

  3. Evidence of the direct adsorption of mercury in human hair during occupational exposure to mercury vapour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queipo Abad, Silvia; Rodríguez-González, Pablo; García Alonso, J Ignacio

    2016-07-01

    We have found clear evidence of direct adsorption of mercury in human hair after the occupational exposure to mercury vapour. We have performed both longitudinal analysis of human hair by laser ablation ICP-MS and speciation analysis by gas chromatography ICP-MS in single hair strands of 5 individuals which were occupationally exposed to high levels of mercury vapour and showed acute mercury poisoning symptoms. Hair samples, between 3.5 and 11cm long depending on the individual, were taken ca. three months after exposure. Single point laser ablation samples of 50μm diameter were taken at 1mm intervals starting from the root of the hairs. Sulfur-34 was used as internal standard. The ratio (202)Hg/(34)S showed a distinct pattern of mercury concentration with much lower levels of mercury near the root of the hair and high levels of mercury near the end of the hair. In all cases a big jump in the concentration of mercury in hair occurred at a given distance from the root, between 32 and 42mm depending on the individual, with a high and almost constant concentration of mercury for longer distances to the root. When we took into account the rate of hair growth in humans, 9-15mm/month, the jump in mercury concentration agreed approximately with the dates when the contamination occurred with the new growing hair showing much lower mercury concentration. In some cases the concentration of mercury at the tip of the hair was ca. 1000 times higher than that near the root. Additionally, speciation studies confirmed that mercury in all hair samples was present as inorganic mercury. The only explanation for these results was the direct adsorption of mercury vapour in hair at the time of exposure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  4. Mercury Human Exposure in Populations Living Around Lake Tana (Ethiopia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habiba, G; Abebe, G; Bravo, Andrea G; Ermias, D; Staffan, Ǻ; Bishop, K

    2017-02-01

    A survey carried out in Lake Tana in 2015 found that Hg levels in some fish species exceeded internationally accepted safe levels for fish consumption. The current study assesses human exposure to Hg through fish consumption around the Lake Tana. Of particular interest was that a dietary intake of fishes is currently a health risk for Bihar Dar residents and anglers. Hair samples were collected from three different groups: anglers, college students and teachers, and daily laborers. A questionary includes gender, age, weight, activity. Frequency of fish consumption and origin of the eaten fish were completed by each participant. Mercury concentrations in hair were significantly higher (P value mercury and age associated with mercury concentration in scalp hair. Mercury concentrations in the hair of men were on average twice the value of the women. Also, users of skin lightening soap on a daily basis had 2.5 times greater mercury in scalp hair than non-users. Despite the different sources of mercury exposure mentioned above, the mercury concentrations of the scalp hair of participants of this study were below levels deemed to pose a threat to health.

  5. Structural change of human hair induced by mercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Xueqing; Du, Rong; Li, Yufeng; Li, Bai; Cai, Quan; Mo, Guang; Gong, Yu; Chen, Zhongjun; Wu, Zhonghua

    2013-10-01

    Mercury is one of the most hazardous pollutants in the environment. In this paper, the structural change of human hair induced by mercury exposure was studied. Human hair samples were, respectively, collected from the normal Beijing area and the Hg-contaminated Wanshan area of the Guizhou Province, China. Inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy was used to detect the element contents. A small angle X-ray scattering technique was used to probe the structural change. Three reflections with 8.8, 6.7, and 4.5 nm spacing were compared between the normal and the Hg-contaminated hair samples. The results confirm that the 4.5 nm reflection is from the ordered fibrillar structure of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) in proteoglycan (PG) that composes the matrix around the intermediate filaments. The increase of Ca content makes the regular oriented fibrillar structure of GAG transform to a random oriented one, broadening the angular extent of the reflection with 4.5 nm spacing. However, overdose Hg makes the core proteins where the ordered fibrils of GAG are attached become coiled, which destroys the ordered arrangements of fibrillar GAG in PG, resulting in the disappearance of the reflections with 4.5 nm spacing. The disappearance of the 4.5 nm reflection can be used as a bioindicator of overdose Hg contamination to the human body. A supercoiled-coil model of hair nanoscale structure and a possible mechanism of mercury effect in human hair are proposed in this paper.

  6. Mercury exposure in Ireland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cullen, Elizabeth; Evans, David S; Davidson, Fred

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration...

  7. Microenvironmental exposure to mercury vapor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stopford, W.; Bundy, S.D.; Goldwater, L.J.; Bittikofer, J.A.

    1978-05-01

    Work area and breathing zone samples were collected in a factory utilizing metallic mercury and analyzed for mercury vapor content. Breathing zone samples averaged several fold higher in concentration than concurrent area samples, reflecting a ''microenvironmental'' exposure to mercury vapor, presumably from contaminated clothing and hands. Blood and corrected total urine mercury values correlated well with the average microenvironmental exposure level for each worker. Measurements of unbound mercury in urine samples were sensitive at picking up minimal exposures. Excessive amounts of unbound mercury were not found in the urine, even with wide day-to-day swings in microenvironmental mercury vapor levels, suggesting that the human body can adapt to a chronic, moderate exposure to mercury vapor.

  8. Oral bioaccessibility and human exposure to anthropogenic and geogenic mercury in urban, industrial and mining areas

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodrigues, S.M.; Coelho, C.; Cruz, N.; Monteiro, R.J.R.; Henriques, B.; Duarte, A.C.; Romkens, P.F.A.M.; Pereira, E.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the link between bioaccessibility and fractionation of mercury (Hg) in soils and to provide insight into human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne soil particles and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing soil. Mercury in soils from mining,

  9. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genchi, Giuseppe; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Carocci, Alessia; Lauria, Graziantonio; Catalano, Alessia

    2017-01-12

    Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  10. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Genchi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive, and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence has shown that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.

  11. Assessing Sources of Human Methylmercury Exposure Using Stable Mercury Isotopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Li, Miling; Sherman, Laura S; Blum, Joel D

    2014-01-01

    Seafood consumption is the primary route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for most populations. Inherent uncertainties in dietary survey data point to the need for an empirical tool to confirm exposure sources. We therefore explore the utility of Hg stable isotope ratios in human hair as a new me...

  12. Human exposure to mercury: A critical assessment of the evidence of adverse health effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ratcliffe, H.E.; Swanson, G.M.; Fischer, L.J. [Michigan State Univ., East Lansing, MI (United States)

    1996-10-25

    The ubiquitous nature of mercury in the environment, its global atmospheric cycling, and its toxicity to humans at levels that are uncomfortably close to exposures experienced by a proportion of the population are some of the current concerns associated with this pollutant. The purpose of this review is to critically evaluate the scientific quality of published reports involving human exposures to mercury and associated health outcomes as an aid in the risk evaluation of this chemical. A comprehensive review of the scientific literature involving human exposures to mercury was performed and each publication evaluated using a defined set of criteria that are considered standards in epidemiologic and toxicologic research. Severe, sometimes fatal, effects of mercury exposure at high levels were primarily reported as case studies. The disasters in Minamata, Japan, in the 1950s and in Iraq in 1971-1972 clearly demonstrated neurologic effects associated with ingestion of methylmercury both in adults and in infants exposed in utero. The effects were convincingly Associated with methylmercury ingestion, despite limitations of the study design. Several well-conducted studies have investigated the effects of methylmercury at levels below those in the Iraq incident but have not provided clear evidence of an effect. The lower end of the dose-response curve constructed from the Iraq data therefore still needs to be confirmed. The studies of mercury exposure in the workplace were mainly of elemental or inorganic mercury, and effects that were observed at relatively low exposure levels were primarily neurologic and renal. Several studies have investigated effects associated with dental amalgam but have been rated as inconclusive because of methodologic deficiencies. In our overall evaluation, 29 of 110 occupational studies and 20 of 54 studies where exposure occurred in the natural environment provided at least suggestive evidence of an exposure-related effect. 259 refs., 4 tabs.

  13. Climate change impacts on environmental and human exposure to mercury in the arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Jozef M; Banel, Anna; Pacyna, Elisabeth G; Rautio, Arja

    2015-03-31

    This paper reviews information from the literature and the EU ArcRisk project to assess whether climate change results in an increase or decrease in exposure to mercury (Hg) in the Arctic, and if this in turn will impact the risks related to its harmful effects. It presents the state-of-the art of knowledge on atmospheric mercury emissions from anthropogenic sources worldwide, the long-range transport to the Arctic, and it discusses the likely environmental fate and exposure effects on population groups in the Arctic under climate change conditions. The paper also includes information about the likely synergy effects (co-benefits) current and new climate change polices and mitigation options might have on mercury emissions reductions in the future. The review concludes that reductions of mercury emission from anthropogenic sources worldwide would need to be introduced as soon as possible in order to assure lowering the adverse impact of climate change on human health. Scientific information currently available, however, is not in the position to clearly answer whether climate change will increase or decrease the risk of exposure to mercury in the Arctic. New research should therefore be undertaken to model the relationships between climate change and mercury exposure.

  14. Mercury accumulation in human hair and nails: amalgam fillings as an exposure factor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zolfaghari Gh

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available   Background: Dental amalgam, a mixture of approximately 50% mercury with silver, tin, zinc and copper in varying ratios, is a major source of mercury pollution in the general population not occupationally exposed. The toxicity of mercury is enhanced because it is so readily absorbed, with around 90-100% of mercury vapor being absorbed through the oral mucosa. The aim of the current study is to examine the mercury levels in hair and nails in subjects with amalgam fillings.Methods: For a sample of forty university students reporting infrequent fish consump-tion, with their only known exposure to mercury from amalgam fillings, mercury levels were measured in hair and nail samples using the LECO AMA 254 Advanced Mercury Analyzer (USA, according to the ASTM standard No. D-6722 test method.Results: Mercury concentration in hair ranged from 0.09 to 3.11 mg/kg, and in nail from zero to 1.35 mg/kg. We found that subjects with five or more amalgam fillings had significantly higher levels in their hair than subjects with zero to 5 amalgam fillings      (CI 95% P=0.003. However, the number of amalgam fillings had no effect on the mercury concentration in nails in these two groups (P=0.26. There was no significant difference between the levels of mercury of males and that of females tested (P=0.26 for nail and P=0.15 for hair.Conclusion: The mercury amount in hair was 1.5 times as much as that of the nail samples, may be due to the differences in the chemical compounds, particularly those with sulfur, or the deposition of those compounds that would be affected by blood circulation during formation of hair and nails. Although the amounts of mercury found in this study were below the WHO maximum acceptable level of 6 mg/kg for mercury in human hair, the levels were sufficient to warrant the use of other dental materials such as composites in order to decrease the overall rate of exposure to mercury.

  15. Fate and Transport of Mercury in Environmental Media and Human Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Moon-Kyung

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is emitted to the atmosphere from various natural and anthropogenic sources, and degrades with difficulty in the environment. Mercury exists as various species, mainly elemental (Hg0) and divalent (Hg2+) mercury depending on its oxidation states in air and water. Mercury emitted to the atmosphere can be deposited into aqueous environments by wet and dry depositions, and some can be re-emitted into the atmosphere. The deposited mercury species, mainly Hg2+, can react with various organic compounds in water and sediment by biotic reactions mediated by sulfur-reducing bacteria, and abiotic reactions mediated by sunlight photolysis, resulting in conversion into organic mercury such as methylmercury (MeHg). MeHg can be bioaccumulated through the food web in the ecosystem, finally exposing humans who consume fish. For a better understanding of how humans are exposed to mercury in the environment, this review paper summarizes the mechanisms of emission, fate and transport, speciation chemistry, bioaccumulation, levels of contamination in environmental media, and finally exposure assessment of humans. PMID:23230463

  16. Chemical Forms of Mercury in Human Hair Reveal Sources of Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manceau, Alain; Enescu, Mironel; Simionovici, Alexandre; Lanson, Martine; Gonzalez-Rey, Maria; Rovezzi, Mauro; Tucoulou, Rémi; Glatzel, Pieter; Nagy, Kathryn L; Bourdineaud, Jean-Paul

    2016-10-04

    Humans are contaminated by mercury in different forms from different sources. In practice, contamination by methylmercury from fish consumption is assessed by measuring hair mercury concentration, whereas exposure to elemental and inorganic mercury from other sources is tested by analysis of blood or urine. Here, we show that diverse sources of hair mercury at concentrations as low as 0.5 ppm can be individually identified by specific coordination to C, N, and S ligands with high energy-resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Methylmercury from seafood, ethylmercury used as a bactericide, inorganic mercury from dental amalgams, and exogenously derived atmospheric mercury bind in distinctive intermolecular configurations to hair proteins, as supported by molecular modeling. A mercury spike located by X-ray nanofluorescence on one hair strand could even be dated to removal of a single dental amalgam. Chemical forms of other known or putative toxic metals in human tissues could be identified by this approach with potential broader applications to forensic, energy, and materials science.

  17. Mercury Exposure in Ireland: Results of the DEMOCOPHES Human Biomonitoring Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Elizabeth; Evans, David S.; Davidson, Fred; Burke, Padraig; Burns, Damien; Flanagan, Andrew; Griffin, Chris; Kellegher, Anne; Mannion, Rory; Mulcahy, Maurice; Ryan, Michael; Biot, Pierre; Casteleyn, Ludwine; Castaño, Argelia; Angerer, Jürgen; Koch, Holger M.; Esteban, Marta; Schindler, Birgit K.; Navarro, Carmen; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Fiddicke, Ulrike; Schoeters, Greet; Den Hond, Elly; Sepai, Ovnair; Exley, Karen; Bloemen, Louis; Knudsen, Lisbeth E.; Joas, Reinhard; Joas, Anke; Aerts, Dominique

    2014-01-01

    Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children’s samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health. PMID:25233018

  18. Mercury Exposure in Ireland: Results of the DEMOCOPHES Human Biomonitoring Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Cullen

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES pilot biomonitoring study. Methods: Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Results: Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children’s samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair and children (0.149 µg /g hair did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. Conclusions: The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health.

  19. Mercury exposure in Ireland: results of the DEMOCOPHES human biomonitoring study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cullen, Elizabeth; Evans, David S; Davidson, Fred; Burke, Padraig; Burns, Damien; Flanagan, Andrew; Griffin, Chris; Kellegher, Anne; Mannion, Rory; Mulcahy, Maurice; Ryan, Michael; Biot, Pierre; Casteleyn, Ludwine; Castaño, Argelia; Angerer, Jürgen; Koch, Holger M; Esteban, Marta; Schindler, Birgit K; Navarro, Carmen; Kolossa-Gehring, Marike; Fiddicke, Ulrike; Schoeters, Greet; Hond, Elly Den; Sepai, Ovnair; Exley, Karen; Bloemen, Louis; Knudsen, Lisbeth E; Joas, Reinhard; Joas, Anke; Aerts, Dominique

    2014-09-17

    Monitoring of human exposure to mercury is important due to its adverse health effects. This study aimed to determine the extent of mercury exposure among mothers and their children in Ireland, and to identify factors associated with elevated levels. It formed part of the Demonstration of a study to Coordinate and Perform Human Biomonitoring on a European Scale (DEMOCOPHES) pilot biomonitoring study. Hair mercury concentrations were determined from a convenience sample of 120 mother/child pairs. Mothers also completed a questionnaire. Rigorous quality assurance within DEMOCOPHES guaranteed the accuracy and international comparability of results. Mercury was detected in 79.2% of the samples from mothers, and 62.5% of children's samples. Arithmetic mean levels in mothers (0.262 µg/g hair) and children (0.149 µg /g hair) did not exceed the US EPA guidance value. Levels were significantly higher for those with higher education, and those who consumed more fish. The study demonstrates the benefit of human biomonitoring for assessing and comparing internal exposure levels, both on a population and an individual basis. It enables the potential harmful impact of mercury to be minimised in those highly exposed, and can therefore significantly contribute to population health.

  20. Assessing sources of human methylmercury exposure using stable mercury isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Miling; Sherman, Laura S; Blum, Joel D; Grandjean, Philippe; Mikkelsen, Bjarni; Weihe, Pál; Sunderland, Elsie M; Shine, James P

    2014-01-01

    Seafood consumption is the primary route of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure for most populations. Inherent uncertainties in dietary survey data point to the need for an empirical tool to confirm exposure sources. We therefore explore the utility of Hg stable isotope ratios in human hair as a new method for discerning MeHg exposure sources. We characterized Hg isotope fractionation between humans and their diets using hair samples from Faroese whalers exposed to MeHg predominantly from pilot whales. We observed an increase of 1.75‰ in δ(202)Hg values between pilot whale muscle tissue and Faroese whalers' hair but no mass-independent fractionation. We found a similar offset in δ(202)Hg between consumed seafood and hair samples from Gulf of Mexico recreational anglers who are exposed to lower levels of MeHg from a variety of seafood sources. An isotope mixing model was used to estimate individual MeHg exposure sources and confirmed that both Δ(199)Hg and δ(202)Hg values in human hair can help identify dietary MeHg sources. Variability in isotopic signatures among coastal fish consumers in the Gulf of Mexico likely reflects both differences in environmental sources of MeHg to coastal fish and uncertainty in dietary recall data. Additional data are needed to fully refine this approach for individuals with complex seafood consumption patterns.

  1. Estimating human indoor exposure to elemental mercury from broken compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salthammer, T; Uhde, E; Omelan, A; Lüdecke, A; Moriske, H-J

    2012-08-01

    The 2008 EU regulation, which prohibits conventional incandescent light bulbs, is to be implemented in phases, completing in 2012. One of the possible substitutes is the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), which, however, does contain up to 5 mg of mercury in its elemental or amalgamated form. The question arises as to the possible exposure of individuals to mercury as a result of lamp breakage during operation or when disconnected from the power supply. Therefore, an apparatus was built to shatter CFLs and drop the shards onto glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate, a carpeted floor, or laminate floor under defined climatic parameters and operating conditions. Six CFLs of different types and mercury content were studied. After the breakage of a common CFL containing liquid mercury, concentrations up to 8000 ng/m(3) were reached in the chamber. Much lower peak values were obtained with amalgam-type lamps (414 ng/m(3)) or with lamps with a shatter-proof coating (60 ng/m(3)). It was found that ventilation can considerably reduce the indoor air concentration within 20 min. Acute health effects would only be expected if the mercury is not removed immediately. Careful collection and disposal of the lamp fragments would also prevent dwellers from the risk of long-term exposure. After accidental breakage of a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) indoors, dwellers could be exposed to high mercury concentrations. From the results of our studies in test chambers and real rooms using different lamp types and scenarios, it was possible to estimate the possible human uptake of mercury by inhalation. Immediate action is important to reduce indoor mercury concentrations to a minimum level. The first step is to maximize ventilation followed by careful collection of spilled mercury. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  2. The Chemical Nature of Mercury in Human Brain Following Poisoning or Environmental Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Methylmercury is among the most potentially toxic species to which human populations are exposed, both at high levels through poisonings and at lower levels through consumption of fish and other seafood. However, the molecular mechanisms of methylmercury toxicity in humans remain poorly understood. We used synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to study mercury chemical forms in human brain tissue. Individuals poisoned with high levels of methylmercury species showed elevated cortical selenium with significant proportions of nanoparticulate mercuric selenide plus some inorganic mercury and methylmercury bound to organic sulfur. Individuals with a lifetime of high fish consumption showed much lower levels of mercuric selenide and methylmercury cysteineate. Mercury exposure did not perturb organic selenium levels. These results elucidate a key detoxification pathway in the central nervous system and provide new insights into the appropriate methods for biological monitoring. PMID:22826746

  3. Mercury Report-Children's exposure to elemental mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... gov . Mercury Background Mercury Report Additional Resources Mercury Report - Children's Exposure to Elemental Mercury Recommend on Facebook ... I limit exposure to mercury? Why was the report written? Children attending a daycare in New Jersey ...

  4. Human inorganic mercury exposure, renal effects and possible pathways in Wanshan mercury mining area, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Du, Buyun; Chan, Hing Man; Feng, Xinbin

    2015-07-01

    Rice can accumulate methylmercury (MeHg) and rice consumption is the main route of MeHg exposure for the local population in Guizhou, China. However, inorganic Hg (IHg) load in human body is not comprehensively studied in highly Hg polluted areas such as Hg mining areas. This study is designed to evaluate human IHg exposure, related renal effects and possible pathways in Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou, Southwest China. Residents lived within 3 km to the mine waste heaps showed high Urine Hg (UHg) concentrations and the geometrical means (Geomean) of UHg were 8.29, 5.13, and 10.3 μg/g Creatinine (Cr) at site A, D, and E, respectively. It demonstrated a gradient of UHg concentrations with the distance from the pollution sources. A significantly positive correlation between paired results for UHg concentrations and serum creatinine (SCr) was observed in this study, but not for UHg and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). There are significant increases of SCr in two quartiles with high UHg concentrations. The results indicated that human IHg exposure may cause impairment of renal function. By calculation of Probable Daily Intake from different routes, we found that dietary intake is the main pathway of IHg exposure for the local population, rather than inhalation of Hg vapor. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. VIII. Mercury exposure from house paint - a controlled study on humans

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobs, M.B.; Goldwater, L.J.

    1965-10-01

    Experiments were performed to ascertain the degree of mercury exposure and the absorption of mercury that may occur when a paint which contains approximately 0.02% of mercury is used for interior surfaces. Possible effects on the painters who apply the paint and on persons who live in the rooms were studied. Urine samples and blood samples were collected from the individuals who participated in the study. Paints containing a mercury-bearing preservative had a mercury vapor value of 0.17 mg/cu meter in about 90 minutes. It stayed at this concentration level about 2 hrs and then fell to 0.01 mg/cu meter in 24 hrs. The total mercury concentration was 0.20 mg/cu meter for 4 1/2 hrs. After 24 hrs with no exceptional attempts at ventilation the concentration of mercury decreased to an insignificant level. No evidence was found of mercury exposure or absorption in a degree that would constitute a hazard to the individuals involved in the study.

  6. Effect of environmental exposure to mercury on the functioning of the human body

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maciej Cyran

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is classified as a heavy metal and thus is commonly referred to as a death metal due to its high toxicity. In the environment it occurs in metallic form or in combination with other compounds. Amidst the sources of exposure to mercury, the most important environmental sources are dental amalgam and mercury vapor from the production of chlorine which is the most important source of occupational exposure. Mercury is easily soluble in fats, so it penetrates through biological membranes. Both - acute and chronic mercury poisoning causes characteristic clinical symptoms. There are several connections between exposure to this metal and toxic effects on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system and kidneys. Thus mercury damages the structure of many organs and impairs their function

  7. [Human mercury exposure and irregular menstrual cycles in relation to artisanal gold mining in Colombia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Jaimes, Diana Carolina; Manquián-Tejos, Adelaida; Sánchez, Luz Helena

    2015-08-01

    Artisanal mining commonly extracts gold with an amalgamation process that uses mercury. The reproductive effects from exposure to elemental mercury used in gold mining have not been sufficiently studied. To evaluate the effect of the exposure to elemental mercury used in gold mining on menstrual cycle regularity and the occurrence of miscarriages in Colombia. An analytical cross-sectional study was conducted. The participants were female residents of gold mining districts, with a history of exposure to elemental mercury. Menstrual regularity and the occurrence of miscarriages were compared between these women and an unexposed group. Exposure and outcome variables were registered based on a questionnaire which was evaluated for its test-retest reproducibility. Prevalence rates were calculated using a binomial model and goodness-of-fit was evaluated. A total of 72 women exposed to mercury and 121 unexposed women participated. The average time of exposure to mercury among exposed women was 19.58 ± 9.53 years. The adjusted prevalence of irregular menstruation over the last six months was higher in the group of women chronically exposed to mercury vapors (PR=1.59, 95% CI 0.93-2.73), while there was no difference in the proportion of women with a history of miscarriages. Exposure to elemental mercury used in artisanal gold mining may be associated with a higher prevalence of irregular menstrual cycles but not with the occurrence of miscarriage.

  8. Human exposure to mercury in a compact fluorescent lamp manufacturing area: By food (rice and fish) consumption and occupational exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Peng; Feng, Xinbin; Zhang, Chan; Zhang, Jin; Cao, Yucheng; You, Qiongzhi; Leung, Anna Oi Wah; Wong, Ming-Hung; Wu, Sheng-Chun

    2015-03-01

    To investigate human Hg exposure by food consumption and occupation exposure in a compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) manufacturing area, human hair and rice samples were collected from Gaohong town, Zhejiang Province, China. The mean values of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in local cultivated rice samples were significantly higher than in commercial rice samples which indicated that CFL manufacturing activities resulted in Hg accumulation in local rice samples. For all of the study participants, significantly higher THg concentrations in human hair were observed in CFL workers compared with other residents. In comparison, MeHg concentrations in human hair of residents whose diet consisted of local cultivated rice were significantly higher than those who consumed commercial rice. These results demonstrated that CFL manufacturing activities resulted in THg accumulation in the hair of CFL workers. However, MeHg in hair were mainly affected by the sources of rice of the residents. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Human exposure to mercury and vulnerability of the ecosystems to Hg loadings : influence of environmental management and socioeconomic behavior

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lucotte, M.; Canuel, R.; De Grosbois, S.; Mergler, D.; Roue, A.; Pinsonnault, N. [Quebec Univ., Montreal, PQ (Canada). COMERN Inst. of Environmental Sciences

    2005-07-01

    The pan-Canadian Collaborative Mercury Research Network (COMERN) project was launched in 2001 to address concerns regarding mercury exposure and contamination in the ecosystem. The objective of the project is to develop a framework for researchers, political stakeholders, and communities to create an interdisciplinary association that combines all knowledge on mercury. The project team is currently developing a simple index representative of the specific vulnerability of an ecosystem to mercury bioaccumulation and subsequent transfer to humans. This index includes two concepts. The first addresses the sensitivity to bioaccumulation, induced and influenced by factors such as mercury loadings, the different transport and methylation processes, and human activities. The second addresses the adaptability of the ecosystem, an evaluation of its resilience to cope with the contamination, including considerations on human response to the stress imposed by contaminants. The social and political resources within the communities impacted are considered. This approach was applied to 4 distinct case studies representative of the large spectrums of both mercury contamination and mercury exposure through fish consumption in Canada. This included sports fishers on lakes of the boreal forest; commercial fishers in industrialized regions of the St. Lawrence River; First Nation communities in Labrador; and, seafood consumers in the Bay of Fundy.

  10. Mercury Quick Facts: Health Effects of Mercury Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury Quick Facts Health Effects of Mercury Exposure What is Elemental Mercury? Elemental (metallic) mercury is the shiny, silver-gray metal found in thermometers, barometers, and thermostats and other ...

  11. Mercury contamination in fish and human hair from Hainan Island, South China Sea: Implication for human exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Jin-Ling; Xu, Xiang-Rong; Yu, Shen; Cheng, Hefa; Peng, Jia-Xi; Hong, Yi-Guo; Feng, Xin-Bin

    2014-11-01

    Hair has long been recognized as a good biomarker for human exposure to Hg. The mercury concentrations in 14 species of marine fish and hair samples from 177 coastal residents in Hainan, South China Sea were investigated to assess the status of mercury exposure associated with marine fish consumption. Concentrations of total Hg (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in the fish muscles were 0.094 ± 0.008 and 0.066 ± 0.006 μg/gww, respectively, which were far below the limit considered safe for consumption (0.5 μg/g). The average THg concentrations in hair of adults (1.02 ± 0.92 μg/g) were lower than the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) level of 2.2 μg/g. However, 23.7% of children had a hair THg level exceeding the RfD level of 1μg/g, indicating a great risk of Hg exposure to children via fish consumption. The concentration of THg in hair was significantly correlated with fish consumption but not with gender-specific fish intake. With higher fish consumption frequency, the fishermen had significantly elevated hair Hg levels compared to the students and the other general public, who had similar hair THg levels but different fish consumption patterns, indicating the existence of other sources of Hg exposure to the residents of Hainan Island. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Study of spatiotemporal variation of atmospheric mercury and its human exposure around an integrated steel plant, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pervez, S.; Koshle, A.; Pervez, Y.

    2010-06-01

    Mercury release by coal combustion has been significantly increased in India. Mercury content in coal has been analyzed to 0.272 ppm by Central Pollution Control Board. Toxicological effects of elemental Hg (Hg0) exposure include respiratory and renal failures, cardiac arrest, and cerebral oedema, while subclinical exposure may induce kidney, behavioral, and cognitive dysfunctions. The present work is focused on dispersion pattern and inter-phase exchange phenomena of ambient mercury between air-particulate matter evaluations of alongwith dominance of various major routes of human exposure-dose response using regression analysis around an integrated steel plant in central India. Source-downwind type stratified random sampling plan using longitudinal study design has been adopted for ambient monitoring of total mercury, while representative sampling plant has been adopted for persona exposure-dose response study In space-time framework. Control sites and subjects have been chosen from uncontaminated area (100 km away from any industrial activities). 06 ambient air monitoring stations and 17 subjects from workers, non-workers but local residents' categories and from controlled sites have been chosen for the study. Samples of mercury biomarkers (blood, breast milk and urine) have also been collected from same subjects in each month during sampling period. The sampling period was March 2005 to February 2006 . Samples of 30% acidified KMnO4 for air-Hg absorption, PM10, RPM and biological samples were analyzed for total mercury by ICP-AES using standard methods. Local soils and ground water were also monitored for total mercury content during the sampling period. Results have shown that mercury concentration is very high compared to prescribed limits in all receptors. Results of exchange phenomenon have shown the higher transfer of mercury from air to particulate during combustion in steel plant environment due to presence of huge amount of iron particles, in contrast to

  13. Human exposure to mercury, lead and cadmium through consumption of canned mackerel, tuna, pilchard and sardine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okyere, H; Voegborlo, R B; Agorku, S E

    2015-07-15

    Total mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb) concentrations were determined in canned fish on the Ghanaian market. Total mercury was determined using an automatic mercury analyzer while cadmium and lead levels were determined by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry. The metal contents in the samples, expressed in μg g(-1) (wet weight), varied from cadmium, and from <0.01 to 1.44 with an average value of 0.72 for lead. The results indicate that canned fish from the Ghanaian market have concentrations well below the permissible FAO/WHO for these toxic metals. Thus considering the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) of Hg, Pb and Cd the levels obtained in this study are unlikely to constitute a significant exposure to the public through consumption of moderate amounts. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Biomarkers of Mercury Exposure in the Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathália Santos Serrão de Castro

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury exposure in the Amazon has been studied since the 1980s decade and the assessment of human mercury exposure in the Amazon is difficult given that the natural occurrence of this metal is high and the concentration of mercury in biological samples of this population exceeds the standardized value of normality established by WHO. Few studies have focused on the discovery of mercury biomarkers in the region’s population. In this way, some studies have used genetics as well as immunological and cytogenetic tools in order to find a molecular biomarker for assessing the toxicological effect of mercury in the Amazonian population. Most of those studies focused attention on the relation between mercury exposure and autoimmunity and, because of that, they will be discussed in more detail. Here we introduce the general aspects involved with each biomarker that was studied in the region in order to contextualize the reader and add information about the Amazonian life style and health that may be considered for future studies. We hope that, in the future, the toxicological studies in this field use high technological tools, such as the next generation sequencing and proteomics skills, in order to comprehend basic questions regarding the metabolic route of mercury in populations that are under constant exposure, such as in the Amazon.

  15. Biomarkers of mercury exposure in the Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Castro, Nathália Santos Serrão; Lima, Marcelo de Oliveira

    2014-01-01

    Mercury exposure in the Amazon has been studied since the 1980s decade and the assessment of human mercury exposure in the Amazon is difficult given that the natural occurrence of this metal is high and the concentration of mercury in biological samples of this population exceeds the standardized value of normality established by WHO. Few studies have focused on the discovery of mercury biomarkers in the region's population. In this way, some studies have used genetics as well as immunological and cytogenetic tools in order to find a molecular biomarker for assessing the toxicological effect of mercury in the Amazonian population. Most of those studies focused attention on the relation between mercury exposure and autoimmunity and, because of that, they will be discussed in more detail. Here we introduce the general aspects involved with each biomarker that was studied in the region in order to contextualize the reader and add information about the Amazonian life style and health that may be considered for future studies. We hope that, in the future, the toxicological studies in this field use high technological tools, such as the next generation sequencing and proteomics skills, in order to comprehend basic questions regarding the metabolic route of mercury in populations that are under constant exposure, such as in the Amazon.

  16. Mercury exposure in chloralkali plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bunn, W.B. III; McGill, C.M.; Barber, T.E.; Cromer, J.W. Jr.; Goldwater, L.J.

    1986-05-01

    The employees of two chloralkali plants were studied to correlate the signs and symptoms of mercury toxicity with levels of exposure. For purposes of comparison, the workers were divided into three groups. These groups were selected on the basis of hours worked in the mercury cell room or in other areas of mercury exposure. The population of the first plant was studied from 1957-1978, and preliminary findings were published in 1964. The second plant's population was studied for 3.5 years beginning in 1976. Time-weighted average exposure levels to mercury vapor in the high exposure group generally ranged between 0.05 to 0.10 mg/m3. No significant differences in the frequency of objective or subjective findings were noted among the three groups except for a lower post exposure systolic and post exposure diastolic blood pressure in the high exposure group in the second plant's population. There was no correlation of mercury vapor exposure with subjective or objective weight loss.

  17. Human exposure to mercury in artisanal small-scale gold mining areas of Kedougou region, Senegal, as a function of occupational activity and fish consumption

    OpenAIRE

    Niane, B.; Guédron, Stéphane (ed.); Moritz, R.; Cosio, C.; Ngom, P.M.; Deverajan, N.; Pfeifer, H.R.; Pote, J.

    2015-01-01

    We investigated mercury (Hg) exposure of food web and humans in the region of Kedougou, Senegal, where Hg is used for gold amalgamation in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). For this purpose, total mercury (THg) concentration was determined in eight fish species and two shellfish species from Gambia River and in human hair from 111 volunteers of different age and sex, living in urban locations (Kedougou and Samekouta) or in ASGM areas (Tinkoto and Bantako). THg concentrations in fish s...

  18. Dietary human exposure to mercury in two artisanal small-scale gold mining communities of northwestern Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar-Camacho, Carlos; Salas-Moreno, Manuel; Marrugo-Madrid, Siday; Marrugo-Negrete, José; Díez, Sergi

    2017-10-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest anthropogenic source of mercury pollution worldwide, posing a grave threat to human health. The present study identifies current levels of mercury in the human population from mining areas of the Chocó Department, Colombia, through total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) measurements in human hair. Mercury exposure of the local population was assessed in two towns affected by ASGM and was related to different variables of interest. Concentrations of THg in human hair ranged from 0.06 to 17.54ppm and the mean value for the subjects under study was 2.48ppm. Men had significantly higher levels than women in both towns (3.29ppm vs. 0.77ppm). Fish consumption was related to a marked increase of THg in hair, with mean values close to five times higher in frequent fish consumers (5-7 times/week) than in non-fish consumers (4.80ppm vs. 0.90ppm). A multiple linear regression model was fitted successfully (R=0.671) and reveals that gender, fish consumption and location of residence were significant indicators of Hg levels in hair, while no significant relationship was found for age. Approximately 60% of subjects tested had THg levels that exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose of 1.0ppm, while 25% surpassed that of the World Health Organization (2.2ppm). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mercury Exposure and Children’s Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O’Reilly, Stephan; McCarty, Kathleen M.; Steckling, Nadine; Lettmeier, Beate

    2011-01-01

    Acute or chronic mercury exposure can cause adverse effects during any period of development. Mercury is a highly toxic element; there is no known safe level of exposure. Ideally, neither children nor adults should have any mercury in their bodies because it provides no physiological benefit. Prenatal and postnatal mercury exposures occur frequently in many different ways. Pediatricians, nurses, and other health care providers should understand the scope of mercury exposures and health problems among children and be prepared to handle mercury exposures in medical practice. Prevention is the key to reducing mercury poisoning. Mercury exists in different chemical forms: elemental (or metallic), inorganic, and organic (methylmercury and ethyl mercury). Mercury exposure can cause acute and chronic intoxication at low levels of exposure. Mercury is neuro-, nephro-, and immunotoxic. The development of the child in utero and early in life is at particular risk. Mercury is ubiquitous and persistent. Mercury is a global pollutant, bio-accumulating, mainly through the aquatic food chain, resulting in a serious health hazard for children. This article provides an extensive review of mercury exposure and children’s health. PMID:20816346

  20. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John S. Reif

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth’s surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to

  1. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S.; Schaefer, Adam M.; Bossart, Gregory D.

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth’s surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth’s surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to their subsequent

  2. Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) as A Sentinel for Exposure to Mercury in Humans: Closing the Loop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reif, John S; Schaefer, Adam M; Bossart, Gregory D

    2015-11-12

    Mercury (Hg) is a ubiquitous global contaminant with important public health implications. Mercury is released from a variety of anthropogenic, industrial processes, enters the earth's atmosphere and is re-deposited onto the earth's surface in rainfall. Much of this Hg enters the oceans which cover the majority of the earth's surface. In the marine environment, inorganic Hg is converted to the most toxic form of the element, methylmercury, and biomagnified through the trophic levels of the food web. The bottlenose dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) is the apex predator in many estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Due to their long life span and trophic position, bottlenose dolphins bioaccumulate high concentrations of contaminants including Hg, thus making them an important sentinel species for ecosystem and public health. Bottlenose dolphins in Florida bioaccumulate high concentrations of Hg in their blood, skin and internal organs. The concentrations of Hg in blood and skin of bottlenose dolphins of the Indian River Lagoon, FL (IRL) are among the highest reported world-wide. In previous studies, we demonstrated associations between concentrations of total Hg in the blood and skin of IRL dolphins and markers of endocrine, renal, hepatic, hematologic and immune system dysfunction. The predominant manifestation of exposure to mercury in humans is neurotoxicity. During the 1950s and 1960s, residents of Minamata bay, Japan were exposed to high concentrations of methyl mercury as the result of ingestion of fish and shellfish that had become contaminated in this infamous environmental disaster. Affected adults had severe motor and sensory abnormalities often leading to death. Methyl mercury crosses the placenta during pregnancy. Children exposed in utero were born with multiple congenital anomalies and also suffered from neurologic disorders. Significantly, local cats that consumed Hg contaminated fish developed severe signs of neurotoxicity which led to their subsequent

  3. Human exposure and risk assessment associated with mercury pollution in the Caqueta River, Colombian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivero-Verbel, Jesus; Carranza-Lopez, Liliana; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Ripoll-Arboleda, Adriana; Muñoz-Sosa, Diego

    2016-10-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global contaminant posing severe risks to human health worldwide. The aim of this study was to assess the levels of total Hg (T-Hg) in human hair and fish in the Caqueta River, at the Colombian Amazon, as well as to determine fish consumption-based risks for T-Hg ingestion. T-Hg levels were measured using a direct mercury analyzer. The overall mean T-Hg level in hair for humans in the Caqueta River sample (n = 200) was 17.29 ± 0.61 μg/g (1.2 to 47.0 μg/g). Ninety-four percent of the individuals had hair T-Hg concentrations greater than the WHO threshold level (5 μg/g), and 79 % displayed levels higher than 10 μg/g. Average Hg concentrations in fish varied between 0.10-0.15 μg/g and 0.10-1.60 μg/g, for noncarnivorous and carnivorous species, respectively. Based on the maximum allowable fish consumption rate for adults, most carnivorous species should be avoided in the diet, as their target hazard quotient ranged from 2.96 up to 31.05, representing a risk for Hg-related health problems. In the light of existing evidence for elevated Hg levels in the indigenous population of the Colombian Amazon, carnivorous fish should be restricted as part of the diet, and breastfeeding should be reduced to protect children health. Most importantly, gold mining activities directly on rivers demand immediate attention from the national government to avoid extensive damage on the environment and human health.

  4. Mercury in Arctic Marine Ecosystems: Sources, Pathways, and Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Jane L.; Lehnherr, Igor; Andersson, Maria; Braune, Birgit M.; Chan, Laurie; Dastoor, Ashu P.; Durnford, Dorothy; Gleason, Amber L.; Loseto, Lisa L.; Steffen, Alexandra; St. Louis, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury in the Arctic is an important environmental and human health issue. The reliance of Northern Peoples on traditional foods, such as marine mammals, for subsistence means that they are particularly at risk from mercury exposure. The cycling of mercury in Arctic marine systems is reviewed here, with emphasis placed on the key sources, pathways and processes which regulate mercury levels in marine food webs and ultimately the exposure of human populations to this contaminant. While many knowledge gaps exist limiting our ability to make strong conclusions, it appears that the long range transport of mercury from Asian emissions is an important source of atmospheric Hg to the Arctic and that mercury methylation resulting in monomethylmercury production (an organic form of mercury which is both toxic and bioaccumulated) in Arctic marine waters is the principal source of mercury incorporated into food webs. Mercury concentrations in biological organisms have increased since the onset of the industrial age and are controlled by a combination of abiotic factors (e.g., monomethylmercury supply), food web dynamics and structure, and animal behavior (e.g., habitat selection and feeding behavior). Finally, although some Northern Peoples have high mercury concentrations of mercury in their blood and hair, harvesting and consuming traditional foods has many nutritional, social, cultural and physical health benefits which must be considered in risk management and communication. PMID:23102902

  5. Exposure of cultured human proximal tubular cells to cadmium, mercury, zinc and bismuth: toxicity and metallothionein induction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodilla, V; Miles, A T; Jenner, W; Hawksworth, G M

    1998-08-14

    The kidney, in particular the proximal convoluted tubule, is a major target site for the toxic effects of various metals. However, little is known about the early effects of these metals after acute exposure in man. In the present study we have evaluated the toxicity of several inorganic metal compounds (CdCl2, HgCl2, ZnCl2, and Bi(NO3)3) and the induction of metallothionein by these compounds in cultured human proximal tubular (HPT) cells for up to 4 days. The results showed that bismuth was not toxic even at the highest dose (100 microM) used, while zinc, cadmium and mercury exhibited varying degrees of toxicity, zinc being the least toxic and mercury the most potent. A significant degree of interindividual variation between the different isolates used in these experiments was also observed. All metals used in the present study induced MT, as revealed by immunocytochemistry. All metals showed maximal induction between 1 and 3 days after treatment. Although a certain amount of constitutive MT was present in the cultures, the intensity of the staining varied with time in culture and between the different isolates studied. No correlation could be made between the intensity of the staining in control cultures (indicating total amount of constitutive MT) and the susceptibility of a given isolate to metal toxicity. Furthermore, no correlation could be made between metal-induced MT and the susceptibility of a given isolate to that particular metal.

  6. Mercury exposure in the work place and human health: dental amalgam use in dentistry at dental teaching institutions and private dental clinics in selected cities of Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khwaja, Mahmood A; Nawaz, Sadaf; Ali, Saeed Waqar

    2016-03-01

    During the past two decades, mercury has come under increasing scrutiny with regard to its safety both in the general population and in occupationally exposed groups. It's a growing issue of global concern because of its adverse environmental and health impacts. Very few investigations on mercury amalgam use in the dentistry sector have been carried out in South Asia and there is little data reported on mercury contamination of indoor/outdoor air at dental sites. According to an earlier SDPI study, reported in 2013, alarmingly high mercury levels were observed in air (indoor as well as outdoor) at 11 of the 34 visited dental sites (17 dental teaching institutions, 7 general hospitals & 10 dental clinics) in five main cities of Pakistan. 88% of the sites indicated indoor mercury levels in air above the USA EPA reference level of 300 ng/m3. According to our study, carried out at 38 dental teaching institutions in 12 main cities (in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh provinces) of Pakistan, respondents were of the opinion that the currently offered BDS curriculum does not effectively guide outgoing dental professionals and does not provide them adequate knowledge and training about mercury/mercury amalgam and other mercury related human health and mercury waste issues. 90% of respondents supported the review and revision of the present dental curriculum offered at dental teaching institutions in the country, at the earliest. A study has also been conducted to assess the status of mercury amalgam use in private dental clinics in Gilgit, Hunza, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad. More than 90 private dental clinics were visited and dental professionals/private clinics in-charge were interviewed during June-July, 2015. The focus areas of the study were Hg amalgam toxicity, its waste management practices and safety measures practiced among the dental practitioners. In the light of the findings described and discussed in this brief report, to safeguard public health and

  7. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. III. Blood mercury in relation to duration of exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobs, M.B.; Ladd, A.C.; Goldwater, L.J.

    1963-01-01

    A series of tests were performed to examine the value of blood mercury determinations in predicting toxic manifestations under conditions of occupational exposure to certain mercury compounds. Human subjects working in factories which process a variety of inorganic and organic compounds of mercury formed the basis of this study. Chemical analyses of blood samples were done by the method of Jacobs and statistical analysis of the data was done by the rank correlation method of Spearman. Results indicate that no statistically significant correlation was found between duration of employment and blood mercury levels. It must be pointed out, however, that this may not apply to all situations but only to those in the present study. Even if mercury levels in the blood do not increase with prolonged exposure, it cannot be concluded that there has been no accumultion of mercury in the body.

  8. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. II. Urinary mercury in relation to duration of exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ladd, A.C.; Goldwater, L.J.; Jacobs, M.B.

    1963-04-01

    An experimental and analytical study was performed on the relationship between duration of exposure of mercury and its compounds and the urinary excretion of mercury. The human subjects were employed in factories which process a variety of inorganic and organic mercury compounds. The Spearman rank correlation coefficient was used as the principal statistical test. In 3 out of 4 sets of observations there were indications that in those men having the longest exposure the urinary mercury levels are highest. The fourth set of observations was equivocal. At present available data do not show any build-up of mercury in the blood paralleling duration of exposure, at least under the conditions prevailing in the factories studied.

  9. Mercury in canned tuna marketed in Cartagena, Colombia, and estimation of human exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcala-Orozco, Maria; Morillo-Garcia, Yenifer; Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus

    2017-12-01

    The presence of mercury in tuna is ubiquitous, so national authorities should guarantee food safety of canned tuna available on the market, according to legal regulations. The objective of this survey was to assess total mercury (T-Hg) levels in brands of canned tuna marketed in Cartagena, Colombia, and determine fish consumption-based risks after ingestion. For that purpose, 252 cans of tuna were collected, representing 6 brands (A-F), in 2 mediums (water and oil). Mean T-Hg levels were 0.66 ± 0.05 and 0.61 ± 0.05 µg g(-1) wet weight, for water and oil, respectively. High T-Hg concentrations were measured in brands B and D. Only brands E and F guaranteed low risk for Hg-related health problems. According to Colombia's legislation, 15.5% of the samples exceeded the maximum level of 1.0 µg g(-1) for mercury and 18.3% was higher than limits as recommended by Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organisation (0.5 µg g(-1)). It was concluded that consumption of canned tuna could represent a high risk for the Colombian population, particularly to vulnerable groups.

  10. Mercury exposure in pregnancy: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solan, Tom Daniel; Lindow, Stephen W

    2014-11-01

    Mercury exposure in pregnancy has been associated with both pregnancy complications and developmental problems in infants. Apart from industrial accidents and contaminated food, mercury exposure is likely to arise from predatory fish consumption, environmental contamination and dental amalgam restorations placed before or during pregnancy. It would be prudent to recommend that pregnant women avoid these potential problems and minimize any risk. The available literature indicates a linear relationship with mercury levels and IQ deficit, and therefore a safe limit of mercury cannot be calculated.

  11. Human exposure and risk assessment associated with mercury contamination in artisanal gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilhos, Zuleica; Rodrigues-Filho, Saulo; Cesar, Ricardo; Rodrigues, Ana Paula; Villas-Bôas, Roberto; de Jesus, Iracina; Lima, Marcelo; Faial, Kleber; Miranda, Antônio; Brabo, Edilson; Beinhoff, Christian; Santos, Elisabeth

    2015-08-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination is an issue of concern in the Amazon region due to potential health effects associated with Hg exposure in artisanal gold mining areas. The study presents a human health risk assessment associated with Hg vapor inhalation and MeHg-contaminated fish ingestion, as well as Hg determination in urine, blood, and hair, of human populations (about 325 miners and 321 non-miners) from two gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon (São Chico and Creporizinho, Pará State). In São Chico and Creporizinho, 73 fish specimens of 13 freshwater species, and 161 specimens of 11 species, were collected for total Hg determination, respectively. The hazard quotient (HQ) is a risk indicator which defines the ratio of the exposure level and the toxicological reference dose and was applied to determine the threat of MeHg exposure. The mean Hg concentrations in fish from São Chico and Creporizinho were 0.83 ± 0.43 and 0.36 ± 0.33 μg/g, respectively. More than 60 and 22 % of fish collected in São Chico and Creporizinho, respectively, were above the Hg limit (0.5 μg/g) recommended by WHO for human consumption. For all sampling sites, HQ resulted from 1.5 to 28.5, except for the reference area. In Creporizinho, the values of HQ are close to 2 for most sites, whereas in São Chico, there is a hot spot of MeHg contamination in fish (A2-São Chico Reservoir) with the highest risk level (HQ = 28) associated with its human consumption. Mean Hg concentrations in urine, blood, and hair samples indicated that the miners group (in São Chico: urine = 17.37 μg/L; blood = 27.74 μg/L; hair = 4.50 μg/g and in Creporizinho: urine = 13.75 μg/L; blood = 25.23 μg/L; hair: 4.58 μg/g) was more exposed to mercury compared to non-miners (in São Chico: urine = 5.73 μg/L; blood = 16.50 μg/L; hair = 3.16 μg/g and in Creporizinho: urine = 3.91 μg/L; blood = 21.04 μg/L, hair = 1.88 μg/g). These high Hg levels (found

  12. Mercury exposure in protein A immunoadsorption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kramer, Ludwig; Bauer, Edith; Jansen, Martin; Reiter, Daniela; Derfler, Kurt; Schaffer, Andreas

    2004-02-01

    Immunoadsorption is increasingly used to treat antibody-mediated autoimmune diseases. To prevent microbial growth during storage, reusable protein A-Sepharose gel columns are primed with ethyl mercury thiosalicylate (thiomersal, 0.1% solution) and rinsed with phosphate buffer before use. In this study, we tested the hypothesis of systemic mercury exposure in protein A immunoadsorption. Whole blood mercury levels were measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy before and after protein A immunoadsorption (11 patients, 26 treatments), anti-IgG immunoadsorption (eight patients, 13 treatments) and LDL apheresis (DALI and Therasorb systems; nine patients, 14 treatments). Patients treated with protein A immunoadsorption had significantly elevated baseline mercury levels compared with the other groups, which were not different from healthy controls. Following protein A immunoadsorption, mercury levels increased from 5.9+/-1.4 microg/l (mean+/-SEM, normal, neurological toxicity developed at a mercury level of 107 microg/l. Symptoms abated slowly and did not recur after switching to a thiomersal-free system and chelation therapy. No mercury release to patients occurred in anti-IgG immunoadsorption or LDL apheresis treatments. This preliminary report suggests that protein A immunoadsorption columns primed with thiomersal during storage may cause a sustained increase of systemic mercury concentrations, which exceed current safety recommendations in a proportion of patients. Considering the potential for mercury-induced toxicity, every effort should be undertaken to reduce systemic mercury exposure, either by adding chelators to the rinsing solution or ideally by replacement of thiomersal.

  13. Student Exposure to Mercury Vapors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Joyce

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the problem of mercury vapors caused by spills in high school and college laboratories. Describes a study which compared the mercury vapor levels of laboratories in both an older and a newer building. Concludes that the mercurial contamination of chemistry laboratories presents minimal risks to the students. (TW)

  14. Mercury Exposure and Heart Rate Variability: a Systematic Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribble, Matthew O; Cheng, Alan; Berger, Ronald D; Rosman, Lori; Guallar, Eliseo

    2015-09-01

    Mercury affects the nervous system and has been implicated in altering heart rhythm and function. We sought to better define its role in modulating heart rate variability, a well-known marker of cardiac autonomic function. This is a systematic review study. We searched PubMed, Embase, TOXLINE, and DART databases without language restriction. We report findings as a qualitative systematic review because heterogeneity in study design and assessment of exposures and outcomes across studies, as well as other methodological limitations of the literature, precluded a quantitative meta-analysis. We identified 12 studies of mercury exposure and heart rate variability in human populations (ten studies involving primarily environmental methylmercury exposure and two studies involving occupational exposure to inorganic mercury) conducted in Japan, the Faroe Islands, Canada, Korea, French Polynesia, Finland, and Egypt. The association of prenatal mercury exposure with lower high-frequency band scores (thought to reflect parasympathetic activity) in several studies, in particular the inverse association of cord blood mercury levels with the coefficient of variation of the R-R intervals and with low-frequency and high-frequency bands at 14 years of age in the Faroe Islands birth cohort study, suggests that early mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity. Studies with later environmental exposures to mercury in children or in adults were heterogeneous and did not show consistent associations. The evidence was too limited to draw firm causal inferences. Additional research is needed to elucidate the effects of mercury on cardiac autonomic function, particularly as early-life exposures might have lasting impacts on cardiac parasympathetic function.

  15. Mercury exposure: are we at risk?

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available . Mercury can also enter the body through the skin (dermal contact). However, the ingestion of Hg contaminated food (particularly fish) remains the principal exposure route. People who regularly eat locally caught fish with elevated Hg concentrations...

  16. Identifying occupational and nonoccupational exposure to mercury in dental personnel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shirkhanloo, Hamid; Fallah Mehrjerdi, Mohammad Ali; Hassani, Hamid

    2017-03-04

    The objective of this study was to investigate the occupational and nonoccupational exposure to mercury (Hg) vapor in dental personnel by examining the relationships between blood mercury, urine mercury, and their ratio with air mercury. The method was performed on 50 occupational exposed and 50 unexposed controls (25 men and 25 women). The mercury concentrations in air and human biological samples were determined based on the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) method and standard method (SM) by a new mode of liquid-phase microextraction, respectively. The mean mercury concentrations in urine (μg Hg 0 /g creatinine) and blood were significantly higher than control group, respectively (19.41 ± 5.18 vs 2.15 ± 0.07 μg/g and 16.40 ± 4.97 vs 2.50 ± 0.02 μg/L) (p mercury concentration in blood/urine ratio (r = .380) with dental office air are new indicators for assessing occupational exposure in dental personnel.

  17. Blood levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the Korean population: Results from the Second Korean National Human Exposure and Bio-monitoring Examination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Son, Ji-Young [Department of Public Health, Graduate School of Hanyang University, Hanyang University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jinheon [Department of Environmental Education, Kongju National University (Korea, Republic of); Paek, Domyung [Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Jong-Tae, E-mail: jtlee@korea.ac.kr [Department of Environmental Health, College of Health Science, Korea University, San 1 Jeongreung-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea 136-703 (Korea, Republic of)

    2009-08-15

    In Korea, there have been a number of efforts to measure levels of exposure to environmental pollutants among the population. This paper focuses on investigating the distribution of, extent of, and factors influencing the blood levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the Korean population, working from data obtained from the Second Korean National Human Exposure and Bio-monitoring Examination. To that end, blood metal concentrations were analyzed from a total of 2369 participants who were 18 years of age and older. The geometric mean concentrations and their 95% confidence intervals of metals in blood were found to be lead, 1.72 {mu}g/dL (95% CI, 1.68-1.76); cadmium, 1.02 {mu}g/L (95% CI, 1.00-1.05); and mercury, 3.80 {mu}g/L (95% CI, 3.66-3.93). Regression analyses indicate that the levels of metals in the blood are mainly influenced by gender, age, and the education levels of the participants. Current smoking status is also found to be a significant factor for increasing both lead and cadmium levels. Although our study, as the first nationwide survey of exposure to environmental pollutants in Korea, has value on its own, it should be expanded and extended in order to provide information on environmental exposure pathways and to watch for changes in the level of exposure to environmental pollutants among the population.

  18. Mercury exposure: medical and public health issues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffey, Kathryn R

    2005-01-01

    Mercury exposure is widespread in the United States with methylmercury as the predominant chemical species and fish and shellfish as the source. Use of more advanced diagnostic techniques and application of population-based risk assessment methodologies have assisted in addressing the impact of mercury exposure on the United States population. Biomonitoring, particularly through analyses of blood mercury, provides both population-based data and exposure information that can be informative for physicians. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) beginning in 1999 provide population-based exposure estimates for United States overall. Methylmercury exposures among women of childbearing age are of particular concern because of methylmercury's developmental neurotoxicity. Exposures of concern among women are estimated to occur in between approximately 6% to 8% of the 16-to-49-year-old age group based on data from NHANES; and in approximately 15% of this age and sex group if physiological factors such as the degree of transplacental transport of methylmercury are taken into consideration. Subgroups with high fish consumption (e.g., many island and coastal populations, some persons of Asian ethnicity, some individuals following "healthy" diets) can have methylmercury exposures substantially higher than those reported among the NHANES examinees. These subpopulations are not likely to be aware of their blood mercury concentrations or the possible health outcomes associated with such high blood mercury levels. The American Medical Association has adopted policies that express concerns about methylmercury exposure, and advise patient education. Non-neurological risks for adults associated with methylmercury, including the potential for adverse cardiac outcomes, have not yet been incorporated into risk assessments.

  19. Risk assessment of mercury exposure from dental amalgams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reinhardt, J.W.

    Much attention is being focused upon the issue of mercury exposure from dental amalgam restorations and the potential for adverse health effects. This controversy has grown beyond the confines of the dental profession itself and is becoming an emotional public health issue. In hope of regaining good health, many dental patients with chronic systemic diseases are considering replacement of their amalgams. Dentists are increasingly being challenged to prove the safety of amalgams. Recently, systematic methods have been established for quantitative evaluation of environmental risks. This study brings together the quantitative methodologies of risk assessment and the knowledge of mercury exposure from dental amalgams to estimate the safety of dental amalgam restorative therapy. Analysis concludes that the margin of safety for mercury toxicity in humans from dental amalgams is approximately 8- to 30-fold. There are many uncertainties involved in this estimate, and further studies are warranted to improve its precision. 48 references.

  20. Mercury Exposure from Domestic and Imported Estuarine and Marine Fish in the U.S. Seafood Market

    OpenAIRE

    Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2006-01-01

    Background Methylmercury exposure causes a variety of adverse effects on human health. Per capita estimates of mercury exposure are critical for risk assessments and for developing effective risk management strategies. Objective This study investigated the impact of natural stochasticity in mercury concentrations among fish and shellfish harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and foreign shores on estimated mercury exposures. Methods Mercury concentrations and seafood consumption a...

  1. Human exposure to mercury in artisanal small-scale gold mining areas of Kedougou region, Senegal, as a function of occupational activity and fish consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niane, Birane; Guédron, Stéphane; Moritz, Robert; Cosio, Claudia; Ngom, Papa Malick; Deverajan, Naresh; Pfeifer, Hans Rudolf; Poté, John

    2015-05-01

    We investigated mercury (Hg) exposure of food web and humans in the region of Kedougou, Senegal, where Hg is used for gold amalgamation in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). For this purpose, total mercury (THg) concentration was determined in eight fish species and two shellfish species from Gambia River and in human hair from 111 volunteers of different age and sex, living in urban locations (Kedougou and Samekouta) or in ASGM areas (Tinkoto and Bantako). THg concentrations in fish samples range from 0.03 to 0.51 mg kg(-1) wet weight (ww) and 0.5 to 1.05 mg kg(-1) ww for shellfish. THg concentrations in fish are below the WHO guideline of 0.5 mg kg(-1) ww, whereas 100 % of shellfish are above this safety guideline. In the entire set of fish and shellfish samples, we documented a decrease of THg concentrations with increasing selenium to mercury (Se:Hg) ratio suggesting a protection of Se against Hg. However, local population consuming fish from the Gambia River in the two ASGM areas have higher THg concentrations (median = 1.45 and 1.5 mg kg(-1) at Bantako and Tinkoto) in hair than those from others localities (median = 0.42 and 0.32 mg kg(-1) at Kedougou town and Samekouta) who have diverse diets. At ASGM sites, about 30 % of the local population present Hg concentrations in hair exceeding 1 mg kg(-1), defined as the reference concentration of Hg in hair. We also evidence a higher exposure of women to Hg in the Tinkoto ASGM site due to the traditional distribution of daily tasks where women are more involved in the burning of amalgams. The discrepancy between the calculated moderate exposure through fish consumption and the high Hg concentrations measured in hair suggest that fish consumption is not the only source of Hg exposure and that further studies should focus on direct exposure to elemental Hg of population living at ASGM sites.

  2. Fish consumption, mercury exposure, and heart diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Hing Man; Egeland, Grace M

    2004-02-01

    There is increasing concern regarding methylmercury exposure in populations that consume large amounts of fish. This situation poses a dilemma for those who choose to consume fish for its beneficial effects on heart disease risk. Recent evidence suggests that high mercury content in fish may diminish the cardioprotective effect of fish intake. We explore the current knowledge of Hg toxicity on the heart and evaluate the epidemiologic evidence to date.

  3. Post-breeding dispersal of frigatebirds increases their exposure to mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mott, Rowan; Herrod, Ashley; Clarke, Rohan H

    2017-06-15

    Migration and dispersal can expose wildlife to threats in different parts of their range, particularly for localized anthropogenic threats. Wildlife exposure to metal contaminants may correlate with local anthropogenic emissions. Feather mercury concentrations of adult and juvenile Lesser Frigatebirds (Fregata ariel) and Great Frigatebirds (F. minor) were determined for individuals breeding in the eastern Indian Ocean. Low mercury concentration in juveniles relative to adults, higher mercury concentration in adult females than adult males, and a trend for Lesser Frigatebirds to have higher mercury concentration than Great Frigatebirds implicate non-breeding ground exposure as the major influence on mercury burden. Aspects of foraging ecology are congruent with high exposure occurring in inshore waters of the non-breeding range, particularly in the South China Sea. These findings highlight the need for tighter mercury emission regulations in southeast Asia to minimise the potential threat to frigatebirds and other species dependent on marine resources including humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Impact of fetal and childhood mercury exposure on immune status in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hui, Lai Ling; Chan, Michael Ho Ming; Lam, Hugh Simon; Chan, Peggy Hiu Ying; Kwok, Ka Ming; Chan, Iris Hiu Shuen; Li, Albert Martin; Fok, Tai Fai

    2016-01-01

    Mercury exposure have been shown to affect immune status in animals as reflected by cytokine expression. It is unclear whether low levels of exposure during fetal and/or childhood periods could impact on immune status in humans. To test the hypothesis that fetal and childhood mercury exposure is associated with childhood cytokine profiles and to investigate whether childhood selenium levels interact with any of the associations found. Children were recruited from a previously established birth cohort between the ages of 6-9 years for assessment and measurement of blood mercury, selenium and cytokine profile (interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-13 and TNF-alpha). Multivariable linear regression models were used to assess the adjusted association of cord blood mercury concentration and current mercury concentrations with levels of the cytokine levels. We tested whether the association with current mercury level varied by current selenium level and cord blood mercury level. IL-10 was negatively associated with current blood mercury concentration. The effect was greatest in cases with low cord blood mercury and low current selenium concentrations. None of the other cytokine levels were associated with either cord blood or current blood mercury concentrations, except that cord blood mercury was negatively associated with IL-6. Childhood mercury exposure was negatively associated with childhood IL-10 levels. It is postulated that while selenium is protective, low levels of fetal mercury exposure may increase the degree of this negative association during childhood. Further studies into the clinical significance of these findings are required. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Economic implications of mercury exposure in the context of the global mercury treaty: Hair mercury levels and estimated lost economic productivity in selected developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trasande, Leonardo; DiGangi, Joseph; Evers, David C; Petrlik, Jindrich; Buck, David G; Šamánek, Jan; Beeler, Bjorn; Turnquist, Madeline A; Regan, Kevin

    2016-12-01

    Several developing countries have limited or no information about exposures near anthropogenic mercury sources and no studies have quantified costs of mercury pollution or economic benefits to mercury pollution prevention in these countries. In this study, we present data on mercury concentrations in human hair from subpopulations in developing countries most likely to benefit from the implementation of the Minamata Convention on Mercury. These data are then used to estimate economic costs of mercury exposure in these communities. Hair samples were collected from sites located in 15 countries. We used a linear dose-response relationship that previously identified a 0.18 IQ point decrement per part per million (ppm) increase in hair mercury, and modeled a base case scenario assuming a reference level of 1 ppm, and a second scenario assuming no reference level. We then estimated the corresponding increases in intellectual disability and lost Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALY). A total of 236 participants provided hair samples for analysis, with an estimated population at risk of mercury exposure near the 15 sites of 11,302,582. Average mercury levels were in the range of 0.48 ppm-4.60 ppm, and 61% of all participants had hair mercury concentrations greater than 1 ppm, the level that approximately corresponds to the USA EPA reference dose. An additional 1310 cases of intellectual disability attributable to mercury exposure were identified annually (4110 assuming no reference level), resulting in 16,501 lost DALYs (51,809 assuming no reference level). A total of $77.4 million in lost economic productivity was estimated assuming a 1 ppm reference level and $130 million if no reference level was used. We conclude that significant mercury exposures occur in developing and transition country communities near sources named in the Minamata Convention, and our estimates suggest that a large economic burden could be avoided by timely implementation of measures to

  6. Assessing elemental mercury vapor exposure from cultural and religious practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, D M; Newby, C A; Leal-Almeraz, T O; Thomas, V M

    2001-08-01

    Use of elemental mercury in certain cultural and religious practices can cause high exposures to mercury vapor. Uses include sprinkling mercury on the floor of a home or car, burning it in a candle, and mixing it with perfume. Some uses can produce indoor air mercury concentrations one or two orders of magnitude above occupational exposure limits. Exposures resulting from other uses, such as infrequent use of a small bead of mercury, could be well below currently recognized risk levels. Metallic mercury is available at almost all of the 15 botanicas visited in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, but botanica personnel often deny having mercury for sale when approached by outsiders to these religious and cultural traditions. Actions by public health authorities have driven the mercury trade underground in some locations. Interviews indicate that mercury users are aware that mercury is hazardous, but are not aware of the inhalation exposure risk. We argue against a crackdown by health authorities because it could drive the practices further underground, because high-risk practices may be rare, and because uninformed government intervention could have unfortunate political and civic side effects for some Caribbean and Latin American immigrant groups. We recommend an outreach and education program involving religious and community leaders, botanica personnel, and other mercury users.

  7. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katy Ashe

    Full Text Available The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05 higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  8. Elevated mercury concentrations in humans of Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashe, Katy

    2012-01-01

    The enormous increase in practically unregulated mining in Madre de Dios Peru is leading to massive release of liquid elemental mercury to the environment. Rapidly increasing global prices for gold are causing a massive upsurge in artisanal mining in the Peruvian Amazon, considered to be one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. This study identifies the current levels of mercury in the human population, through identifying levels of total mercury in human hair in mining zones of Madre de Dios Department and in the nearby city of Puerto Maldonado. A regression analysis reveals that fish consumption, gender, and location of residence were significant indicators of mercury levels; while duration of residence and age had no significant relationship to mercury levels. Increased fish consumption levels were the strongest indicators of increased total mercury levels across the entire population. The levels of total mercury in hair was significantly (α = 0.05) higher in mining zones, than Puerto Maldonado. In both areas men had significantly higher levels than women, likely due to a difference in metabolism or varying levels of direct involvement in gold mining- a male predominated industry. This is the first study to show the health threat that mercury poses to this region, however further research needs to be done to gain a more refined understanding of the predominant routes of exposure in this population.

  9. Psychological performance and long-term exposure to mercury vapors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Piikivi, L.; Haenninen, H.; Martelin, T.; Mantere, P.

    1984-02-01

    In a cross-sectional study the psychological test performances of a group of 36 male chlorine-alkali workers were compared with the level of exposure to mercury and to the corresponding results of referents. The mercury exposure had lasted for at least 10 years and had been controlled by regular health examinations and urine analyses. Several dose indicators were calculated. The more heavily exposed workers performed more poorly on the verbal intelligence test (Similarities) than the referents did. Impairments in the memory tests showed a statistically significant correlation with the actual exposure level, especially with the actual concentration of mercury in blood. The monitoring of mercury in blood can be useful in health surveillance programs. The level of mercury in the air was calculated from the dose indicators. The results support the recommended exposure limit of 25 micrograms/m/sub 3/ for metallic mercury vapor in the air as a level avoiding adverse effects in exposed workers.

  10. Statistical Methods for the Evaluation of Health Effects of Prenatal Mercury Exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Keiding, Niels; Grandjean, Philippe

    2002-01-01

    Environmental epidemiology; Structural equation; Exposure measurement error; multiple endpoints; effect of prenatal mercury exposure; Exposure standards; Benchmark dose......Environmental epidemiology; Structural equation; Exposure measurement error; multiple endpoints; effect of prenatal mercury exposure; Exposure standards; Benchmark dose...

  11. [Toxic nephropathy secondary to occupational exposure to metallic mercury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voitzuk, Ana; Greco, Vanina; Caputo, Daniel; Alvarez, Estela

    2014-01-01

    Toxic nephrophaties secondary to occupational exposure to metals have been widely studied, including membranous nephropathy by mercury, which is rare. Occupational poisoning by mercury is frequent, neurological symptoms are the main form of clinical presentation. Secondary renal involvement in chronic exposure to metallic mercury can cause glomerular disease by deposit of immune-complexes. Membranous glomerulopathy and minimal change disease are the most frequently reported forms. Here we describe the case of a patient with occupational exposure to metallic mercury, where nephrotic syndrome due to membranous glomerulonephritis responded favorably to both chelation and immunosuppressive therapy.

  12. Toxicity of mercury in macrophages. Structure and function of macrophages after experimental mercury exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Christensen, M.M.

    1995-12-31

    Mercury is recognized as an environmental heavy metal pollutant with a toxic effect on living organisms. The toxicity of this heavy metal at cellular level is described for many types of cells. Macrophages are ubiquitous in the organism and play a central role in the non-specific defence barrier against intruding micro-organisms. As a first line of defence, macrophages are crucial for the course of generalized infection, for instance with herpes simplex virus. Functions such as phagocytosis, migration, activation during infection and cytokine production are important in this context. Mercury, detectable by auto metallography, is found in the lysosomes of macrophages and this accumulation is dependent upon dose and length of time of mercury exposure. But higher concentrations cause auto interference, which indicates that mercury accumulation is dependent on lysosome functional integrity and that mercury inhibits lysosome functions. In mice intraperitoneally exposed to mercury chloride, mercury is found localized in the lysosomes of macrophages in the spleen, thymus, lymph nodes and liver as well as in peritoneal macrophages. The effect of mercury on a virus infection was examined in studies of the course of infection in mice treated with mercury and infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) under further exposure to mercury. To further elucidate aspects of interactions between heavy metals and macrophages and their eventual significance for the antiviral effect of macrophages, the effect of mercury on cell respiratory burst capacity and the influence of mercury on cell production of and reaction to cytokines was examined. This thesis shows that mercury is immunotoxic in that it affects macrophages both with regard to the viability and function of the cells. This is also valid for mercury concentrations that do not result in apparent pathological changes. (EG) 98 refs.

  13. Human accumulation of mercury in Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Poul; Mulvad, Gert; Pedersen, Henning Sloth

    2007-01-01

    In the Arctic, the traditional diet exposes its people to a high intake of mercury especially from marine mammals. To determine whether the mercury is accumulated in humans, we analyzed autopsy samples of liver, kidney and spleen from adult ethnic Greenlanders who died between 1990 and 1994 from...... a wide range of causes, natural and violent. Liver, kidney and spleen samples from between 33 and 71 case subjects were analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury, and liver samples also for selenium. Metal levels in men and women did not differ and were not related to age except in one case, i.......e. for total mercury in liver, where a significant declining concentration with age was observed. The highest total mercury levels were found in kidney followed by liver and spleen. Methylmercury followed the same pattern, but levels were much lower, constituting only 19% of the total mercury concentration...

  14. Biomarkers of mercury exposure in two eastern Ukraine cities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.; Haver, C.; Kozlov, K.; Centeno, J.A.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.M.; Landa, E.R.; Xu, H.

    2011-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of mercury exposure among residents of Horlivka, a city in eastern Ukraine located in an area with geologic and industrial sources of environmental mercury, and residents of Artemivsk, a nearby comparison city outside the mercury-enriched area. Samples of urine, blood, hair, and nails were collected from study participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in mines. Median biomarker mercury concentrations in Artemivsk were 0.26 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 0.92 ??g/L (blood), 0.42 ??g/g (hair), 0.11 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.09 ??g/g (fingernails); median concentrations in Horlivka were 0.15 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 1.01 ??g/L (blood), 0.14 ??g/g (hair), 0.31 ??g/g (toenails), and 0.31 ??g/g (fingernails). Biomarkers of mercury exposure for study participants from Horlivka and Artemivsk are low in comparison with occupationally exposed workers at a mercury recycling facility in Horlivka and in comparison with exposures known to be associated with clinical effects. Blood and urinary mercury did not suggest a higher mercury exposure among Horlivka residents as compared with Artemivsk; however, three individuals living in the immediate vicinity of the mercury mines had elevated blood and urinary mercury, relative to overall results for either city. For a limited number of residents from Horlivka (N = 7) and Artemivsk (N = 4), environmental samples (vacuum cleaner dust, dust wipes, soil) were collected from their residences. Mercury concentrations in vacuum cleaner dust and soil were good predictors of blood and urinary mercury. Copyright ?? 2011 JOEH, LLC.

  15. Fluctuating asymmetry in waterbirds in relation to mercury exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2016-01-01

    The dataset includes the bird species, sex, mercury concentration in breast feathers and whole blood, and the composite measure of fluctuating asymmetry. Statistical models were developed for each species to analyze the relationship between mercury exposure in either breast feathers or whole blood and the composite measure of fluctuating asymmetry, while accounting for the sex of each bird.

  16. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Du, Buyun; Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Zhou, Jun; Maurice, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China...

  17. DMPS (DIMAVAL) as a challenge test to assess the mercury and arsenic body/kidney load in humans and as a treatment of mercury toxicity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aposhian, H.V.; Maiorino, R.M.; Aposhian, M.M. [Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ (United States); Hurlbut, K.M. [Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center, Denver, CO (United States)] [and others

    1996-12-31

    Mercury is an element which, with its compounds, is hazardous and is found in hazardous wastes. In Order to develop suitable diagnostic and therapeutic agents for mercury exposure, we have sought alternative test systems. We have used the chelating agent 2,3-dimercaptopropane-1-sulfonate (DMPS, DIMAVAL{reg_sign}) for estimating the body burden of mercury in normal humans and in dental personnel in a developing country, and for detoxifying humans with mercurous chloride exposure. Use of the DMPS-mercury challenge test has shown that two-thirds of the mercury excreted in the urine of volunteers with dental amalgams appears to be derived from the mercury vapor released from their amalgams. The DMPS challenge test (300 mg, by mouth, after an 11 hr fast) was useful for monitoring dental personnel for mercury vapor exposure. The DMPS challenge test was given to 11 factory workers who make a skin lotion that contains mercurous chloride, 8 users of the skin lotion, and 9 controls. The increases in urinary Hg resulting from the DMPS challenge were 45, 87, and 38-fold, respectively. The results demonstrate that in humans exposed to mercurous chloride, the DMPS-mercury challenge test is of value for a more realistic estimation of mobilizable Hg. DMPS should be considered for use to determine mercury body burdens and to treat humans exposed to mercury and its compounds via exposure to hazardous wastes. 42 refs., 2 figs., 5 tabs.

  18. Exposures of Dental Professionals to Elemental Mercury and Methylmercury

    OpenAIRE

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Gruninger, Stephen E.; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure, a worldwide public health concern, predominantly takes two forms – methylmercury from fish consumption and elemental Hg from dental amalgam restorations. We recruited 630 dental professionals from an American Dental Association meeting to assess Hg body burden and primary sources of exposure in a dually-exposed population. Participants described occupational practices and fish consumption patterns via questionnaire. Mercury levels in biomarkers of elemental Hg (urine) a...

  19. Mercury Exposure in a Riverside Amazon Population, Brazil: A Study of the Ototoxicity of Methylmercury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hoshino, Ana

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction Mercury poisoning causes hearing loss in humans and animals. Acute and long-term exposures produce irreversible peripheral and central auditory system damage, and mercury in its various forms of presentation in the environment is ototoxic. Objective We investigated the otoacoustic emissions responses in a riverside population exposed to environmental mercury by analyzing the inhibitory effect of the medial olivocochlear system (MOCS on transient otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE. Methods The purpose of the research was to evaluate the entire community independently of variables of sex and age. All of the participants were born and lived in a riverside community. After otolaryngologic evaluation, participants were received tympanometry, evaluation of contralateral acoustic reflexes, pure tone audiometry, and recording of TEOAEs with nonlinear click stimulation. Hair samples were collect to measure mercury levels. Results There was no significant correlation between the inhibitory effect of the MOCS, age, and the level of mercury in the hair. Conclusions The pathophysiological effects of chronic exposure may be subtle and nonspecific and can have a long period of latency; therefore, it will be important to monitor the effects of mercury exposure in the central auditory system of the Amazon population over time. Longitudinal studies should be performed to determine whether the inhibitory effect of the MOCS on otoacoustic emissions can be an evaluation method and diagnostic tool in populations exposed to mercury.

  20. Neuropsychological Effects of Mercury Exposure Among Dentists in Monastir City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaari, Neila; Chebel, Saber; Merchaoui, Irtyah; Kerkeni, Abdelhamid; Neffati, Fadwa; Najjar, Fadhel; Akrout, Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the neuropsychological manifestations of mercury exposure in dentists. A cross-sectional study was carried out including 64 dentists matched to a control group according to age and gender. This study protocol included a neurological evaluation, a questionnaire assessing the study groups' general characteristics and personal factors that may affect mercury urinary excretion in both groups. EUROQUEST questionnaire and Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) were used to evaluate the neuropsychological symptoms reported during the last 12 months. In both groups, mercury impregnation was assessed by monitoring urinary mercury. In the exposed group, scores of neurological symptoms, memory disturbances and anxiety were found to be significantly higher than those in controls (p mercury excretion in the exposed group. Mean levels of urinary mercury were significantly higher in the dentists group than in controls, with respective values of 21.1 ± 19.6 µg/g of creatinine and 0.05 ± 0.9 µg/g of creatinine. In nine dentists having urinary mercury levels higher than 35 µg/g of creatinine, neurological examination showed a bilateral and symmetric intentional tremor in both upper limbs. In the exposed group, the neuropsychological manifestations and levels of urinary mercury were found to be significantly correlated. Increased levels of urinary mercury observed in dentists suggest that exposure to mercury vapour emissions adversely affects dental professionals, therefore prevention measures should be strengthened, with a special medical supervision program of dentists exposed to mercury vapours should be implemented. We have also outlined some relevant patents in this article.

  1. Impacts of Sublethal Mercury Exposure on Birds: A Detailed Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, Margaret C; Cristol, Daniel A

    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental contaminant known to accumulate in, and negatively affect, fish-eating and oceanic bird species, and recently demonstrated to impact some terrestrial songbirds to a comparable extent. It can bioaccumulate to concentrations of >1 μg/g in tissues of prey organisms such as fish and insects. At high enough concentrations, exposure to mercury is lethal to birds. However, environmental exposures are usually far below the lethal concentrations established by dosing studies.The objective of this review is to better understand the effects of sublethal exposure to mercury in birds. We restricted our survey of the literature to studies with at least some exposures >5 μg/g. The majority of sublethal effects were subtle and some studies of similar endpoints reached different conclusions. Strong support exists in the literature for the conclusion that mercury exposure reduces reproductive output, compromises immune function, and causes avoidance of high-energy behaviors. For some endpoints, notably certain measures of reproductive success, endocrine and neurological function, and body condition, there is weak or contradictory evidence of adverse effects and further study is required. There was no evidence that environmentally relevant mercury exposure affects longevity, but several of the sublethal effects identified likely do result in fitness reductions that could adversely impact populations. Overall, 72% of field studies and 91% of laboratory studies found evidence of deleterious effects of mercury on some endpoint, and thus we can conclude that mercury is harmful to birds, and the many effects on reproduction indicate that bird population declines may already be resulting from environmental mercury pollution.

  2. [Mercury poisoning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bensefa-Colas, L; Andujar, P; Descatha, A

    2011-07-01

    Mercury is a widespread heavy metal with potential severe impacts on human health. Exposure conditions to mercury and profile of toxicity among humans depend on the chemical forms of the mercury: elemental or metallic mercury, inorganic or organic mercury compounds. This article aims to reviewing and synthesizing the main knowledge of the mercury toxicity and its organic compounds that clinicians should know. Acute inhalation of metallic or inorganic mercury vapours mainly induces pulmonary diseases, whereas chronic inhalation rather induces neurological or renal disorders (encephalopathy and interstitial or glomerular nephritis). Methylmercury poisonings from intoxicated food occurred among some populations resulting in neurological disorders and developmental troubles for children exposed in utero. Treatment using chelating agents is recommended in case of symptomatic acute mercury intoxication; sometimes it improves the clinical effects of chronic mercury poisoning. Although it is currently rare to encounter situations of severe intoxication, efforts remain necessary to decrease the mercury concentration in the environment and to reduce risk on human health due to low level exposure (dental amalgam, fish contamination by organic mercury compounds…). In case of occupational exposure to mercury and its compounds, some disorders could be compensated in France. Clinicians should work with toxicologists for the diagnosis and treatment of mercury intoxication. Copyright © 2010 Société nationale française de médecine interne (SNFMI). Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Occupational and environmental exposure to mercury among Iranian hairdressers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakour, Hoda; Esmaili-Sari, Abbas

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to describe the mercury concentrations in female hairdressers associated with occupational and environmental exposure through cosmetic products and amalgam fillings. Sixty-two hair and nail samples were collected randomly from Iranian hairdressers. Hg level determination was carried out using a LECO, AMA 254, Advanced Mercury Analyzer according to ASTM, standard No. D-6722. The mean mercury levels were 1.15 ± 1.03 ug/g and 1.82 ± 1.12 μg/g in the hair and nail samples, respectively with a positive correlation among them (r=0.98). A significant relation was also observed between Hg levels and the number of amalgam fillings (pmercury concentrations in their hair and nails, suggesting the importance of mercury exposure assessment in hidden, less-explored sources of Hg in the workplace.

  4. Mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone levels in juvenile birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury exposure has been associated with a wide variety of negative reproductive responses in birds, however few studies have examined the potential for chick impairment via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The HPA axis regulates corticosterone levels during periods of stress. We examined the relationship between baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations and mercury concentrations in down feathers of recently hatched (Sterna forsteri) chicks in San Francisco Bay, California. Baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in blood of older chicks (decreasing by 81% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and number of fledgling chicks within the colony and chick age. In recently hatched chicks, baseline fecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations were weakly negatively correlated with mercury concentrations in down feathers (decreasing by 45% across the range of observed mercury concentrations) while accounting for stronger positive correlations between corticosterone concentrations and colony nest abundance and date. These results indicate that chronic mercury exposure may suppress baseline corticosterone concentrations in tern chicks and suggests that a juvenile bird's ability to respond to stress may be reduced via the downregulation of the HPA axis.

  5. Biomarkers of mercury exposure at a mercury recycling facility in Ukraine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Herman Jones; Kozlov, Kostj; Buckley, Jessie Poulin; Centeno, Jose; Jurgenson, Vera; Kolker, Allan; Conko, Kathryn; Landa, Edward; Panov, Boris; Panov, Yuri; Xu, Hanna

    2008-08-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of occupational mercury exposure among workers at a mercury recycling operation in Gorlovka, Ukraine. The 29 study participants were divided into three occupational categories for analysis: (1) those who worked in the mercury recycling operation (Group A, n = 8), (2) those who worked at the facility but not in the yard where the recycling was done (Group B, n = 14), and (3) those who did not work at the facility (Group C, n = 7). Urine, blood, hair, and nail samples were collected from the participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in the former mercury mine/smelter located on the site of the recycling facility. Each factor was tested in a univariate regression with total mercury in urine, blood, hair, and nails. Median biomarker concentrations were 4.04 microg/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 microg/L (blood), 3.95 microg/g (hair), and 1.16 microg/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p mercury concentrations but not with hair or nail mercury. Four individuals had urinary mercury concentrations in a range previously found to be associated with subtle neurological and subjective symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability), and one worker had a urinary mercury concentration in a range associated with a high probability of neurological effects and proteinuria. Comparison of results by occupational category found that workers directly involved with the recycling operation had the highest blood and urinary mercury levels. Those who worked at the facility but were not directly involved with the recycling operation had higher levels than those who did not work at the facility.

  6. Biomarkers of mercury exposure at a mercury recycling facility in Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, H.J.; Kozlov, K.; Buckley, J.P.; Centeno, J.; Jurgenson, V.; Kolker, A.; Conko, K.; Landa, E.; Panov, B.; Panov, Y.; Xu, H.

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluates biomarkers of occupational mercury exposure among workers at a mercury recycling operation in Gorlovka, Ukraine. The 29 study participants were divided into three occupational categories for analysis: (1) those who worked in the mercury recycling operation (Group A, n = 8), (2) those who worked at the facility but not in the yard where the recycling was done (Group B, n = 14), and (3) those who did not work at the facility (Group C, n = 7). Urine, blood, hair, and nail samples were collected from the participants, and a questionnaire was administered to obtain data on age, gender, occupational history, smoking, alcohol consumption, fish consumption, tattoos, dental amalgams, home heating system, education, source of drinking water, and family employment in the former mercury mine/smelter located on the site of the recycling facility. Each factor was tested in a univariate regression with total mercury in urine, blood, hair, and nails. Median biomarker concentrations were 4.04 ??g/g-Cr (urine), 2.58 ??g/L (blood), 3.95 ??g/g (hair), and 1.16 ??g/g (nails). Occupational category was significantly correlated (p < 0.001) with both blood and urinary mercury concentrations but not with hair or nail mercury. Four individuals had urinary mercury concentrations in a range previously found to be associated with subtle neurological and subjective symptoms (e.g., fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability), and one worker had a urinary mercury concentration in a range associated with a high probability of neurological effects and proteinuria. Comparison of results by occupational category found that workers directly involved with the recycling operation had the highest blood and urinary mercury levels. Those who worked at the facility but were not directly involved with the recycling operation had higher levels than those who did not work at the facility. Copyright ?? 2008 JOEH, LLC.

  7. Neuropsychological alterations in mercury intoxication persist several years after exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zachi, Elaine Cristina; Taub, Anita; Faria, Marcília de Araújo Medrado; Ventura, Dora Fix

    2008-01-01

    Elemental mercury is a liquid toxic metal widely used in industry. Occupational exposure occurs mainly via inhalation. Previously, neuropsychological assessment detected deficits in former workers of a fluorescent lamp plant who had been exposed to elemental mercury vapor and were away from exposure for several years at the time of examination. Objectives The purpose of this work was to reexamine these functions after 18 months in order to evaluate their progression. Methods Thirteen participants completed tests of attention, inhibitory control, verbal/visual memory, psychomotor speed, verbal fluency, visuomotor ability, executive function, semantic knowledge, and depression and anxiety inventories on 2 separate occasions. Results At baseline, the former workers indicated slower psychomotor and information processing speed, verbal spontaneous recall memory impairment, and increased depression and anxiety symptoms compared to controls (Precovery of functions, the neuropsychological effects related to mercury exposure are found to persist for many years. PMID:29213549

  8. Mercury exposure may influence fluctuating asymmetry in waterbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herring, Garth; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Ackerman, Joshua T

    2017-06-01

    Variation in avian bilateral symmetry can be an indicator of developmental instability in response to a variety of stressors, including environmental contaminants. The authors used composite measures of fluctuating asymmetry to examine the influence of mercury concentrations in 2 tissues on fluctuating asymmetry within 4 waterbird species. Fluctuating asymmetry increased with mercury concentrations in whole blood and breast feathers of Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), a species with elevated mercury concentrations. Specifically, fluctuating asymmetry in rectrix feather 1 was the most strongly correlated structural variable of those tested (wing chord, tarsus, primary feather 10, rectrix feather 6) with mercury concentrations in Forster's terns. However, for American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), and Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia), the authors found no relationship between fluctuating asymmetry and either whole-blood or breast feather mercury concentrations, even though these species had moderate to elevated mercury exposure. The results indicate that mercury contamination may act as an environmental stressor during development and feather growth and contribute to fluctuating asymmetry of some species of highly contaminated waterbirds. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1599-1605. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2016 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  9. Mercury exposure in the freshwater tilapia Oreochromis niloticus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Rui [Department of Biology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong); Wong Minghung [Croucher Institute for Environmental Sciences, and Department of Biology, Hong Kong Baptist University (Hong Kong); Wang Wenxiong, E-mail: wwang@ust.h [Department of Biology, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2010-08-15

    Mercury (Hg) can be strongly accumulated and biomagnified along aquatic food chain, but the exposure pathway remains little studied. In this study, we quantified the uptake and elimination of both inorganic mercury [as Hg(II)] and methylmercury (as MeHg) in an important farmed freshwater fish, the tilapia Oreochromis niloticus, using {sup 203}Hg radiotracer technique. The dissolved uptake rates of both mercury species increased linearly with Hg concentration (tested at ng/L levels), and the uptake rate constant of MeHg was 4 times higher than that of Hg(II). Dissolved uptake of mercury was highly dependent on the water pH and dissolved organic carbon concentration. The dietborne assimilation efficiency of MeHg was 3.7-7.2 times higher than that of Hg(II), while the efflux rate constant of MeHg was 7.1 times lower. The biokinetic modeling results showed that MeHg was the greater contributor to the overall mercury bioaccumulation and dietary exposure was the predominant pathway. - Trophic transfer was the predominant pathway for mercury accumulation in tilapia, and methylmercury was more important in contributing to Hg accumulation than Hg(II).

  10. Impacts of Mercury Pollution Controls on Atmospheric Mercury Concentration and Occupational Mercury Exposure in a Hospital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Yang, Yan; Xiong, Wuyan

    2015-12-01

    Mercury (Hg) and Hg-containing products are used in a wide range of settings in hospitals. Hg pollution control measures were carried out in the pediatric ward of a hospital to decrease the possibility of Hg pollution occurring and to decrease occupational Hg exposure. Total gaseous Hg (TGM) concentrations in the pediatric ward and hair and urine Hg concentrations for the pediatric staff were determined before and after the Hg pollution control measures had been implemented. A questionnaire survey performed indicated that the pediatric staff had little understanding of Hg pollution and that appropriate disposal techniques were not always used after Hg leakage. TGM concentrations in the pediatric ward and urine Hg (UHg) concentrations for the pediatric staff were 25.7 and 22.2% lower, respectively, after the Hg pollution control measures had been implemented than before, which indicated that the control measures were effective. However, TGM concentrations in the pediatric ward remained significantly higher than background concentrations and UHg concentrations for the pediatric staff were remained significantly higher than the concentrations in control group, indicating continued existence of certain Hg pollution.

  11. Altered miRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy associated with lead and mercury exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Alison P; Burris, Heather H; Just, Allan C; Motta, Valeria; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Svensson, Katherine; Oken, Emily; Solano-Gonzalez, Maritsa; Mercado-Garcia, Adriana; Pantic, Ivan; Schwartz, Joel; Tellez-Rojo, Martha M; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Wright, Robert O

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Toxic metals including lead and mercury are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study aimed to assess the association between miRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy with lead and mercury levels. Materials & methods: We obtained cervical swabs from pregnant women (n = 60) and quantified cervical miRNA expression. Women's blood lead, bone lead and toenail mercury levels were analyzed. We performed linear regression to examine the association between metal levels and expression of 74 miRNAs adjusting for covariates. Results: Seventeen miRNAs were negatively associated with toenail mercury levels, and tibial bone lead levels were associated with decreased expression of miR-575 and miR-4286. Conclusion: The findings highlight miRNAs in the human cervix as novel responders to maternal chemical exposure during pregnancy. PMID:26418635

  12. Altered miRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy associated with lead and mercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Alison P; Burris, Heather H; Just, Allan C; Motta, Valeria; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Svensson, Katherine; Oken, Emily; Solano-Gonzalez, Maritsa; Mercado-Garcia, Adriana; Pantic, Ivan; Schwartz, Joel; Tellez-Rojo, Martha M; Baccarelli, Andrea A; Wright, Robert O

    2015-01-01

    Toxic metals including lead and mercury are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. This study aimed to assess the association between miRNA expression in the cervix during pregnancy with lead and mercury levels. We obtained cervical swabs from pregnant women (n = 60) and quantified cervical miRNA expression. Women's blood lead, bone lead and toenail mercury levels were analyzed. We performed linear regression to examine the association between metal levels and expression of 74 miRNAs adjusting for covariates. Seventeen miRNAs were negatively associated with toenail mercury levels, and tibial bone lead levels were associated with decreased expression of miR-575 and miR-4286. The findings highlight miRNAs in the human cervix as novel responders to maternal chemical exposure during pregnancy.

  13. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are ... National Priorities List sites identified by the Environmental Protection ... inadequate human cancer data available for all forms of mercury. Mercuric chloride ...

  14. Cadmium, lead and mercury exposure in non smoking pregnant women

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hinwood, A.L., E-mail: a.hinwood@ecu.edu.au [Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027 (Australia); Callan, A.C.; Ramalingam, M.; Boyce, M. [Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University, 270 Joondalup Drive, Joondalup, WA 6027 (Australia); Heyworth, J. [School Population Health, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway Crawley, WA 6009 (Australia); McCafferty, P. [ChemCentre, PO Box 1250, Bentley, WA 6983 (Australia); Odland, J.Ø. [Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, N-9037 Tromsø (Norway)

    2013-10-15

    Recent literature suggests that exposure to low concentrations of heavy metals may affect both maternal and child health. This study aimed to determine the biological heavy metals concentrations of pregnant women as well as environmental and dietary factors that may influence exposure concentrations. One hundred and seventy three pregnant women were recruited from Western Australia, each providing a sample of blood, first morning void urine, residential soil, dust and drinking water samples. Participants also completed a questionnaire which included a food frequency component. All biological and environmental samples were analysed for heavy metals using ICP-MS. Biological and environmental concentrations of lead and mercury were generally low (Median Pb Drinking Water (DW) 0.04 µg/L; Pb soil <3.0 µg/g; Pb dust 16.5 µg/g; Pb blood 3.67 µg/L; Pb urine 0.55; µg/L Hg DW <0.03; Hg soil <1.0 µg/g; Hg dust <1.0 µg/g; Hg blood 0.46 µg/L; Hg urine <0.40 µg/L). Cadmium concentrations were low in environmental samples (Median CdDW 0.02 µg/L; Cdsoil <0.30 ug/g; Cddust <0.30) but elevated in urine samples (Median 0.55 µg/L, creatinine corrected 0.70 µg/g (range <0.2–7.06 µg/g creatinine) compared with other studies of pregnant women. Predictors of increased biological metals concentrations in regression models for blood cadmium were residing in the Great Southern region of Western Australia and not using iron/folic acid supplements and for urinary cadmium was having lower household annual income. However, these factors explained little of the variation in respective biological metals concentrations. The importance of establishing factors that influence low human exposure concentrations is becoming critical in efforts to reduce exposures and hence the potential for adverse health effects. -- Highlights: • Biological heavy metals concentrations in women in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy. • Exposure assessment including environmental, lifestyle and activity

  15. Does thimerosal or other mercury exposure increase the risk for autism? A review of current literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Stephen T

    2010-01-01

    This report reviews current literature regarding the association of the pharmaceutical preservative thimerosal and other mercury exposures with the risk for autism. The evidence presented here does not support a causal association between autism and mercury exposure from the preservative thimerosal. The risk for autism from other mercury exposures such as from dental amalgam restorations or environmental mercury release into the atmosphere is ambiguous. Since mercury is a known neurotoxin, more research should be done to ensure that mercury exposure from any source does not contribute to autism.

  16. Five Hundred Years of Mercury Exposure and Adaptation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lombardi, Guido [Laboratorio de Paleopatología, Cátedra Pedro Weiss, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru; Lanzirotti, Antonio [CARS, The University of Chicago, Bulding 434A, 9700 South Cass Avenue, Argonne, IL 60439, USA; Qualls, Clifford [Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; Socola, Francisco [Department of Medicine, Jackson Memorial Hospital, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33124, USA; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Analytical Chemistry Laboratory, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA; Appenzeller, Otto [Department of Neurology, New Mexico Health Enhancement and Marathon Clinics Research Foundation, Albuquerque, NM 87122, USA

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS). We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P<0.001). Thus, evidence of mercury’s toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

  17. Five Hundred Years of Mercury Exposure and Adaptation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guido Lombardi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is added to the biosphere by anthropogenic activities raising the question of whether changes in the human chromatin, induced by mercury, in a parental generation could allow adaptation of their descendants to mercury. We review the history of Andean mining since pre-Hispanic times in Huancavelica, Peru. Despite the persistent degradation of the biosphere today, no overt signs of mercury toxicity could be discerned in present day inhabitants. However, mercury is especially toxic to the autonomic nervous system (ANS. We, therefore, tested ANS function and biologic rhythms, under the control of the ANS, in 5 Huancavelicans and examined the metal content in their hair. Mercury levels varied from none to 1.014 ppm, significantly less than accepted standards. This was confirmed by microfocused synchrotron X-ray fluorescence analysis. Biologic rhythms were abnormal and hair growth rate per year, also under ANS control, was reduced (P<0.001. Thus, evidence of mercury’s toxicity in ANS function was found without other signs of intoxication. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis of partial transgenerational inheritance of tolerance to mercury in Huancavelica, Peru. This would generally benefit survival in the Anthropocene, the man-made world, we now live in.

  18. ORIGINAL ARTICLES Mercury exposure in a low-income community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    were determined in 28 urine and 20 blood samples of these respondents. Results. Three (15%) of the blood ... workers need to take cognisance of mercury exposure as a possible cause of neurological symptoms in ... gave only a blood sample and 10 only a urine sample. Ampath, a South African National Accreditation ...

  19. Determining mercury exposure in Maine's fish-eating birds

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This study provides mercury (Hg) exposure information for a high-risk wildlife group in an area of the continental U.S. that has been predicted by the U.S. EPA to...

  20. Mercury contamination and exposure assessment of fishery products in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hye-Ran; Kim, Na-Young; Hwang, Lae-Hong; Park, Ju-Sung; Kim, Jung-Hun

    2015-01-01

    In this study, total (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (Me-Hg) contamination was investigated in fishery products including canned fish, fish sauces, dried bonito and frozen tuna sashimi, collected from retail markets in Korea, to assess dietary exposure. Direct mercury analyser and gas chromatography-electron captured detector were employed to measure T-Hg and Me-Hg, respectively. The highest T-Hg and Me-Hg contamination was present in tuna sashimi, followed by dried bonito, respectively. Canned tuna showed more frequent detection and higher content than other canned fishery products. The weekly exposure estimate indicates that exposure to mercury from fishery products is safe, showing 2.59% provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) for T-Hg, 1.82% PTWI for Me-Hg and 4.16% reference dose for Me-Hg. However, it should be addressed to monitor the mercury contamination in fish and fishery products regularly, to safeguard vulnerable population such as children, to limit intake of these food products.

  1. Comparative analysis of mercury content in human hair and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations were analysed in human hairs and cosmetic products sold in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. The average total mercury (T-Hg) concentrations in the scalp hair of females using mercury based cosmetic creams and soaps ranged from 7.0 ± 0.4 to 880 ± 12 ppm. Highest T-Hg concentrations ...

  2. Mercury exposure and malaria prevalence among gold miners in Pará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silbergeld Ellen K.

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Economic development, including resource extraction, can cause toxic exposures that interact with endemic infectious diseases. Mercury is an immunotoxic metal used in the amalgamation of gold, resulting in both occupational exposures and environmental pollution. A cross-sectional medical survey was conducted in 1997 on 135 garimpeiros in Para, Brazil, because of their risks of both mercury exposure and malaria transmission. Mean levels of blood and urine mercury were well above non-exposed background levels. Twenty-six subjects had malaria parasitemia: Health symptoms consistent with mercury exposure were reported, but neither symptoms nor signs correlated with mercury levels in blood or urine. We did not find a dose response relationship between mercury exposure and likelihood of prevalent malaria infection, but there was a possible reduction in acquisition of immunity that may be associated with conditions in gold mining, including mercury exposure.

  3. Prenatal mercury exposure and offspring behaviour in childhood and adolescence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golding, Jean; Gregory, Steven; Emond, Alan; Iles-Caven, Yasmin; Hibbeln, Joseph; Taylor, Caroline M

    2016-12-01

    There is considerable discussion over the possible harm caused by fetal exposure to mercury, but evidence of such harm is contradictory at levels commonly found in populations with moderate intakes of fish. Further information is needed to inform debate and clarify policy recommendations. Data were collected prospectively for the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC). Whole blood taken in the first half of pregnancy was assayed for mercury. The outcomes were offspring behavioural assessments collected using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at seven time points between ages 4 and 16-17 years; five were completed by the mother and two by the teacher. Socioeconomic and biological confounders were first taken into account; further analyses added maternal blood selenium. Separate analyses compared the relationships between prenatal mercury levels and behaviour traits treated as continuous measures in women who ate fish with those who ate no fish in order to determine whether the relationships differed; the hypothesis was that fish consumption had benefits on the brain and masked any mercury effects. In order to prevent Type II errors, the P value for significance was set at 0.10. Prenatal mercury measurements and offspring behaviour results were available for between 2776 (at 47 months) to 1599 mother-child pairs (at 16-17 years). Even given a P value of 0.10, the number of significant results was no greater than expected apart from the relationships with peer problems at 4, 6 and 10-11 years where the relationships with prenatal mercury were negative (i.e. the greater the level of mercury the fewer the problems the child had with his/her peers). There were no significant differences between the associations with mercury found among the offspring of women who ate fish in pregnancy and those who did not, nor did adjustment for selenium make a difference. There were no adverse effects of maternal prenatal mercury levels on the behaviour of

  4. Neuropsychological dysfunction related to earlier occupational exposure to mercury vapor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.C. Zachi

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available We assessed the neuropsychological test performances of 26 patients (mean age = 41.5 ± 6.1 years; mean years of education = 9.8 ± 1.8; 20 males diagnosed with chronic occupational mercurialism who were former workers at a fluorescent lamp factory. They had been exposed to elemental mercury for an average of 10.2 ± 3.8 years and had been away from this work for 6 ± 4.7 years. Mean urinary mercury concentrations 1 year after cessation of work were 1.8 ± 0.9 µg/g creatinine. Twenty control subjects matched for age, gender, and education (18 males were used for comparison. Neuropsychological assessment included attention, inhibitory control, verbal and visual memory, verbal fluency, manual dexterity, visual-spatial function, executive function, and semantic knowledge tests. The Beck Depression Inventory and the State and Trait Inventory were used to assess depression and anxiety symptoms, respectively. The raw score for the group exposed to mercury indicated slower information processing speed, inferior performance in psychomotor speed, verbal spontaneous recall memory, and manual dexterity of the dominant hand and non-dominant hand (P < 0.05. In addition, the patients showed increased depression and anxiety symptoms (P < 0.001. A statistically significant correlation (Pearson was demonstrable between mean urinary mercury and anxiety trait (r = 0.75, P = 0.03. The neuropsychological performances of the former workers suggest that occupational exposure to elemental mercury has long-term effects on information processing and psychomotor function, with increased depression and anxiety also possibly reflecting the psychosocial context.

  5. Mercury exposure and source tracking in distinct marine-caged fish farm in southern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaoyu; Wang, Wen-Xiong

    2017-01-01

    Coasts of South China have experienced an unprecedented growth in its marine-caged fish industry. We analyzed mercury concentrations and stable mercury isotope ratios in fourteen fish species from two cage-cultured farms in Southern China. Total mercury concentrations of all species were lower than the human health screening values, but the human exposures through consumption of several carnivorous fish exceeded the USEPA's reference dose. Isotopic compositions in the sediment (δ202Hg: -1.45‰ to -1.23‰; Δ199Hg: -0.04‰ to -0.01‰) suggested that mercury in these farms were from coal combustion and industrial inputs. Commercial food pellets and fresh fish viscera provided the major sources of methylmercury to the farmed fish and dominated their mercury isotopic signatures. Non-carnivorous fish presented lower δ202Hg and Δ199Hg values than the carnivorous fish. Using a mixing model, we demonstrated that the majority of mercury in non-carnivorous species came from pellets and in carnivorous fish came from combined diets of pellets and viscera. Meanwhile, methylmercury concentrations and % methylmercury in the fish were positively correlated with δ202Hg values but not with Δ199Hg values, mainly because fish eating similar feeds maintained similar Δ199Hg values. Environmental influences of cage farming such as fish feces and uneaten viscera that continuously provide organic mercury to the environments need to be considered. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Umbilical Cord Mercury Concentration as Biomarker of Prenatal Exposure to Methylmercury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grandjean, Philippe; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Jørgensen, Poul J.

    2005-01-01

    biomarker, exposure assessment, food contamination, hair analysis, mercury/analysis, methylmercury compounds/analysis, organomercury compounds/blood, pregnancy, prenatal exposure delayed effects, preschool child, seafood, umbilical cord.......biomarker, exposure assessment, food contamination, hair analysis, mercury/analysis, methylmercury compounds/analysis, organomercury compounds/blood, pregnancy, prenatal exposure delayed effects, preschool child, seafood, umbilical cord....

  7. Neuropsychological alterations in mercury intoxication persist several years after exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elaine Cristina Zachi

    Full Text Available Abstract Elemental mercury is a liquid toxic metal widely used in industry. Occupational exposure occurs mainly via inhalation. Previously, neuropsychological assessment detected deficits in former workers of a fluorescent lamp plant who had been exposed to elemental mercury vapor and were away from exposure for several years at the time of examination. Objectives: The purpose of this work was to reexamine these functions after 18 months in order to evaluate their progression. Methods: Thirteen participants completed tests of attention, inhibitory control, verbal/visual memory, psychomotor speed, verbal fluency, visuomotor ability, executive function, semantic knowledge, and depression and anxiety inventories on 2 separate occasions. Results: At baseline, the former workers indicated slower psychomotor and information processing speed, verbal spontaneous recall memory impairment, and increased depression and anxiety symptoms compared to controls (P<0.05. Paired comparisons of neuropsychological functioning within the exposed group at baseline and 1.5 years later showed poorer immediate memory performance (P<0.05. There were no differences on other measures. Conclusions: Although the literature show signs of recovery of functions, the neuropsychological effects related to mercury exposure are found to persist for many years.

  8. A review of mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristensen, Anders Kasper Bruun; Thomsen, Jane Frølund; Mikkelsen, Sigurd

    2014-08-01

    Extraction of gold using mercury has been a way out of poverty for millions of people in developing countries. Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has expanded during the last decades and is often carried out under primitive conditions. Thus, workers in this industry may be exposed to high levels of mercury and suffer from toxic effects from mercury exposure. The objective of this review was to provide an outline of the studies available on elemental mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners. Searching the PubMed and Embase databases, 26 studies with a total of 3,005 exposed subjects and 442 controls across 14 different developing countries were found. Urine mercury levels were used as biomarkers of exposure. In general, the urine mercury levels were elevated and a considerable proportion of workers had urine mercury levels above existing guidelines. Exposed subjects were stratified into residents, miners, millers, smelters, and refiners, who by work task content were expected to be increasingly exposed to mercury. This group order did show a clear trend of increasing mercury levels. Mercury levels differed substantially between studies. Possible explanations include dissimilarities in gold extraction methods, use of protective devices, and selection of participants. This review provides evidence that artisanal gold miners and residents of the mining sites are exposed to mercury vapour to an extent where acute and long-term toxic effects of mercury are likely. Interventions aimed at reducing exposure and emission of mercury from ASGM are needed.

  9. Predictors and immunological correlates of sublethal mercury exposure in vampire bats

    OpenAIRE

    Daniel J Becker; Chumchal, Matthew M.; Bentz, Alexandra B.; Platt, Steven G.; Czirják, Gábor Á.; Thomas R. Rainwater; Altizer, Sonia; Streicker, Daniel G

    2017-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a pervasive heavy metal that often enters the environment from anthropogenic sources such as gold mining and agriculture. Chronic exposure to Hg can impair immune function, reducing the ability of animals to resist or recover from infections. How Hg influences immunity and susceptibility remains unknown for bats, which appear immunologically distinct from other mammals and are reservoir hosts of many pathogens of importance to human and animal health. We here quantify total Hg...

  10. Health effects in the Flemish population in relation to low levels of mercury exposure: from organ to transcriptome level.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Croes, Kim; De Coster, Sam; De Galan, Sandra; Morrens, Bert; Loots, Ilse; Van de Mieroop, Els; Nelen, Vera; Sioen, Isabelle; Bruckers, Liesbeth; Nawrot, Tim; Colles, Ann; Den Hond, Elly; Schoeters, Greet; van Larebeke, Nicolas; Baeyens, Willy; Gao, Yue

    2014-03-01

    Due to possible health risks, quantification of mercury accumulation in humans was included in the Flemish biomonitoring programmes FLEHS I (2002-2006) and FLEHS II (2007-2011). The general objective of FLEHS I was to assess regional exposure levels in order to link possible differences in these internal exposure levels to different types of local environmental pressure. Therefore, Hg and MMHg (methylmercury) were only measured in pooled blood samples per region and per age class. In FLEHS II, mercury concentrations were measured in hair of each participant. About 200 adolescents and 250 mothers (reference group) and two times 200 adolescents (2 hotspots) were screened. The main objectives of the FLEHS II study were: (1) to determine reference levels of mercury in hair for Flanders; (2) to assess relations between mercury exposure and possible sources like fish consumption; (3) to assess dose-effect relations between mercury exposure and health effect markers. The results showed that mercury concentrations in the Flemish population were rather low compared to other studies. Mercury levels in the Flemish populations were strongly related to the age of the participants and consumption of fish. Significant negative associations were observed between mercury in hair and asthma, having received breast feeding as a newborn, age at menarche in girls, allergy for animals and free testosterone levels. Significant correlations were also observed between mercury in hair and genes JAK2, ARID4A, Hist1HA4L (boys) and HLAdrb5, PIAS2, MANN1B1, GIT and ABCA1 (girls). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  11. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Buyun; Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Zhou, Jun; Maurice, Laurence

    2016-11-08

    To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg) and methyl-mercury (MeHg) analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50-6.0) μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35-4.2) μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg) was 1.4 (range 0.09-26) μg/g Creatinine (Cr). The average of the probable daily intake (PDI) of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033-0.39) µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141) of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area.

  12. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buyun Du

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the mercury (Hg exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg and methyl-mercury (MeHg analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50–6.0 μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35–4.2 μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg was 1.4 (range 0.09–26 μg/g Creatinine (Cr. The average of the probable daily intake (PDI of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033–0.39 µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p < 0.01, indicating that ingestion of rice is the main pathway of MeHg exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141 of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area.

  13. Exposures of dental professionals to elemental mercury and methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Gruninger, Stephen E; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) exposure, a worldwide public health concern, predominantly takes two forms--methylmercury from fish consumption and elemental Hg from dental amalgam restorations. We recruited 630 dental professionals from an American Dental Association meeting to assess Hg body burden and primary sources of exposure in a dually exposed population. Participants described occupational practices and fish consumption patterns via questionnaire. Hg levels in biomarkers of elemental Hg (urine) and methylmercury (hair and blood) were measured with a Direct Mercury Analyzer-80 and were higher than the general US population. Geometric means (95% CI) were 1.28 (1.19-1.37) μg/l in urine, 0.60 (0.54-0.67) μg/g in hair and 3.67 (3.38-3.98) μg/l in blood. In multivariable linear regression, personal amalgams predicted urine Hg levels along with total years in dentistry, amalgams handled, working hours and sex. Fish consumption patterns predicted hair and blood Hg levels, which were higher among Asians compared with Caucasians. Five species contributed the majority of the estimated Hg intake from fish--swordfish, fresh tuna, white canned tuna, whitefish and king mackerel. When studying populations with occupational exposure to Hg, it is important to assess environmental exposures to both elemental Hg and methylmercury as these constitute a large proportion of total exposure.

  14. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. XI. Mercury content of normal human tissues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Joselow, M.M.; Goldwater, L.J.; Weinberg, S.B.

    1967-07-01

    Mercury analyses were performed on 236 samples of tissues removed at autopsy from 39 normal human subjects. The samples represented 12 different tissues or organs. The highest values were found in the kidneys. Age did not appear to be a factor in the mercury levels. 14 references, 2 tables.

  15. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... and treatments are needed. ELEMENTAL MERCURY Inhaled elemental mercury poisoning may be difficult to treat. The person may ... metals from the body INORGANIC MERCURY For inorganic mercury poisoning, treatment often begins with supportive care. The person ...

  16. Chronic exposure to inorganic mercury induces biochemical and morphological changes in the salivary glands of rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aragão, W A B; da Costa, N M M; Fagundes, N C F; Silva, M C F; Alves-Junior, S M; Pinheiro, J J V; Amado, L L; Crespo-López, M E; Maia, C S F; Lima, R R

    2017-09-20

    Mercury exposure is considered to be a public health problem due to the generation of toxic effects on human health as a result of environmental and occupational conditions. The inorganic form of mercury (HgCl2) can cause several biological changes in cells and tissues through its cumulative toxic potential, but little has been experimentally proven about the effects of inorganic mercury on salivary glands, an important modulator organ of oral health. This study analyzes the effects of prolonged low dose exposure to HgCl2 on the salivary glands of rats. Adult animals received a dose of 0.375 mg kg-1 day-1 over a period of 45 days. The parotid and submandibular glands were collected for analysis of the mercury levels and evaluation of oxidative stress, histological parameters and immunomodulation for metallothionein I and II (MT-I/II). In this investigation, biochemical and tissue changes in the salivary glands were verified due to the mercury levels, causing reduction in antioxidant capacity against peroxyl radicals, with consequent cellular lipid peroxidation and an increase in nitrite levels, volumetric changes and cytoskeletal damage in the submandibular glands, with less severe damage to the parotid glands. The results also have shown the occurrence of a cytoprotection mechanism due to increased MT-I/II expression, but not enough to avoid the morphology and oxidative damage. This evidence highlights, for the first time, that inorganic mercury is able to alter the morphology and oxidative biochemistry in salivary glands when exposed for a long time in low doses.

  17. Mercury Exposure Assessment and Spatial Distribution in A Ghanaian Small-Scale Gold Mining Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajaee, Mozhgon; Long, Rachel N; Renne, Elisha P; Basu, Niladri

    2015-09-01

    Mercury is utilized worldwide in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) and may pose a risk for miners and mining communities. While a number of studies have characterized mercury in ASGM communities, most have focused on a single media and few have taken a holistic approach. Here, a multiple media exposure assessment and cross-sectional study of mercury was conducted in 2010 through 2012 in northeast Ghana with a small-scale gold mining community, Kejetia, a subsistence farming community, Gorogo, and an urban ASGM gold refinery in Bolgatanga. The objective was to assess mercury in a range of human (urine and hair) and ecological (household soil, sediment, fish, and ore) samples to increase understanding of mercury exposure pathways. All participants were interviewed on demographics, occupational and medical histories, and household characteristics. Participants included 90 women of childbearing age and 97 adults from Kejetia and 75 adults from Gorogo. Median total specific gravity-adjusted urinary, hair, and household soil mercury were significantly higher in Kejetia miners (5.18 µg/L, 0.967 µg/g, and 3.77 µg/g, respectively) than Kejetia non-miners (1.18 µg/L, 0.419 µg/g, and 2.00 µg/g, respectively) and Gorogo participants (0.154 µg/L, 0.181 µg/g, and 0.039 µg/g) in 2011. Sediment, fish, and ore Hg concentrations were below guideline values. Median soil mercury from the Bolgatanga refinery was very high (54.6 µg/g). Estimated mean mercury ingestion for Kejetia adults from soil and dust exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reference dose (0.3 µg Hg/kg·day) for pica (0.409 µg Hg/kg·day) and geophagy (20.5 µg Hg/kg·day) scenarios. Most participants with elevated urinary and household soil mercury were miners, but some non-miners approached and exceeded guideline values, suggesting a health risk for non-mining residents living within these communities.

  18. Occupational exposure to mercury among workers in a fluorescent lamp factory, Quisna Industrial Zone, Egypt.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Batanony, M A; Abdel-Rasul, G M; Abu-Salem, M A; Al-Dalatony, M M; Allam, H K

    2013-07-01

    With the fast growth in the market of fluorescent lamps, particularly compact fluorescent light, the associated risk of mercury exposure, which is an essential component in all types of fluorescent lamps, has received increasing public attention worldwide. Even low doses of mercury are toxic. To study the health consequences of occupational exposure to mercury in workers of a fluorescent lamp factory. In a cross-sectional study 138 workers of a fluorescent lamp factory and 151 people who had no occupational exposure to mercury (the comparison group) were studied. Environmental study of mercury and noise levels was done. For all participants a neurobehavioral test battery was administered, spirometry was performed and air conduction audiometry was done. Urinary mercury level was also measured for all participants. Prominent symptoms among workers exposed to mercury included tremors, emotional lability, memory changes, neuromuscular changes, and performance deficits in tests of cognitive function. Among the exposed group, the mean urinary mercury level was significantly higher in those who had personality changes or had manifestations of mercury toxicity. With increasing duration of employment and urinary mercury level, the performance of participants in neurobehavioral test battery and spirometric parameters deteriorated. Neurobehavioral test battery must be used for studying subclinical central nervous system dysfunction in those with chronic exposure to mercury. The test is especially useful for evaluating the severity of mercury effects in epidemiological studies. This study also reinforces the need for effective preventive programs for fluorescent lamp industry workplaces especially in developing countries with the lowest unhygienic work conditions.

  19. Determination of Mercury Exposure among Dental Health Workers in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somsiri Decharat

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. The main objective of this study was to assess the mercury exposure levels in dental health workers that work in dental clinics. The study evaluated the airborne and urinary mercury levels, the type of work done in the clinic, and the effect of mercury exposure on health of dental health workers. Material and Methods. A case-control study was conducted with 124 exposed and 124 matched nonexposed subjects. Personal and area samplings were conducted to quantify mercury concentrations by solid sorbent tube. Urine samples were collected to determine mercury levels by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometer mercury analyzer. Results and Discussion. 17.6% (n=32/182 of the air samples were higher than the occupational exposure limit (OEL. A multiple regression model was constructed. Significant predictors of urinary mercury levels included dietary consumption (fish or seafood, duration of work (yrs, work position, personal protection equipment used (PPE, and personal hygiene behaviors. Significant correlations were observed between mercury levels in urine and mercury in storage areas (r=0.499, P<0.05 and between mercury levels in urine and airborne mercury in personal samplings (r=0.878, P<0.001. Conclusion. Improvements in working conditions, occupational health training, and PPE use are recommended to reduce mercury exposure.

  20. Geographic and seasonal variation in mercury exposure of the declining Rusty Blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel T. Edmonds; David C. Evers; Daniel A. Cristol; Claudia Mettke-Hofmann; Luke L. Powell

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence suggests that mercury exposure has negative effects on the health of songbirds, and species that forage in wetlands may be at a greater risk of bioaccumulation of mercury than are those of other habitats. We examined mercury concentrations in blood and feathers from the wetland obligate and rapidly declining Rusty Blackbird (Euphagus carolinus) from...

  1. Mercury exposure: evaluation and intervention the inappropriate use of chelating agents in the diagnosis and treatment of putative mercury poisoning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risher, John F; Amler, Sherlita N

    2005-08-01

    Public awareness of the potential for mercury to cause health problems has increased dramatically in the last 15 years. It is now widely recognized that significant exposure to all forms of mercury (elemental/metallic and both inorganic and organic compounds) can result in a variety of adverse health effects, including neurological, renal, respiratory, immune, dermatologic, reproductive, and developmental sequellae. And while the various media have made the general population cognizant of the need to avoid unnecessary exposure to this naturally occurring element, there has also evolved a growing tendency to attribute unexplainable neurologic, as well as other, signs and symptoms to mercury, whether or not significant exposure to mercury has actually occurred. For the physician, making a diagnosis of mercury intoxication can be difficult, because many of the clinical signs and symptoms of mercury exposure can also be attributed to any number of causes, including undiagnosed neurological diseases, pharmacotherapy, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, and psychological stress. The physician must be able to recognize the clinical manifestations of mercury intoxication, and understand the importance of biological markers in making a definitive diagnosis of mercury poisoning. In a desire to treat the patient complaining of symptoms similar to some that can be caused by mercury, a growing number of physicians, particularly those in alternative medicine fields, result to chelation to "rid" the body of the mercury, believed to be the cause of the ailments. And although the use of chelation is increasing, controlled studies showing that this procedure actually improves outcome are lacking. If chelation therapy is considered to be indicated, the attending physician should communicate the risks of chelation to the patient before beginning treatment with metal-chelating drugs.

  2. Spatial, Temporal, and Dietary Variables Associated with Elevated Mercury Exposure in Peruvian Riverine Communities Upstream and Downstream of Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Wyatt

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM is a primary contributor to global mercury and its rapid expansion raises concern for human exposure. Non-occupational exposure risks are presumed to be strongly tied to environmental contamination; however, the relationship between environmental and human mercury exposure, how exposure has changed over time, and risk factors beyond fish consumption are not well understood in ASGM settings. In Peruvian riverine communities (n = 12, where ASGM has increased 4–6 fold over the past decade, we provide a large-scale assessment of the connection between environmental and human mercury exposure by comparing total mercury contents in human hair (2-cm segment, n = 231 to locally caught fish tissue, analyzing temporal exposure in women of child bearing age (WCBA, 15–49 years, n = 46 over one year, and evaluating general mercury exposure risks including fish and non-fish dietary items through household surveys and linear mixed models. Calculations of an individual’s oral reference dose using the total mercury content in locally-sourced fish underestimated the observed mercury exposure for individuals in many communities. This discrepancy was particularly evident in communities upstream of ASGM, where mercury levels in river fish, water, and sediment measurements from a previous study were low, yet hair mercury was chronically elevated. Hair from 86% of individuals and 77% of children exceeded a USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provisional level (1.2 µg/g that could result in child developmental impairment. Chronically elevated mercury exposure was observed in the temporal analysis in WCBA. If the most recent exposure exceeded the USEPA level, there was a 97% probability that the individual exceeded that level 8–10 months of the previous year. Frequent household consumption of some fruits (tomato, banana and grains (quinoa was significantly associated with 29–75% reductions in hair mercury

  3. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. XV. Occupational exposure among dentists

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Josclow, M.M.; Goldwater, L.J.; Alvarez, A.; Herndon, J.

    1968-07-01

    To evaluate the occupational hazard of the use of mercury by dentists, determinations were made of 1) the total mercury and vapor concentrations in a group of urban dental offices; and 2) the urinary excretion of mercury by the dentists. In a small but significant proportion (14%) of these offices, mercury concentrations were found in excess of the threshold limit value, implying a lack of care in handling mercury. The average total mercury concentration was more than twice the average vapor concentration, clearly inferring that mercury particulates cannot be ignored in assessing the dental work environment. Absorption of mercury was evidenced by higher than normal urinary mercury levels, which correlated well with both the total ambient air concentrations and estimated exposure times. 28 references, 5 tables.

  4. Mercury levels and human health in the Amazon Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dórea, José G; Marques, Rejane C

    2016-07-01

    Environmental mercury in the Amazon mostly originates from geochemical sources with some from artisanal gold mining (AGM). Geochemical-originated methylmercury (MeHg) reaches the aquatic food chain, ending up in fish. Inorganic Hg used in AGM is responsible for localised environmental contamination and occupational exposure of adults. In addition to this, iatrogenic ethylmercury (EtHg) derived from Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) exposes immunised infants. To understand Hg exposure in the Amazon in relation to environmental fish-MeHg exposure, occupational AGM activities and low-doses of TCV-EtHg. Medline and Thomson-Reuter Web of Science were searched to retrieve and select papers addressing Hg exposure and human health. Environmental-Hg studies addressed health effects associated with birth weight, infant linear growth and neurodevelopment, while, in adults, environmental and occupational studies addressed immune and neurological issues. No widespread clinical toxicity was reported due to fish-MeHg. However, mixed results associated with Hg exposure can be found. Reducing children's exposure to EtHg is possible using Thimerosal-free vaccines, but it is difficult to interfere with fish consumption without consequences to riverine subsistence populations. Policies to diminish Hg exposure should focus on controlling and/or curbing widespread use of Hg (in gold amalgamation) and promotion of Thimerosal-free vaccines for pregnant women and young children.

  5. Assessment of human exposures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lebret, E. [RIVM-National Inst. of Public Health and Environmental Protection (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    This article describes some of the features of the assessment of human exposure to environmental pollutants in epidemiological studies. Since exposure assessment in air pollution epidemiology studies typically involve professionals from various backgrounds, interpretation of a concepts like `exposure` may vary. A brief descriptions is therefore given by way of introduction

  6. Mercury exposure in young adulthood and incidence of diabetes later in life: the CARDIA Trace Element Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Ka; Xun, Pengcheng; Liu, Kiang; Morris, Steve; Reis, Jared; Guallar, Eliseo

    2013-06-01

    Laboratory studies suggest that exposure to methylmercury at a level similar to those found in fish may induce pancreatic islet β-cell dysfunction. Few, if any, human studies have examined the association between mercury exposure and diabetes incidence. We examined whether toenail mercury levels are associated with incidence of diabetes in a large prospective cohort. RESEACH DESIGN AND METHODS: A prospective cohort of 3,875 American young adults, aged 20-32 years, free of diabetes in 1987 (baseline), were enrolled and followed six times until 2005. Baseline toenail mercury levels were measured with instrumental neutron-activation analysis. Incident diabetes was identified by plasma glucose levels, oral glucose tolerance tests, hemoglobin A1C levels, and/or antidiabetes medications. A total of 288 incident cases of diabetes occurred over 18 years of follow-up. In multivariate analyses adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, study center, education, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity, family history of diabetes, intakes of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and magnesium, and toenail selenium, toenail mercury levels were positively associated with the incidence of diabetes. The hazard ratio (95% CI) of incident diabetes compared the highest to the lowest quintiles of mercury exposure was 1.65 (1.07-2.56; P for trend = 0.02). Higher mercury exposure at baseline was also significantly associated with decreased homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function index (P for trend < 0.01). Our results are consistent with findings from laboratory studies and provide longitudinal human data suggesting that people with high mercury exposure in young adulthood may have elevated risk of diabetes later in life.

  7. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. XIII. Effects of mercury exposure on urinary excretion of coproporphyrin and delta-aminolevulinic acid

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldwater, L.J.; Joselow, M.M.

    1967-09-01

    Individuals chronically exposed to mercury were experimentally evaluated to determine its effects on urinary coproporphyrin (CP) and delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). Blood and urine samples were chemically analyzed and the levels of mercury found were used as an index of exposure. No correlation was observed between urinary ALA content and any of the following values: urinary mercury, CP, pH, or blood mercury. However, a significant correlation between urinary levels of mercury and CP was found.

  8. Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure among Louisiana Recreational Anglers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lincoln, Rebecca A; Shine, James P; Chesney, Edward J

    2011-01-01

    , and measured Hg exposure among one such potentially highly-exposed group, recreational anglers in Louisiana USA. Methods: We surveyed 534 anglers in 2006 using interviews at boat launches and fishing tournaments combined with an internet-based survey method. Hair samples from 402 of these anglers were......Background: Methylmercury (MeHg) exposure assessments among average fish consumers in the U.S. may underestimate exposures among U.S. subpopulations with high intakes of regionally specific fish. Objectives: We examined relationships between fish consumption, estimated mercury (Hg) intake...... collected and analyzed for total Hg. Questionnaires provided information on species-specific fish consumption over 3 months prior to the survey. Results: Anglers' median hair-Hg concentration was 0.81 µg/g (n=398; range: 0.02-10.7 µg/g), with 40% of participants above 1 µg/g, the level that approximately...

  9. Cases of acute mercury poisoning by mercury vapor exposure during the demolition of a fluorescent lamp factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Do, Sang Yoon; Lee, Chul Gab; Kim, Jae Yoon; Moon, Young Hoon; Kim, Min Sung; Bae, In Ho; Song, Han Soo

    2017-01-01

    In 2015, workers dismantling a fluorescent lamp factory in Korea were affected by mercury poisoning from exposure to mercury vapor. Eighteen out of the 21 workers who participated in the demolition project presented with symptoms of poisoning and, of these, 10 had persistent symptoms even at 18 months after the initial exposure to mercury vapor. Early symptoms of 18 workers included a general skin rash, pruritus, myalgia, sleep disturbance, and cough and sputum production. Following alleviation of these initial symptoms, late symptoms, such as easy fatigue, insomnia, bad dreams, and anxiety disorder, began to manifest in 10 out of 18 patients. Seven workers underwent psychiatric care owing to sleep disturbance, anxiety disorder, and depression, and three workers underwent dermatologic treatment for hyperpigmentation, erythematous skin eruption, and chloracne-like skin lesions. Furthermore, three workers developed a coarse jerky movement, two had swan neck deformity of the fingers, and two received care at an anesthesiology clinic for paresthesia, such as burning sensation, cold sensation, and pain. Two workers underwent urologic treatment for dysfunction of the urologic system and impotence. However, symptomatic treatment did not result in satisfactory relief of these symptoms. Awareness of the perils of mercury and prevention of mercury exposure are critical for preventing health hazards caused by mercury vapor. Chelation therapy should be performed promptly following mercury poisoning to minimize damage.

  10. Risk factors for mercury exposure of children in a rural mining town in northern Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlander, Johan; Huber, Stella Maria; Schomaker, Michael; Heumann, Christian; Schierl, Rudolf; Michalke, Bernhard; Jenni, Oskar G; Caflisch, Jon; Muñoz, Daniel Moraga; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S; Radon, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Traditional gold mining is associated with mercury exposure. Especially vulnerable to its neurotoxic effects is the developing nervous system of a child. We aimed to investigate risk factors of mercury exposure among children in a rural mining town in Chile. Using a validated questionnaire distributed to the parents of the children, a priori mercury risk factors, potential exposure pathways and demographics of the children were obtained. Mercury levels were measured through analyzing fingernail samples. Logistic regression modeling the effect of risk factors on mercury levels above the 75(th) percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders. The 288 children had a mean age of 9.6 years (SD = 1.9). The mean mercury level in the study population was 0.13 µg/g (SD 0.11, median 0.10, range 0.001-0.86 µg/g). The strongest risk factor for children's odds of high mercury levels (>75(th) percentile, 0.165 µg/g) was to play inside a house where a family member worked with mercury (OR adjusted 3.49 95% CI 1.23-9.89). Additionally, children whose parents worked in industrial gold mining had higher odds of high mercury levels than children whose parents worked in industrial copper mining or outside mining activities. Mercury exposure through small-scale gold mining might affect children in their home environments. These results may further help to convince the local population of banning mercury burning inside the households.

  11. Assessment of mercury exposure among small-scale gold miners using mercury stable isotopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sherman, Laura S., E-mail: lsaylors@umich.edu [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Blum, Joel D. [University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, 1100 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Basu, Niladri [McGill University, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 21,111 Lakeshore Road, Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, Canada H9X3V9 (Canada); Rajaee, Mozhgon [University of Michigan, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, 1415 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Evers, David C.; Buck, David G. [Biodiversity Research Institute, 19 Flaggy Meadow Road, Gorham, ME 04038 (United States); Petrlik, Jindrich [Arnika Association, Chlumova 17, Prague 3 (Czech Republic); DiGangi, Joseph [IPEN, Box 7256, SE-402 35 Gothenburg (Sweden)

    2015-02-15

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations in hair and urine are often used as biomarkers of exposure to fish-derived methylmercury (MeHg) and gaseous elemental Hg, respectively. We used Hg stable isotopes to assess the validity of these biomarkers among small-scale gold mining populations in Ghana and Indonesia. Urine from Ghanaian miners displayed similar Δ{sup 199}Hg values to Hg derived from ore deposits (mean urine Δ{sup 199}Hg=0.01‰, n=6). This suggests that urine total Hg concentrations accurately reflect exposure to inorganic Hg among this population. Hair samples from Ghanaian miners displayed low positive Δ{sup 199}Hg values (0.23–0.55‰, n=6) and low percentages of total Hg as MeHg (7.6–29%, n=7). These data suggest that the majority of the Hg in these miners' hair samples is exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg and not fish-derived MeHg. Hair samples from Indonesian gold miners who eat fish daily displayed a wider range of positive Δ{sup 199}Hg values (0.21–1.32‰, n=5) and percentages of total Hg as MeHg (32–72%, n=4). This suggests that total Hg in the hair samples from Indonesian gold miners is likely a mixture of ingested fish MeHg and exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg. Based on data from both populations, we suggest that total Hg concentrations in hair samples from small-scale gold miners likely overestimate exposure to MeHg from fish consumption. - Highlights: • Mercury isotopes were measured in hair and urine from small-scale gold miners. • Mercury isotopes indicate that Hg in urine comes from mining activity. • Mercury isotopes suggest Hg in hair is a mixture of fish MeHg and inorganic Hg. • A large percentage of Hg in miner’s hair is released during amalgam burning and adsorbed.

  12. Low-level prenatal mercury exposure in north China: an exploratory study of anthropometric effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ou, Langbo; Chen, Cen; Chen, Long; Wang, Huanhuan; Yang, Tianjun; Xie, Han; Tong, Yindong; Hu, Dan; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2015-06-02

    In order to investigate anthropometric effects of mercury (Hg) exposure, we examined the status of human prenatal exposure to Hg species, including total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and inorganic mercury (IHg), in North China, as well as their potential effects on fetal and infant growth. Hg concentrations in various bioindicators were measured from 50 Chinese women and newborns in 2011. The participants were followed for 12 months to collect anthropometric information. Linear and two-level regression analyses were performed to determine the associations between Hg levels and body growth. The geometric mean levels of THg in the placenta, cord blood, fetal hair, and maternal blood, hair, and urine were 25.88 μg/kg dry wt, 2.73 μg/L, 572.98 μg/kg, 2.29 μg/L, 576.54 μg/kg, and 0.58 μg/g creatinine, respectively. Nearly 100% of Hg presented as IHg in urine, and the percentage of IHg in other bioindicators was 14.86-48.73%. We observed significantly negative associations between Hg levels in some matrixes and anthropometry of neonates (weight and height) and infants (height) (p exposure could play a role in attenuating fetal and infant growth, and the effects of MeHg and IHg are different.

  13. Mercury and Your Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the Risk of Exposure to Mercury Learn About Mercury What is Mercury What is Metallic mercury? Toxicological Profile ToxFAQs Mercury Resources CDC’s National Biomonitoring Program Factsheet on Mercury ...

  14. Occupational Exposure to Mercury among Workers in a Fluorescent Lamp Factory, Quisna Industrial Zone, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    MA Al-Batanony; GM Abdel-Rasul; MA Abu-Salem; MM Al-Dalatony; HK Allam

    2013-01-01

    Background: With the fast growth in the market of fluorescent lamps, particularly compact fluorescent light, the associated risk of mercury exposure, which is an essential component in all types of fluorescent lamps, has received increasing public attention worldwide. Even low doses of mercury are toxic. Objective: To study the health consequences of occupational exposure to mercury in workers of a fluorescent lamp factory. Methods: In a cross-sectional study 138 workers of a floresce...

  15. Impact of exposure to low levels of mercury on the health of dental workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leda Freitas Jesus

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available This work evaluated the impact of exposure to mercury on the health of workers comparing dentists and dental assistants exposed to mercury by handling amalgam in a public dental clinic with a reference group which, in private offices, did not make use of the metal in their professional routine. Data collection included mercury levels in urine and air samples determined by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry, questionnaires and direct observation. The difference between urine and air samples in both groups was statistically significant while mercury levels in air and urine showed positive associations. Mercury concentration in urine correlated with gender, practice time, and age of workers. Half of those exposed had complaints compatible with mercury contamination. Among the exposed, the most common complaints were cognitive and neurocognitive symptoms. Correlations between symptoms and exposure time and also number of amalgam fillings placed per week were positive. Amalgam handling resulted in environmental and biological contamination by mercury.

  16. An analysis of mercury exposures among the adult population in New York State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fletcher, Alicia M; Gelberg, Kitty H

    2013-06-01

    The extent of methylmercury exposures among adults in New York State (NYS) has not been well characterized. Over the past few years, the NYS Heavy Metals Registry (HMR) has seen an increase in both blood mercury tests being reported, and nonoccupational exposures to mercury, which appear primarily due to fish consumption. This study will, (1) Characterize the adults who are tested for blood mercury in NYS; (2) Examine the circumstances for blood mercury testing; and (3) Characterize this population in terms of exposure history, specifically those individuals who are non-occupationally exposed through a diet of seafood consumption in reference to blood mercury levels. Data available from HMR laboratory results, including basic demographics and test results, were combined with data from telephone interviews. The interview contains information on the reasons for testing, possible sources of exposure, and the individual's work and home environment. Approximately 99 % of adults reported to the HMR, with identifiable exposures to mercury, had non-occupational exposures resulting from seafood consumption. Common types of fish consumed include salmon, tuna, and swordfish, with 90 % of adults eating seafood a few times or more per week. Information will be provided on the reasons for being tested and the range of blood mercury levels in relation to their seafood consumption. NYS residents who frequently eat fish should be aware of what types of fish contain mercury and avoid or reduce consumption of fish with high mercury levels.

  17. Environmental mercury exposure, semen quality and reproductive hormones in Greenlandic Inuit and European men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mocevic, Emina; Specht, Ina O; Marott, Jacob Louis

    2013-01-01

    ) in Ukraine (0.2-4.9 ng ml(-1)). We found a significantly positive association between the blood levels of mercury and serum concentration of inhibin B in men from Greenland (β=0.074, 95% confidence interval (CI)=0.021 to 0.126) and in an analysis including men from all three regions (β=0.067, 95% CI=0......Several animal studies indicate that mercury is a male reproductive toxicant, but human studies are few and contradictory. We examined semen characteristics and serum levels of reproductive hormones in relation to environmental exposure to mercury. Blood and semen samples were collected from 529...... male partners of pregnant women living in Greenland, Poland and Ukraine between May 2002 and February 2004. The median concentration of the total content of mercury in whole blood was 9.2 ng ml(-1) in Greenland (0.2-385.8 ng ml(-1)), 1.0 ng ml(-1) in Poland (0.2-6.4 ng ml(-1)) and 1.0 ng ml(-1...

  18. Dental amalgam exposure can elevate urinary mercury concentrations in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Hye-Jin; Kim, Eun-Kyong; Lee, Sang Gyu; Jeong, Seong-Hwa; Sakong, Jun; Merchant, Anwar T; Im, Sang-Uk; Song, Keun-Bae; Choi, Youn-Hee

    2016-06-01

    Owing to its cost-effectiveness and operative convenience, dental amalgam remains in use as a restorative material for tooth caries in children in many countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between dental amalgam exposure and urinary mercury (U-Hg) concentrations in children. In this longitudinal study, 463, 367 and 348 children, 8-11 years of age, were evaluated at baseline, and at the first and second follow-up visits, respectively. The interval between each survey was 6 months. For the oral examination and urine sample, the amalgam-filled tooth surface (TS), and U-Hg and creatinine concentrations of participants were determined, and the cumulative amalgam-filled TS and cumulative creatinine-adjusted U-Hg were calculated. To assess potential covariates, socio-demographic factors, oral health behaviour and dietary factors were surveyed by questionnaire. Data were analysed by the t-test, correlation analysis and mixed-model analysis. The statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 18.0. Children with more than one amalgam-filled TS exhibited significantly higher creatinine-adjusted U-Hg concentrations than those without, in all three survey periods (P children. Therefore, dental amalgam exposure can affect the systemic mercury concentration in children. © 2016 FDI World Dental Federation.

  19. Effect of low-level prenatal mercury exposure on neonate neurobehavioral development in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jinhua; Ying, Tinger; Shen, Zhonghai; Wang, Haiyan

    2014-07-01

    This study aimed to assess the effects of low-level prenatal mercury exposure on neonate neurobehavioral development in China. In total, 418 mother-neonate pairs were included in the study. Maternal urine, hair, and blood samples and cord blood samples were used to document prenatal exposure to mercury. The Neonatal Behavioral Neurological Assessment was used to estimate neurobehavioral development in the neonates at 3 days of age. Total mercury level was significantly higher in cord blood than that in maternal blood. A strong correlation was found between total mercury levels in maternal blood and those in cord blood (r = 0.7431; P mercury levels (all P mercury levels among groups with different fish consumption frequencies (all P mercury level was significantly associated with total Neonatal Behavioral Neurological Assessment scores (β = 0.03; standard error = 0.01; P = 0.0409), passive muscle tone (odds ratio = 1.07; 95% confidence interval = 1.12-1.13; P = 0.0071), and active muscle tone (odds ratio = 1.06; 95% confidence interval = 1.01-1.11; P = 0.0170) scores after adjustment, respectively. Neonatal neurodevelopment was associated with prenatal exposure to mercury. Women with high mercury levels should avoid intake seafood excessively during pregnancy. Long-term effects of exposure to mercury on childhood development need to be further explored. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Evidence of mercury exposure in a particular low-income community in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Oosthuizen, MA

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available countries in terms of mercury emissions to the environment. The human nervous system is very sensitive to mercury. When metallic mercury vapour in the air is inhaled, it may cross the blood-brain barrier and cause permanent brain damage (Figure 1). Bacteria...

  1. Mercury exposure among artisanal gold miners in Madre de Dios, Peru: a cross-sectional study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yard, Ellen E; Horton, Jane; Schier, Joshua G; Caldwell, Kathleen; Sanchez, Carlos; Lewis, Lauren; Gastaňaga, Carmen

    2012-12-01

    Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, occurs primarily from inhaling mercury vapors or consuming methylmercury-contaminated fish. One third of all anthropogenic mercury emissions worldwide are from artisanal gold mining, which uses mercury to extract gold. Although recent reports suggest that the Madre de Dios region in Peru (with >30,000 artisanal miners) has extensive mercury contamination, residents had never been assessed for mercury exposure. Thus, our objective was to quantify mercury exposure among residents of an artisanal mining town in Madre de Dios and to assess risk factors for exposure. We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of 103 residents of an artisanal gold mining town in July 2010. Each participant provided a urine and blood sample and completed a questionnaire assessing potential exposures and health outcomes. We calculated geometric mean (GM) urine total mercury and blood methylmercury concentrations and compared log-transformed concentrations between subgroups using linear regression. One third (34.0 %) of participants were gold miners. All participants had detectable urine total mercury (GM, 5.5 μg/g creatinine; range, 0.7-151 μg/g creatinine) and 91 % had detectable blood methylmercury (GM, 2.7 μg/L; range, 0.6-10 μg/L); 13 participants (13 %) reported having kidney dysfunction or a neurological disorder. Urine total mercury concentrations were higher among people who heated gold-mercury amalgams compared with people who never heated amalgams (p mercury exposure may be widespread in Huaypetue.

  2. Exposição humana ao mercúrio na Amazônia brasileira: uma perspectiva histórica Human exposure to mercury in the Brazilian Amazon: a historical perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aguinaldo Gonçalves

    2004-12-01

    dignidade na saúde e de uma ética pública pioneira no Brasil.The objective of the present article was to present the most important data generated by a multicentric study carried out by Brazilian researchers who, with the support of national and international institutions, worked during the 1990s to describe human exposure to mercury in gold mining areas in the Brazilian Amazon. Three sets of procedures were followed with residents of the Tocantins and Xingu river basins: (1 clinical examination, based on a standardized protocol and performed by a single researcher, in order to identify five basic levels of contamination; (2 determination of mercury levels in blood, hair, and urine, using atomic absorption spectrophotometry (Xingu Project; and (3 investigation of genotoxicity by using four cytogenetic indicators. During the first stage, 41 individuals were studied. Mercury was found in miners and their family members. Contamination was significantly associated with occupation and showed a differential correlation with genotoxicity indicators. After that, the Xingu project, which encompassed 625 individuals, focused on 417 Kayapó natives from the Gorotire and Djudjetiktire villages; 142 miners; and 66 riverine individuals (ribeirinhos. The highest levels of methylmercury in hair and total mercury in blood and urine were found among the Indian population. Contamination with inorganic forms of mercury was also observed in the blood, hair, and urine of Indians. Following a specific recommendation from the World Health Organization, special attention was given to pregnant Gorotire and Djudjetiktire women, who, although not directly exposed to mercury vapors, showed considerable levels of mercury intoxication. Despite this worrisome scenario, a number of social achievements in the 1990s point to new standards of dignity in health care and of social ethics in Brazil that could benefit everyone, including the victims of environmental injury.

  3. A review of mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners in developing countries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Anders Kasper Bruun; Thomsen, Jane Frølund; Mikkelsen, Sigurd

    2014-01-01

    Extraction of gold using mercury has been a way out of poverty for millions of people in developing countries. Artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has expanded during the last decades and is often carried out under primitive conditions. Thus, workers in this industry may be exposed to high...... levels of mercury and suffer from toxic effects from mercury exposure. The objective of this review was to provide an outline of the studies available on elemental mercury exposure among artisanal small-scale gold miners....

  4. Exposure to mercury among Spanish preschool children: trend from birth to age four.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llop, Sabrina; Murcia, Mario; Aguinagalde, Xabier; Vioque, Jesus; Rebagliato, Marisa; Cases, Amparo; Iñiguez, Carmen; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose; Amurrio, Ascensión; Navarrete-Muñoz, Eva María; Ballester, Ferran

    2014-07-01

    The purpose of this study is to describe the total hair mercury concentrations and their determinants in preschool Spanish children, as well as to explore the trend in mercury exposure from birth to the age four. This evolution has been scarcely studied in other birth cohort studies. The study population was 580 four year old children participating in the INMA (i.e. Childhood and Environment) birth cohort study in Valencia (2008-2009). Total mercury concentration at age four was measured in hair samples by atomic absorption spectrometry. Fish consumption and other covariates were obtained by questionnaire. Multivariate linear regression models were conducted in order to explore the association between mercury exposure and fish consumption, socio-demographic characteristics and prenatal exposure to mercury. The geometric mean was 1.10 µg/g (95%CI: 1.02, 1.19). Nineteen percent of children had mercury concentrations above the equivalent to the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake proposed by WHO. Mercury concentration was associated with increasing maternal age, fish consumption and cord blood mercury levels, as well as decreasing parity. Children whose mothers worked had higher mercury levels than those with non working mothers. Swordfish, lean fish and canned fish were the fish categories most associated with hair mercury concentrations. We observed a decreasing trend in mercury concentrations between birth and age four. In conclusion, the children participating in this study had high hair mercury concentrations compared to reported studies on children from other European countries and similar to other countries with high fish consumption. The INMA study design allows the evaluation of the exposure to mercury longitudinally and enables this information to be used for biomonitoring purposes and dietary recommendations. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisler, R.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury--especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury--may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution are shown for Canada, the United States, Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals--including endangered species of mammals and reptiles--collected near ongoing mercury-amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the United States, environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury-contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 ug/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2200 to 31,000 ug/kg body weight (acute oral) and 4000 to 40,000 ug/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 ug/kg body weight (daily dose) and 1000 to 5000 ug/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03 to 0.1 ug Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects--mainly on reproduction--have been associated with total

  6. Human mercury exposure and adverse health effects in the Amazon: a review Exposição humana ao mercúrio e efeitos adversos à saúde na Amazônia: uma revisão

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos J. S. Passos

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines issues of human mercury (Hg exposure and adverse health effects throughout the Amazon region. An extensive review was conducted using bibliographic indexes as well as secondary sources. There are several sources of Hg (mining, deforestation, reservoirs, and exposure takes place through inhalation or from fish consumption. There is a wide range of exposure, with mean hair-Hg levels above 15µg/g in several Amazonian communities, placing them among the highest reported levels in the world today. Dietary Hg intake has been estimated in the vicinity of 1-2µg/kg/day, considerably higher than the USEPA RfD of 0.1µg/kg/day or the World Health Organization recommendation of 0.23µg/kg/day. Neurobehavioral deficits and, in some cases, clinical signs have been reported both for adults and children in relation to Hg exposure in several Amazonian countries. There is also some evidence of cytogenetic damage, immune alterations, and cardiovascular toxicity. Since fish provide a highly nutritious food source, there is an urgent need to find realistic and feasible solutions that will reduce exposure and toxic risk, while maintaining healthy traditional dietary habits and preserving this unique biodiversity.Este artigo examina questões sobre exposição humana ao mercúrio (Hg e seus efeitos adversos à saúde na Amazônia, com base em extensa revisão da literatura. Diferentes bioindicadores revelam uma ampla faixa de exposição, com teores médios de Hg em cabelo acima de 15µg/g em diversas comunidades amazônicas, situando-as dentre as mais expostas no mundo atualmente. Taxas de ingestão diária de Hg foram estimadas em alguns estudos e situam-se entre 1-2µg/kg/dia, consideravelmente acima das doses de referência estabelecidas pela USEPA (0,1µg/kg/dia ou pela OMS (0,23µg/kg/dia. Déficits neurocomportamentais e, em alguns casos, sinais clínicos relacionados à exposição mercurial têm sido relatados tanto em adultos quanto em

  7. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercury is an element that is found in air, water and soil. It has several forms. Metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white, odorless liquid. If ... with other elements to form powders or crystals. Mercury is in many products. Metallic mercury is used ...

  8. Environmental exposure to mercury in the urban area of Alta Floresta

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hacon, S.; Rochedo, E.R.R.; Calysto, R.R.; Lacerda, L.D.

    1994-12-31

    Mercury has been released into the Amazonia ecosystem as a result of gold mining activities over the past 15 years. Metallic mercury is used to amalgamate gold particulate. During the amalgamation process, a significant amount of metallic Hg finds its way into the aquatic and terrestrial systems. About 65 to 83% of the total mercury emission by gold mining activities enters directly into the atmosphere. The inorganic Hg is then methylated by microbiota and the organic Hg is bioaccumulated within the aquatic food chain, from which humans are a top predator. Alta Floresta is the most important gold trading center in Amazonia. The urban population is exposed to a high concentration of Hg in the atmosphere, ranging from 23 to 5,788 ng/m{sup 3}. Also the mercury levels in fishes eaten locally are high, mainly in fish from Teles Pires river. Nine from the eleven species most consumed by the urban population are carnivorous, and constitute about 98% of all fish eaten locally. The highest Hg levels are found in Brachyplastistoma sp. (Piraiba), ranging from 1.7 to 3.0 {mu}g/g (w.w.) and Paulicea Luetkin (Jau), ranging from 0.4 to 2.7 {mu}g/g (w. w.) assuming an average fish consumption rate of 31 grams per day, an weighted average of Hg fish concentration of 1.2 {mu}g/g, an average body weight for adults of 60 kg and an average exposure duration of 8 years, the estimated incorporation 0.63 pg of Hg per kg of body weight would imply that attention should be given to the critical groups such as children and woman in the child-bearing age, since fetus are more sensitive to mercury than adults.

  9. Mercury exposure in a low-income community in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosthuizen, M A; John, J; Somerset, V

    2010-06-01

    To establish whether a specific community in a gold mining area, with potentially associated small-scale gold mining activities, was exposed to mercury. The community was situated in Mpumalanga, where some potential sources of mercury emissions may have an impact. Adults >or=18 years were considered eligible. Biological monitoring, supported by questionnaires, was applied. Thirty respondents completed the questionnaire which covered demographics, energy use, food and water consumption, neurological symptoms, and confounders such as alcohol consumption and brain injuries. Mercury levels were determined in 28 urine and 20 blood samples of these respondents. Three (15%) of the blood samples exceeded the guideline (mercury in urine (mercury through small-scale gold mining activities. As primary health facilities will be the first point of entry for individuals experiencing symptoms of mercury poisoning, South African primary health care workers need to take cognisance of mercury exposure as a possible cause of neurological symptoms in patients.

  10. Acute renal failure following exposure to metallic mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsuma, Ai; Hinoshita, Fumihiko; Masumoto, Shoichi; Hagiwara, Akiyoshi; Kimura, Akio

    2014-07-01

    Mercury exists in three forms: elemental, inorganic, and organic. Each form produces a unique profile of toxicity. Acute poisoning with inorganic salts is well-known, but few reports are available regarding oral elemental (metallic) mercury intoxication. Ingestion of metallic mercury is usually of no concern because of poor gastrointestinal absorption. We report a very rare case of acute renal failure (ARF) following ingestion of metallic mercury. A 67-year old man swallowed an unknown quantity of metallic mercury in a suicide attempt. He developed severe pneumonitis and ARF with anuria. The whole blood mercury concentration was extremely high (157.7 μg/dl). In this case, inhalation of vaporized mercury might have contributed to the significant systemic absorption, but chelating therapy was not performed because of severe renal failure. Hemodialysis was performed 13 times and discontinued 26 days after mercury ingestion. Consequently, the patient recovered normal renal function.

  11. Mercury Exposure among Garbage Workers in Southern Thailand

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Somsiri Decharat

    2012-12-01

    Conclusion: Changing garbage workers’ hygiene habits can reduce urinary mercury levels. Personal hygiene is important, and should be stressed in education programs. Employers should institute engineering controls to reduce urinary mercury levels among garbage workers.

  12. The endocrine effects of mercury in humans and wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tan, Shirlee W; Meiller, Jesse C; Mahaffey, Kathryn R

    2009-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is well studied and research continues as our knowledge of its health risks increases. One expanding area of research not well emphasized to date is the endocrine effects of Hg. This review summarizes the existing literature on the effects of Hg on the endocrine system and identifies gaps in the knowledge. It focuses on the thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive systems, including the accumulation of Hg in the endocrine system, sex differences that are manifested with Hg exposure, reproductive effects in male and female animals including humans, and Hg effects on the thyroid and adrenal systems. We concluded that there are five main endocrine-related mechanisms of Hg across these systems: (a) accumulation in the endocrine system; (b) specific cytotoxicity in endocrine tissues; (c) changes in hormone concentrations; (d) interactions with sex hormones; and (e) up-regulation or down-regulation of enzymes within the steroidogenesis pathway. Recommendations for key areas of research to better understand how the endocrine effects of Hg affect human and wildlife health were developed, and include increasing the amount of basic biological information available about Hg and wildlife species, exploring the role of Hg in the presence of other stressors and chemicals, understanding sublethal and indirect effects of Hg on adverse outcomes, developing better methods to extrapolate effects across species, and understanding the effects of Hg on multiple organ systems following exposure of an animal. Greater inclusion of endocrine endpoints in epidemiological and field studies on humans and wildlife will also advance the research in this area.

  13. Occupational Exposure to Mercury among Workers in a Fluorescent Lamp Factory, Quisna Industrial Zone, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MA Al-Batanony

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: With the fast growth in the market of fluorescent lamps, particularly compact fluorescent light, the associated risk of mercury exposure, which is an essential component in all types of fluorescent lamps, has received increasing public attention worldwide. Even low doses of mercury are toxic. Objective: To study the health consequences of occupational exposure to mercury in workers of a fluorescent lamp factory. Methods: In a cross-sectional study 138 workers of a florescent lamp factory and 151 people who had no occupational exposure to mercury (the comparison group were studied. Environmental study of mercury and noise levels was done. For all participants a neurobehavioral test battery was administered, spirometry was performed and air conduction audiometry was done. Urinary mercury level was also measured for all participants. Results: Prominent symptoms among workers exposed to mercury included tremors, emotional lability, memory changes, neuromuscular changes, and performance deficits in tests of cognitive function. Among the exposed group, the mean urinary mercury level was significantly higher in those who had personality changes or had manifestations of mercury toxicity. With increasing duration of employment and urinary mercury level, the performance of participants in neurobehavioral test battery and spirometric parameters deteriorated. Conclusion: Neurobehavioral test battery must be used for studying subclinical central nervous system dysfunction in those with chronic exposure to mercury. The test is especially useful for evaluating the severity of mercury effects in epidemiological studies. This study also reinforces the need for effective preventive programs for florescent lamp industry workplaces especially in developing countries with the lowest unhygienic work conditions.

  14. Combined exposure to lead, inorganic mercury and methylmercury shows deviation from additivity for cardiovascular toxicity in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildemann, Tanja M; Weber, Lynn P; Siciliano, Steven D

    2015-08-01

    Environmental exposure to metal mixtures in the human population is common. Mixture risk assessments are often challenging because of a lack of suitable data on the relevant mixture. A growing number of studies show an association between lead or mercury exposure and cardiovascular effects. We investigated the cardiovascular effects of single metal exposure or co-exposure to methylmercury [MeHg(I)], inorganic mercury [Hg(II)] and lead [Pb(II)]. Male Wistar rats received four different metal mixtures for 28 days through the drinking water. The ratios of the metals were based on reference and environmental exposure values. Blood and pulse pressure, cardiac output and electrical activity of the heart were selected as end-points. While exposure to only MeHg(I) increased the systolic blood pressure and decreased cardiac output, the effects were reversed with combined exposures (antagonism). In contrast to these effects, combined exposures negatively affected the electrical activity of the heart (synergism). Thus, it appears that estimates of blood total Hg levels need to be paired with estimates of what species of mercury dominate exposure as well as whether lead co-exposure is present to link total blood Hg levels to cardiovascular effects. Based on current human exposure data and our results, there may be an increased risk of cardiac events as a result of combined exposures to Hg(II), MeHg(I) and Pb(II). This increased risk needs to be clarified by analyzing lead and Hg exposure data in relation to cardiac electrical activity in epidemiological studies. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Mercury exposure in a low-income community in South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three (15%) of the blood samples exceeded the guideline (<10 μg/l) for individuals who are not occupationally exposed, while 14 (50%) of the urine samples exceeded the guideline for mercury in urine (<5.0 ... workers need to take cognisance of mercury exposure as a possible cause of neurological symptoms in patients.

  16. Mercury hair levels and factors that influence exposure for residents of Huancavelica, Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Between 1564 and 1810, nearly 17,000 metric tons of mercury (Hg) vapor were released to the environment during cinnabar refining in the small town of Huancavelica, Peru. The present study characterizes individual exposure to mercury using total and speciated Hg from residential s...

  17. Overview of developmental, reproductive, and behavioral/ neurological effects of mercury exposures in wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heinz, G.H.; Hoffman, D.; Klimstra, J.; Stebbins, K.

    2007-01-01

    studies with mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) suggest that the dietary concentrations of mercury that cause toxicity are lower than those set in fish consumption advisories to protect humans. Because wild mammals and birds are so sensitive to methylmercury poisoning and cannot escape dietary exposure the way humans can, guidelines set to protect wild birds and mammals may very well provide a margin of safety for human health.

  18. An analysis of factors affecting the mercury content in the human femoral bone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zioła-Frankowska, A; Dąbrowski, M; Kubaszewski, Ł; Rogala, P; Kowalski, A; Frankowski, M

    2017-01-01

    The study was carried out to determine the content of mercury in bone tissue of the proximal femur (head and neck bone) of 95 patients undergoing total hip replacement due to osteoarthritis, using CF-AFS analytical technique. Furthermore, the investigations were aimed at assessing the impact of selected factors, such as age, gender, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, exposure to chemical substance at work, type of degenerative changes, clinical evaluation and radiological parameters, type of medications, on the concentration of mercury in the head and neck of the femur, resected in situ. Mercury was obtained in all samples of the head and neck of the femur (n = 190) in patients aged 25-91 years. The mean content of mercury for the whole group of patients was as follows: 37.1 ± 35.0 ng/g for the femoral neck and 24.2 ± 19.5 ng/g for the femoral head. The highest Hg contents were found in femoral neck samples, both in women and men, and they amounted to 169.6 and 176.5 ng/g, respectively. The research showed that the mercury content of bones can be associated with body mass index, differences in body anatomy, and gender. The uses of statistical analysis gave the possibility to define the influence of factors on mercury content in human femoral bones.

  19. Risk factors for mercury exposure of children in a rural mining town in northern Chile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Ohlander

    Full Text Available Traditional gold mining is associated with mercury exposure. Especially vulnerable to its neurotoxic effects is the developing nervous system of a child. We aimed to investigate risk factors of mercury exposure among children in a rural mining town in Chile.Using a validated questionnaire distributed to the parents of the children, a priori mercury risk factors, potential exposure pathways and demographics of the children were obtained. Mercury levels were measured through analyzing fingernail samples. Logistic regression modeling the effect of risk factors on mercury levels above the 75(th percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders.The 288 children had a mean age of 9.6 years (SD = 1.9. The mean mercury level in the study population was 0.13 µg/g (SD 0.11, median 0.10, range 0.001-0.86 µg/g. The strongest risk factor for children's odds of high mercury levels (>75(th percentile, 0.165 µg/g was to play inside a house where a family member worked with mercury (OR adjusted 3.49 95% CI 1.23-9.89. Additionally, children whose parents worked in industrial gold mining had higher odds of high mercury levels than children whose parents worked in industrial copper mining or outside mining activities.Mercury exposure through small-scale gold mining might affect children in their home environments. These results may further help to convince the local population of banning mercury burning inside the households.

  20. Risk Factors for Mercury Exposure of Children in a Rural Mining Town in Northern Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlander, Johan; Huber, Stella Maria; Schomaker, Michael; Heumann, Christian; Schierl, Rudolf; Michalke, Bernhard; Jenni, Oskar G.; Caflisch, Jon; Muñoz, Daniel Moraga; von Ehrenstein, Ondine S.; Radon, Katja

    2013-01-01

    Objective Traditional gold mining is associated with mercury exposure. Especially vulnerable to its neurotoxic effects is the developing nervous system of a child. We aimed to investigate risk factors of mercury exposure among children in a rural mining town in Chile. Methods Using a validated questionnaire distributed to the parents of the children, a priori mercury risk factors, potential exposure pathways and demographics of the children were obtained. Mercury levels were measured through analyzing fingernail samples. Logistic regression modeling the effect of risk factors on mercury levels above the 75th percentile were made, adjusted for potential confounders. Results The 288 children had a mean age of 9.6 years (SD = 1.9). The mean mercury level in the study population was 0.13 µg/g (SD 0.11, median 0.10, range 0.001–0.86 µg/g). The strongest risk factor for children’s odds of high mercury levels (>75th percentile, 0.165 µg/g) was to play inside a house where a family member worked with mercury (OR adjusted 3.49 95% CI 1.23–9.89). Additionally, children whose parents worked in industrial gold mining had higher odds of high mercury levels than children whose parents worked in industrial copper mining or outside mining activities. Conclusion Mercury exposure through small-scale gold mining might affect children in their home environments. These results may further help to convince the local population of banning mercury burning inside the households. PMID:24278170

  1. Minimal change disease following exposure to mercury-containing skin lightening cream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, H L; Chu, K H; Mak, Y F; Lee, W; Cheuk, A; Yim, K F; Fung, K S; Chan, H Wh; Tong, K L

    2006-08-01

    A 34-year-old woman developed nephrotic syndrome after using a skin lightening cream that contained an extremely high level of mercury. Blood and urine mercury levels were elevated and a renal biopsy revealed minimal change disease. Membranous nephropathy was excluded using immunofluorescence and electron microscopy. Her proteinuria remitted 9 months after she stopped using the cosmetic cream. This is the first reported case in the English literature of proven minimal change disease secondary to mercury exposure. It is important that mercury poisoning due to cosmetic cream is considered in the differential diagnoses for any woman who presents with nephrotic syndrome.

  2. Prenatal mercury exposure, neurodevelopment and apolipoprotein E genetic polymorphism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Falnoga, Ingrid; Trdin, Ajda; Mazej, Darja; Fajon, Vesna; Miklavčič, Ana; Kobal, Alfred B; Osredkar, Joško; Sešek Briški, Alenka; Krsnik, Mladen; Neubauer, David; Kodrič, Jana; Stropnik, Staša; Gosar, David; Lešnik Musek, Petra; Marc, Janja; Jurkovič Mlakar, Simona; Petrović, Oleg; Vlašić-Cicvarić, Inge; Prpić, Igor; Milardović, Ana; Radić Nišević, Jelena; Vuković, Danijela; Fišić, Elizabeta; Špirić, Zdravko; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the association between prenatal exposure to mercury (Hg) and neurodevelopment of the child, taking into account genetic polymorphism of apolipoprotein E (Apoe) and other relevant confounders. Six hundred and one mother-child pairs were recruited from the central Slovenia region and 243 from Rijeka, on the Croatian coast of the northern Adriatic. The total Hg in cord blood, Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (Bayley-III) assessment at 18 months of age and Apoe genotyping was performed on 361 children; 237 of them were from Slovenia and 124 from Croatia. The results showed negative association between low-to-moderate Hg exposure in children with normal neurodevelopmental outcome and cognitive and fine motor scores at 18 months of age as assessed by Bayley III. The Hg-related decrease in cognitive score was observed only in children carrying at least one Apoe ε4 allele, while the decrease in fine motor scores was independent of the Apoe genotype. Adjusting for selenium (Se) and lead (Pb) levels, a positive association between Se and the language score and a negative association between Pb and the motor score was observed, but not in the subgroup of children carrying the ε4 allele. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Exposure of Small-Scale Gold Miners in Prestea to Mercury, Ghana, 2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensah, Ebenezer Kofi; Afari, Edwin; Wurapa, Frederick; Sackey, Samuel; Quainoo, Albert; Kenu, Ernest; Nyarko, Kofi Mensah

    2016-01-01

    Small-scale gold miners in Ghana have been using mercury to amalgamate gold for many years. Mercury is toxic even at low concentration. We assessed occupational exposure of small-scale gold miners to mercury in Prestea, a gold mining town in Ghana. We conducted a cross-sectional study in which we collected morning urine samples from 343 small-scale gold miners and tested for elemental mercury. Data on small-scale gold miner's socio-demographics, adverse health effects and occupational factors for mercury exposure were obtained and analyzed using SPSS Version 16 to determine frequency and percentage. Bivariate analysis was used to determine occupational factors associated with mercury exposure at 95% confidence level. The mean age of the small-scale gold miners was 29.5 ±9.6 years, and 323(94.20%) were males. One hundred and sixty (46.65%) of the small-scale gold miners had urine mercury above the recommended exposure limit (mercury exposure among those who have previously worked at other small-scale gold mines (χ2=4.96, p=0.03). The use of personal protective equipment among the small-scale gold miners was low. Retorts, which are globally recommended for burning amalgam, were not found at mining sites. A large proportion of small-scale gold miners in Prestea were having mercury exposure in excess of occupational exposure limits, and are at risk of experiencing adverse health related complications. Ghana Environmental Protection Agency should organize training for the miners.

  4. Probabilistic mercury multimedia exposure assessment in small children and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisset, Typhaine; Ramirez-Martinez, Alejandra; Wesolek, Nathalie; Roudot, Alain-Claude

    2013-09-01

    Emissions of mercury in the environment have been decreasing for several years. However, mercury species are still found in different media (food, water, air and breast-milk). Due to mercury toxicity and typical behaviour in children, we have conducted a mercury exposure assessment in French babies, and small children aged 0 to 36months. Consumption and mercury concentration data were chosen for the exposure assessment. The Monte Carlo technique has been used to calculate the weekly exposure dose in order to integrate inter-individual variability and parameter uncertainty. Exposure values have been compared to toxicological reference values for health risk assessment. Inorganic mercury median exposure levels ranged from 0.160 to 1.649μg/kg of body weight per week (95th percentile (P95): 0.298-2.027µg/kg bw/week); elemental mercury median exposure level in children was 0.11ng/kg bw/week (P95: 28ng/kg bw/week); and methylmercury median exposure level ranged from 0.247 to 0.273µg/kg bw/week (P95: 0.425-0.463µg/kg bw/week). Only elemental mercury by inhalation route (indoor air) and methylmercury by ingestion (fish and breast-milk) seem to lead to a health risk in small children. These results confirm the importance of assessing total mercury concentration in media like breast-milk, indoor air and dust and methylmercury level in food, other than fish and seafood. In this way, informed monitoring plan and risk assessment in an at-risk sub-population can be set. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/41398625X

    2017-01-01

    Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that exists in several physical and chemical forms. Inorganic mercury refers to compounds formed after the combining of mercury with elements such as chlorine, sulfur, or oxygen. After combining with carbon by covalent linkage, the compounds formed are called

  6. Human exposure to aluminium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2013-10-01

    Human activities have circumvented the efficient geochemical cycling of aluminium within the lithosphere and therewith opened a door, which was previously only ajar, onto the biotic cycle to instigate and promote the accumulation of aluminium in biota and especially humans. Neither these relatively recent activities nor the entry of aluminium into the living cycle are showing any signs of abating and it is thus now imperative that we understand as fully as possible how humans are exposed to aluminium and the future consequences of a burgeoning exposure and body burden. The aluminium age is upon us and there is now an urgent need to understand how to live safely and effectively with aluminium.

  7. Assessment of mercury exposure among small-scale gold miners using mercury stable isotopes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherman, Laura S; Blum, Joel D; Basu, Niladri; Rajaee, Mozhgon; Evers, David C; Buck, David G; Petrlik, Jindrich; DiGangi, Joseph

    2015-02-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations in hair and urine are often used as biomarkers of exposure to fish-derived methylmercury (MeHg) and gaseous elemental Hg, respectively. We used Hg stable isotopes to assess the validity of these biomarkers among small-scale gold mining populations in Ghana and Indonesia. Urine from Ghanaian miners displayed similar Δ(199)Hg values to Hg derived from ore deposits (mean urine Δ(199)Hg=0.01‰, n=6). This suggests that urine total Hg concentrations accurately reflect exposure to inorganic Hg among this population. Hair samples from Ghanaian miners displayed low positive Δ(199)Hg values (0.23-0.55‰, n=6) and low percentages of total Hg as MeHg (7.6-29%, n=7). These data suggest that the majority of the Hg in these miners' hair samples is exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg and not fish-derived MeHg. Hair samples from Indonesian gold miners who eat fish daily displayed a wider range of positive Δ(199)Hg values (0.21-1.32‰, n=5) and percentages of total Hg as MeHg (32-72%, n=4). This suggests that total Hg in the hair samples from Indonesian gold miners is likely a mixture of ingested fish MeHg and exogenously adsorbed inorganic Hg. Based on data from both populations, we suggest that total Hg concentrations in hair samples from small-scale gold miners likely overestimate exposure to MeHg from fish consumption. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Estimating Mercury Exposure of Piscivorous Birds and Sport Fish Using Prey Fish Monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Hartman, C Alex; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herzog, Mark P; Davis, Jay; Ichikawa, Gary; Bonnema, Autumn

    2015-11-17

    Methylmercury is a global pollutant of aquatic ecosystems, and monitoring programs need tools to predict mercury exposure of wildlife. We developed equations to estimate methylmercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish using mercury concentrations in prey fish. We collected original data on western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark's grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) and summarized the published literature to generate predictive equations specific to grebes and a general equation for piscivorous birds. We measured mercury concentrations in 354 grebes (blood averaged 1.06 ± 0.08 μg/g ww), 101 grebe eggs, 230 sport fish (predominantly largemouth bass and rainbow trout), and 505 prey fish (14 species) at 25 lakes throughout California. Mercury concentrations in grebe blood, grebe eggs, and sport fish were strongly related to mercury concentrations in prey fish among lakes. Each 1.0 μg/g dw (∼0.24 μg/g ww) increase in prey fish resulted in an increase in mercury concentrations of 103% in grebe blood, 92% in grebe eggs, and 116% in sport fish. We also found strong correlations between mercury concentrations in grebes and sport fish among lakes. Our results indicate that prey fish monitoring can be used to estimate mercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish when wildlife cannot be directly sampled.

  9. Estimating mercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish using prey fish monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Davis, Jay; Ichikawa, Gary; Bonnema, Autumn

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury is a global pollutant of aquatic ecosystems, and monitoring programs need tools to predict mercury exposure of wildlife. We developed equations to estimate methylmercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish using mercury concentrations in prey fish. We collected original data on western grebes (Aechmophorus occidentalis) and Clark’s grebes (Aechmophorus clarkii) and summarized the published literature to generate predictive equations specific to grebes and a general equation for piscivorous birds. We measured mercury concentrations in 354 grebes (blood averaged 1.06 ± 0.08 μg/g ww), 101 grebe eggs, 230 sport fish (predominantly largemouth bass and rainbow trout), and 505 prey fish (14 species) at 25 lakes throughout California. Mercury concentrations in grebe blood, grebe eggs, and sport fish were strongly related to mercury concentrations in prey fish among lakes. Each 1.0 μg/g dw (∼0.24 μg/g ww) increase in prey fish resulted in an increase in mercury concentrations of 103% in grebe blood, 92% in grebe eggs, and 116% in sport fish. We also found strong correlations between mercury concentrations in grebes and sport fish among lakes. Our results indicate that prey fish monitoring can be used to estimate mercury exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish when wildlife cannot be directly sampled.

  10. Mercury hair concentrations and dietary exposure among Inuit preschool children in Nunavut, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Wenjing; Egeland, Grace M; Sobol, Isaac; Chan, Hing Man

    2011-01-01

    There is concern that the traditional diet is a source of mercury exposure among Inuit in the Canadian Arctic. Mercury exposure in utero and in early childhood presents a risk to neurodevelopment. The objectives of the present study were to assess the dietary mercury exposure from traditional food among Inuit children 3 to 5 years of age in Nunavut, and evaluate the association between estimated dietary mercury intake and body burden. A cross-sectional Nunavut Inuit Child Health Survey was conducted in 2007 and 2008 which included assessment of dietary habits and children's hair mercury (Hg) levels. Further, an Inuit Adult Health Survey was conducted in the same years which included assessment of dietary habits and whole blood mercury concentrations. Traditional food samples were collected during this study and previously from the Canadian Arctic. Daily mercury intake from traditional food was calculated. Body mercury burden was determined using the hair mercury concentration. The geometric mean of children's hair Hg was 0.66 μg/g and varied by region. Nearly 25% of children had hair Hg concentrations equal to or higher than 2 μg/g (WHO reference level). There was a significant correlation between mercury levels in children's hair and that of the adults in the same household. For children, beluga muktuk, narwhal muktuk, ringed seal liver, fish, caribou meat and ringed seal meat were the major dietary sources of mercury. These food items together accounted for over 95% of total daily dietary mercury intake. A positive linear regression relationship between children's hair mercury levels and estimated dietary mercury intake was observed. Estimated intake in Baffin decreased by 30% compared to 20 years ago. Some traditional food items were significant sources of mercury to Inuit children in Nunavut. Although a reduction in the consumption of these diet items may be a way to reduce mercury intake, the nutritional, social and cultural benefits of traditional food and

  11. Mercury risk assessment combining internal and external exposure methods for a population living near a municipal solid waste incinerator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Chunyan; Xie, Han; Ye, Xuejie; Zhang, Haoran; Liu, Maodian; Tong, Yindong; Ou, Langbo; Yuan, Wen; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Xuejun

    2016-12-01

    Risk assessments for human health have been conducted for municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) in many western countries, whereas only a few risk assessments have been performed for MSWIs in developing countries such as China where the use of waste incineration is increasing rapidly. To assess the mercury exposure risks of a population living near the largest MSWI in South China, we combined internal exposure and external exposure assessment with an individual-specific questionnaire. The mercury concentrations in air, soil, and locally collected food around the MSWI were assessed. The total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) of 447 blood samples from a control group, residential exposure group, and MSWI workers were measured. The internal and external exposures of the subject population were analyzed. Significant difference in MeHg concentrations was observed between the control group and the exposed group, between the control group and the MSWI workers, and between the exposed group and the MSWI workers (median levels: 0.70 μg/L, 0.81 μg/L, and 1.02 μg/L for the control group, exposed group, and MSWI workers, respectively). The MeHg/T-Hg ratio was 0.51 ± 0.19, 0.59 ± 0.17 and 0.58 ± 0.25, respectively. Multiple linear regression analysis indicated that MeHg concentrations were positively correlated with the gaseous mercury in the air. Combining internal and external exposure assessment showed that the direct contribution of MSWI emissions was minor compared with the dietary contribution. The external and internal exposures were well matched with each other. This study also suggested that an integrated method combining internal and external exposure assessment with an individual-specific questionnaire is feasible to assess the risks for a population living near a MSWI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Effects of methyl and inorganic mercury exposure on genome homeostasis and mitochondrial function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Lauren H; Luz, Anthony L; Cao, Xiou; Maurer, Laura L; Blawas, Ashley M; Aballay, Alejandro; Pan, William K Y; Meyer, Joel N

    2017-04-01

    Mercury toxicity mechanisms have the potential to induce DNA damage and disrupt cellular processes, like mitochondrial function. Proper mitochondrial function is important for cellular bioenergetics and immune signaling and function. Reported impacts of mercury on the nuclear genome (nDNA) are conflicting and inconclusive, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) impacts are relatively unknown. In this study, we assessed genotoxic (mtDNA and nDNA), metabolic, and innate immune impacts of inorganic and organic mercury exposure in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genotoxic outcomes measured included DNA damage, DNA damage repair (nucleotide excision repair, NER; base excision repair, BER), and genomic copy number following MeHg and HgCl 2 exposure alone and in combination with known DNA damage-inducing agents ultraviolet C radiation (UVC) and hydrogen peroxide (H 2 O 2 ), which cause bulky DNA lesions and oxidative DNA damage, respectively. Following exposure to both MeHg and HgCl 2 , low-level DNA damage (∼0.25 lesions/10kb mtDNA and nDNA) was observed. Unexpectedly, a higher MeHg concentration reduced damage in both genomes compared to controls. However, this observation was likely the result of developmental delay. In co-exposure treatments, both mercury compounds increased initial DNA damage (mtDNA and nDNA) in combination with H 2 O 2 exposure, but had no impact in combination with UVC exposure. Mercury exposure both increased and decreased DNA damage removal via BER. DNA repair after H 2 O 2 exposure in mercury-exposed nematodes resulted in damage levels lower than measured in controls. Impacts to NER were not detected. mtDNA copy number was significantly decreased in the MeHg-UVC and MeHg-H 2 O 2 co-exposure treatments. Mercury exposure had metabolic impacts (steady-state ATP levels) that differed between the compounds; HgCl 2 exposure decreased these levels, while MeHg slightly increased levels or had no impact. Both mercury species reduced mRNA levels for immune signaling

  13. Current Mercury Exposure from Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Bombana, Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia—Future Significant Health Risks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Basri

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers lived inside and outside the mining area. Based on the occupations of the contributors, the hair samples were divided into three subgroups: directly exposed, indirectly exposed, and a control. A total of 81 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The median mercury concentration was highest in the hair from the directly exposed group (12.82 μg/g hair (control group median: 4.8 μg/g hair, p < 0.05, and the concentrations in hair from 45 respondents exceeded the Human Biomonitoring I (HBM I threshold limit. Mercury concentrations were also elevated in the hair from the indirectly exposed group (median 7.64 μg/g hair, p < 0.05, and concentrations in hair from 24 respondents exceeded the HBM I threshold limits. Exposure to mercury during ASGM presents health risks and is harmful for the miners; mercury is also at hazardous levels for people who live in the mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction.

  14. Mercury Exposure among Garbage Workers in Southern Thailand

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Objectives 1) To determine mercury levels in urine samples from garbage workers in Southern Thailand, and 2) to describe the association between work characteristics, work positions, behavioral factors, and acute symptoms; and levels of mercury in urine samples. Methods A case-control study was conducted by interviewing 60 workers in 5 hazardous-waste-management factories, and 60 matched non-exposed persons living in the same area of Southern Thailand. Urine samples were collected to determine mercury levels by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometer mercury analyzer. Results The hazardous-waste workers' urinary mercury levels (10.07 µg/g creatinine) were significantly higher than the control group (1.33 µg/g creatinine) (p model was constructed. Significant predictors of urinary mercury levels included hours worked per day, days worked per week, duration of work (years), work position, use of PPE (mask, trousers, and gloves), and personal hygiene behavior (ate snacks or drank water at work, washed hands before lunch, and washed hands after work). Conclusion Changing garbage workers' hygiene habits can reduce urinary mercury levels. Personal hygiene is important, and should be stressed in education programs. Employers should institute engineering controls to reduce urinary mercury levels among garbage workers. PMID:23251842

  15. Prenatal exposure to mercury and fish consumption during pregnancy and ADHD-related behavior in children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagiv, Sharon K.; Thurston, Sally W.; Bellinger, David C.; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Korrick, Susan A.

    2013-01-01

    Objective To investigate the association of prenatal mercury exposure and fish intake with ADHD-related behavior. Design Population-based prospective cohort study. Setting Birth cohort recruited 1993-1998 at main hospital in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Participants 421 8-year old children with mercury measures (515 had fish consumption data). Main Exposures Mercury measured in peripartum maternal hair and fish consumption during pregnancy. Main outcome measures Inattentive and impulsive/hyperactive behaviors assessed with a teacher rating scale and neuropsychological testing. Results Median maternal hair mercury level was 0.45 μg/g (range=0.03-5.14) and 52% of mothers consumed >2 fish servings/week. In multivariable regression models mercury was associated with inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity; for some outcomes there was an apparent threshold with associations at ≥1 μg/g mercury. For example, at ≥1 μg/g, the adjusted risk ratio (RR) for mild/markedly atypical DSM-IV Inattentive and Impulsive/Hyperactive behaviors was 1.4 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 1.8) and 1.7 (95% CI: 1.2, 2.4), respectively for an interquartile range (0.5 μg/g) mercury increase; there was no confounding by fish consumption. For neuropsychological assessments, mercury and behavior associations were detected primarily for boys. There was a protective association for fish consumption (>2 servings/week) with ADHD-related behaviors, particularly DSM-IV Impulsive/Hyperactive behaviors (RR=0.4; 95% CI: 0.2, 0.6). Conclusions Our results indicate that low-level prenatal mercury exposure is associated with greater risk for ADHD-related behaviors and that fish consumption during pregnancy is protective of these behaviors. These findings underscore the difficulties of balancing the benefits of fish with the detriments of low-level mercury in developing dietary recommendations in pregnancy. PMID:23044994

  16. Inorganic: the other mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risher, John F; De Rosa, Christopher T

    2007-11-01

    There is a broad array of mercury species to which humans may be exposed. While exposure to methylmercury through fish consumption is widely recognized, the public is less aware of the sources and potential toxicity of inorganic forms of mercury. Some oral and laboratory thermometers, barometers, small batteries, thermostats, gas pressure regulators, light switches, dental amalgam fillings, cosmetic products, medications, cultural/religious practices, and gold mining all represent potential sources of exposure to inorganic forms of mercury. The route of exposure, the extent of absorption, the pharmacokinetics, and the effects all vary with the specific form of mercury and the magnitude and duration of exposure. If exposure is suspected, a number of tissue analyses can be conducted to confirm exposure or to determine whether an exposure might reasonably be expected to be biologically significant. By contrast with determination of exposure to methylmercury, for which hair and blood are credible indicators, urine is the preferred biological medium for the determination of exposure to inorganic mercury, including elemental mercury, with blood normally being of value only if exposure is ongoing. Although treatments are available to help rid the body of mercury in cases of extreme exposure, prevention of exposure will make such treatments unnecessary. Knowing the sources of mercury and avoiding unnecessary exposure are the prudent ways of preventing mercury intoxication. When exposure occurs, it should be kept in mind that not all unwanted exposures will result in adverse health consequences. In all cases, elimination of the source of exposure should be the first priority of public health officials.

  17. Human Exposure Database System (HEDS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The Human Exposure Database System (HEDS) provides public access to data sets, documents, and metadata from EPA on human exposure. It is primarily intended for...

  18. Assessing a New Method for Measuring Fetal Exposure to Mercury: Newborn Bloodspots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Jessica W; Edhlund, Betsy L; Johnson, Jean; Rosebush, Christina E; Holmquist, Zachary S; Swan, Shanna H; Nguyen, Ruby H N

    2016-07-09

    Measuring mercury in newborn bloodspots to determine fetal exposures is a novel methodology with many advantages. Questions remain, however, about its reliability as an estimate of newborn exposure to mercury. We studied mercury concentrations in paired bloodspots and cord blood from a convenience sample of 48 Minnesota women and infants. The limit of detection for bloodspots was higher than for cord blood (0.7 and 0.3 μg/L in bloodspots and cord blood, respectively) with the result that mercury was detected in only 38% of newborn bloodspots compared to 62% of cord blood samples. The geometric mean mercury concentration in cord blood was 0.6 μg/L. Mercury concentrations were almost uniformly lower in bloodspots than in cord blood (mean ratio (±SD) = 0.85 ± 0.4), their mean value was significantly less than that for the cord blood (p = 0.02), and the two methods were highly correlated (r = 0.82). These preliminary findings indicate that newborn bloodspot mercury measurements have utility; however, until bloodspot analyses are more sensitive, they are likely to underestimate in utero exposure.

  19. Mercury hazards from gold mining to humans, plants, and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisler, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    Mercury contamination of the environment from historical and ongoing mining practices that rely on mercury amalgamation for gold extraction is widespread. Contamination was particularly severe in the immediate vicinity of gold extraction and refining operations; however, mercury, especially in the form of water-soluble methylmercury, may be transported to pristine areas by rainwater, water currents, deforestation, volatilization, and other vectors. Examples of gold mining-associated mercury pollution have been shown for Canada, the U.S., Africa, China, the Philippines, Siberia, and South America. In parts of Brazil, for example, mercury concentrations in all abiotic materials, plants, and animals, including endangered species of mammals and reptiles, collected near ongoing mercury amalgamation gold mining sites were far in excess of allowable mercury levels promulgated by regulatory agencies for the protection of human health and natural resources. Although health authorities in Brazil are unable to detect conclusive evidence of human mercury intoxication, the potential exists in the absence of mitigation for epidemic mercury poisoning of the mining population and environs. In the U.S., environmental mercury contamination is mostly from historical gold mining practices, and portions of Nevada remain sufficiently mercury contaminated to pose a hazard to reproduction of carnivorous fishes and fish-eating birds. Concentrations of total mercury lethal to sensitive representative natural resources range from 0.1 to 2.0 microg/L of medium for aquatic organisms; from 2,200 to 31,000 microg/kg BW (acute oral) and from 4,000 to 40,000 microg/kg (dietary) for birds; and from 100 to 500 microg/kg BW (daily dose) and from 1,000 to 5,000 microg/kg diet for mammals. Significant adverse sublethal effects were observed among selected aquatic species at water concentrations of 0.03-0.1 microg Hg/L. For some birds, adverse effects, mainly on reproduction, have been associated with

  20. [Asymptomatic renal damages in persons with chronic professional exposure to elementary mercury low concentrations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durić, Stevan; Jovanović, Dragan; Hrvacević, Rajko; Kovacević, Zoran; Konjević, Marija

    2008-09-01

    Any forms of mercury have toxic action on the majority of organs, especially kidneys. The major source of professional exposure to mercury are departments for the production of chlorine which use mercury as catode. The aim of the study was to prove that chronic exposure to elementary mercury low concentrations could cause asymptomatic damages of the kidneys. A total of 40 workers from the factory ,,HIP Petrohemija" Pancevo, of the mean age 45+/-8 years, who were exposed to the effects of mercury for more than 20 years within the production procedure, and 20 workers from the factory "Panonijaplast" Pancevo, of the mean age 44+/-7 years, who were not exposed to mercury nor to other nephrotoxic agents, were submitted to laboratory analysis, renal function testing, and determination of mercury concentration in urine. Mercury concentration was also measured in the air of working premises of the factory. The performed measurements confirmed that the concentrations of mercury at any tested working place in the Department of Electrolysis were not more than the maximally permitted concentration for an 8-hour exposition. In the exposed group (40 examinees) 75% of the examinees had mercury in urine in the concentration < 0.1 micromol/l, while in 25% of them it was 0.1-0.75 micromol/l. In the control group (20 examinees) all of the examinees showed to have < 0.1 mol/l mercury in urine. There was determined a positive corelation between the concentration of mercury in urine and the value of beta2-microglobulin (p < 0.05), as well as between the corrcentration of mercury in urine and gammaGT activity (p < 0.05), and between the concentration of mercury in urine and the value of retinol-binding protein (p < 0.01). In 25% of the examinees excretion of mercury was significantly higher than in the control group. The frequency of asymptomatic renal tubular lesions and dysfunction of moderate extent were found to be higher in the exposed group than in the control one.

  1. Asymptomatic renal damages in persons with chronic professional exposure to elementary mercury low concentrations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đurić Stevan

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aim. Any forms of mercury have toxic action on the majority of organs, especially kidneys. The major source of professional exposure to mercury are departments for the production of chlorine which use mercury as catode. The aim of the study was to prove that chronic exposure to elementary mercury low concentrations could cause asymptomatic damages of the kidneys. Methods. A total of 40 workers from the factory "HIP Petrohemija" Pančevo, of the mean age 45±8 years, who were exposed to the effects of mercury for more than 20 years within the production procedure, and 20 workers from the factory "Panonijaplast" Pančevo, of the mean age 44±7 years, who were not exposed to mercury nor to other nephrotoxic agents, were submitted to laboratory analysis, renal function testing, and determination of mercury concentration in urine. Mercury concentration was also measured in the air of working premises of the factory. Results. The performed measurements confirmed that the concentrations of mercury at any tested working place in the Department of Electrolysis were not more than the maximally permitted concentration for an 8-hour exposition. In the exposed group (40 examinees 75% of the examinees had mercury in urine in the concentration < 0.1 μmol/l, while in 25% of them it was 0.1-0.75 μmol/l. In the control group (20 examinees all of the examinees showed to have < 0.1 mol/l mercury in urine. There was determined a positive corelation between the concentration of mercury in urine and the value of β2-microglobulin (p < 0.05, as well as between the corrcentration of mercury in urine and γGT activity (p < 0.05, and between the concentration of mercury in urine and the value of retinol-binding protein (p < 0.01. Conclusion. In 25% of the examinees excretion of mercury was significantly higher than in the control group. The frequency of asymptomatic renal tubular lesions and dysfunction of moderate extent were found to be higher in the

  2. Quantitative tremor assessment in workers with current low exposure to mercury vapor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wastensson, Gunilla; Lamoureux, Daniel; Sällsten, Gerd; Beuter, Anne; Barregård, Lars

    2006-01-01

    Measurement of tremor has been used in several occupational studies of workers with long-term exposure to mercury vapor (Hg(0)). Recent studies indicate an adverse effect even at relatively low exposure levels. In the present study, we used sensitive quantitative methods to assess tremor in chloralkali workers with current low exposure to Hg(0). Neurological examinations and recordings of tremor using both an accelerometer and a laser-based system were conducted in 43 mercury-exposed workers and 22 age-matched referents. The median urinary mercury concentration in exposed workers was 5.9 (1.3-25) microg/g creatinine (microg/gC), while it was 0.7 (0.2-4.1) microg/gC in referents. The mean exposure time was 15 years, and the median cumulative mercury index was 161 years x microg/gC in exposed workers. There were no differences between the exposed workers and the referents in the clinical evaluation of tremor. In the quantitative tremor tests, no associations were found with current or cumulative mercury exposure for the majority of tremor measures. There were indications that exposure to Hg(0) was associated with a lowering of tremor frequency in the non-dominant hand, and a possible interaction with smoking. The differences were small, however, and overall, this study indicates no significant adverse effects on tremor at these exposure levels.

  3. A Review of Mercury Bioavailability in Humans and Fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A. Bradley

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available To estimate human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg, risk assessors often assume 95%–100% bioavailability in their models. However, recent research suggests that assuming all, or most, of the ingested mercury (Hg is absorbed into systemic circulation may be erroneous. The objective of this paper is to review and discuss the available state of knowledge concerning the assimilation or bioavailability of Hg in fish and humans. In fish, this meant reviewing studies on assimilation efficiency, that is the difference between ingested and excreted Hg over a given period of time. In humans, this meant reviewing studies that mostly investigated bioaccessibility (digestive processes rather than bioavailability (cumulative digestive + absorptive processes, although studies incorporating absorption for a fuller picture of bioavailability were also included where possible. The outcome of this review shows that in a variety of organisms and experimental models that Hg bioavailability and assimilation is less than 100%. Specifically, 25 studies on fish were reviewed, and assimilation efficiencies ranged from 10% to 100% for MeHg and from 2% to 51% for Hg(II. For humans, 20 studies were reviewed with bioaccessibility estimates ranging from 2% to 100% for MeHg and 0.2% to 94% for Hg(II. The overall absorption estimates ranged from 12% to 79% for MeHg and 49% to 69% for Hg(II, and were consistently less than 100%. For both fish and humans, a number of cases are discussed in which factors (e.g., Hg source, cooking methods, nutrients are shown to affect Hg bioavailability. The summaries presented here challenge a widely-held assumption in the Hg risk assessment field, and the paper discusses possible ways forward for the field.

  4. Exposure to mercury among Spanish preschool children: Trend from birth to age four

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llop, Sabrina, E-mail: llop_sab@gva.es [Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Murcia, Mario [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Aguinagalde, Xabier [Laboratorio de Salud Pública de Alava, Santiago 11, 01002 Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain); Vioque, Jesus [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Avenida de Alicante KM 87, 03550 Sant Joan d´Alacant (Spain); Rebagliato, Marisa [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Medicine Department, Jaume I University, Av. Vicent Sos Baynat, s/n, 12071 Castelló de la Plana (Spain); Cases, Amparo [Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Iñiguez, Carmen; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose [Foundation for the Promotion of Health and Biomedical Research in the Valencian Region, FISABIO-Public Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Amurrio, Ascensión [Laboratorio de Salud Pública de Alava, Santiago 11, 01002 Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain); María Navarrete-Muñoz, Eva [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Avenida de Alicante KM 87, 03550 Sant Joan d´Alacant (Spain); and others

    2014-07-15

    The purpose of this study is to describe the total hair mercury concentrations and their determinants in preschool Spanish children, as well as to explore the trend in mercury exposure from birth to the age four. This evolution has been scarcely studied in other birth cohort studies. The study population was 580 four year old children participating in the INMA (i.e. Childhood and Environment) birth cohort study in Valencia (2008–2009). Total mercury concentration at age four was measured in hair samples by atomic absorption spectrometry. Fish consumption and other covariates were obtained by questionnaire. Multivariate linear regression models were conducted in order to explore the association between mercury exposure and fish consumption, socio-demographic characteristics and prenatal exposure to mercury. The geometric mean was 1.10 µg/g (95%CI: 1.02, 1.19). Nineteen percent of children had mercury concentrations above the equivalent to the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake proposed by WHO. Mercury concentration was associated with increasing maternal age, fish consumption and cord blood mercury levels, as well as decreasing parity. Children whose mothers worked had higher mercury levels than those with non working mothers. Swordfish, lean fish and canned fish were the fish categories most associated with hair mercury concentrations. We observed a decreasing trend in mercury concentrations between birth and age four. In conclusion, the children participating in this study had high hair mercury concentrations compared to reported studies on children from other European countries and similar to other countries with high fish consumption. The INMA study design allows the evaluation of the exposure to mercury longitudinally and enables this information to be used for biomonitoring purposes and dietary recommendations. - Highlights: • The geometric mean of hair Hg concentrations was 1.10 µg/g. • 19% of children had Hg concentrations above the RfD proposed by

  5. Current progress on understanding the impact of mercury on human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Eunhee; Basu, Niladri; Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Dórea, José G; McSorley, Emeir; Sakamoto, Mineshi; Chan, Hing Man

    2017-01-01

    Mercury pollution and its impacts on human health is of global concern. The authors of this paper were members of the Plenary Panel on Human Health in the 12th International Conference on Mercury as a Global Pollutant held in Korea in June 2015. The Panel was asked by the conference organizers to address two questions: what is the current understanding of the impacts of mercury exposure on human health and what information is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Minamata Convention in lowering exposure and preventing adverse effects. The authors conducted a critical review of the literature published since January 2012 and discussed the current state-of-knowledge in the following areas: environmental exposure and/or risk assessment; kinetics and biomonitoring; effects on children development; effects on adult general populations; effects on artisanal and small-scale gold miners (ASGM); effects on dental workers; risk of ethylmercury in thimerosal-containing vaccines; interactions with nutrients; genetic determinants and; risk communication and management. Knowledge gaps in each area were identified and recommendations for future research were made. The Panel concluded that more knowledge synthesis efforts are needed to translate the research results into management tools for health professionals and policy makers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Human hair mercury levels in the Wanshan mercury mining area, Guizhou Province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ping; Feng, Xinbin; Qiu, Guangle; Shang, Lihai; Li, Guanghui

    2009-12-01

    The total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (Me-Hg) concentrations in the hair were measured to evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure for the residents in Da-shui-xi Village (DSX) and Xia-chang-xi Village (XCX) in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, Southwestern China. The mean concentrations in the hair of DSX residents were 5.5 ± 2.7 μg/g and 1.9 ± 0.9 μg/g for T-Hg and Me-Hg, respectively. The concentrations in the hair of XCX residents were 3.3 ± 1.4 μg/g and 1.2 ± 0.5 μg/g for T-Hg and Me-Hg, respectively. Hair Me-Hg concentrations were significantly correlated to T-Hg (r = 0.42, P < 0.01) in the two sites; on average, hair Me-Hg concentration accounted for 40 and 44% of T-Hg for DSX and XCX residents, respectively. Age has no obvious correlation with hair Hg and the hair Hg levels showed a significant gender difference, with higher T-Hg and Me-Hg concentrations in the hair from males than females. The rice collected from the two sites showed high levels of T-Hg and Me-Hg concentration. The results indicated a certain Hg exposure for the residents in DSX and XCX in the Wanshan Hg mining area.

  7. Nephrotic syndrome of minimal change disease following exposure to mercury-containing skin-lightening cream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lin; Liu, Fuyou; Peng, Youming; Sun, Lin; Chen, Chunguo

    2014-01-01

    A 28-year-old female suffered from nephrotic syndrome after a long-term use of mercury-containing, skin-lightening cream. The blood and urinary mercury content of this patient increased with use. Renal biopsy showed minimal change disease. Her symptoms were relieved 6 months after discontinuing use of the cream and receiving sodium dimercaptosulfonate and glucocorticosteroid treatments. Proteinuria disappeared, and blood and urinary mercury levels returned to normal. Previous reports of nephrotic syndrome caused by mercury-containing, skin-lightening creams have mostly been identified as be.ing due to membranous nephropathy. Minimal change disease has been reported in a few case reports published in the English language. Here we report a case of nephrotic syndrome with minimal change disease following exposure to a mercury-containing, skin-lightening cream. We also reviewed relevant published reports to summarize clinical features and treatments and to explore the possible mechanisms involved.

  8. [Current dietary exposure to mercury during pregnancy and childhood, and public health recommendations].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llop, Sabrina; Ibarlucea, Jesús; Sunyer, Jordi; Ballester, Ferran

    2013-01-01

    Exposure to high levels of mercury during vulnerable periods (such as pregnancy and childhood) may have serious consequences for cognitive development, as observed after acute poisoning episodes in Japan and Irak. The main source of mercury exposure in the general population is consumption of certain types of fish. There is growing concern about the possible neurotoxic effects of mercury, especially in younger children in populations where fish intake is moderate to high. The scientific evidence to date is inconclusive. In Spain, the Childhood and Environment (Infancia y Medio Ambiente [INMA]) project has provided information on levels of prenatal exposure to mercury among 1800 newborns from Valencia, Sabadell, Asturias and Guipúzcoa. In general, levels were high, being above the World Health Organization's recommended dose in 24% of children and above the recommended levels of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 64%. However, the results did not indicate a significant association between prenatal mercury exposure and delayed cognitive development during the second year of life. Various agencies have developed recommendations on fish consumption for pregnant women and children, due to the presence of mercury. These recommendations should be strengthened, since there is general consensus among all regional and national public administrations that fish is an essential source of nutrients for development in the early stages of life. Copyright © 2012 SESPAS. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.

  9. Synergism between exposure to mercury and use of iodine supplements on thyroid hormones in pregnant women

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Llop, Sabrina, E-mail: llop_sab@gva.es [FISABIO–Universitat de València–Universitat Jaume I Joint Research Unit of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose; Murcia, Mario [FISABIO–Universitat de València–Universitat Jaume I Joint Research Unit of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, Av. Catalunya 21, 46020 Valencia (Spain); Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona (Spain); Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona (Spain); Vioque, Jesús [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Avenida de Alicante KM 87, 03550 Sant Joan d´Alacant (Spain); Aguinagalde, Xabier [Laboratorio de Salud Pública de Alava, Santiago 11, 01002 Vitoria Gasteiz (Spain); Julvez, Jordi [Spanish Consortium for Research on Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP), Madrid (Spain); Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona (Spain); Municipal Institute of Medical Research (IMIM-Hospital del Mar), Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona (Spain); and others

    2015-04-15

    Objective: To evaluate the association between mercury exposure and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), total triiodothyronine (TT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels during pregnancy as well as to explore if there is any synergic action between mercury and intake of iodine from different sources. Methods: The study population was 1407 pregnant women participating in the Spanish INMA birth cohort study. Total mercury concentrations were analyzed in cord blood. Thyroid hormones (THs) were measured in serum samples collected at 13.2±1.5 weeks of gestation. The association between mercury and TH levels was evaluated with multivariate linear regression models. Effect modification caused by iodine intake from supplements and diet was also evaluated. Results: The geometric means of TSH, TT3, FT4 and mercury were 1.1 μU/L, 2.4 nmol/L, 10.5 pmol/L and 7.7 μg/L, respectively. Mercury levels were marginally significantly associated with TT3 (β: −0.05; 95%CI: −0.10, 0.01), but were neither associated with TSH nor FT4. The inverse association between mercury and TT3 levels was stronger among the iodine supplement consumers (−0.08; 95%CI: −0.15, −0.02, interaction p-value=0.07). The association with FT4 followed the same pattern, albeit not significant. Conclusion: Prenatal mercury exposure was inversely associated with TT3 levels among women who took iodine supplements during pregnancy. These results could be of public health concern, although further research is needed. - Highlights: • We studied the relationship between mercury and thyroid hormones among pregnant. • Mercury was marginally significantly associated with TT3, but not with TSH or FT4. • This association was stronger among the iodine supplement. • These results could be of public health concern, but further research is needed.

  10. Fish consumption and bioindicators of inorganic mercury exposure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sousa Passos, Carlos Jose [Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la biologie, la sante, la societe et l' environnement (CINBIOSE), Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal (Quebec) (Canada)]. E-mail: sousa_passos.carlos_jose@courrier.uqam.ca; Mergler, Donna [Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la biologie, la sante, la societe et l' environnement (CINBIOSE), Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal (Quebec) (Canada); Lemire, Melanie [Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la biologie, la sante, la societe et l' environnement (CINBIOSE), Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal (Quebec) (Canada); Fillion, Myriam [Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la biologie, la sante, la societe et l' environnement (CINBIOSE), Universite du Quebec a Montreal, Montreal (Quebec) (Canada); Guimaraes, Jean Remy Davee [Lab. de Tracadores, IBCCF, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2007-02-01

    Background: The direct and close relationship between fish consumption and blood and hair mercury (Hg) levels is well known, but the influence of fish consumption on inorganic mercury in blood (B-IHg) and in urine (U-Hg) is unclear. Objective: Examine the relationship between fish consumption, total, inorganic and organic blood Hg levels and urinary Hg concentration. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 171 persons from 7 riparian communities on the Tapajos River (Brazilian Amazon), with no history of inorganic Hg exposure from occupation or dental amalgams. During the rising water season in 2004, participants responded to a dietary survey, based on a seven-day recall of fish and fruit consumption frequency, and socio-demographic information was recorded. Blood and urine samples were collected. Total, organic and inorganic Hg in blood as well as U-Hg were determined by Atomic Absorption Spectrometry. Results: On average, participants consumed 7.4 fish meals/week and 8.8 fruits/week. Blood total Hg averaged 38.6 {+-} 21.7 {mu}g/L, and the average percentage of B-IHg was 13.8%. Average organic Hg (MeHg) was 33.6 {+-} 19.4 {mu}g/L, B-IHg was 5.0 {+-} 2.6 {mu}g/L, while average U-Hg was 7.5 {+-} 6.9 {mu}g/L, with 19.9% of participants presenting U-Hg levels above 10 {mu}g/L. B-IHg was highly significantly related to the number of meals of carnivorous fish, but no relation was observed with non-carnivorous fish; it was negatively related to fruit consumption, increased with age, was higher among those who were born in the Tapajos region, and varied with community. U-Hg was also significantly related to carnivorous but not non-carnivorous fish consumption, showed a tendency towards a negative relation with fruit consumption, was higher among men compared to women and higher among those born in the region. U-Hg was strongly related to I-Hg, blood methyl Hg (B-MeHg) and blood total Hg (B-THg). The Odds Ratio (OR) for U-Hg above 10 {mu}g/L for those who ate

  11. Fluctuating Asymmetry in Waterbirds in Relation to Mercury Exposure

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset includes the bird species, sex, mercury concentration in breast feathers and whole blood, and the composite measure of fluctuating asymmetry. Statistical...

  12. Acrodynia: exposure to mercury from fluorescent light bulbs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tunnessen, W.W. Jr.; McMahon, K.J.; Baser, M.

    1987-05-01

    Medical attention was sought for a 23-month-old toddler because of anorexia, weight loss, irritability, profuse sweating, peeling and redness of his fingers and toes, and a miliarial rash. The diagnosis was mercury poisoning, and an investigation of his environment disclosed that he had been exposed to mercury from broken fluorescent light bulbs. Acrodynia resulting from fluorescent bulbs has not been previously reported.

  13. Significance of fingernail and toenail mercury concentrations as biomarkers for prenatal methylmercury exposure in relation to segmental hair mercury concentrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Chan, Hing M; Domingo, José L; Oliveira, Ricardo B; Kawakami, Shoichi; Murata, Katsuyuki

    2015-01-01

    To investigate the appropriateness of mercury (Hg) concentrations in fingernails and toenails at parturition for detecting prenatal exposure to methylmercury (MeHg). Total Hg concentrations were measured in 54 paired samples of fingernails, toenails, maternal blood, and maternal hair (1cm incremental segments from the scalp toward the tip) collected at 4th weeks of (early) pregnancy, and the same specimens and cord blood collected at parturition. Strong correlations were observed between Hg concentrations in fingernails and toenails at early pregnancy (r=0.923, pMercury concentrations in fingernails and toenails at parturition represented strong correlations with those in cord blood (r=0.803, pMercury in fingernails and toenails at early pregnancy reflected the maternal Hg body burden level approximately 5 months retroactively. At parturition, Hg levels in fingernails and toenails also showed strong correlations with those in cord blood. In addition, Hg levels in fingernails and toenails at parturition reflected more recent MeHg exposure, compared with those at early pregnancy. These results suggest that fingernails and toenails at parturition are useful biomarkers for prenatal MeHg exposure for mothers and fetuses, especially during the third-trimester of gestation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Chronic psychological effects of exposure to mercury vapour among chlorine-alkali plant workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pranjić, N; Sinanović, O; Jakubović, R

    2003-01-01

    Quantitative assessment of nervous system function is essential in characterising the nature and extent of impairment in individuals experiencing symptoms following work-place mercury vapour exposure. The purpose of this study was the application of standardised tests of behavioural, psychomotor and memory function to understand the neuropsychological effects of mercury in occupationally exposed chlorine-alkali plant workers. The study comprised 45 workers at a chlorine-alkali plant with the mean age of 39.36 +/- 5.94 years, who had been exposed to daily inhalation of mercury vapour over long-term employment of 16.06 +/- 4.29 years. The cumulative mercury index was 155.32 +/- 95.02 micrograms/g creatinine, the mean of urinary mercury concentrations on the first day of the study was 119.50 +/- 157.24 micrograms/g creatinine, and the mean of urinary mercury concentrations 120 days after cessation of exposure was 21.70 +/- 26.07 micrograms/g creatinine. The analysis included tests of behavioural, psychomotor and memory function. The behavioural test battery consisted of: Environmental Worry Scale (EWS), Minnesota Modified Personal Inventory (MMPI-2), Purdue standard 25 minute test, and adapted, 10 minutes test, Bender's Visual-Motor Gestalt test (BGT), and Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPQ). The data were compared to a control group of 32 not directly exposed workers. In the mercury vapour exposed workers with relatively high level exposure to inorganic mercury vapour (TWA/TLV = 0.12 mg/m3/0.025 mg/m3) we identified somatic depression-hypochondria symptoms with higher scores for scales: hysteria (P < 0.001), schizoid and psycho-asthenia (MMPI-2). The mercury-exposed workers had introvert behaviour (EPQ, MMPI-2). The cognitive disturbances in mercury-exposed workers were identified as: concentration difficulty, psychomotor, perceptual and motor coordination disturbances, and brain effects. We identified fine tremor of the hands in 34 out of 45 mercury-exposed workers

  15. Mercury exposure and risk of hypertension in US men and women in 2 prospective cohorts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mozaffarian, Dariush; Shi, Peilin; Morris, J Steven

    2012-01-01

    toenail mercury, a valid biomarker of long-term methylmercury exposure, among 6045 US men and women free of hypertension at baseline. Geometric mean toenail mercury concentrations were 0.08 μg/g in the lowest quintile and 0.74 μg/g in the highest quintile, the latter corresponding with exposures ≈2.0-fold...... as compared with review of medical charts and direct blood pressure measurement, respectively. After adjustment for demographic, clinical, and lifestyle risk factors, the hazard ratio (95% CI) for incident hypertension in the highest versus lowest quintile of mercury exposure was 0.96 (0.84-1.09) in women, 0......Cross-sectional studies and animal experiments suggest that methylmercury exposure could increase the risk of hypertension. This relationship has not been evaluated in large prospective studies. Using data from previous nested case-control studies in 2 separate prospective cohorts, we measured...

  16. Mercury in gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Alaska: Increased exposure through consumption of marine prey

    OpenAIRE

    McGrew, Ashley K.; Lora R. Ballweber; Moses, Sara K.; Craig A. Stricker; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Salman, Mo D.; O’Hara, Todd M.

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulates in the tissues of organisms and biomagnifies within food-webs. Gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Alaska primarily acquire Hg through diet; therefore, comparing the extent of Hg exposure in wolves, in conjunction with stable isotopes, from interior and coastal regions of Alaska offers important insight into their feeding ecology. Liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle samples from 162 gray wolves were analyzed for total mercury (THg) concentrations and stable isotopic signat...

  17. [Evaluation of human health risk for a population from Cali, Colombia, by exposure to lead, cadmium, mercury, 2,4-dichloro-phenoxyacetic acid and diuron associated with water and food consumption].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Echeverry, Ghisliane; Zapata, Andrés Mauricio; Páez, Martha Isabel; Méndez, Fabián; Peña, Miguel

    2015-08-01

    Exposure to pollutants such as pesticides and heavy metals has been linked to health problems. Several studies have revealed the presence of these contaminants in Cali; however, there is no information available about the main routes of exposure and risk of these contaminants. To estimate the risk associated with the intake of cadmium, lead and mercury, and pesticides 2,4-D and diuron through the consumption of water and food in a population in Cali. Population and environmental data were obtained, and a risk assessment was performed using United States Environmental Protection Agency guidelines. The concentrations of the evaluated pollutants were below permissible levels as established by the Colombian Ministerio de Ambiente, Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial (3 µg/L -1 of cadmium; 10 µg/L -1 of lead; 1 µg/L -1 of mercury; 1 µg/L -1 of 2,4 D; 1 µg/L -1 of diuron). Salema butterfish ( Peprilus snyderi ) samples contained levels of cadmium between 20 and 80 µg/kg -1 , which are below the permissible limit set by the World Health Organization (100 µg/kg -1 ). The results of the risk assessment indicated that the carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic attributable risk to population health from the intake of food contaminants was below the maximum level permitted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. It is believed that the findings in previous studies on pollutants may have been due to specific contamination events; therefore, monitoring and early warning about water intake is recommended. Furthermore, the report of cadmium being found in fish consumed as food suggests the need for quality control by regulators.

  18. Mercury exposure as a function of fish consumption in two Asian communities in coastal Virginia, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xiaoyu; Newman, Michael C

    2015-04-01

    Fish consumption and associated mercury exposure were explored for two Asian-dominated church communities in coastal Virginia and compared with that of two non-Asian church communities. Seafood-consumption rates for the Chinese (36.9 g/person/day) and Vietnamese (52.7 g/person/day) church communities were greater than the general United States fish-consumption rate (12.8 g/person/day). Correspondingly, hair mercury concentrations for people from the Chinese (0.52 µg/g) and the Vietnamese church (1.46 µg/g) were greater than the overall level for United States women (0.20 µg/g) but lower than the published World Health Organization exposure threshold (14 µg/g). A conventional regression model indicated a positive relationship between seafood consumption rates and hair mercury concentrations suggesting the importance of mercury exposure through seafood consumption. The annual-average daily methylmercury intake rate for the studied communities calculated by Monte Carlo simulations followed the sequence: Vietnamese community > Chinese community > non-Asian communities. Regardless, their daily methylmercury intake rates were all lower than the United States Environmental Protection Agency reference dose of 0.1 µg/kg body weight-day. In conclusion, fish-consumption patterns differed among communities, which resulted in different levels of mercury exposure. The greater seafood and mercury ingestion rates of studied Asian groups compared with non-Asian groups suggest the need for specific seafood consumption advice for ethnic communities in the United States. Otherwise the health benefits from fish consumption could be perceived as trivial compared with the ill-defined risk of mercury exposure.

  19. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somers, Emily C; Ganser, Martha A; Warren, Jeffrey S; Basu, Niladri; Wang, Lu; Zick, Suzanna M; Park, Sung Kyun

    2015-08-01

    Immune dysregulation associated with mercury has been suggested, although data in the general population are lacking. Chronic exposure to low levels of methylmercury (organic) and inorganic mercury is common, such as through fish consumption and dental amalgams. We examined associations between mercury biomarkers and antinuclear antibody (ANA) positivity and titer strength. Among females 16-49 years of age (n = 1,352) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2004, we examined cross-sectional associations between mercury and ANAs (indirect immunofluorescence; cutoff ≥ 1:80). Three biomarkers of mercury exposure were used: hair (available 1999-2000) and total blood (1999-2004) predominantly represented methylmercury, and urine (1999-2002) represented inorganic mercury. Survey statistics were used. Multivariable modeling adjusted for several covariates, including age and omega-3 fatty acids. Sixteen percent of females were ANA positive; 96% of ANA positives had a nuclear speckled staining pattern. Geometric mean (geometric SD) mercury concentrations were 0.22 (0.03) ppm in hair, 0.92 (0.05) μg/L blood, and 0.62 (0.04) μg/L urine. Hair and blood, but not urinary, mercury were associated with ANA positivity (sample sizes 452, 1,352, and 804, respectively), after adjusting for confounders: for hair, odds ratio (OR) = 4.10 (95% CI: 1.66, 10.13); for blood, OR = 2.32 (95% CI: 1.07, 5.03) comparing highest versus lowest quantiles. Magnitudes of association were strongest for high-titer (≥ 1:1,280) ANA: hair, OR = 11.41 (95% CI: 1.60, 81.23); blood, OR = 5.93 (95% CI: 1.57, 22.47). Methylmercury, at low levels generally considered safe, was associated with subclinical autoimmunity among reproductive-age females. Autoantibodies may predate clinical disease by years; thus, methylmercury exposure may be relevant to future autoimmune disease risk.

  20. Female immune system is protected from effects of prenatal exposure to mercury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kayla L. Penta

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxicant which bioaccumulates and has many biological effects, including detrimental effects on the nervous and immune systems. Because mercury can cross the placenta and concentrates in the fetal compartment, the developing fetus is particularly vulnerable. We hypothesize that developmental exposure to mercury will cause immunological changes, leading to an increased susceptibility to, or exacerbation of, immune disorders later in life. To better understand these changes, we exposed pregnant female mice to low doses of mercury for a short duration and examined the genetic effects related to immune function in the adult offspring. Pregnant BALB/c mice were exposed to mercury (200 µg/kg HgCl2 in PBS by subcutaneous injection or vehicle control every other day from gestation day 5 to 15. Offspring remained with the dam until weaning and were euthanized at 8 weeks of age with no further exposures to mercury. Splenic RNA was isolated and gene expression changes examined by microarray in a non-random subset of samples and changes confirmed by quantitative PCR. Epigenetic changes were also examined in terms of miRNA levels in the spleen. Although male and female offspring were exposed to mercury in the same in utero environment, the effects on expression of immune-related genes and immune-regulatory epigenetic signals were different dependent upon the sex of the offspring with males, but not females, displaying up-regulation at least two-fold of arginase, interferon-γ, STAT1, vitronectin, and TNFSF18. Epigenetic changes in miRNA levels were differentially expressed in males and females with in utero mercury exposure; miR-191-5p was decreased in males, while miR-1188-3p was increased in females. These gene expression and gene regulation changes modulate the baseline immune response and may impact risks for autoimmunity later in life.

  1. Health evaluation and reported symptoms in workers with past occupational exposure to elemental mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kallenbach, L.R.

    1988-01-01

    A comprehensive health evaluation was conducted on 502 workers at the Y-12 plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee of which approximately half (247) had past exposure to elemental mercury vapor between 1953 and 1966. Extensive urinalysis records were available and a number of exposure indices were generated from these in an attempt to model different aspects of exposure. Selection into the study group was based on an index of cumulative exposure that consisted of the sum of average quarterly mercury urinalyses. Cumulative and peak exposure indices based on workers' average exposure from company work histories were more strongly associated with adverse health effects than corresponding indices based on individual urinary records. Substantial evidence suggested that higher exposed workers were at elevated risk for the development of a mild peripheral neuropathy and sustention tremor. In addition, a small increase in the frequency of mild myelopathies was noted in the mercury-exposed group which was not clearly related to exposure. Reported symptoms of lightheadedness, confused, trouble remembering steps, bothered by clumsiness, and trouble grasping objects were significantly associated with increasing level of elemental mercury. A preliminary evaluation tends to validate the use of symptoms data in epidemiologic surveys. Symptom reports were related to poorer performance on objective tests of psychomotor and other behavioral attributes.

  2. Exposure of rainbow trout milt to mercury and cadmium alters sperm motility parameters and reproductive success

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dietrich, Grzegorz J., E-mail: dietrich@pan.olsztyn.pl [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland); Dietrich, Mariola; Kowalski, R.K. [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland); Dobosz, Stefan [Department of Salmonid Research, Inland Fisheries Institute, Rutki 83-330 Zukowo (Poland); Karol, Halina; Demianowicz, Wieslaw; Glogowski, Jan [Department of Gamete and Embryo Biology, Institute of Animal Reproduction and Food Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, Tuwima 10, 10-747 Olsztyn (Poland)

    2010-05-10

    In the current work, seminal plasma was used for the first time as an incubation medium for monitoring short-time exposure effects of sublethal concentrations of mercury and cadmium ions on rainbow trout sperm. Sperm motility parameters (CASA) and hatching rates were used as gamete quality markers. Additionally live/dead sperm viability test and comet assay of DNA fragmentation were performed. We demonstrated that computer-assisted sperm motility analysis (CASA) may serve as a predictor of reproductive success, when milt contaminated with heavy metals is used. Results presented in this study demonstrate that mercury ions altered sperm motility characteristics at 1-10 mg Hg{sup 2+}/l and 10 mg Cd{sup 2+}/l and hatching rates at 10 mg Hg{sup 2+}/l and 10 mg Cd{sup 2+}/l after 4 h of exposure. Although mercury ions affected sperm motility parameters immediately after dilution with milt as well as at 4 h of exposure, no differences in sperm motility parameters were found between intact and mercury-treated milt after 24 h of exposure. Our results suggest that rainbow trout seminal plasma has a protective role against the toxic effects of mercury ions of rainbow trout sperm motility.

  3. Pilot assessment of mercury exposure in selected biota from the lowlands of Nicaragua [Evaluacion piloto de exposicion al mercurio en biota selecta de las tierras bajas de Nicaragua

    Science.gov (United States)

    O.P. Lane; W.J. Arendt; M.A. Torrez; J.C. Gamez Castellon

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury, a potent neurotoxin, can damage health of humans and wildlife. In 2012, we collected 73 blood and feather samples from birds among diverse foraging guilds to assess mercury exposure in wetland habitats associated with Lakes Managua and Nicaragua. Blood levels (0.72 parts per million) in a piscivorous Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus from...

  4. Health effects of long-term mercury exposure among chloralkali plant workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frumkin, H; Letz, R; Williams, P L; Gerr, F; Pierce, M; Sanders, A; Elon, L; Manning, C C; Woods, J S; Hertzberg, V S; Mueller, P; Taylor, B B

    2001-01-01

    Inorganic mercury is toxic to the nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system. We studied the health effects of mercury exposure among former employees of a chloralkali plant that operated from 1955 to 1994 in Georgia. Former plant workers and unexposed workers from nearby employers were studied. Exposure was assessed with a job-exposure matrix based on historical measurements and personnel records. Health outcomes were assessed with interviews, physical examinations, neurological and neurobehavioral testing, renal function testing, and urinary porphyrin measurements. Exposure-disease associations were assessed with multivariate modeling. Exposed workers reported more symptoms, and tended toward more physical examination abnormalities, than unexposed workers. Exposed workers performed worse than unexposed subjects on some quantitative tests of vibration sense, motor speed and coordination, and tremor, and on one test of cognitive function. Few findings remained significant when exposure was modeled as a continuous variable. Neither renal function nor porphyrin excretion was associated with mercury exposure. Mercury-exposed chloralkali plant workers reported more symptoms than unexposed controls, but no strong associations were demonstrated with neurological or renal function or with porphyrin excretion. Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  5. Total mercury in fresh and processed tuna marketed in Galicia (NW Spain) in relation to dietary exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, M Ángeles; Núñez, Ricardo; Alonso, Julián; Melgar, M Julia

    2016-12-01

    Mercury is a toxic trace metal, which can accumulate to levels threatening human and environmental health. In this study, contents of total mercury have been determined by ICP-MS spectrometry in fresh and processed tuna (110 samples) purchased from supermarkets in NW Spain. Mercury was present in all samples analyzed; however, only one sample of fresh tuna (1.070 mg kg-1 wet weight (w.w.)) slightly exceeded the limit of the EU (1.0 mg kg-1 w.w.). The average mercury concentration in processed tuna was lower than fresh, 0.306 mg kg-1 w.w., and ranged from 0.080 to 0.715 mg kg-1 w.w. Results were compared with literature data. In regard to the three types of preparation-packaging media for canned tuna, total Hg content was found in the following order: olive oil > natural > pickled sauce; the last showed significant statistical differences (p exposure to Hg.

  6. Estimated long-term dietary exposure to lead, cadmium, and mercury in young Korean children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, D W; Woo, H D; Joo, J; Park, K S; Oh, S Y; Kwon, H J; Park, J D; Hong, Y S; Sohn, S J; Yoon, H J; Hwang, M S; Kim, J

    2014-12-01

    Controlling for day-to-day variation is a key issue in estimating long-term dietary exposure to heavy metals using 24-hour recall (24HR) data from a relatively small number of days. This study was conducted to estimate long-term dietary exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury among Korean children using the Iowa State University (ISU) method and to assess the contributions of different food groups to heavy metal intake. We analyzed 2 days of 24HR data from 457 children between 0 and 6 years of age in 2010. Using bootstrapped concentration data for 118 representative foods, 93.5% of total intake was included in the exposure estimates in this study. Using the 2-day exposure data, we estimated long-term exposure by controlling for within-individual variation using the ISU method. The long-term dietary exposure estimates (mean±standard deviation) for lead, cadmium, and mercury were 0.47±0.14, 0.38±0.20, and 0.22±0.08 μg/kg bw/day, respectively. For lead and cadmium, the percentages of children whose exposure was greater than the reference value were 35 and 42%, respectively. Fruits were an important source of lead exposure, and cereal and fish and shellfish made the greatest contributions to the total cadmium and mercury exposure. Our findings also suggest that the long-term exposure to lead and cadmium was somewhat greater than the reference values, whereas mercury exposure was well below than the reference value in this population. Further studies may be necessary to evaluate the food items contributing to heavy metal exposure, and continuous monitoring is needed to ensure the safety of food intake and dietary patterns among vulnerable groups in Korea.

  7. The effect of longterm exposure to mercury on the bacterial community in marine sediment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rasmussen, Lasse Dam; Sørensen, Søren Johannes

    1998-01-01

    Mercury pollution, bacteria, diversity, mercury resistance, antibiotic resistance, plasmid abundance......Mercury pollution, bacteria, diversity, mercury resistance, antibiotic resistance, plasmid abundance...

  8. Synergism between exposure to mercury and use of iodine supplements on thyroid hormones in pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llop, Sabrina; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose; Murcia, Mario; Alvarez-Pedrerol, Mar; Vioque, Jesús; Aguinagalde, Xabier; Julvez, Jordi; Aurrekoetxea, Juan J; Espada, Mercedes; Santa-Marina, Loreto; Rebagliato, Marisa; Ballester, Ferran

    2015-04-01

    To evaluate the association between mercury exposure and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), total triiodothyronine (TT3) and free thyroxine (FT4) levels during pregnancy as well as to explore if there is any synergic action between mercury and intake of iodine from different sources. The study population was 1407 pregnant women participating in the Spanish INMA birth cohort study. Total mercury concentrations were analyzed in cord blood. Thyroid hormones (THs) were measured in serum samples collected at 13.2±1.5 weeks of gestation. The association between mercury and TH levels was evaluated with multivariate linear regression models. Effect modification caused by iodine intake from supplements and diet was also evaluated. The geometric means of TSH, TT3, FT4 and mercury were 1.1μU/L, 2.4nmol/L, 10.5pmol/L and 7.7μg/L, respectively. Mercury levels were marginally significantly associated with TT3 (β: -0.05; 95%CI: -0.10, 0.01), but were neither associated with TSH nor FT4. The inverse association between mercury and TT3 levels was stronger among the iodine supplement consumers (-0.08; 95%CI: -0.15, -0.02, interaction p-value=0.07). The association with FT4 followed the same pattern, albeit not significant. Prenatal mercury exposure was inversely associated with TT3 levels among women who took iodine supplements during pregnancy. These results could be of public health concern, although further research is needed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Nephrotoxicity, neurotoxicity, and mercury exposure among children with and without dental amalgam fillings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Xibiao; Qian, Haojun; Xu, Peicheng; Zhu, Lin; Longnecker, Matthew P; Fu, Hua

    2009-07-01

    A scientific review panel for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently identified the need for more data on the health risk of mercury exposure from dental amalgam among susceptible populations. We evaluated impacts of low-level mercury exposure on renal function and neurobehavioral and neuropsychological performance among children. Dental histories for 403 children aged 7-11 years in five schools from Xuhui, Shanghai were checked by dentists. Of them, 198 with confirmed amalgam fillings were recruited (exposure group). Reference children (N=205) were those who never had dental amalgam treatment. In May 2004, each child provided a urine sample for measurements of total mercury, N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase activity, microalbumin, and creatinine (Cr). The Child Behavior Checklist, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and an intelligence screening test were administered. The geometric mean urinary mercury concentration was 1.6 microg/g Cr for children with and 1.4 microg/g Cr for children without amalgam fillings. No differences were found between children with and without fillings for either renal function biomarker, or on neurobehavioral, neuropsychological, or intelligence tests. Although urinary mercury concentration was slightly elevated among children with amalgam fillings, we found no evidence of adverse effects on the outcomes evaluated. These results agree with those from recent trials in developed countries.

  10. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Balogh, André; Steiger, Rudolf

    2008-01-01

    Mercury, the planet closest to the Sun, is different in several respects from the other three terrestrial planets. In appearance, it resembles the heavily cratered surface of the Moon, but its density is high, it has a magnetic field and magnetosphere, but no atmosphere or ionosphere. This book reviews the progress made in Mercury studies since the flybys by Mariner 10 in 1974-75, based on the continued research using the Mariner 10 archive, on observations from Earth, and on increasingly realistic models of its interior evolution.

  11. Multimodality evoked potentials in occupational exposure to metallic mercury vapour.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langauer-Lewowicka, H; Kazibutowska, Z

    1989-01-01

    Central nervous system dysfunction among workers exposed to metallic mercury was studied by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) and visual evoked potentials (VEPs). The examinations were conducted in 28 workers suspected of chronic mercury intoxication. They were exposed to Hg for a period ranging from 4-34 years (mean 22.1) in an acetic aldehyde and chlorine manufacturing plant. The increase of amplitude of N20 SSEP (13 cases) and elongation of its latency were frequent abnormalities in the examined group. The latency of N20 was significantly longer in the exposed group in comparison with the control one, the amplitude of N20 was also significantly higher. Significantly prolonged latency of P100 VEP was found in the group exposed to Hg. These findings suggest the possibility of an adverse effect due to Hg on the central part of the somatosensory and visual pathway.

  12. Mercury Levels in Human Hair and Farmed Fish near Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining Communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langeland, Aubrey L; Hardin, Rebecca D; Neitzel, Richard L

    2017-03-14

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) has been an important source of income for communities in the Madre de Dios River Basin in Peru for hundreds of years. However, in recent decades, the scale of ASGM activities in the region has increased dramatically, and exposures to a variety of occupational and environmental hazards related to ASGM, including mercury, are becoming more widespread. The aims of our study were to: (1) examine patterns in the total hair mercury level of human participants in several communities in the region and compare these results to the 2.2 µg/g total hair mercury level equivalent to the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee of Food Additives (JECFA)'s Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI); and (2), to measure the mercury levels of paco ( Piaractus brachypomus ) fish raised in local aquaculture ponds, in order to compare these levels to the EPA Fish Tissue Residue Criterion of 0.3 µg Hg/g fish (wet weight). We collected hair samples from 80 participants in four communities (one control and three where ASGM activities occurred) in the region, and collected 111 samples from fish raised in 24 local aquaculture farms. We then analyzed the samples for total mercury. Total mercury levels in hair were statistically significantly higher in the mining communities than in the control community, and increased with increasing geodesic distance from the Madre de Dios headwaters, did not differ by sex, and frequently exceeded the reference level. Regression analyses indicated that higher hair mercury levels were associated with residence in ASGM communities. The analysis of paco fish samples found no samples that exceeded the EPA tissue residue criterion. Collectively, these results align with other recent studies showing that ASGM activities are associated with elevated human mercury exposure. The fish farmed through the relatively new process of aquaculture in ASGM areas appeared to have little potential to contribute to human

  13. Mercury Exposure and Health Problems in Urban Artisanal Gold Mining (UAGM in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasriwiani Habo Abbas

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Urban artisanal gold mining (UAGM in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, has been run by a number of urban gold workers with gold jewelry manufacture as its core activity. The wastes generated from goldsmiths’ activities were further processed by the gold smelters to recover fine gold particles. Smelting gold doré, amalgamation, and burning out the amalgam were the mercury-based gold process usually applied in their work. While working the gold workers are, therefore, potentially exposed to a source of mercury pollution that may cause health problems because of working without proper protection. The aims of this research are to characterize the process of urban artisanal gold mining with the potential mercury exposures during the process, and to assess the health of the gold workers. The results showed that the gold workers had a low educational background, but a relatively high income. The total mercury concentration of gold workers was higher than the control group. They were exposed to intoxicatingly high levels of mercury with the average total mercury concentrations of 6.6 and 10.8 µg/g in the hair of indirect and direct exposed workers, respectively. The health assessment showed that 85% of the gold workers suffered neurological symptoms, such as tremors, and 44%–56% of them experienced restricted fields of vision, slow reflexes, sensory disturbances, unbalanced rigidity, and ataxia. The results also showed that the working years have reasonable correlation with the sum of the positive findings in the 10 neurological symptoms.

  14. Impact of the Sainte-Marguerite 3 hydroelectric reservoir on the mercury exposure of local fish consumers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schetagne, R.; Plante, M. [Hydro-Quebec Production, Baie-Comeau, PQ (Canada); Castonguay, D. [Castonguay Dandenault and Associes Inc., Quebec, PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This study examined fish mercury levels in a freshwater impoundment flooded as part of the Sainte-Marguerite-3 hydroelectric generating station. The study compared mercury levels obtained before the area was flooded in 1997 with mercury exposure surveys obtained in 2006. Mercury levels in the fish have increased by factors ranging from 4 to 8. Total mercury concentrations have reached 0.78 {mu}g per g in 400-mm lake whitefish and 1.85 {mu}g per g in 700-mm northern pike. Non-native fishers consumed significantly more local fish on a monthly basis after the area was flooded. Native Innu fishers consumed less fish. Average hair mercury concentrations for non-native fish consumers remained unchanged, which mercury levels in native fish consumers decreased significantly.

  15. Health effects associated with long-term occupational exposure of employees of a chlor-alkali plant to mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neghab, Masoud; Norouzi, Mohamad Amin; Choobineh, Alireza; Kardaniyan, Mohamad Reza; Zadeh, Jafar Hassan

    2012-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate possible health effects associated with long-term occupational exposure to low levels of mercury vapors. Forty-six subjects exposed to mercury and 65 healthy unexposed employees were studied. The subjects were administered a questionnaire on experienced symptoms and underwent clinical examinations as well as routine biochemical tests. Atmospheric and urinary concentrations of mercury were measured, too. Environmental concentrations of mercury were estimated to be 3.97 ± 6.28 μg/m(3) and urinary concentrations of mercury in exposed and referent groups were 34.30 ± 26.77 and 10.15 ± 3.82 μg/dm(3), respectively. Additionally, symptoms such as somatic fatigue, anorexia, loss of memory, erethism, blurred vision and teeth problems were significantly more common among exposed individuals. These observations indicate that occupational exposure to mercury vapors, even at low levels, is likely to be associated with neurological and psychological symptoms.

  16. Toxic effects of chronic mercury exposure on the retinal nerve fiber layer and macular and choroidal thickness in industrial mercury battery workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekinci, Metin; Ceylan, Erdinç; Keleş, Sadullah; Cağatay, Halil Hüseyin; Apil, Aytekin; Tanyıldız, Burak; Uludag, Gunay

    2014-07-24

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effects of mercury on retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT), macular thickness (MT), and choroidal thickness (CT) by using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in battery industry workers who had been chronically exposed to mercury. Battery factory workers (n=31) and healthy non-factory employee controls (n=15) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 3 groups: Group 1 (n=15) was factory workers who had worked for more than 5 years in a mercury battery factory; Group 2 (n=16) was factory worker who had worked for less than 5 years in a mercury battery factory; and Group 3 (n=15) was healthy non-employees. Systemic symptoms were recorded. Ophthalmic examination included best-corrected visual acuity test, color vision test, full ophthalmologic examination, and SD-OCT of the RNLF, macula, and choroid. To determine mercury exposure, venous blood samples were collected and mercury levels were assessed. In our study group the most common systemic symptoms were insomnia (67.7%) and fatigue (67.7%). There were no significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2, but there were significant differences between Group 3 and both Group 1 and Group 2 in best-corrected visual acuity values (1=2mercury levels, and duration (mean ±SD, range) of mercury exposure(1>2>3). OCT values of RNFLTs, MTs, and CTs of all 3 groups were statistically different from each another (1exposure to mercury.

  17. Effect of occupational exposure to elemental mercury in the amalgam on thymulin hormone production among dental staff.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farahat, S A; Rashed, L A; Zawilla, N H; Farouk, S M

    2009-04-01

    Occupational exposure of dental staff to elemental mercury vapor released from dental amalgam is an issue of concern because of the possible immunological and neurological adverse outcomes. Recently, studies have reported that inorganic mercury induces immunosuppression by decreasing the production of thymus gland hormone (thymulin). This study aimed at investigating mercury body burden in dental staff and the relation of this burden to the potential impact of mercury on thymus gland hormone level (thymulin). Besides, the work aimed at verifying mercury effect on nitric oxide synthetase as a possible mechanism of its immunotoxicity. The study population consisted of a group of dental staff (n = 39) [21 dentists and 18 nurses] and a matched control group (n = 42). Each individual was subjected to detailed occupational and medical history taking and to estimation of urinary mercury (U-Hg) and blood mercury (B-Hg) as indicators of mercury body burden and exposure, respectively. Measurement of total thymulin hormone blood level, and plasma level of nitrite and nitrate (indicators of nitric oxide) was also done. The study showed a significantly increased U-Hg and B-Hg levels in the dental staff compared to their controls. This elevation of mercury body burden was associated with significant reduction in thymulin hormone blood level and nitric oxide parameters. These results were more evident in the group of nurses compared to the dentists. In conclusion, our results show that dentists and dental nurses have significant exposure to mercury vapor and point to the negative impact of mercury on thymus gland functions and confirm the implication that the nitric oxide pathway is a possible mechanism for this impact. Moreover, the study raises attention to the importance of hygiene measures in reduction of exposure to mercury vapor released from dental amalgam.

  18. Predictors and immunological correlates of sublethal mercury exposure in vampire bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Daniel J; Chumchal, Matthew M; Bentz, Alexandra B; Platt, Steven G; Czirják, Gábor Á; Rainwater, Thomas R; Altizer, Sonia; Streicker, Daniel G

    2017-04-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a pervasive heavy metal that often enters the environment from anthropogenic sources such as gold mining and agriculture. Chronic exposure to Hg can impair immune function, reducing the ability of animals to resist or recover from infections. How Hg influences immunity and susceptibility remains unknown for bats, which appear immunologically distinct from other mammals and are reservoir hosts of many pathogens of importance to human and animal health. We here quantify total Hg (THg) in hair collected from common vampire bats (Desmodus rotundus), which feed on blood and are the main reservoir hosts of rabies virus in Latin America. We examine how diet, sampling site and year, and bat demography influence THg and test the consequences of this variation for eight immune measures. In two populations from Belize, THg concentrations in bats were best explained by an interaction between long-term diet inferred from stable isotopes and year. Bats that foraged more consistently on domestic animals exhibited higher THg. However, relationships between diet and THg were evident only in 2015 but not in 2014, which could reflect recent environmental perturbations associated with agriculture. THg concentrations were low relative to values previously observed in other bat species but still correlated with bat immunity. Bats with higher THg had more neutrophils, weaker bacterial killing ability and impaired innate immunity. These patterns suggest that temporal variation in Hg exposure may impair bat innate immunity and increase susceptibility to pathogens such as bacteria. Unexpected associations between low-level Hg exposure and immune function underscore the need to better understand the environmental sources of Hg exposure in bats and the consequences for bat immunity and susceptibility.

  19. Exposure to mercury in susceptible population groups living in the former mercury mining town of Idrija, Slovenia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobal, Alfred B; Snoj Tratnik, Janja; Mazej, Darja; Fajon, Vesna; Gibičar, Darija; Miklavčič, Ana; Kocman, David; Kotnik, Jože; Sešek Briški, Alenka; Osredkar, Joško; Krsnik, Mladen; Prezelj, Marija; Knap, Črtomir; Križaj, Bojana; Liang, Lian; Horvat, Milena

    2017-01-01

    500 years of mercury (Hg) mining in the town of Idrija has caused severe pollution in Idrija and its surroundings. Following the closure of the mine in 1995, the environment remains contaminated with Hg. Sources of elemental-, inorganic- and methyl Hg exposure were identified, potential environmental level of exposure to Hg was evaluated and actual internal exposure to Hg was assessed in selected susceptible population groups comprising school-age children and pregnant women living in Idrija and in control groups from rural and urban environments. The study of pregnant women (n=31) was conducted between 2003 and 2008, and the study of school-age children (n=176) in 2008. Potential interaction of Hg with selenium (Se) in plasma was assessed in both study populations, while in pregnant women antioxidative enzyme activity (glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase and catalase) in erythrocytes of maternal and cord blood was also assessed. Actual exposure to Hg as indicated by levels of Hg in children's blood (geometric mean (GM) 0.92µg/L), mother's blood (GM 1.86µg/L), children's urine (GM 1.08µg/g crea.), mother's urine (GM 2.51µg/L), children's hair (GM 241ng/g) and mother's hair (GM 251ng/g) was higher in the two study groups from Idrija than in the control groups from rural areas, but was still at the level of a "normal" population and reflects mainly exposure to elemental Hg (Hg°) from dental amalgam and, to a certain extent atmospheric Hg°. Furthermore, the internal doses of Hg received during pregnancy did not decrease the bioavailability of Se. Based on observation in children, the increase in Se protein expression is suggested to be a consequence of moderately elevated exposure to Hg°. The observed changes in activity of antioxidative enzymes, as biomarkers of oxidative stress, appear to be mainly associated with pregnancy per se and not with an increased exposure to Hg. In view of the continuing increased potential for Hg exposure and the low

  20. Methyl Mercury Exposure at Niigata, Japan: Results of Neurological Examinations of 103 Adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimio Maruyama

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Large-scale poisonings caused by methyl mercury (MeHg have occurred in Japan (Minamata in the 1950s and Niigata in the 1960s and Iraq (in the 1970s. The current WHO neurological risk standard for adult exposure (hair level: 50 μg/g was based partly on evidence from Niigata which did not consider any cases who were diagnosed later and/or exposed to low level of MeHg (hair mercury level less than 50 μg/g. Methods. Early in the Niigata epidemic in June 1965 there were two extensive surveys. From these two surveys, we examined 103 adults with hair mercury measurement who consulted two medical institutions. We compared the prevalence and the distribution of neurological signs related to MeHg poisoning between exposure categories. Result. We found 48 subjects with neurological signs related to MeHg poisoning who had hair mercury concentration less than 50 μg/g. Among the neurological signs, sensory disturbance of the bilateral distal extremities was observed more frequently, followed by disequilibrium, hearing impairment, and ataxia, in groups with hair MeHg concentration both below 50 μg/g and over 50 μg/g. Conclusion. The present study suggests the possibility that exposure to MeHg at levels below the current WHO limits could cause neurologic signs, in particular, sensory disturbance.

  1. Methyl mercury exposure at Niigata, Japan: results of neurological examinations of 103 adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruyama, Kimio; Yorifuji, Takashi; Tsuda, Toshihide; Sekikawa, Tomoko; Nakadaira, Hiroto; Saito, Hisashi

    2012-01-01

    Large-scale poisonings caused by methyl mercury (MeHg) have occurred in Japan (Minamata in the 1950s and Niigata in the 1960s) and Iraq (in the 1970s). The current WHO neurological risk standard for adult exposure (hair level: 50 μg/g) was based partly on evidence from Niigata which did not consider any cases who were diagnosed later and/or exposed to low level of MeHg (hair mercury level less than 50 μg/g). Early in the Niigata epidemic in June 1965 there were two extensive surveys. From these two surveys, we examined 103 adults with hair mercury measurement who consulted two medical institutions. We compared the prevalence and the distribution of neurological signs related to MeHg poisoning between exposure categories. We found 48 subjects with neurological signs related to MeHg poisoning who had hair mercury concentration less than 50 μg/g. Among the neurological signs, sensory disturbance of the bilateral distal extremities was observed more frequently, followed by disequilibrium, hearing impairment, and ataxia, in groups with hair MeHg concentration both below 50 μg/g and over 50 μg/g. The present study suggests the possibility that exposure to MeHg at levels below the current WHO limits could cause neurologic signs, in particular, sensory disturbance.

  2. Mercury, selenium and fish oils in marine food webs and implications for human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gribble, Matthew O; Karimi, Roxanne; Feingold, Beth J; Nyland, Jennifer F; O'Hara, Todd M; Gladyshev, Michail I; Chen, Celia Y

    2016-02-01

    Humans who eat fish are exposed to mixtures of healthful nutrients and harmful contaminants that are influenced by environmental and ecological factors. Marine fisheries are composed of a multitude of species with varying life histories, and harvested in oceans, coastal waters and estuaries where environmental and ecological conditions determine fish exposure to both nutrients and contaminants. Many of these nutrients and contaminants are thought to influence similar health outcomes (i.e., neurological, cardiovascular, immunological systems). Therefore, our understanding of the risks and benefits of consuming seafood require balanced assessments of contaminants and nutrients found in fish and shellfish. In this paper, we review some of the reported benefits of fish consumption with a focus on the potential hazards of mercury exposure, and compare the environmental variability of fish oils, selenium and mercury in fish. A major scientific gap identified is that fish tissue concentrations are rarely measured for both contaminants and nutrients across a range of species and geographic regions. Interpreting the implications of seafood for human health will require a better understanding of these multiple exposures, particularly as environmental conditions in the oceans change.

  3. Quantitative assessment of neuromotor function in workers with current low exposure to mercury vapor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wastensson, Gunilla; Lamoureux, Daniel; Sällsten, Gerd; Beuter, Anne; Barregård, Lars

    2008-07-01

    Evaluation of neuromotor function has been used in several epidemiological studies of workers with long-term exposure to mercury vapor (Hg 0). Some recent studies indicate adverse effects at relatively low exposure levels. In the present study, we used sensitive quantitative methods, developed specifically to detect subtle effects of exposure to toxins on motor function. After exclusion of individuals with neurological diseases or other conditions that may affect performance, 43 chloralkali workers with current low exposure to Hg 0, and 22 age-matched referents remained for further analysis. The median urinary mercury concentration in exposed workers was 5.9 microg/g (range 1.3-25) creatinine (microg/gC), while that in referents was 0.7 microg/gC (range 0.2-4.1). The mean exposure time was 15 years, and the median cumulative mercury index was 161 years x microg/gC in exposed workers. A eurythmokinesimeter (EKM) was used to quantify eye-hand coordination, and a diadochokinesimeter, to measure rapid alternating rotation of the forearms. In general, the differences in performance between the exposed workers and the referents were small. Age was associated with a decrease in speed, more tremor, and longer contact duration between the stylus and the metal targets in performance of rapid pointing movements. Smokers had significantly more tremor, and more contacts per event in the EKM test, than nonsmokers. Taking age, shift work, and smoking habits into account, no significant associations with current or cumulative mercury exposure were found for the majority of the outcome variables from the quantitative tests. In general, this study indicates no significant adverse effects of Hg 0 on neuromotor function at the exposure levels studied.

  4. Mercury exposure induces cytoskeleton disruption and loss of renal function through epigenetic modulation of MMP9 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Hafizurrahman; Singh, Radha Dutt; Tiwari, Ratnakar; Gangopadhyay, Siddhartha; Roy, Somendu Kumar; Singh, Dhirendra; Srivastava, Vikas

    2017-07-01

    Mercury is one of the major heavy metal pollutants occurring in elemental, inorganic and organic forms. Due to ban on most inorganic mercury containing products, human exposure to mercury generally occurs as methylmercury (MeHg) by consumption of contaminated fish and other sea food. Animal and epidemiological studies indicate that MeHg affects neural and renal function. Our study is focused on nephrotoxic potential of MeHg. In this study, we have shown for the first time how MeHg could epigenetically modulate matrix metalloproteinase 9(MMP9) to promote nephrotoxicity using an animal model of sub chronic MeHg exposure. MeHg caused renal toxicity as was seen by increased levels of serum creatinine and expression of early nephrotoxicity markers (KIM-1, Clusterin, IP-10, and TIMP). MeHg exposure also correlated strongly with induction of MMP9 mRNA and protein in a dose dependent manner. Further, while induction of MMP9 promoted cytoskeleton disruption and loss of cell-cell adhesion (loss of F-actin, Vimentin and Fibronectin), inhibition of MMP9 was found to reduce these disruptions. Mechanistic studies by ChIP analysis showed that MeHg modulated MMP9 by promoting demethylation of its regulatory region to increase its expression. Bisulfite sequencing identified critical CpGs in the first exon of MMP9 which were demethylated following MeHg exposure. ChIP studies also showed loss of methyl binding protein, MeCP2 and transcription factor PEA3 at the demethylated site confirming decreased CpG methylation. Our studies thus show how MeHg could epigenetically modulate MMP9 to promote cytoskeleton disruption leading to loss of renal function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Metallic mercury uptake by catalase Part 1 In Vitro metallic mercury uptake by various kind of animals' erythrocytes and purified human erythrocyte catalase

    OpenAIRE

    劒持,堅志

    1980-01-01

    The uptake of metallic mercury was studied using erythrocytes with different catalase activities taken from various kind of animals. The results were: 1) The uptake of metallic mercury by erythrocytes paralleled the activity of catalase in the erythrocytes with and without hydrogen peroxide, suggesting that the erythrocyte catalase activity is related to the uptake of metallic mercury. 2) The uptake of metallic mercury occurred not only with purified human erythrocyte catalase but also with h...

  6. Toxic Effects of Chronic Mercury Exposure on the Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer and Macular and Choroidal Thickness in Industrial Mercury Battery Workers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ekinci, Metin; Ceylan, Erdinç; Keleş, Sadullah; Çağatay, Halil Hüseyin; Apil, Aytekin; Tanyıldız, Burak; Uludag, Gunay

    2014-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the toxic effects of mercury on retinal nerve fiber layer thickness (RNFLT), macular thickness (MT), and choroidal thickness (CT) by using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in battery industry workers who had been chronically exposed to mercury. Material/Methods Battery factory workers (n=31) and healthy non-factory employee controls (n=15) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 3 groups: Group 1 (n=15) was factory workers who had worked for more than 5 years in a mercury battery factory; Group 2 (n=16) was factory worker who had worked for less than 5 years in a mercury battery factory; and Group 3 (n=15) was healthy non-employees. Systemic symptoms were recorded. Ophthalmic examination included best-corrected visual acuity test, color vision test, full ophthalmologic examination, and SD-OCT of the RNLF, macula, and choroid. To determine mercury exposure, venous blood samples were collected and mercury levels were assessed. Results In our study group the most common systemic symptoms were insomnia (67.7%) and fatigue (67.7%). There were no significant differences between Group 1 and Group 2, but there were significant differences between Group 3 and both Group 1 and Group 2 in best-corrected visual acuity values (1=2mercury levels, and duration (mean ±SD, range) of mercury exposure(1>2>3). OCT values of RNFLTs, MTs, and CTs of all 3 groups were statistically different from each another (1mercury. PMID:25056093

  7. Mercury exposure, nutritional deficiencies and metabolic disruptions may affect learning in children

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Lyn

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Among dietary factors, learning and behavior are influenced not only by nutrients, but also by exposure to toxic food contaminants such as mercury that can disrupt metabolic processes and alter neuronal plasticity. Neurons lacking in plasticity are a factor in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and mental retardation. Essential nutrients help maintain normal neuronal plasticity. Nutritional deficiencies, including deficiencies in the long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, the amino acid methionine, and the trace minerals zinc and selenium, have been shown to influence neuronal function and produce defects in neuronal plasticity, as well as impact behavior in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Nutritional deficiencies and mercury exposure have been shown to alter neuronal function and increase oxidative stress among children with autism. These dietary factors may be directly related to the development of behavior disorders and learning disabilities. Mercury, either individually or in concert with other factors, may be harmful if ingested in above average amounts or by sensitive individuals. High fructose corn syrup has been shown to contain trace amounts of mercury as a result of some manufacturing processes, and its consumption can also lead to zinc loss. Consumption of certain artificial food color additives has also been shown to lead to zinc deficiency. Dietary zinc is essential for maintaining the metabolic processes required for mercury elimination. Since high fructose corn syrup and artificial food color additives are common ingredients in many foodstuffs, their consumption should be considered in those individuals with nutritional deficits such as zinc deficiency or who are allergic or sensitive to the effects of mercury or unable to effectively metabolize and eliminate it from the body.

  8. Hazardous properties and toxicological update of mercury: From fish food to human health safety perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okpala, Charles Odilichukwu R; Sardo, Giacomo; Vitale, Sergio; Bono, Gioacchino; Arukwe, Augustine

    2017-04-10

    The mercury (Hg) poisoning of Minamata Bay of Japan widely activated a global attention to Hg toxicity and its potential consequences to the aquatic ecosystem and human health. This has resulted to an increased need for a dynamic assembly, contextualization, and quantification of both the current state-of-the-art and approaches for understanding the cause-and-effect relationships of Hg exposure. Thus, the objective of this present review is to provide both hazardous toxic properties and toxicological update of Hg, focusing on how it ultimately affects the aquatic biota to potentially produce human health effects. Primarily, we discussed processes that relate to Hg exposure, including immunological aspects and risk assessment, vulnerability, toxicokinetics, and toxicodynamics, using edible fish, swordfish (Xiphias gladius), as a model. In addition, we summarized available information about Hg concentration limits set by different governmental agencies, as recognized by national and international standardization authorities.

  9. Mercury Exposure in Association With Decrease of Liver Function in Adults: A Longitudinal Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonghyuk Choi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives Although mercury (Hg exposure is known to be neurotoxic in humans, its effects on liver function have been less often reported. The aim of this study was to investigate whether total Hg exposure in Korean adults was associated with elevated serum levels of the liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST, alanine transaminase (ALT, and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT. Methods We repeatedly examined the levels of total Hg and liver enzymes in the blood of 508 adults during 2010-2011 and 2014-2015. Cross-sectional associations between levels of blood Hg and liver enzymes were analyzed using a generalized linear model, and nonlinear relationships were analyzed using a generalized additive mixed model. Generalized estimating equations were applied to examine longitudinal associations, considering the correlations of individuals measured repeatedly. Results GGT increased by 11.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.5 to 18.0% in women and 8.1% (95% CI, -0.5 to 17.4% in men per doubling of Hg levels, but AST and ALT were not significantly associated with Hg in either men or women. In women who drank more than 2 or 3 times per week, AST, ALT, and GGT levels increased by 10.6% (95% CI, 4.2 to 17.5%, 7.7% (95% CI, 1.1 to 14.7%, and 37.5% (95% CI,15.2 to 64.3% per doubling of Hg levels, respectively, showing an interaction between blood Hg levels and drinking. Conclusions Hg exposure was associated with an elevated serum concentration of GGT. Especially in women who were frequent drinkers, AST, ALT, and GGT showed a significant increase, with a significant synergistic effect of Hg and alcohol consumption.

  10. An exposure assessment of methyl mercury via fish consumption for the Japanese population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ying; Nakai, Satoshi; Masunaga, Shigeki

    2009-09-01

    The objective of this article was to propose an exposure assessment model to describe the relationship between fish consumption and body methyl mercury (MeHg) levels in the Japanese population. Individual MeHg intake was estimated by the summation of species-specific fish consumption multiplied by species-specific fish MeHg levels. The distribution of fish consumed by individuals and the MeHg level in each fish species were assigned based on published data from Japanese government institutions. The probability of MeHg intake for a population was accomplished through a Monte Carlo simulation by the random sampling of fish consumption and species-specific MeHg levels. Internal body MeHg levels in blood and hair were estimated using a one-compartment model. Overall, the mean value of MeHg intake for the Japanese population was estimated to be 6.76 microg/day or 0.14 microg/kg body weight per day (bw/day), while the mean value for the hair mercury level was 2.02 microg/g. Compared with the survey data that tabulated hair mercury levels in a cross-section of the Japanese population, the simulation results matched the hair mercury survey data very well for women, but somewhat underestimated for men and all of the population. This exposure assessment model is a useful attempt at further risk assessment with respect to a risk-benefit analysis.

  11. Assessment of fish consumption and mercury exposure among pregnant women in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricketts, Phylicia; Basu, Niladri; Fletcher, Horace; Voutchkov, Mitko; Bassaw, Bharat

    2016-12-01

    Fish is an essential and traditional element in the diet of most Caribbean people. However it also contains methylmercury which can have severe effects on fetal neurodevelopment. The objective of this study was to assess the fish intake of a selected group of pregnant women from Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago and evaluate prenatal mercury exposure, using the placenta as a biomarker. Food frequency questionnaires and placental samples were obtained from participating parturients at the time of delivery at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica (N = 100, from November 2012 to March 2013) and the Mt Hope Women's hospital in St Joseph, Trinidad & Tobago (N = 30, in June 2015). The participants were asked to identify the species of fish and the frequency of consumption. Placental samples were analysed for mercury using cold vapour atomic absorption. The fish consumption preferences for pregnant women, varies based on the marine fish catch production of each country. The main fish species that contributed to the highest estimated methylmercury exposure in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago were cod and shark, respectively. There was a weak association between maternal fish intake and placental mercury concentrations. The mean placental mercury concentrations in Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago were 0.74 ± 0.5 μg/kg and 1.46 ± 0.6 μg/kg, wet weight respectively. The results from this study showed an influence of Caribbean fish intake preferences on mercury exposure and thus a recommendation for continuous bio-monitoring for public health purposes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Marsh wrens as bioindicators of mercury in wetlands of Great Salt Lake: do blood and feathers reflect site-specific exposure risk to bird reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, C Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T; Herring, Garth; Isanhart, John; Herzog, Mark

    2013-06-18

    Nonlethal sampling of bird blood and feathers are among the more common ways of estimating the risk of mercury exposure to songbird reproduction. The implicit assumption is that mercury concentrations in blood or feathers of individuals captured in a given area are correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs from the same area. Yet, this assumption is rarely tested. We evaluated mercury concentrations in blood, feathers, and eggs of marsh wrens in wetlands of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and, at two spatial scales, specifically tested the assumption that mercury concentrations in blood and feather samples from birds captured in a defined area were predictive of mercury concentrations in eggs collected in the same area. Mercury concentrations in blood were not correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected within the same wetland unit, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected at the smaller home range spatial scale of analysis. Moreover, mercury exposure risk, as estimated via tissue concentrations, differed among wetland units depending upon whether blood or egg mercury concentrations were sampled. Mercury concentrations in feathers also were uncorrelated with mercury concentrations in eggs, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in blood. These results demonstrate the potential for contrasting management actions that may be implemented based solely on the specific avian tissue that is sampled, and highlight the importance of developing avian tissues as biomonitoring tools for assessing local risk of mercury exposure to bird reproduction.

  13. Marsh wrens as bioindicators of mercury in wetlands of Great Salt Lake: do blood and feathers reflect site-specific exposure risk to bird reproduction?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, C. Alex; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herring, Garth; Isanhart, John; Herzog, Mark P.

    2013-01-01

    Nonlethal sampling of bird blood and feathers are among the more common ways of estimating the risk of mercury exposure to songbird reproduction. The implicit assumption is that mercury concentrations in blood or feathers of individuals captured in a given area are correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs from the same area. Yet, this assumption is rarely tested. We evaluated mercury concentrations in blood, feathers, and eggs of marsh wrens in wetlands of Great Salt Lake, Utah, and, at two spatial scales, specifically tested the assumption that mercury concentrations in blood and feather samples from birds captured in a defined area were predictive of mercury concentrations in eggs collected in the same area. Mercury concentrations in blood were not correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected within the same wetland unit, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in eggs collected at the smaller home range spatial scale of analysis. Moreover, mercury exposure risk, as estimated via tissue concentrations, differed among wetland units depending upon whether blood or egg mercury concentrations were sampled. Mercury concentrations in feathers also were uncorrelated with mercury concentrations in eggs, and were poorly correlated with mercury concentrations in blood. These results demonstrate the potential for contrasting management actions that may be implemented based solely on the specific avian tissue that is sampled, and highlight the importance of developing avian tissues as biomonitoring tools for assessing local risk of mercury exposure to bird reproduction.

  14. Recent Advances in Mercury Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez-Finley, Ebany J; Aschner, Michael

    2014-06-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic, non-essential, naturally occurring metal with a variety of uses. Mercury is not required for any known biological process and its presence in the human body may be detrimental, especially to the nervous system. Both genetic and behavioral studies suggest that mercury levels, age (both of exposure and at testing), and genetic background determine disease processes and outcome. The metal receptors and genes responsible for mercury metabolism also appear to play a pivotal role in the etiology of mercury-induced pathology. This review presents information about the latest advances in mercury research, with particular focus on low-level exposures and the contribution of genetics to toxic outcome. Future studies should address the contribution of genetics and low-level mercury exposure to disease, namely gene x environment interactions, taking into consideration age of exposure as developing animals are exquisitely more sensitive to this metal. In addition to recent advances in understanding the pathology associated with mercury exposure, the review highlights transport mechanisms, cellular distribution and detoxification of mercury species in the body.

  15. Minimal change disease caused by exposure to mercury-containing skin lightening cream: a report of 4 cases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Hon-Lok; Mak, Yuen-Fun; Chu, Kwok-Hong; Lee, William; Fung, Samuel Kaâ Shun; Chan, Thomas Yan-Keung; Tong, Kwok-Lung

    2013-04-01

    Mercury is a known cause of nephrotic syndrome and the underlying renal pathology in most of the reported cases was membranous nephropathy. We describe here 4 cases of minimal change disease following exposure to mercury-containing skin lightening cream for 2 - 6 months. The mercury content of the facial creams was very high (7,420 - 30,000 parts per million). All patients were female and presented with nephrotic syndrome and heavy proteinuria (8.35 - 20.69 g/d). The blood and urine mercury levels were 26 - 129 nmol/l and 316 - 2,521 nmol/d, respectively. Renal biopsy revealed minimal change disease (MCD) in all patients. The use of cosmetic cream was stopped and chelation therapy with D-penicillamine was given. Two patients were also given steroids. The time for blood mercury level to normalize was 1 - 7 months, whereas it took longer for urine mercury level to normalize (9 - 16 months). All patients had complete remission of proteinuria and the time to normalization of proteinuria was 1 - 9 months. Mercury-containing skin lightening cream is hazardous because skin absorption of mercury can cause minimal change disease. The public should be warned of the danger of using such products. In patients presenting with nephrotic syndrome, a detailed history should be taken, including the use of skin lightening cream. With regard to renal pathology, apart from membranous nephropathy, minimal change disease should be included as another pathological entity caused by mercury exposure or intoxication.

  16. Chronic mercury exposure impairs the sympathovagal control of the rat heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simões, M R; Azevedo, B F; Fiorim, J; Jr Freire, D D; Covre, E P; Vassallo, D V; Dos Santos, L

    2016-11-01

    Mercury is known to cause harmful neural effects affecting the cardiovascular system. Here, we evaluated the chronic effects of low-dose mercury exposure on the autonomic control of the cardiovascular system. Wistar rats were treated for 30 days with HgCl2 (1st dose 4.6 μg/kg followed by 0.07 μg/kg per day, intramuscular) or saline. The femoral artery and vein were then cannulated for evaluation of autonomic control of the hemodynamic function, which was evaluated in awake rats. The following tests were performed: baroreflex sensitivity, Von Bezold-Jarisch reflex, heart rate variability (HRV) and pharmacological blockade with methylatropine and atenolol to test the autonomic tone of the heart. Exposure to HgCl2 for 30 days slightly increased the mean arterial pressure and heart rate (HR). There was a significant reduction in the baroreflex gain of animals exposed to HgCl2 . Moreover, haemodynamic responses to the activation of the Von Bezold-Jarisch reflex were also reduced. The changes in the spectral analysis of HRV suggested a shift in the sympathovagal balance toward a sympathetic predominance after mercury exposure, which was confirmed by autonomic pharmacological blockade in the HgCl2 group. This group also exhibited reduced intrinsic HR after the double block suggesting that the pacemaker activity of the sinus node was also affected. These findings suggested that the autonomic modulation of the heart was significantly altered by chronic mercury exposure, thus reinforcing that even at low concentrations such exposure might be associated with increased cardiovascular risk. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  17. Mercury exposure among household users and nonusers of skin-lightening creams produced in Mexico - California and Virginia, 2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-20

    Mercury exposure has been reported among users of skin-lightening creams produced outside the United States but not among nonusers in their households. Mercury exposure can result in irreversible renal and central nervous system damage or death. In March 2010, coordinators of a health study notified members of a Mexican-American family in California with four study participants that they had elevated blood mercury levels and also notified the local health department, which in turn asked the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to investigate. CDPH interviewed the four study participants and a fifth household member and identified unlabeled skin-lightening creams with mercury content measured at 2.0%-5.7% by weight as the likely source of mercury exposure. CDPH also interviewed friends of the study participants in California who had used similar skin-lightening products, and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) interviewed relatives in that state who had used skin-lightening products. In all, investigators in the two states collected information and urine specimens for 22 persons in five households. The results indicated that 15 persons had elevated urinary mercury concentrations, including nine users of the cream (six with nonspecific symptoms) and six nonusers. Mercury vapor concentrations as high as 50 µg/m3 were measured in spot household locations; however, the overall concentration for each room in all five households was creams and issued clinical health alerts notifying physicians about this potential cause of mercury toxicity.

  18. Sampling of Total Mercury in Sand on Sydney Beaches and Assessment of Risk of Exposure to Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, D.; Tang, C.; Edwards, G. C.; Gan, T.; Tran, S.; Geremia, S.; Campbell, J.

    2014-12-01

    Industrial waste, sewage outfall and storm water run-off are potential anthropogenic sources of mercury to Sydney beaches. Children playing on these beaches are possibly at risk of exposure to mercury in beach sand through the ingestion pathway. As part of an investigation into this risk samples were collected from various locations along 7 of Sydney's beaches where children typically would be exposed. Samples were dried and the sand fraction (i.e. >63 µm and mercury using a Direct Mercury Analyser (DMA-80) methodology. Risk of Exposure to mercury was assessed based on published estimates of daily ingestion of soil by children and Health Canada's guideline of 105 ng Hg kg-1 BW d-1 exposure threshold. For the beaches sampled concentrations of total mercury in beach sand ranged from 0.6 to 58 ppb. The maximum concentrations of total mercury in beach sand were observed on Beach 6, in the vicinity of five storm water runoff sources. Daily mercury intake values were determined for two commonly used published values for daily ingestion of soil by children of 0.2 g soil d-1 and 1.75 g soil d-1. Results to date show the maximum daily intake calculated using an average child weight of 13 kg to be 7.8 ng Hg kg-1 BW d-1, well below the currently accepted daily intake threshold of 105 ng Hg kg-1 BW d-1.

  19. Response of DNA, proteins, lipids and antioxidant enzymes as measure of toxicity to mercury exposures in green mussel Perna viridis

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Verlecar, X.N.; Jena, K.B.; Chainy, G.B.N.

    Studies on exposures of gills of green-lipped mussel Perna viridis to sublethal levels of mercury (Hg) indicates that oxidative stress marker like lipids peroxidation and protein carbonyl content increase. With the exception of superoxide dismutase...

  20. Multi-tissue analyses reveal limited inter-annual and seasonal variation in mercury exposure in an Antarctic penguin community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Polito, Michael J; Emslie, Steven D

    2014-10-01

    Inter-annual variation in tissue mercury concentrations in birds can result from annual changes in the bioavailability of mercury or shifts in dietary composition and/or trophic level. We investigated potential annual variability in mercury dynamics in the Antarctic marine food web using Pygoscelis penguins as biomonitors. Eggshell membrane, chick down, and adult feathers were collected from three species of sympatrically breeding Pygoscelis penguins during the austral summers of 2006/2007-2010/2011. To evaluate the hypothesis that mercury concentrations in penguins exhibit significant inter-annual variation and to determine the potential source of such variation (dietary or environmental), we compared tissue mercury concentrations with trophic levels as indicated by δ(15)N values from all species and tissues. Overall, no inter-annual variation in mercury was observed in adult feathers suggesting that mercury exposure, on an annual scale, was consistent for Pygoscelis penguins. However, when examining tissues that reflected more discrete time periods (chick down and eggshell membrane) relative to adult feathers, we found some evidence of inter-annual variation in mercury exposure during penguins' pre-breeding and chick rearing periods. Evidence of inter-annual variation in penguin trophic level was also limited suggesting that foraging ecology and environmental factors related to the bioavailability of mercury may provide more explanatory power for mercury exposure compared to trophic level alone. Even so, the variable strength of relationships observed between trophic level and tissue mercury concentrations across and within Pygoscelis penguin species suggest that caution is required when selecting appropriate species and tissue combinations for environmental biomonitoring studies in Antarctica.

  1. Mercury exposure and Alzheimer's disease in India: An imminent threat?

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Chakraborty, P.

    been identified to increase the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease (AD). There are increasing reports of AD and dementia in different age groups in India. The relationship between increasing Hg exposure and increasing neurodegenerative disorder...

  2. The toxicology of mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarkson, T W

    1997-01-01

    The major physical forms of mercury to which humans are exposed are mercury vapor, Hg0, and methylmercury compounds, Ch3HgX. Mercury vapor emitted from both natural and anthropogenic sources is globally distributed in the atmosphere. It is returned as a water-soluble form in precipitation and finds its way into bodies of fresh and ocean water. Land run-off also accounts for further input into lakes and oceans. Inorganic mercury, present in water sediments, is subject to bacterial conversion to methylmercury compounds that are bioaccumulated in the aquatic food chain to reach the highest concentration in predatory fish. Human exposure to mercury vapor is from dental amalgam and industries using mercury. Methylmercury compounds are found exclusively in seafood and freshwater fish. The health effects of mercury vapor have been known since ancient times. Severe exposure results in a triad of symptoms, erethism, tremor, and gingivitis. Today, we are concerned with more subtle effects such as preclinical changes in kidney function and behavioral and cognitive changes associated with effects on the central nervous system. Methylmercury is a neurological poison affecting primarily brain tissue. In adults, brain damage is focal affecting the function of such areas as the cerebellum (ataxia) and the visual cortex (constricted visual fields). Methylmercury also at high doses can cause severe damage to the developing brain. Today the chief concern is with the more subtle effects arising from prenatal exposure such as delayed development and cognitive changes in children.

  3. River transport of mercury from artisanal and small-scale gold mining and risks for dietary mercury exposure in Madre de Dios, Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diringer, Sarah E; Feingold, Beth J; Ortiz, Ernesto J; Gallis, John A; Araújo-Flores, Julio M; Berky, Axel; Pan, William K Y; Hsu-Kim, Heileen

    2015-02-01

    Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a major contributor to deforestation and the largest anthropogenic source of atmospheric mercury worldwide. Despite significant information on the direct health impacts of mercury to ASGM miners, the impact of mercury contamination on downstream communities has not been well characterized, particularly in Peru's Madre de Dios region. In this area, ASGM has increased significantly since 2000 and has led to substantial political and social controversy. This research examined the spatial distribution and transport of mercury through the Madre de Dios River with distance from ASGM activity. This study also characterized risks for dietary mercury exposure to local residents who depend on fish from the river. River sediment, suspended solids from the water column, and fish samples were collected in 2013 at 62 sites near 17 communities over a 560 km stretch of the Madre de Dios River and its major tributaries. In areas downstream of known ASGM activity, mercury concentrations in sediment, suspended solids, and fish within the Madre de Dios River were elevated relative to locations upstream of mining. Fish tissue mercury concentrations were observed at levels representing a public health threat, with greater than one-third of carnivorous fish exceeding the international health standard of 0.5 mg kg(-1). This study demonstrates that communities located hundreds of kilometers downstream of ASGM activity, including children and indigenous populations who may not be involved in mining, are at risk of dietary mercury exposure that exceed acceptable body burdens. This report represents the first systematic study of the region to aid policy decision-making related to ASGM activities in Peru.

  4. Mercury in gray wolves (Canis lupus) in Alaska: Increased exposure through consumption of marine prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGrew, Ashley K.; Ballweber, Lora R.; Moses, Sara K.; Stricker, Craig A.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Salman, Mo D.; O’Hara, Todd M.

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) bioaccumulates in the tissues of organismsand biomagnifies within food-webs. Graywolves (Canis lupus) in Alaska primarily acquire Hg through diet; therefore, comparing the extent of Hg exposure inwolves, in conjunction with stable isotopes, from interior and coastal regions of Alaska offers important insight into their feeding ecology. Liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle samples from 162 graywolves were analyzed for total mercury (THg) concentrations and stable isotopic signatures (δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S).Median hepatic THg concentrations were significantly higher in wolves with coastal access compared to wolves from interior Alaska. Stable isotope ratios, in conjunction with THg concentrations, provide strong evidence that coastal wolves are utilizing marine prey representing several trophic levels. The utilization of cross-ecosystem food resources by coastal wolves is clearly contributing to increased THg exposure, and may ultimately have negative health implications for these animals.

  5. Low-level gestational exposure to mercury and maternal fish consumption: Associations with neurobehavior in early infancy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Yingying; Khoury, Jane C; Sucharew, Heidi; Dietrich, Kim; Yolton, Kimberly

    2016-01-01

    Studies examining the effects of low-level gestational methylmercury exposure from fish consumption on infant neurobehavioral outcomes in the offspring are limited and inconclusive. Our objective was to examine the effects of low-level gestational exposure to methylmercury on neurobehavioral outcomes in early infancy. We assessed neurobehavior of 344 infants at 5-weeks using the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale (NNNS). Gestational mercury exposure was measured as whole blood total mercury (WBTHg) in maternal and cord blood. We collected fish consumption information and estimated polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) intake. We examined the association between gestational mercury exposure and NNNS scales using regression, adjusting for covariates. Geometric mean of maternal and cord WBTHg were 0.64 and 0.72 μg/L, respectively. Most mothers (84%) reported eating fish during pregnancy. Infants with higher prenatal mercury exposure showed increased asymmetric reflexes among girls (p=0.04 for maternal WBTHg and p=0.03 for cord WBTHg), less need for special handling during the assessment (p=0.03 for cord WBTHg) and a trend of better attention (p=0.054 for both maternal WBTHg and cord WBTHg). Similarly, infants born to mothers with higher fish consumption or estimated PUFA intake also had increased asymmetric reflexes and less need for special handling. In models simultaneously adjusted for WBTHg and fish consumption (or PUFA intake), the previously observed WBTHg effects were attenuated; and higher fish consumption (or PUFA intake) was significantly associated with less need for special handling. In a cohort with low level mercury exposure and reporting low fish consumption, we found minimal evidence of mercury associated detrimental effects on neurobehavioral outcomes during early infancy. Higher prenatal mercury exposure was associated with more frequent asymmetric reflexes in girls. In contrast, infants with higher prenatal mercury exposure and those whose mothers

  6. Occupational exposure to manganese, copper, lead, iron, mercury and zinc and the risk of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gorell, J M; Johnson, C C; Rybicki, B A; Peterson, E L; Kortsha, G X; Brown, G G; Richardson, R J

    1999-01-01

    A population-based case-control study was conducted in the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in metropolitan Detroit to assess occupational exposures to manganese, copper, lead, iron, mercury and zinc as risk factors for Parkinson's disease (PD). Non-demented men and women 50 years of age who were receiving primary medical care at HFHS were recruited, and concurrently enrolled cases (n = 144) and controls (n = 464) were frequency-matched for sex, race and age (+/- 5 years). A risk factor questionnaire, administered by trained interviewers, inquired about every job held by each subject for 6 months from age 18 onward, including a detailed assessment of actual job tasks, tools and environment. An experienced industrial hygienist, blinded to subjects' case-control status, used these data to rate every job as exposed or not exposed to one or more of the metals of interest. Adjusting for sex, race, age and smoking status, 20 years of occupational exposure to any metal was not associated with PD. However, more than 20 years exposure to manganese (Odds Ratio [OR] = 10.61, 95% Confidence Interval [CI] = 1.06, 105.83) or copper (OR = 2.49, 95% CI = 1.06,5.89) was associated with PD. Occupational exposure for > 20 years to combinations of lead-copper (OR = 5.24, 95% CI = 1.59, 17.21), lead-iron (OR = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.07,7.50), and iron-copper (OR = 3.69, 95% CI = 1.40,9.71) was also associated with the disease. No association of occupational exposure to iron, mercury or zinc with PD was found. A lack of statistical power precluded analyses of metal combinations for those with a low prevalence of exposure (i.e., manganese, mercury and zinc). Our findings suggest that chronic occupational exposure to manganese or copper, individually, or to dual combinations of lead, iron and copper, is associated with PD.

  7. Neuropsychological Effects of Long Term Low Dose Mercury Exposure in Dentists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-06-01

    34 . .: : LITERATURE REVIEW A study conducted by Camerino et al. indicated that workers exposed to mercury at concentrations below the threshold limit value (TLV) for...occupational exposure had losses in memory and efficiency ( Camerino , 1981). The study further demonstrated increases in neurotic symptoms directly...a priori, to determine the outcome of the study with any attempt at accuracy previous studies permit some broad conclusions. The Camerino study

  8. Traditional living in the Amazon: Extended breastfeeding, fish consumption, mercury exposure and neurodevelopment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marques, Rejane C; Abreu, Luciana; Bernardi, José V E; Dórea, José G

    2016-07-01

    Features of traditional living in the Amazon Basin (high fish consumption and long breastfeeding) are likely to expose children to Mercury (Hg). To study neurodevelopment in 690 children in relation to prolonged breastfeeding and mercury exposure. Three groups of breastfeeding children were formed: Group 1 (breastfed for 6 months), Group 2 (7-12 months) and Group 3 (extending up to 24 months). Neurodevelopment was assessed as age of walking, age of talking and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-BSID. Mercury exposure was assessed from Thimerosal-containing vaccines and fish consumption from hair Hg (HHg). HHg increased in children and decreased in mothers at 24 months. Frequency of fish consumption was significantly correlated with maternal HHg at birth (Spearman's r = 0.8583; p = 0.0001); likewise, there was a significant correlation between duration of breastfeeding and children's HHg (Spearman's r = 0.15; p = 0.0018). Extended breastfeeding did not influence the Mental Development Index-MDI or Psychomotor Development Index-PDI, but maternal education and HHg (marker of fish consumption) interacted positively and significantly with both. Frequency of maternal fish consumption and education had a positive association with BSID scores; it is speculated that maternal education and nutrients in fish have an opposing effect on Hg exposure.

  9. Histochemical demonstration of two mercury pools in trout tissues: mercury in kidney and liver after mercuric chloride exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Baatrup, E; Nielsen, M G; Danscher, G

    1987-01-01

    Juvenile rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) were exposed to 100 ppb mercury (as HgCl2) in the water for 14 days. Concentrations of mercury in water and fish organs were monitored using radiolabeled mercury. Tissues from kidney and liver were fixed, and sections were developed by autometallography......-exposed trout were subjected to selenium (as Na2SeO3), administered intraperitoneally 2 hr before fixation. Following this treatment, additional mercury could be visualized in the kidney circulatory system, including glomeruli, and in the nucleus and endoplasmic reticulum of liver cells. It is suggested...... that the mercury visualized prior to selenium treatment represents inorganic mercury, while additional mercury visualized after selenium administration represents an organic form. Udgivelsesdato: 1986-Dec...

  10. Modeling tribal exposures to methyl mercury from fish consumption

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exposure assessment and risk management considerations for tribal fish consumption are different than for the general U.S. population because of higher fish intake from subsistence fishing and/or from unique cultural practices. This research summarizes analyses of available data ...

  11. Developmental toxicity from exposure to various forms of mercury compounds in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes embryos

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wu Dong

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study examined developmental toxicity of different mercury compounds, including some used in traditional medicines. Medaka (Oryzias latipes embryos were exposed to 0.001–10 µM concentrations of MeHg, HgCl2, α-HgS (Zhu Sha, and β-HgS (Zuotai from stage 10 (6–7 hpf to 10 days post fertilization (dpf. Of the forms of mercury in this study, the organic form (MeHg proved the most toxic followed by inorganic mercury (HgCl2, both producing embryo developmental toxicity. Altered phenotypes included pericardial edema with elongated or tube heart, reduction of eye pigmentation, and failure of swim bladder inflation. Both α-HgS and β-HgS were less toxic than MeHg and HgCl2. Total RNA was extracted from survivors three days after exposure to MeHg (0.1 µM, HgCl2 (1 µM, α-HgS (10 µM, or β-HgS (10 µM to examine toxicity-related gene expression. MeHg and HgCl2 markedly induced metallothionein (MT and heme oxygenase-1 (Ho-1, while α-HgS and β-HgS failed to induce either gene. Chemical forms of mercury compounds proved to be a major determinant in their developmental toxicity.

  12. Dietary mercury exposure causes decreased escape takeoff flight performance and increased molt rate in European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Jenna R; Cristol, Daniel; Swaddle, John P

    2014-10-01

    Mercury is a widespread and persistent environmental contaminant that occurs in aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Recently, songbirds that forage from primarily terrestrial sources have shown evidence of bioaccumulation of mercury, but little research has assessed the effects of mercury on their health and fitness. There are many indications that mercury negatively affects neurological functioning, bioenergetics, and behavior through a variety of mechanisms and in a wide array of avian taxa. Effective flight is crucial to avian fitness and feather molt is an energetically expensive life history trait. Therefore, we investigated whether mercury exposure influenced flight performance and molt in a common songbird, the European starling (Sturnus vulgaris). Specifically, we dosed the diet of captive starlings with methylmercury cysteine at 0.0, 0.75, or 1.5 μg/g wet weight and recorded changes in flight performance after 1 year of dietary mercury exposure. We also recorded the annual molt of wing feathers. We found that individuals dosed with mercury exhibited decreased escape takeoff flight performance compared with controls and blood mercury was also correlated with an increased rate of molt, which can reduce flight performance and thermoregulatory ability. This study reveals two novel endpoints, flight performance and molt, that may be affected by dietary mercury exposure. These findings suggest a potential impact on wild songbirds exposed to mercury levels comparable to the high dosage levels in the present study. Any decrease in flight efficiency could reduce fitness due to a direct impact on survival during predation events or by decreased efficiency in other critical activities (such as foraging or migration) that require efficient flight.

  13. Mercury Reduces Avian Reproductive Success and Imposes Selection: An Experimental Study with Adult- or Lifetime-Exposure in Zebra Finch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varian-Ramos, Claire W.; Swaddle, John P.; Cristol, Daniel A.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant that biomagnifies in food webs, placing wildlife at risk of reduced reproductive fitness and survival. Songbirds are the most diverse branch of the avian evolutionary tree; many are suffering persistent and serious population declines and we know that songbirds are frequently exposed to mercury pollution. Our objective was to determine the effects of environmentally relevant doses of mercury on reproductive success of songbirds exposed throughout their lives or only as adults. The two modes of exposure simulated philopatric species versus dispersive species, and are particularly relevant because of the heightened mercury-sensitivity of developing nervous systems. We performed a dosing study with dietary methylmercury in a model songbird species, the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), at doses from 0.3 – 2.4 parts per million. Birds were exposed to mercury either as adults only or throughout their lives. All doses of mercury reduced reproductive success, with the lowest dose reducing the number of independent offspring produced in one year by 16% and the highest dose, representing approximately half the lethal dose for this species, causing a 50% reduction. While mercury did not affect clutch size or survivorship, it had the most consistent effect on the proportion of chicks that fledged from the nest, regardless of mode of exposure. Among birds exposed as adults, mercury caused a steep increase in the latency to re-nest after loss of a clutch. Birds exposed for their entire lifetimes, which were necessarily the offspring of dosed parents, had up to 50% lower reproductive success than adult-exposed birds at low doses of methylmercury, but increased reproductive success at high doses, suggesting selection for mercury tolerance at the highest level of exposure. Our results indicate that mercury levels in prey items at contaminated sites pose a significant threat to populations of songbirds through reduced reproductive success. PMID

  14. ICP OES and CV AAS in determination of mercury in an unusual fatal case of long-term exposure to elemental mercury in a teenager.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lech, Teresa

    2014-04-01

    In this work, a case of deliberate self-poisoning is presented. A 14-year-old girl suddenly died during one of the several hospitalizations. Abdominal computer tomography showed a large number of metallic particles in the large intestine. Analysis of blood and internal organs for mercury and other toxic metals carried out by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP OES) revealed high concentrations of mercury in kidneys and liver (64,200 and 2470ng/g, respectively), less in stomach (90ng/g), and none in blood. Using cold vapor-atomic absorption spectrometry (CV AAS), high levels of mercury were confirmed in all examined materials, including blood (87ng/g), and additionally in hair. The results of analysis obtained by two techniques revealed that the exposure to mercury was considerable (some time later, it was stated that the mercury originated from thermometers that had been broken over the course of about 1 year, because of Münchausen syndrome). CV AAS is a more sensitive technique, particularly for blood samples (negative results using ICP OES), and tissue samples - with LOQ: 0.63ng/g of Hg (CV AAS) vis-à-vis 70ng/g of Hg (ICP OES). However, ICP OES may be used as a screening technique for autopsy material in acute poisoning by a heavy metal, even one as volatile as mercury. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Occupational mercury exposure in association with prevalence of multiple sclerosis and tremor among US dentists.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anglen, Julia; Gruninger, Stephen E; Chou, Hwai-Nan; Weuve, Jennifer; Turyk, Mary Ellen; Freels, Sally; Stayner, Leslie Thomas

    2015-09-01

    The effects of chronic occupational exposure to elemental mercury (Hg(0)) are largely unknown. The objective was to evaluate the association of occupational Hg(0) exposure with multiple sclerosis (MS) and tremor. The study included 13,906 dentists who attended the American Dental Association's annual meeting over 24 years (1986-2007 and 2011-2012). Participants reported MS and tremor and provided urine specimens for Hg(0) analysis. The authors estimated mean Hg(0) exposures over time and used logistic regression to estimate the associations of 3 Hg(0) exposure measures with MS or tremor. Among participants, 0.18% reported MS and 1.24% reported tremor. Hg(0) exposure was not associated with MS (odds ratio [OR] per 191 micrograms per liter in cumulative Hg(0) exposure, 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.39-1.85). Increased prevalent risk of tremor was found with exposure to both urinary Hg(0) exposure (OR, 1.10 [95% CI, 1.00-1.22]) and cumulative Hg(0) exposure among younger dentists (tremor. Studies with more sophisticated outcome and exposure measures, and including more retired dentists, would provide critical information toward understanding the relation of Hg(0) exposures to MS and tremor risk. Copyright © 2015 American Dental Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Long-term loss of color vision after exposure to mercury vapor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Feitosa-Santana

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available We evaluated the color vision of 24 subjects (41.6 ± 6.5 years; 6 females who worked in fluorescent lamp industries. They had been occupationally exposed to mercury vapor (10.6 ± 5.2 years and had been away from the source of exposure for 6.4 ± 4.04 years. Mean urinary concentration of mercury was 40.6 ± 36.4 µg/g creatinine during or up to 1 year after exposure and 2.71 ± 1.19 µg/g creatinine at the time of color vision testing or up to 1 year thereafter. All patients were diagnosed with chronic mercury intoxication, characterized by clinical symptoms and neuropsychological alterations. A control group (N = 36, 48.6 ± 11.9 years, 10 females, 1.5 ± 0.47 µg mercury/g creatinine was subjected to the same tests. Inclusion criteria for both groups were Snellen VA 20/30 or better and absence of known ophthalmologic pathologies. Color discrimination was assessed with the Farnsworth D-15 test (D-15 and with the Lanthony D-15d test (D-15d. Significant differences were found between the two eyes of the patients (P < 0.001 in both tests. Results for the worst eye were also different from controls for both tests: P = 0.014 for D-15 and P < 0.001 for D-15d. As shown in previous studies, the D-15d proved to be more sensitive than the D-15 for the screening and diagnosis of the color discrimination losses. Since color discrimination losses were still present many years after the end of exposure, they may be considered to be irreversible, at least under the conditions of the present study.

  17. Prenatal exposure to mercury and fish consumption during pregnancy and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-related behavior in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagiv, Sharon K; Thurston, Sally W; Bellinger, David C; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra; Korrick, Susan A

    2012-12-01

    To investigate the association of prenatal mercury exposure and fish intake with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related behavior. For a population-based prospective birth cohort recruited in New Bedford, Massachusetts (1993-1998), we analyzed data for children examined at age 8 years with peripartum maternal hair mercury measures (n = 421) or maternal report of fish consumption during pregnancy (n = 515). Inattentive and impulsive/hyperactive behaviors were assessed using a teacher rating scale and neuropsychological testing. The median maternal hair mercury level was 0.45 μg/g (range, 0.03-5.14 μg/g), and 52% of mothers consumed more than 2 fish servings weekly. In multivariable regression models, mercury exposure was associated with inattention and impulsivity/hyperactivity; some outcomes had an apparent threshold with associations at 1 μg/g or greater of mercury. For example, at 1 μg/g or greater, the adjusted risk ratios for mild/markedly atypical inattentive and impulsive/hyperactive behaviors were 1.4 (95% CI, 1.0-1.8) and 1.7 (95% CI, 1.2-2.4), respectively, for an interquartile range (0.5 μg/g) mercury increase; there was no confounding by fish consumption. For neuropsychological assessments, mercury and behavior associations were detected primarily for boys. There was a protective association for fish consumption (>2 servings per week) with ADHD-related behaviors, particularly impulsive/hyperactive behaviors (relative risk = 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.6). Low-level prenatal mercury exposure is associated with a greater risk of ADHD-related behaviors, and fish consumption during pregnancy is protective of these behaviors. These findings underscore the difficulties of balancing the benefits of fish intake with the detriments of low-level mercury exposure in developing dietary recommendations in pregnancy.

  18. Dietary mercury exposure to endangered California Clapper Rails in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casazza, Michael L.; Ricca, Mark A.; Overton, Cory T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Merritt, Angela M.; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2015-01-01

    California Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) are an endangered waterbird that forage in tidal-marsh habitats that pose risks from mercury exposure. We analyzed total mercury (Hg) in six macro-invertebrate and one fish species representing Clapper Rail diets from four tidal-marshes in San Francisco Bay, California. Mercury concentrations among individual taxa ranged from lowest at Colma Creek (mean range: 0.09–0.2 μg/g dw) to highest at Cogswell (0.2–0.7), Laumeister (0.2–0.9) and Arrowhead Marshes (0.3–1.9). These spatial patterns for Hg matched patterns reported previously in Clapper Rail blood from the same four marshes. Over 25% of eastern mudsnails (Ilyanassa obsolete) and staghorn sculpin (Leptocottus armatus) exceeded dietary Hg concentrations (ww) often associated with avian reproductive impairment. Our results indicate that Hg concentrations vary considerably among tidal-marshes and diet taxa, and Hg concentrations of prey may provide an appropriate proxy for relative exposure risk for Clapper Rails.

  19. Performance on neurological development tests by riverine children with moderate mercury exposure in Amazonia, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tavares Lydia Maria Bocayuva

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The nervous system can be damaged when the population is exposed to methyl mercury (MeHg by ingesting fish, and children deserve special attention due to their increased susceptibility as compared to adults. A comparative cross-sectional study was performed in order to investigate the use of a battery of neurological development tests in two groups of 209 riverine children from 3 to 7 years old: a group exposed to moderate levels of MeHg (n = 75 and a control group (n = 134. The study included a questionnaire, the collection of scalp hair samples for determination of total mercury concentration, and performance on a test for evaluating neurological function in children. Riverine children presented higher exposure to MeHg (mean hair Hg = 5.37 ? 3.35mg.g-1 in comparison to the control group (mean Hg = 2.08 ? 1.37mg.g-1. Both groups showed a high proportion of children with what was considered "non-normal" performance, suggesting that the results could not be related to mercury exposure and that this type of test presented limitations for use with river-dwelling Amazon communities.

  20. Performance on neurological development tests by riverine children with moderate mercury exposure in Amazonia, Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Lydia Maria Bocayuva; Câmara, Volney Magalhães; Malm, Olaf; Santos, Elisabeth C de Oliveira

    2005-01-01

    The nervous system can be damaged when the population is exposed to methyl mercury (MeHg) by ingesting fish, and children deserve special attention due to their increased susceptibility as compared to adults. A comparative cross-sectional study was performed in order to investigate the use of a battery of neurological development tests in two groups of 209 riverine children from 3 to 7 years old: a group exposed to moderate levels of MeHg (n = 75) and a control group (n = 134). The study included a questionnaire, the collection of scalp hair samples for determination of total mercury concentration, and performance on a test for evaluating neurological function in children. Riverine children presented higher exposure to MeHg (mean hair Hg = 5.37 +/- 3.35 microg x g(-1)) in comparison to the control group (mean Hg = 2.08 +/- 1.37 microg x g(-1)). Both groups showed a high proportion of children with what was considered "non-normal" performance, suggesting that the results could not be related to mercury exposure and that this type of test presented limitations for use with river-dwelling Amazon communities.

  1. Low Temperature Irradiation Applied to Neutron Activation Analysis of Mercury In Human Whole Blood

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brune, D.

    1966-02-15

    The distribution of mercury in human whole blood has been studied by means of neutron activation analysis. During the irradiation procedure the samples were kept at low temperature by freezing them in a cooling device in order to prevent interferences caused by volatilization and contamination. The mercury activity was separated by means of distillation and ion exchange techniques.

  2. THE LOCAL IMPACTS OF MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS ON HUMAN HEALTH RISK. PROGRESS REPORT FOR THE PERIOD OF MARCH 2003 - MARCH 2003.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SULLIVAN,T.M.LIPFERT,F.D.MORRIS,S.M.

    2003-05-01

    This report presents a follow-up to previous assessments of the health risks of mercury that BNL performed for the Department of Energy. Methylmercury is an organic form of mercury that has been implicated as the form of mercury that impacts human health. A comprehensive risk assessment report was prepared (Lipfert et al., 1994) that led to several journal articles and conference presentations (Lipfert et al. 1994, 1995, 1996). In 2001, a risk assessment of mercury exposure from fish consumption was performed for 3 regions of the U.S (Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest) identified by the EPA as regions of higher impact from coal emissions (Sullivan, 2001). The risk assessment addressed the effects of in utero exposure to children through consumption of fish by their mothers. Two population groups (general population and subsistence fishers) were considered. Three mercury levels were considered in the analysis, current conditions based on measured data, and hypothetical reductions in Hg levels due to a 50% and 90% reduction in mercury emissions from coal fired power plants. The findings of the analysis suggested that a 90% reduction in coal-fired emissions would lead to a small reduction in risk to the general population (population risk reduction on the order of 10{sup -5}) and that the population risk is born by less than 1% of the population (i.e. high end fish consumers). The study conducted in 2001 focused on the health impacts arising from regional deposition patterns as determined by measured data and modeling. Health impacts were assessed on a regional scale accounting for potential percent reductions in mercury emissions from coal. However, quantitative assessment of local deposition near actual power plants has not been attempted. Generic assessments have been performed, but these are not representative of any single power plant. In this study, general background information on the mercury cycle, mercury emissions from coal plants, and risk assessment are

  3. A prospective study of prenatal mercury exposure from maternal dental amalgams and autism severity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geier, David A; Kern, Janet K; Geier, Mark R

    2009-01-01

    Dental amalgams containing 50% mercury (Hg) have been used in dentistry for the last 150 years, and Hg exposure during key developmental periods was associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). This study examined increased Hg exposure from maternal dental amalgams during pregnancy among 100 qualifying participants born between 1990-1999 and diagnosed with DSM-IV autism (severe) or ASD (mild). Logistic regression analysis (age, gender, race, and region of residency adjusted) by quintile of maternal dental amalgams during pregnancy revealed the ratio of autism:ASD (severe:mild) were about 1 (no effect) for or =6 amalgams. Subjects with > or =6 amalgams were 3.2-fold significantly more likely to be diagnosed with autism (severe) in comparison to ASD (mild) than subjects with Dental amalgam policies should consider Hg exposure in women before and during the child-bearing age and the possibility of subsequent fetal exposure and adverse outcomes.

  4. Confounder selection in environmental epidemiology: assessment of health effects of prenatal mercury exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Keiding, Niels; Grandjean, Philippe

    2006-01-01

    PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to compare different approaches to the identification of confounders needed for analyzing observational data. Whereas standard analysis usually is conducted as if the confounders were known a priori, selection uncertainty also must be taken into account. METHODS...... was considered. For each criterion, uncertainty in the estimated exposure effect was assessed by using bootstrap simulations for which confounders were selected in each sample. These methods were illustrated by using data for mercury neurotoxicity in Faroe Islands children. Point estimates and standard errors...... of mercury effects on confounder-sensitive neurobehavioral outcomes were calculated for each selection procedure. RESULTS: The full model and the empirical a priori model showed approximately the same precision, and these methods were (slightly) inferior to only modified ridge regression. Lower precisions...

  5. Public health benefits of hair-mercury analysis and dietary advice in lowering methylmercury exposure in pregnant women

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kirk, Line E; Jørgensen, Jan S; Nielsen, Flemming

    2017-01-01

    AIMS: To evaluate whether a public health intervention using focused dietary advice combined with a hair-mercury analysis can lower neurotoxic methylmercury exposure among pregnant women without decreasing their overall intake of seafood. METHODS: A total of 146 pregnant women were consecutively...... thereafter to the women. A dietary questionnaire was filled in. Follow-up three months later included a dietary questionnaire and a repeat hair-mercury analysis. RESULTS: In the follow-up group, 22% of the women had hair-mercury concentrations above a safe limit of 0.58 µg/g at enrolment, decreasing to 8...... recruited from the antenatal clinic at a Danish university hospital at their initial ultrasound scan. Dietary advice was provided on avoiding methylmercury exposure from large predatory fish and a hair sample from each participant was analysed for mercury, with the results being communicated shortly...

  6. Girl or boy? Prenatal lead, cadmium and mercury exposure and the secondary sex ratio in the ALSPAC study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, C M; Golding, J; Emond, A M

    2014-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of prenatal exposure to lead, cadmium and mercury levels on the secondary sex ratio. Whole blood samples were collected from pregnant women enrolled in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) study at a median gestational age of 11 weeks and were analyzed for lead, cadmium and mercury. Regression analysis was used to identify associations between maternal lead, cadmium and mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio with adjustment for confounders. There was no evidence for associations between maternal lead, cadmium or mercury levels and the secondary sex ratio in this sample. It appears unlikely that alterations in the secondary sex ratio are influenced by exposure to heavy metals, but further work should be done in large cohorts in other countries to confirm these findings. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Modulators of mercury risk to wildlife and humans in the context of rapid global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Silbergeld, Ellen K.; Basu, Niladri; Bustamante, Paco; Diaz-Barriga, Fernando; Hopkins, William A.; Kidd, Karen A.; Nyland, Jennifer F.

    2018-01-01

    Environmental mercury (Hg) contamination is an urgent global health threat. The complexity of Hg in the environment can hinder accurate determination of ecological and human health risks, particularly within the context of the rapid global changes that are altering many ecological processes, socioeconomic patterns, and other factors like infectious disease incidence, which can affect Hg exposures and health outcomes. However, the success of global Hg-reduction efforts depends on accurate assessments of their effectiveness in reducing health risks. In this paper, we examine the role that key extrinsic and intrinsic drivers play on several aspects of Hg risk to humans and organisms in the environment. We do so within three key domains of ecological and human health risk. First, we examine how extrinsic global change drivers influence pathways of Hg bioaccumulation and biomagnification through food webs. Next, we describe how extrinsic socioeconomic drivers at a global scale, and intrinsic individual-level drivers, influence human Hg exposure. Finally, we address how the adverse health effects of Hg in humans and wildlife are modulated by a range of extrinsic and intrinsic drivers within the context of rapid global change. Incorporating components of these three domains into research and monitoring will facilitate a more holistic understanding of how ecological and societal drivers interact to influence Hg health risks.

  8. Prenatal exposure to mercury and longitudinally assessed fetal growth: Relation and effect modifiers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ballester, Ferran; Iñiguez, Carmen; Murcia, Mario; Guxens, Mònica; Basterretxea, Mikel; Rebagliato, Marisa; Vioque, Jesús; Lertxundi, Aitana; Fernandez-Somoano, Ana; Tardon, Adonina; Sunyer, Jordi; Llop, Sabrina

    2018-01-01

    Prenatal mercury exposure has been related to reductions in anthropometry at birth. Levels of mercury have been reported as being relatively elevated in the Spanish population. To investigate the relation between prenatal exposure to mercury and fetal growth. Study subjects were pregnant women and their newborns (n:1867) participating in a population-based birth cohort study set up in four Spanish regions from the INMA Project. Biparietal diameter (BPD), femur length (FL), abdominal circumference (AC), and estimated fetal weight (EFW) were measured by ultrasounds at 12, 20, and 34 weeks of gestation. Size at and growth between these points were assessed by standard deviation (SD) scores adjusted for constitutional characteristics. Total mercury (T-Hg) was determined in cord blood. Associations were investigated by linear regression models, adjusted by sociodemographic, environmental, nutritional - including four seafood groups - and lifestyle-related variables in each sub-cohort. Final estimates were obtained using meta-analysis. Effect modification by sex, seafood intake and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener 153 concentration was assessed. Geometric mean of cord blood T-Hg was 8.2μg/L. All the estimates of the association between prenatal Hg and growth from 0 to 12 weeks showed reductions in SD-scores, which were only statistically significant for BPD. A doubling of cord blood T-Hg was associated with a 0.58% reduction in size of BPD at week 12 (95% confidence interval -CI-: - 1.10, - 0.07). Size at week 34 showed estimates suggestive of a small reduction in EFW, i.e., a doubling of T-Hg levels was associated with a reduction of 0.38% (95% CI: - 0.91, 0.15). An interaction between PCB153 and T-Hg was found, with statistically significant negative associations of T-Hg with AC and EFW in late pregnancy among participants with PCB153 below the median. Exposure to mercury during pregnancy was associated with early reductions in BPD. Moreover, an antagonism with

  9. Biofilms as bioindicators of mercury exposure in surface waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Faucheur, S.; Dranguet, P.; Freiburghaus, A.; Slaveykova, V. I.; Carmen, M.

    2016-12-01

    Biofilms are communities of microorganisms living in shallow waters, which possess several interesting characteristics to be a good bioindicator, i.e. ubiquitous, easy to collect, integrator of the quality of their ambient environment and sensitive to pollutants. Our work investigated whether biofilm could be used as a bioindicator of Hg contamination in natural waters and explore the links between ambient Hg concentrations, its bioaccumulation and biofilm composition. To that end, field- and lab-based experiments were performed with biofilm grown on artificial substrata in either Hg-impacted waters and in microcosms spiked with Hg. The field experiments were performed in contrasted environments: the Olt River (Romania) impacted by chloro-alkali releases and the lagoon of Venice (Italy) affected by urban, industrial and agricultural activities. The field studies were complemented with microcosm experiments using Geneva Lake water enriched with Hg (13 pM to 1.4 nM). Bioaccumulated inorganic HgII and methylmercury (CH3Hg) in biofilms were measured w/o cysteine washing step to assess the total and intracellular Hg content. Biofilm composition was examined from gene to community levels using several techniques, notably qPCR, epifluorescent microscopy and pyrosequencing. In parallel the physico-chemical parameters of the ambient waters (pH, anion/cation and dissolved organic matter concentrations) were well characterized and dissolved Hg concentrations measured. Commercially available DGTs for Hg were additionally used in the lagoon of Venice. The main findings of the study can be summarized as follows: (i) accumulation of Hg in biofilms well correlates with ambient Hg concentration in a specific environment, but (ii) that bioaccumulation highly depends of biofilm composition, with bacterial-dominated biofilms having higher uptake rate constants than algal-dominated biofilms, and (iii) Hg exposure at environmental low concentrations (pM levels) strongly impacts algal

  10. Mercury accumulation in fish species from the Persian Gulf and in human hair from fishermen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agah, Homira; Leermakers, Martine; Gao, Yue; Fatemi, S M R; Katal, M Mohseni; Baeyens, Willy; Elskens, Marc

    2010-10-01

    Total and methylmercury concentrations were assessed in muscle and liver of 141 fish samples from the northern part of the Persian Gulf. All fish samples belonged to five different species: grunt, flathead, greasy grouper, tiger-tooth croaker, and silver pomfret. In addition, Hg and methylmercury were analyzed in scalp hair of 19 fishermen living in the same coastal stations of the Persian Gulf and consuming several fish meals a week. Total mercury concentrations in fish muscle and liver ranged from 0.01 to 1.35 microg g(-1) w.w. and from 0.02 to 1.30 microg g(-1) w.w., respectively. In fish muscle, 3% of the Hg concentrations were higher than 0.5 microg g(-1) w.w., which corresponds to the maximum acceptable WHO level, while 9% were in the range of polluted fish (between 0.3 and 0.5 microg g(-1) w.w.). The highest mercury concentrations in fish muscle were observed in flathead fish at Abadan (average of 0.68 microg g(-1) w.w.). Methylmercury fractions in fish muscle and liver amount to 34-99% (median 64%) and 24-70% (median 43%), respectively. The mean total Hg concentration in the fishermen's scalp hair amounted to 2.9 +/- 2.2 microg g(-1), with 68% in the form of methylmercury. Ninety-five percent of the Hg levels in the fishermen's hair were below 10 microg g(-1), which is the WHO warning limit. In addition, relationships between the mercury levels in hair, on the one hand, and exposure-related factors such as Hg levels in specific fish species, regional differences, and number of fish meals, on the other hand, are discussed. It appears that a significant correlation for example exists between Hg levels human hair and fish muscle or human hair and age and that mean mercury levels in fish muscle and human hair decreased from western (Abadan) to eastern (Abbas port) coastal sites.

  11. Public health benefits of hair-mercury analysis and dietary advice in lowering methylmercury exposure in pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Line E; Jørgensen, Jan S; Nielsen, Flemming; Grandjean, Philippe

    2017-06-01

    To evaluate whether a public health intervention using focused dietary advice combined with a hair-mercury analysis can lower neurotoxic methylmercury exposure among pregnant women without decreasing their overall intake of seafood. A total of 146 pregnant women were consecutively recruited from the antenatal clinic at a Danish university hospital at their initial ultrasound scan. Dietary advice was provided on avoiding methylmercury exposure from large predatory fish and a hair sample from each participant was analysed for mercury, with the results being communicated shortly thereafter to the women. A dietary questionnaire was filled in. Follow-up three months later included a dietary questionnaire and a repeat hair-mercury analysis. In the follow-up group, 22% of the women had hair-mercury concentrations above a safe limit of 0.58 µg/g at enrolment, decreasing to 8% three months later. Average hair-mercury concentrations decreased by 21%. However, the total seafood intake remained at the same level after three months. Increased exposure to methylmercury among pregnant women is an important public health concern in Denmark. The observed lowering of hair-mercury concentrations associated with dietary advice corresponds to a substantial public health benefit that probably makes such an intervention highly profitable.

  12. Elevated mercury exposure and neurochemical alterations in little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) from a site with historical mercury contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nam, Dong-Ha; Yates, David; Ardapple, Pedro; Evers, David C; Schmerfeld, John; Basu, Niladri

    2012-05-01

    Despite evidence of persistent methylmercury (MeHg) contamination in the South River (Virginia, USA) ecosystem, there is little information concerning MeHg-associated neurological impacts in resident wildlife. Here we determined mercury (Hg) concentrations in tissues of insectivorous little brown bats (Myotis lucifugus) collected from a reference site and a MeHg-contaminated site in the South River ecosystem. We also explored whether neurochemical biomarkers (monoamine oxidase, MAO; acetylcholinesterase, ChE; muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, mAChR; N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, NMDAR) previously shown to be altered by MeHg in other wildlife were associated with brain Hg levels in these bats. Concentrations of Hg (total and MeHg) in tissues were significantly higher (10-40 fold difference) in South River bats when compared to reference sites. Mean tissue mercury levels (71.9 ppm dw in liver, 7.14 ppm dw in brain, 132 ppm fw in fur) in the South River bats exceed (sub)-clinical thresholds in mammals. When compared to the South River bats, animals from the reference site showed a greater ability to demethylate MeHg in brain (33.1% of total Hg was MeHg vs. 65.5%) and liver (8.9% of total Hg was MeHg vs. 50.8%) thus suggesting differences in their ability to detoxify and eliminate Hg. In terms of Hg-associated neurochemical biomarker responses, interesting biphasic responses were observed with an inflection point between 1 and 5 ppm dw in the brain. In the reference bats Hg-associated decreases in MAO (r = -0.61; p exposures, differences in Hg metabolism, and the importance of the aforementioned neurochemicals in multiple facets of animal health, altered or perhaps even a lack of expected neurochemical responses in Hg-contaminated bats raise questions about the ecological and physiological impacts of Hg on the bat population as well as the broader ecosystem in the South River.

  13. Mercury induces inflammatory mediator release from human mast cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peterson Erika

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mercury is known to be neurotoxic, but its effects on the immune system are less well known. Mast cells are involved in allergic reactions, but also in innate and acquired immunity, as well as in inflammation. Many patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD have "allergic" symptoms; moreover, the prevalence of ASD in patients with mastocytosis, characterized by numerous hyperactive mast cells in most tissues, is 10-fold higher than the general population suggesting mast cell involvement. We, therefore, investigated the effect of mercuric chloride (HgCl2 on human mast cell activation. Methods Human leukemic cultured LAD2 mast cells and normal human umbilical cord blood-derived cultured mast cells (hCBMCs were stimulated by HgCl2 (0.1-10 μM for either 10 min for beta-hexosaminidase release or 24 hr for measuring vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF and IL-6 release by ELISA. Results HgCl2 induced a 2-fold increase in β-hexosaminidase release, and also significant VEGF release at 0.1 and 1 μM (311 ± 32 pg/106 cells and 443 ± 143 pg/106 cells, respectively from LAD2 mast cells compared to control cells (227 ± 17 pg/106 cells, n = 5, p 2 (0.1 μM to the proinflammatory neuropeptide substance P (SP, 0.1 μM had synergestic action in inducing VEGF from LAD2 mast cells. HgCl2 also stimulated significant VEGF release (360 ± 100 pg/106 cells at 1 μM, n = 5, p 6 cells, and IL-6 release (466 ± 57 pg/106 cells at 0.1 μM compared to untreated cells (13 ± 25 pg/106 cells, n = 5, p 2 (0.1 μM to SP (5 μM further increased IL-6 release. Conclusions HgCl2 stimulates VEGF and IL-6 release from human mast cells. This phenomenon could disrupt the blood-brain-barrier and permit brain inflammation. As a result, the findings of the present study provide a biological mechanism for how low levels of mercury may contribute to ASD pathogenesis.

  14. Nephrotoxic effects of mercury exposure and smoking among Egyptian workers in a fluorescent lamp factory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Safty, Ibrahim A M; Shouman, Ahmed E; Amin, Nour E

    2003-01-01

    It is known that mercury (Hg) has a nephrotoxic effect in exposed workers. This effect is evident when there is advanced damage of kidney tissue. A random morning urine sample was collected from each participant for measuring urinary concentrations of total protein (UTP), retinol-binding protein (URBP), creatinine (UCr), Hg (UHg), and the activities of leucine-aminopeptidase (ULAP) and glutathione S-transferase (UGST) as well as N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase (UNAG). Urinary excretion of the measured parameters was significantly increased among Hg-exposed workers who were smokers and among Hg-exposed workers with work duration >or=11 years than those with exposure and that cigarette smoking has toxic and synergistic effects with Hg exposure on kidney. Present results additionally suggest reduction in recommended biological threshold limit (50 microg Hg/g Ucr) or biological exposure index (35 microg Hg/g Ucr) of urinary mercury levels because elevated levels of measured parameters were observed at urinary Hg levels of 17.3-28.2 microg Hg/g Ucr.

  15. Mercury Toxicity and Treatment: A Review of the Literature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin A. Bernhoft

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is a toxic heavy metal which is widely dispersed in nature. Most human exposure results from fish consumption or dental amalgam. Mercury occurs in several chemical forms, with complex pharmacokinetics. Mercury is capable of inducing a wide range of clinical presentations. Diagnosis of mercury toxicity can be challenging but can be obtained with reasonable reliability. Effective therapies for clinical toxicity have been described.

  16. Mercury Toxicity and Treatment: A Review of the Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernhoft, Robin A.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is a toxic heavy metal which is widely dispersed in nature. Most human exposure results from fish consumption or dental amalgam. Mercury occurs in several chemical forms, with complex pharmacokinetics. Mercury is capable of inducing a wide range of clinical presentations. Diagnosis of mercury toxicity can be challenging but can be obtained with reasonable reliability. Effective therapies for clinical toxicity have been described. PMID:22235210

  17. Effect of amalgam fillings on the mercury concentration in human amniotic fluid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luglie, Pier Franca; Campus, Guglielmo; Chessa, Giannina; Spano, Giovanni; Capobianco, Giampiero; Fadda, Giovanni Maria; Dessole, Salvatore

    2005-02-01

    Methyl mercury (MeHg) and metallic Hg are well known as neurotoxic agents. Dental amalgam contributes significantly to elemental Hg vapour exposure in the general population. There is little information about Hg concentration in human amniotic fluid (AF) of pregnant women and its potential toxic effect on the fetuses. Primary to assess the relationship between the presence of detectable mercury (Hg) concentration in human AF, number and surface areas of amalgam fillings of pregnant women; secondary to analyse their obstetric history and perinatal complications. Seventy-two pregnant women took part in this prospective study. One dentist recorded the dental status, presence, number and surface areas of amalgam fillings. Total Hg concentration in AF was determined in digested samples using automatic cold vapour atomic absorption equipment. The detection limit of Hg in AF, determined from blank readings, was 0.08 ng/ml. To estimate the dependence of the explanatory variables (such as number and surface areas of amalgam fillings, fish consumption, presence of liver or neurological diseases and smoking habits) on mercury concentration several linear regression models were built up. Stepwise logistic regression procedures were running on total sample and on patients with at least one amalgam filling (Positive Filling group = PF). Principal component analysis (PCA) provided two factors, which explained for more the 60% of the variance among the variables. The overall mean Hg concentration in AF among all patients was 0.37+/-0.49 ng/ml. Nineteen (26.4%) women had a Hg concentration or = 0.08 ng/ml (Hg positive group), the mean value of Hg was 0.49+/-0.52 ng/ml. The average number of amalgam fillings was 2.26 +/- 3.19 in the Hg negative group and 5.32+/-3.03 in the Hg positive group (ANOVA one-way p=0.04). A dependence of mercury concentration on number of amalgam fillings (p=0.03), surface area of the amalgam fillings (p=0.04) and fish consumption (p=0.04) was observed but

  18. From tails to toes: developing nonlethal tissue indicators of mercury exposure in five amphibian species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleeger, Adam Z.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Kowalski, Brandon M.; Herring, Garth; Willacker, James J.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Pierce, John

    2016-01-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been implicated as a factor in global amphibian decline. Mercury (Hg) is a particularly widespread contaminant that biomagnifies in amphibians and can cause a suite of deleterious effects. However, monitoring contaminant exposure in amphibian tissues may conflict with conservation goals if lethal take is required. Thus, there is a need to develop non-lethal tissue sampling techniques to quantify contaminant exposure in amphibians. Some minimally invasive sampling techniques, such as toe-clipping, are common in population-genetic research, but it is unclear if these methods can adequately characterize contaminant exposure. We examined the relationships between mercury (Hg) concentrations in non-lethally sampled tissues and paired whole-bodies in five amphibian species. Specifically, we examined the utility of three different tail-clip sections from four salamander species and toe-clips from one anuran species. Both tail and toe-clips accurately predicted whole-body THg concentrations, but the relationships differed among species and the specific tail-clip section or toe that was used. Tail-clips comprised of the distal 0–2 cm segment performed the best across all salamander species, explaining between 82 and 92 % of the variation in paired whole-body THg concentrations. Toe-clips were less effective predictors of frog THg concentrations, but THg concentrations in outer rear toes accounted for up to 79 % of the variability in frog whole-body THg concentrations. These findings suggest non-lethal sampling of tails and toes has potential applications for monitoring contaminant exposure and risk in amphibians, but care must be taken to ensure consistent collection and interpretation of samples.

  19. From tails to toes: developing nonlethal tissue indicators of mercury exposure in five amphibian species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfleeger, Adam Z; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Kowalski, Brandon M; Herring, Garth; Willacker, James J; Jackson, Allyson K; Pierce, John R

    2016-04-01

    Exposure to environmental contaminants has been implicated as a factor in global amphibian decline. Mercury (Hg) is a particularly widespread contaminant that biomagnifies in amphibians and can cause a suite of deleterious effects. However, monitoring contaminant exposure in amphibian tissues may conflict with conservation goals if lethal take is required. Thus, there is a need to develop non-lethal tissue sampling techniques to quantify contaminant exposure in amphibians. Some minimally invasive sampling techniques, such as toe-clipping, are common in population-genetic research, but it is unclear if these methods can adequately characterize contaminant exposure. We examined the relationships between mercury (Hg) concentrations in non-lethally sampled tissues and paired whole-bodies in five amphibian species. Specifically, we examined the utility of three different tail-clip sections from four salamander species and toe-clips from one anuran species. Both tail and toe-clips accurately predicted whole-body THg concentrations, but the relationships differed among species and the specific tail-clip section or toe that was used. Tail-clips comprised of the distal 0-2 cm segment performed the best across all salamander species, explaining between 82 and 92% of the variation in paired whole-body THg concentrations. Toe-clips were less effective predictors of frog THg concentrations, but THg concentrations in outer rear toes accounted for up to 79% of the variability in frog whole-body THg concentrations. These findings suggest non-lethal sampling of tails and toes has potential applications for monitoring contaminant exposure and risk in amphibians, but care must be taken to ensure consistent collection and interpretation of samples.

  20. Measurement of mercury species in human blood using triple spike isotope dilution with SPME-GC-ICP-DRC-MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sommer, Yuliya L; Verdon, Carl P; Fresquez, Mark R; Ward, Cynthia D; Wood, Elliott B; Pan, Yi; Caldwell, Kathleen L; Jones, Robert L

    2014-08-01

    The measurement of different mercury compounds in human blood can provide valuable information about the type of mercury exposure. To this end, our laboratory developed a biomonitoring method for the quantification of inorganic (iHg), methyl (MeHg), and ethyl (EtHg) mercury in whole blood using a triple-spike isotope dilution (TSID) quantification method employing capillary gas chromatography (GC) and inductively coupled dynamic reaction cell mass spectrometry (ICP-DRC-MS). We used a robotic CombiPAL(®) sample handling station featuring twin fiber-based solid-phase microextraction (SPME) injector heads. The use of two SPME fibers significantly reduces sample analysis cycle times making this method very suitable for high sample throughput, which is a requirement for large public health biomonitoring studies. Our sample preparation procedure involved solubilization of blood samples with tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) followed by the derivatization with sodium tetra(n-propyl)borate (NaBPr(4)) to promote volatility of mercury species. We thoroughly investigated mercury species stability in the blood matrix during the course of sample treatment and analysis. The method accuracy for quantifying iHg, MeHg, and EtHg was validated using NIST standard reference materials (SRM 955c level 3) and the Centre de Toxicologie du Québec (CTQ) proficiency testing (PT) samples. The limit of detection (LOD) for iHg, MeHg, and EtHg in human blood was determined to be 0.27, 0.12, and 0.16 μg/L, respectively.

  1. Health effects associated with occupational exposure to low levels of mercury vapors by employees of a chloralkali plant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.A. Norozi

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Background and aims   The present study carried out to evaluate health effects associated with chronic occupational exposure to low levels of mercury vapors.     Methods   The study population consisted of 46 male workers occupationally exposed to  mercury vapors and 65 healthy unexposed employees. Subjects were administered a questionnaire on symptoms experienced and underwent clinical examinations as well routine biochemical tests.   Additionally, using standard methods, atmospheric and urinary concentrations of mercury were measured.     Results   Environmental and urinary concentrations of mercury were estimated to be 3/97±6/28  μg/m 2 and 34/30±26/77 μg/lit, respectively. While these values were blow the recommended TLV and BEI for this substance, exposed subjects had significantly higher concentrations of urinary mercury levels than their unexposed counterparts. No significant differences were noted between CBC, BUN, serum creatinine or serum activity of liver enzymes of both groups. Conversely, analysis of the data revealed that symptoms such as somatic and mental fatigue, anorexia, loss off  memory and personality change were significantly more common among exposed individuals.  Likewise, painful spasm of the extremities, irritability, vague fears and insomnia were more frequent among exposed population, although the differences were not statistically significant.     Conclusion Theses observations indicate that occupational exposure to mercury vapors, even at low levels, is likely to be associated with neurological and psychological symptoms.  

  2. Comparative oxidative stress, metallothionein induction and organ toxicity following chronic exposure to arsenic, lead and mercury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, S; Flora, G; Bhatnagar, P; Flora, S J S

    2014-06-22

    Globally, arsenic, mercury and lead constitutes as the three most hazardous environmental toxicants perturbing imbalance in pro—oxidant and antioxidant homeostasis. Individual toxicity of these environmental toxicants is well known but there is lack of comparative data on variables indicative of oxidative stress. We thus investigated the effects of chronic exposure to sodium arsenite, mercuric chloride and lead acetate on blood and tissue oxidative stress, metal concentration and metallothionein (MT) contents. Male rats were exposed to sodium arsenite, mercuric chloride and lead acetate (0.05 mg/kg each, orally, once daily) for 6 months. Arsenic, mercury and lead exposure led to a significant inhibition of blood δ—aminolevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) activity and glutathione level supported by increased thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS). The level of inhibition was more pronounced in case of lead followed by mercury and arsenic. These metals/ metalloid significantly increased reactive oxygen species (ROS), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity accompanied by a decreased superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase and reduced and oxidized glutathione (GSH and GSSG) levels in blood and tissues. Mercury alone produced a significant induction of hepatic and renal MT concentrations. Serum transaminases, lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activities increased significantly on exposure to arsenic and mercury exposure suggesting liver injury which was less pronounced in case of lead exposure. These biochemical alterations were supported by increased arsenic, mercury and lead concentrations in blood and soft tissues. The present study suggests that exposure to sodium arsenite and mercuric chloride lead to more pronounced oxidative stress and hepatotoxicity while lead acetate caused significant alterations in haem synthesis pathway compared to two other thiol binding metal/metalloid.

  3. Prenatal exposure to mercury and neuropsychological development in young children: the role of fish consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llop, Sabrina; Ballester, Ferran; Murcia, Mario; Forns, Joan; Tardon, Adonina; Andiarena, Ainara; Vioque, Jesús; Ibarluzea, Jesús; Fernández-Somoano, Ana; Sunyer, Jordi; Julvez, Jordi; Rebagliato, Marisa; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria-Jose

    2017-06-01

    Vulnerability of the central nervous system to mercury exposure is increased during early development. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between prenatal exposure to mercury and child neuropsychological development in high-fish-intake areas in Spain. Study subjects were 1362 children, participants in the INMA (Environment and Childhood) birth cohort study. Cord blood total mercury (CB-Hg) and cord polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) concentrations were analysed in samples collected between 2004 and 2008. Child neuropsychological development was assessed at age 4-5 years by the McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities (MSCA). Socio-demographic, lifestyle and dietary information was obtained by questionnaires administered during pregnancy and childhood. The geometric mean of CB-Hg was 8.8 µg/L [95% confidence interval (CI) 8.4, 9.2]. A doubling in CB-Hg was associated with higher scores in most of the MSCA scales ( β =1.29; 95% CI 0.28, 2.31 for the general cognitive scale). The association between CB-Hg and the scores obtained on the scales was inverse among children whose mothers consumed fewer than three weekly servings of fish during the first trimester of pregnancy, although confidence intervals did not exclude the null ( β =-1.20; 95% CI -2.62, 0.22 for the perceptive-manipulative scale and β =-3.06; 95% CI -6.37, 0.24 for the general cognitive scale). An inverse association between CB-Hg and the scores on the motor scale was also suggested for children with an n-6/n-3 PUFA ratio above the median ( β =-0.23; 95% CI -0.87, 0.40, interaction p -value=0.03). The relationship between CB-Hg concentrations and child neuropsychological development was influenced by maternal nutritional factors, such as fish consumption and the PUFA status.

  4. Mercury exposure due to environmental factors and amalgam restorations in a sample of North Carolina children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dilley, D C; Bawden, J W

    1999-01-01

    Dental amalgam restorations provide a potential source for mercury (Hg) exposure in children. This study explored the possibility that Hg levels in dentin of exfoliated primary maxillary canines could detect cumulative Hg exposure from amalgam restorations in a sample of North Carolina children. Twenty-seven exfoliated maxillary canines from 3.3 children, without restorations or caries, were assayed for dentin Hg concentration ([Hg]). Urine samples were obtained from 21 subjects and assayed for [Hg] and diet surveys for seafood ingestion were completed for 26 subjects. A surface/month exposure index (SMEI) was compiled from dental records to quantify each child's cumulative exposure to amalgam restorations. Results showed that dentin [Hg] ranged from undetectable levels to 15.7 ppm with a mean of 3.7 ppm. The SMEI scores ranged from 0-638 with a mean of 95. Ten subjects had low SMEI scores of 0-3, nine had scores 4-100, and eight had scores higher than 100. No statistical correlation was found for SMEI scores and dentin [Hg]. Urine Hg levels were found to be negligible and no relationship was found between urine [Hg] and reported ingestion of seafood or SMEI scores. Hg exposure in this sample of children was low and additional exposure from amalgam restorations could not be detected by the methods used in this study.

  5. Global Sources and Pathways of Mercury in the Context of Human Health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyrre Sundseth

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews information from the existing literature and the EU GMOS (Global Mercury Observation System project to assess the current scientific knowledge on global mercury releases into the atmosphere, on global atmospheric transport and deposition, and on the linkage between environmental contamination and potential impacts on human health. The review concludes that assessment of global sources and pathways of mercury in the context of human health is important for being able to monitor the effects from implementation of the Minamata Convention targets, although new research is needed on the improvement of emission inventory data, the chemical and physical behaviour of mercury in the atmosphere, the improvement of monitoring network data, predictions of future emissions and speciation, and on the subsequent effects on the environment, human health, as well as the economic costs and benefits of reducing these aspects.

  6. Mercury in Fish of the American and Bear River Watershed Reservoirs: Tissue Analysis and Strategies for Minimizing Exposure at Lake Clementine and Rollins Reservoir, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeble-Toll, A. K.; Monohan, C.; Brown, D. L.; Pearson, G.

    2016-12-01

    The primary pathway of human exposure to mercury is the consumption of contaminated fish. Identification of patterns of fish tissue mercury levels are a key mechanism for understanding risk drivers and human exposure potential. Site-specific fish tissue data aid the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) in the development of consumption advisories. This research consists of Year 1 of a three year project to collect fish data from six reservoirs downstream of historic hydraulic mines in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba watershed region. Angler survey data informed sampling to ensure that commonly caught and consumed species were harvested from Lake Clementine and Rollins Reservoir and was used to evaluate posted fish consumption advice as a mechanism for protecting human health. A total of 72 samples from four species groups were collected in 2015. Geometric mean THg (ppm, wet weight) were highest for black bass at both Lake Clementine (n = 8, THg = 0.40) and Rollins Reservoir (n = 26, THg = 0.54), with a significant positive relationship between fish total length and THg at both water bodies (Lake Clementine: rho = 0.85, pmercury (Hg) sources at legacy gold mines results in reduced human exposure risk at downstream water bodies.

  7. Mercury in the South African environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available This presentation highlights the toxic effects that over-exposure to mercury (Hg) might have on human health. This includes blindness, deafness, cerebral palsy, mental problems and abnormal reflexes and muscle tone. Hg emissions increasing globally...

  8. The extent of mercury (Hg) exposure among Saudi mothers and their respective infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleh, Iman; Abduljabbar, Mai; Al-Rouqi, Reem; Eltabache, Chafica; Al-Rajudi, Tahreer; Elkhatib, Rola; Nester, Michael

    2015-11-01

    A total of 1016 healthy Saudi mothers and their respective infants (aged 3-12 months) were recruited from 57 Primary Health Care Centers (PHCCs) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to evaluate the extent of mercury (Hg) exposure and predict its sources in the healthy Saudi population. Total Hg levels were measured in maternal urine, breast milk, blood, and hair and in the infants' urine and hair. Only 1.9% of the mothers had urinary Hg (UHg)>10 μg/l, the limit for asymptomatic adults recommended by the World Health Organization, but the median (0.99 μg/l) was higher than in other countries. Also, 49.3% of the mothers had UHg>1 μg/l, the German reference value for adults. Median infant UHg was 0.729 μg/l, and 77 and 93 % of the infants had levels higher than 0.4 and 0.1 μg/l, the reference values of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and for Germany, respectively. The median Hg level in breast milk was 0.884 μg/l. Even though 43.2% of the milk samples were above the background level for Hg in human milk (1 μg/l), our results were lower than those reported from other countries. Median maternal total Hg in blood was 0.637 μg/l, and only 0.4 and 6.9% of samples were higher than the Hg reference levels of 5.8 μg/l of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and of 2 μg/l for Germany, respectively. Total Hg levels in hair (HHg) varied widely among mothers and infants, but only 3.9% of the mothers and 2.8% of the infants had HHg>1 μg/g (the EPA reference level). Median HHg values were 0.117 μg/g dry weight in mothers and 0.1 μg/g dry weight in infants; both were lower than in other countries. The Hg levels in mothers and their respective infants were relatively low, but our results were consistent with other studies indicating that dental amalgam fillings and fish consumption were the main predictors of maternal Hg exposure. Among the several biomarkers of Hg exposure, Hg levels in maternal hair and urine were the strongest predictors of infant exposure

  9. Mercury burden and health impairment in dental auxilaries. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shapiro, I.M.; Bloch, P.; Ship, I.I.; Spitz, L.; Summer, A.

    1988-01-01

    An effort was made to develop a safe and effective x-ray fluorescence system for monitoring mercury and other elements in human tissues in-situ, to determine mercury levels in 207 dental auxiliaries exposed to dental amalgam on the job, to evaluate mercury in matching nonexposed populations and in 298 dentists using mercury amalgam, and to evaluate deficiencies in central and peripheral nervous systems resulting from the mercury exposure. Mercury levels were below 20 micrograms/gram in 60% of the dentists and 90% of the dental auxiliaries. Dentists with the higher mercury concentrations in their heads or wrists had considerably longer median motor distal latencies and median F-wave latency. Five of them demonstrated abnormalities consistent with carpal tunnel syndrome; seven had polyneuropathies defined as reduced motor or sensory conduction velocities of response amplitudes in two or more nerves. Neuropsychological tests indicated both groups of dental workers were adversely affected by mercury exposure.

  10. Mercury cycling in peatland watersheds. Chapter 11.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall K. Kolka; Carl P.J. Mitchell; Jeffrey D. Jeremiason; Neal A. Hines; David F. Grigal; Daniel R. Engstrom; Jill K. Coleman-Wasik; Edward A. Nater; Edward B. Swain; Bruce A. Monson; Jacob A. Fleck; Brian Johnson; James E. Almendinger; Brian A. Branfireun; Patrick L. Brezonik; James B. Cotner

    2011-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is of great environmental concern due to its transformation into the toxic methylmercury (MeHg) form that bioaccumulates within the food chain and causes health concerns for both humans and wildlife (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2002). Mercury can affect neurological development in fetuses and young children. In adults, exposure to Hg can lead to...

  11. Relationship between the prenatal exposure to low-level of mercury and the size of a newborn's cerebellum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cace, I Bilic; Milardovic, A; Prpic, I; Krajina, R; Petrovic, O; Vukelic, P; Spiric, Z; Horvat, M; Mazej, D; Snoj, J

    2011-04-01

    Exposure to methylmercury at any stage of central nervous system development could induce alterations and result in severe congenital abnormalities. Total mercury level in maternal hair during pregnancy correlates well with blood levels of methylmercury and with total mercury levels in fetal brain. A prospective study has been conducted and a total of 137 childbearing women living at the coastal region with term, normal pregnancies were included and their newborns evaluated by ultrasonography. Mothers and their newborns are divided in two groups according to their hair mercury levels; examined group with high body levels of mercury (≥ 1 μg/g) and control group with low body levels of mercury (mercury levels lower than 1 μg/g (N = 107). Mean value was 0.88 μg/g (SD 1.24), ranging from 0.02 to 8.71 μg/g. There was no significant difference between the two groups when it comes to the width of cerebellum (Mann-Whitney test: Z = 1471; p = 0.141). However, comparison related to the length of cerebellum shows statistically significant smaller cerebellum in newborns whose mother had hair mercury levels higher than 1 μg/g (Mann-Whitney test: Z = 2329; p = 0.019). Our results lead to a conclusion that prenatal exposure to, what we consider to be, low-levels of methylmercury does influence fetal brain development detected as decreased size of newborn's cerebellum. From a clinical point of view, a question related to the influence of prenatal low-level methylmercury exposure on fetal neurodevelopment remains open. Our further objectives are to direct the research towards performing detailed neuropshychological tests on children at the age of 18 months. Such tests could indicate the presence of subtle neurological or neuropsychological deficits. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Avian mercury exposure and toxicological risk across western North America: A synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark; Hartman, Christopher; Peterson, Sarah; Evers, David C.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Elliott, John E.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Bryan, Colleen E.

    2016-01-01

    Methylmercury contamination of the environment is an important issue globally, and birds are useful bioindicators for mercury monitoring programs. The available data on mercury contamination of birds in western North America were synthesized. Original data from multiple databases were obtained and a literature review was conducted to obtain additional mercury concentrations. In total, 29219 original bird mercury concentrations from 225 species were compiled, and an additional 1712 mean mercury concentrations, representing 19998 individuals and 176 species, from 200 publications were obtained. To make mercury data comparable across bird tissues, published equations of tissue mercury correlations were used to convert all mercury concentrations into blood-equivalent mercury concentrations. Blood-equivalent mercury concentrations differed among species, foraging guilds, habitat types, locations, and ecoregions. Piscivores and carnivores exhibited the greatest mercury concentrations, whereas herbivores and granivores exhibited the lowest mercury concentrations. Bird mercury concentrations were greatest in ocean and salt marsh habitats and lowest in terrestrial habitats. Bird mercury concentrations were above toxicity benchmarks in many areas throughout western North America, and multiple hotspots were identified. Additionally, published toxicity benchmarks established in multiple tissues were summarized and translated into a common blood-equivalent mercury concentration. Overall, 66% of birds sampled in western North American exceeded a blood-equivalent mercury concentration of 0.2 μg/g wet weight (ww; above background levels), which is the lowest-observed effect level, 28% exceeded 1.0 μg/g ww (moderate risk), 8% exceeded 3.0 μg/g ww (high risk), and 4% exceeded 4.0 μg/g ww (severe risk). Mercury monitoring programs should sample bird tissues, such as adult blood and eggs, that are most-easily translated into tissues with well-developed toxicity benchmarks and that

  13. Assessment of Dietary Mercury Intake and Blood Mercury Levels in the Korean Population: Results from the Korean National Environmental Health Survey 2012–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seong-Ah Kim

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available From a public health perspective, there is growing concern about dietary mercury intake as the most important source of mercury exposure. This study was performed to estimate dietary mercury exposure and to analyze the association between mercury intake and blood mercury levels in Koreans. The study subjects were 553 adults, comprising a 10% representative subsample of the Korean National Environmental Health Survey (KoNEHS 2012–2014, who completed a health examination, a face-to-face interview, and a three-day food record. Dietary mercury and methylmercury intakes were assessed from the three-day food record, and blood mercury concentration was measured using a mercury analyzer. The association between dietary mercury intake and blood mercury levels was analyzed by comparing the odds ratios for the blood mercury levels above the Human BioMonitoring (HBM I value (5 μg/L among the three groups with different mercury intakes. The average total mercury intake was 4.74 and 3.07 μg/day in males and females, respectively. The food group that contributed most to mercury intake was fish and shellfish, accounting for 77.8% of total intake. The geometric mean of the blood mercury concentration significantly and linearly increased with the mercury and methylmercury intakes (p < 0.001. The odds ratios for blood mercury levels above the HBM I value in the highest mercury and methyl mercury intake group were 3.27 (95% Confidence Interval (CI 1.79–5.95 and 3.20 (95% CI 1.77–5.79 times higher than that of the lowest intake group, respectively. Our results provide compelling evidence that blood mercury level has a strong positive association with dietary intake, and that fish and shellfish contribute most to the dietary mercury exposure.

  14. Environmental Mercury and Its Toxic Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin M. Rice

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Mercury exists naturally and as a man-made contaminant. The release of processed mercury can lead to a progressive increase in the amount of atmospheric mercury, which enters the atmospheric-soil-water distribution cycles where it can remain in circulation for years. Mercury poisoning is the result of exposure to mercury or mercury compounds resulting in various toxic effects depend on its chemical form and route of exposure. The major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg is largely through eating contaminated fish, seafood, and wildlife which have been exposed to mercury through ingestion of contaminated lower organisms. MeHg toxicity is associated with nervous system damage in adults and impaired neurological development in infants and children. Ingested mercury may undergo bioaccumulation leading to progressive increases in body burdens. This review addresses the systemic pathophysiology of individual organ systems associated with mercury poisoning. Mercury has profound cellular, cardiovascular, hematological, pulmonary, renal, immunological, neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and embryonic toxicological effects.

  15. Environmental mercury and its toxic effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Kevin M; Walker, Ernest M; Wu, Miaozong; Gillette, Chris; Blough, Eric R

    2014-03-01

    Mercury exists naturally and as a man-made contaminant. The release of processed mercury can lead to a progressive increase in the amount of atmospheric mercury, which enters the atmospheric-soil-water distribution cycles where it can remain in circulation for years. Mercury poisoning is the result of exposure to mercury or mercury compounds resulting in various toxic effects depend on its chemical form and route of exposure. The major route of human exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) is largely through eating contaminated fish, seafood, and wildlife which have been exposed to mercury through ingestion of contaminated lower organisms. MeHg toxicity is associated with nervous system damage in adults and impaired neurological development in infants and children. Ingested mercury may undergo bioaccumulation leading to progressive increases in body burdens. This review addresses the systemic pathophysiology of individual organ systems associated with mercury poisoning. Mercury has profound cellular, cardiovascular, hematological, pulmonary, renal, immunological, neurological, endocrine, reproductive, and embryonic toxicological effects.

  16. Prenatal exposure to mercury and neurobehavioral development of neonates in Zhoushan City, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yu; Yan, Chong-Huai; Tian, Ying; Wang, Yu; Xie, Han-Fang; Zhou, Xin; Yu, Xiao-Dan; Yu, Xiao-Gang; Tong, Shilu; Zhou, Qing-Xin; Shen, Xiao-Ming

    2007-11-01

    Exposure to hazardous Hg can adversely affect children's neurodevelopment. However, few data are available on either Hg levels in neonates and their mothers or the impact of prenatal exposure to Hg on neonates' neurobehavioral development in the Chinese population. Therefore, this study examined Hg levels in neonates and their mothers and the relationship between prenatal exposure to Hg and neonates' neurobehavioral development in Zhoushan City, Zhejiang Province, China. Between August and October 2004, 417 women who delivered their babies at Zhoushan Women's and Children's Health Hospital, an island city in east China were invited to take part in this study. A total of 408 complete questionnaires, 405 maternal hair samples, and 406 umbilical cord samples were collected. Neonatal behavioral neurological assessments (NBNA) were conducted for 384 neonates. The geometric mean (GM) of Hg level in cord blood was 5.58 microg/L (interquartile range: 3.96-7.82 microg/L), and the GM of maternal hair Hg level was 1246.56 microg/kg (interquartile range: 927.34-1684.67 microg/kg), a level much lower than other reported fish-eating populations, indicating Hg exposure in Zhoushan city is generally below those considered hazardous. However, according to the reference dose of Hg levels (RfD 5.8 microg/L) derived by EPA, 69.9% of newborns had levels at or above the RfD, an estimated level assumed to be without appreciable harm. There was a strong correlation between maternal hair and cord blood Hg levels (r = 0.82, P exposure was associated with decreased behavioral ability for males (OR = 1.235, 95%CI of OR = 1.078-1.414, P exposure resulting from fish consumption. But the findings of this study may be due to chance, and long-term follow-up research is needed to evaluate cumulative effects of exposure to mercury.

  17. Influence of in ovo mercury exposure, lake acidity, and other factors on common loon egg and chick quality in Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    We conducted a field study in Wisconsin to characterize in ovo mercury (Hg) exposure in common loons (Gavia immer). Total Hg mass fractions ranged from 0.17 to 1.23 ìg/g wet weight (ww) in eggs collected from nests on lakes representing a wide range of pH (5.0 - 8.1) and ...

  18. The Risk of Mercury Exposure to the People Consuming Fish from Lake Phewa, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devna Singh Thapa

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The risk of mercury exposure through consumption of fish from Lake Phewa, Nepal was investigated. A total of 170 people were surveyed to know their fish consumption levels. The weekly mercury (Hg intake in the form of methylmercury (MeHg through fish was calculated by using the data on average MeHg concentrations in fish, the average consumption of fish per week, and an average body weight of the people. Hotel owners were consuming significantly high amounts of fish, followed by fishermen, in comparison to the government staff, army/police, locals and others (visitors. Some individuals exceeded the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI of 1.6 µg per kg body weight of MeHg (FAO/WHO. The minimum intake of MeHg (0.05 µg/kg/week was found in the visitors (others category, whereas the hotel owners had the maximum intake (3.71 µg/kg/week. In general, it was found that a person of 60 kg can consume at least 2 kg of fish per week without exceeding PTWI such that it does not pose any health risk associated with Hg poisoning at the present contamination level. Hg based PTWI values for Nepal has not been proposed yet in fishery resources so as to reduce health risk of the people.

  19. Mercury in Your Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basic information about mercury, how it gets in the air, how people are exposed to it and health effects associated with exposure; what EPA and other organizations are doing to limit exposures; what citizens should know to minimize exposures and to reduce mercury in the environment; and information about products that contain mercury.

  20. Chronic mercury exposure in Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic populations in Portugal from the cultural use of cinnabar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emslie, Steven D.; Brasso, Rebecka; Patterson, William P.; Carlos Valera, António; McKenzie, Ashley; Maria Silva, Ana; Gleason, James D.; Blum, Joel D.

    2015-10-01

    Cinnabar is a natural mercury sulfide (HgS) mineral of volcanic or hydrothermal origin that is found worldwide. It has been mined prehistorically and historically in China, Japan, Europe, and the Americas to extract metallic mercury (Hg0) for use in metallurgy, as a medicinal, a preservative, and as a red pigment for body paint and ceramics. Processing cinnabar via combustion releases Hg0 vapor that can be toxic if inhaled. Mercury from cinnabar can also be absorbed through the gut and skin, where it can accumulate in organs and bone. Here, we report moderate to high levels of total mercury (THg) in human bone from three Late Neolithic/Chalcolithic (5400-4100 B.P.) sites in southern Portugal that were likely caused by cultural use of cinnabar. We use light stable isotope and Hg stable isotope tracking to test three hypotheses on the origin of mercury in this prehistoric human bone. We traced Hg in two individuals to cinnabar deposits near Almadén, Spain, and conclude that use of this mineral likely caused mild to severe mercury poisoning in the prehistoric population. Our methods have applications to bioarchaeological investigations worldwide, and for tracking trade routes and mobility of prehistoric populations where cinnabar use is documented.

  1. Detoxification of mercury species--an in vitro study with antidotes in human whole blood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trümpler, Stefan; Nowak, Sascha; Meermann, Björn; Wiesmüller, Gerhard A; Buscher, Wolfgang; Sperling, Michael; Karst, Uwe

    2009-11-01

    To investigate the effects of mercury species intoxication and to test the efficiency of different commonly applied antidotes, human whole blood and plasma surrogate samples were spiked with inorganic mercury (Hg2+) and methylmercury (MeHg+, CH3Hg+) prior to treatment with the antidotes 2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-ol (British Anti Lewisite), 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). For mercury speciation analysis in these samples, liquid chromatography was coupled to either inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or electrospray ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF-MS). Adduct formation between mercury species and physiological thiols (cysteine and glutathione) was observed as well as the release of glutathione under treatment with the antidotes DMSA and NAC.

  2. Detoxification of mercury species - an in vitro study with antidotes in human whole blood

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Truempler, Stefan; Nowak, Sascha; Meermann, Bjoern; Buscher, Wolfgang; Karst, Uwe [University of Muenster, Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Muenster (Germany); Wiesmueller, Gerhard A. [University Hospital Muenster, Environmental Specimen Bank for Human Tissues, Muenster (Germany); Sperling, Michael [University of Muenster, Institute of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, Muenster (Germany); European Virtual Institute for Speciation Analysis, Muenster (Germany)

    2009-11-15

    To investigate the effects of mercury species intoxication and to test the efficiency of different commonly applied antidotes, human whole blood and plasma surrogate samples were spiked with inorganic mercury (Hg{sup 2+}) and methylmercury (MeHg{sup +}, CH{sub 3}Hg{sup +}) prior to treatment with the antidotes 2,3-dimercaptopropan-1-ol (British Anti Lewisite), 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA), and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). For mercury speciation analysis in these samples, liquid chromatography was coupled to either inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) or electrospray ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (ESI-TOF-MS). Adduct formation between mercury species and physiological thiols (cysteine and glutathione) was observed as well as the release of glutathione under treatment with the antidotes DMSA and NAC. (orig.)

  3. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. VII. Significance of mercury in blood

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldwater, L.J.; Ladd, A.C.; Jacobs, M.B.

    1964-12-01

    A literature review is presented of mercury in the blood of humans. New findings are described on various aspects of human exposure to mercury. From these findings, the only conclusions that can be drawn are that as a group exposed persons will have more mercury in their blood than unexposed persons, and that some unexposed individuals may have more than some who are exposed. Selected data are presented illustrating mercury blood levels in relation to exposure. Studies on the relationship of mercury in blood and urine indicate that a statistically significant correlation is shown between blood and urine on a group basis. There is no evidence, in these groups, that analysis of blood for mercury yields information of greater significance than that found in studying the urine. The results of studies on mercury in blood and duration of exposure indicate that there is no evidence of accumulation of mercury in the blood with prolongation of exposure. This does not rule out the possibility of a build-up of mercury in the body.

  4. Lead, mercury, and cadmium exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Stephani [Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267 (United States); Arora, Monica [Department of Psychiatry, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68131 (United States); Fernandez, Cristina [Department of Pediatrics, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE 68131 (United States); Landero, Julio; Caruso, Joseph [Metallomics Center, Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221 (United States); Chen, Aimin, E-mail: aimin.chen@uc.edu [Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267 (United States)

    2013-10-15

    Background: There is limited research examining the relationship between lead (Pb) exposure and medically diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The role of mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) exposures in ADHD development is even less clear. Objectives: To examine the relationship between Pb, Hg, and Cd and ADHD in children living inside and outside a Lead Investigation Area (LIA) of a former lead refinery in Omaha, NE. Methods: We carried out a case-control study with 71 currently medically diagnosed ADHD cases and 58 controls from a psychiatric clinic and a pediatric clinic inside and outside of the LIA. The participants were matched on age group (5–8, 9–12 years), sex, race (African American or Caucasians and others), and location (inside or outside LIA). We measured whole blood Pb, total Hg, and Cd using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Results: Inside the LIA, the 27 cases had blood Pb geometric mean (GM) 1.89 µg/dL and the 41 controls had 1.51 µg/dL. Outside the LIA, the 44 cases had blood Pb GM 1.02 µg/dL while the 17 controls had 0.97 µg/dL. After adjustment for matching variables and maternal smoking, socioeconomic status, and environmental tobacco exposure, each natural log unit blood Pb had an odds ratio of 2.52 with 95% confidence interval of 1.07–5.92. Stratification by the LIA indicated similar point estimate but wider CIs. No associations were observed for Hg or Cd. Conclusions: Postnatal Pb exposure may be associated with higher risk of clinical ADHD, but not the postnatal exposure to Hg or Cd. -- Highlights: • Blood Pb levels are associated with ADHD diagnosis in children. • No association was found between blood Cd or Hg levels and ADHD. • Children living close to hazardous waste site need to reduce metal exposure.

  5. In vitro studies evaluating leaching of mercury from mine waste calcine using simulated human body fluids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, John E.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Morman, Suzette A.; Higueras, Pablo L.; Crock, James G.; Lowers, Heather A.; Witten, Mark L.

    2010-01-01

    In vitro bioaccessibility (IVBA) studies were carried out on samples of mercury (Hg) mine-waste calcine (roasted Hg ore) by leaching with simulated human body fluids. The objective was to estimate potential human exposure to Hg due to inhalation of airborne calcine particulates and hand-to-mouth ingestion of Hg-bearing calcines. Mine waste calcines collected from Hg mines at Almadén, Spain, and Terlingua, Texas, contain Hg sulfide, elemental Hg, and soluble Hg compounds, which constitute primary ore or compounds formed during Hg retorting. Elevated leachate Hg concentrations were found during calcine leaching using a simulated gastric fluid (as much as 6200 μg of Hg leached/g sample). Elevated Hg concentrations were also found in calcine leachates using a simulated lung fluid (as much as 9200 μg of Hg leached/g), serum-based fluid (as much as 1600 μg of Hg leached/g), and water of pH 5 (as much as 880 μg of Hg leached/g). The leaching capacity of Hg is controlled by calcine mineralogy; thus, calcines containing soluble Hg compounds contain higher leachate Hg concentrations. Results indicate that ingestion or inhalation of Hg mine-waste calcine may lead to increased Hg concentrations in the human body, especially through the ingestion pathway.

  6. Changes in tissue oxidative stress, brain biogenic amines and acetylcholinesterase following co-exposure to lead, arsenic and mercury in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agrawal, Shruti; Bhatnagar, Pradeep; Flora, S J S

    2015-12-01

    The present study investigated the toxic effects of individual, combined (binary and ternary) exposure to lead, arsenic and mercury on, (i) oxidative stress (ii) alterations in brain biogenic amines and (iii) tissue metals concentration. Rats were exposed to lead, arsenic and mercury either individually (30 ppm in drinking water), various binary (15 ppm each) or ternary combination (10 ppm each) for a period of 6 months. Lead + arsenic and lead + arsenic + mercury co-exposure led to a significant increase in the blood oxidative stress. Mercury + arsenic and lead + arsenic + mercury co-exposure produced a more pronounced hepatotoxicity while, lead + arsenic and lead + arsenic + mercury produced a significant increase in hepatic oxidative stress. Kidney oxidative stress and changes in brain biogenic amines were more prominent in animals exposed to three metals. Accumulation of three metals did not exhibit the pattern as in the case of oxidative stress. Exposure to two toxic metals also showed less accumulation of toxic metals suggesting possible antagonism. The present study thus provides some interesting observations on the interaction between lead, arsenic and mercury. Co-exposure to lead + arsenic + mercury led to a more pronounced increase in oxidative stress in liver and kidneys compared to other exposed groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Ecosystem conceptual model- Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alpers, Charles N.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Foe, Chris; Klasing, Susan; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Slotton, Darell G.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie

    2008-01-01

    Mercury has been identified as an important contaminant in the Delta, based on elevated concentrations of methylmercury (a toxic, organic form that readily bioaccumulates) in fish and wildlife. There are health risks associated with human exposure to methylmercury by consumption of sport fish, particularly top predators such as bass species. Original mercury sources were upstream tributaries where historical mining of mercury in the Coast Ranges and gold in the Sierra Nevada and Klamath-Trinity Mountains caused contamination of water and sediment on a regional scale. Remediation of abandoned mine sites may reduce local sources in these watersheds, but much of the mercury contamination occurs in sediments stored in the riverbeds, floodplains, and the Bay- Delta, where scouring of Gold-Rush-era sediment represents an ongoing source.Conversion of inorganic mercury to toxic methylmercury occurs in anaerobic environments including some wetlands. Wetland restoration managers must be cognizant of potential effects on mercury cycling so that the problem is not exacerbated. Recent research suggests that wettingdrying cycles can contribute to mercury methylation. For example, high marshes (inundated only during the highest tides for several days per month) tend to have higher methylmercury concentrations in water, sediment, and biota compared with low marshes, which do not dry out completely during the tidal cycle. Seasonally inundated flood plains are another environment experiencing wetting and drying where methylmercury concentrations are typically elevated. Stream restoration efforts using gravel injection or other reworking of coarse sediment in most watersheds of the Central Valley involve tailings from historical gold mining that are likely to contain elevated mercury in associated fines. Habitat restoration projects, particularly those involving wetlands, may cause increases in methylmercury exposure in the watershed. This possibility should be evaluated.The DRERIP

  8. Assessment of exposure to mercury from industrial emissions: comparing "distance as a proxy" and dispersion modelling approaches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hodgson, Susan; Nieuwenhuijsen, Mark J; Colvile, Roy; Jarup, Lars

    2007-06-01

    The Runcorn area, north-west England, contains many pollution sources, the health effects of which have been under discussion for over 100 years. Preliminary investigations revealed an excess risk of mortality from kidney disease in people living nearest to several point sources of pollution, using distance as a proxy for exposure. Ongoing epidemiological investigations into the effect of ambient mercury exposure on dose and renal effect required a more refined assessment of exposure. Atmospheric dispersion modelling was used to assess mercury dispersion from three mercury-emitting sources (including a large chlor alkali plant), based on knowledge of emissions, local meteorology and topography. The model was sensitive to various input parameters, with different dispersion patterns and ground-level concentrations, and therefore different exposed populations identified when different input parameters were defined. The different approaches to exposure assessment also had an impact on the epidemiological findings. The model output correlated well with weekly monitoring data collected in the local area, although the model underestimated concentrations in close proximity to the chlor alkali plant. The model identified that one point source did not contribute significantly to ground-level mercury concentrations, so that inclusion of this source when using the "distance as a proxy" approach led to significant exposure misclassification. The model output indicates that assessment of ambient exposure should give consideration to the magnitude of emissions, point source characteristics, local meteorology and topography to ensure that the most appropriate exposure classification is reached. Even if dispersion modelling cannot be undertaken, these data can be used to inform and improve the distance as a proxy approach, and improve the interpretability of the epidemiological findings.

  9. Mercury chloride-induced oxidative stress in human erythrocytes ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ONOS

    2010-01-25

    Jan 25, 2010 ... Key words: Mercury chloride, vitamins C and E, oxidative stress, erythrocytes, in vitro. ... of free radicals induced by oxidative damage to lipids and lipoproteins in various cellular ... metals toxicity in different experimental systems ..... vitamins C, E and beta carotene aganist gamma-ray-induced DNA damage ...

  10. Is mercury exposure causing diabetes, metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance? A systematic review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Cynthia; Tremblay, Pierre-Yves; Ayotte, Pierre

    2017-07-01

    Several populations are exposed to mercury (Hg) via their environment, occupation or diet. It is hypothesized that Hg exposure can lead to the development of diabetes mellitus (DM). Metabolic syndrome (MS) is also a possible outcome as its symptoms are closely linked to those of DM. We conducted a systematic review of the literature by screening Web of Science, MEDLINE, SciFinder and Embase and we included original studies pertaining to the relationship of total Hg exposure (elemental, inorganic or organic) to DM, MS or insulin resistance. The studies were selected based on the PICOS (patients, intervention, comparator, outcomes and study design) criteria and their quality assessed using a nine-point scale. Study characteristics and results were extracted and presented in structured tables. We also extracted covariates entered as confounding factors to evaluate possible biases in selected studies. Finally, a weight of evidence approach was used to assess the causality of the relationship. A total of 34 studies were included in the present review. Epidemiological data assessment suggests a possible association between total Hg concentrations in different biological matrices and incidence of DM or MS, but the relationship is not consistent. In vivo and in vitro studies support the biological plausibility of the relation between Hg exposure and DM or MS. Five out of nine of Bradford Hill's criteria were fulfilled: strength, temporality, plausibility, coherence and analogy. Increased total Hg exposure may augment the risk of DM and MS, but the lack of consistency of the epidemiological evidence prevents inference of a causal relationship. Additional prospective cohort studies and careful consideration of confounding variables and interactions are required to conclude on the causal relationship of total Hg exposure on the development of DM or MS. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Lead, mercury, and cadmium exposure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Stephani; Arora, Monica; Fernandez, Cristina; Landero, Julio; Caruso, Joseph; Chen, Aimin

    2013-10-01

    There is limited research examining the relationship between lead (Pb) exposure and medically diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children. The role of mercury (Hg) and cadmium (Cd) exposures in ADHD development is even less clear. To examine the relationship between Pb, Hg, and Cd and ADHD in children living inside and outside a Lead Investigation Area (LIA) of a former lead refinery in Omaha, NE. We carried out a case-control study with 71 currently medically diagnosed ADHD cases and 58 controls from a psychiatric clinic and a pediatric clinic inside and outside of the LIA. The participants were matched on age group (5-8, 9-12 years), sex, race (African American or Caucasians and others), and location (inside or outside LIA). We measured whole blood Pb, total Hg, and Cd using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Inside the LIA, the 27 cases had blood Pb geometric mean (GM) 1.89 µg/dL and the 41 controls had 1.51 µg/dL. Outside the LIA, the 44 cases had blood Pb GM 1.02 µg/dL while the 17 controls had 0.97 µg/dL. After adjustment for matching variables and maternal smoking, socioeconomic status, and environmental tobacco exposure, each natural log unit blood Pb had an odds ratio of 2.52 with 95% confidence interval of 1.07-5.92. Stratification by the LIA indicated similar point estimate but wider CIs. No associations were observed for Hg or Cd. Postnatal Pb exposure may be associated with higher risk of clinical ADHD, but not the postnatal exposure to Hg or Cd. © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

  12. Mercury-Induced Externalization of Phosphatidylserine and Caspase 3 Activation in Human Liver Carcinoma (HepG2 Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul B. Tchounwou

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Apoptosis arises from the active initiation and propagation of a series of highly orchestrated specific biochemical events leading to the demise of the cell. It is a normal physiological process, which occurs during embryonic development as well as in the maintenance of tissue homeostasis. Diverse groups of molecules are involved in the apoptosis pathway and it functions as a mechanism to eliminate unwanted or irreparably damaged cells. However, inappropriate induction of apoptosis by environmental agents has broad ranging pathologic implications and has been associated with several diseases including cancer. The toxicity of several heavy metals such as mercury has been attributed to their high affinity to sulfhydryl groups of proteins and enzymes, and their ability to disrupt cell cycle progression and/or apoptosis in various tissues. The aim of this study was to assess the potential for mercury to induce early and late-stage apoptosis in human liver carcinoma (HepG2 cells. The Annexin-V and Caspase 3 assays were performed by flow cytometric analysis to determine the extent of phosphatidylserine externalization and Caspase 3 activation in mercury-treated HepG2 cells. Cells were exposed to mercury for 10 and 48 hours respectively at doses of 0, 1, 2, and 3 μg/mL based on previous cytotoxicity results in our laboratory indicating an LD50 of 3.5 ± 0.6 μg/mL for mercury in HepG2 cells. The study data indicated a dose response relationship between mercury exposure and the degree of early and late-stage apoptosis in HepG2 cells. The percentages of cells undergoing early apoptosis were 0.03 ± 0.03%, 5.19 ± 0.04%, 6.36 ± 0.04%, and 8.84 ± 0.02% for 0, 1, 2, and 3 μg/mL of mercury respectively, indicating a gradual increase in apoptotic cells with increasing doses of mercury. The percentages of Caspase 3 positive cells undergoing late apoptosis were 3.58 ± 0.03%, 17.06 ± 0

  13. "In vitro inhibition of human erythrocyte Acetylcholinesterase activity by Zinc and Mercury "

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    "Abdollahi M

    2000-10-01

    Full Text Available The effects of zinc and mercury on human erythrocyte acetylcholinestrase activity were studied. Blood used in this study was obtained from 24 apparently healthy individuals and after hemolysation, was treted with 3 diferent concentrations of zinc and mercury. Significant suppressions in acetylcholinestrase activity were recorded in treated samples by zinc and mercury. When compared to controls the remaining activity was found to be 53% with the highest concen.tration of zinc (2.1 mg/dl, p<0.01, 72% with the middle (1.4 mg/dl, p<0.01 and 85% with the lowest one (0.7 mg/dl, p<0.01. in the case of mercury, the remaining activity was found to be 55% with the highest concentration (8.4 ng/g , p<0.01 , 72% with the middle (5.6 ng/g , p<0.01 and 79% with the lowest one (2.8 ng/g , p<0.01. mercury showed a good correlation between doses used and decreases in activity (r=0.98. zinc also showed a linear correlation ( r=0.99. the direct interaction of metal ions with acetylcholinestrase is proposed as a mechanism for depressed enzyme activity. It is concluded that zinc and mercury contamination during acetylcholinestrase measurement can be a source of error that must be taken in to account.

  14. [Fish and seafood as a source of human exposure to methylmercury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mania, Monika; Wojciechowska-Mazurek, Maria; Starska, Krystyna; Rebeniak, Małgorzata; Postupolski, Jacek

    2012-01-01

    Fish and seafood are recommended diet constituents providing high quality protein, vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids, mainly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). However, these foodstuffs can also be the major source ofmethylmercury intake in humans. In general, more than 90% of the mercury in fish is found as methylmercury, but contents of methylmercury can vary considerably between species. Predatory species that are at the top of the food chain and live a long time, may accumulate higher levels of methylmercury. This paper contains information about sources of human exposure to organic compounds of mercury, toxicity, metabolism and transformation of mercury in the environment. Assessment of methylmercury by international risk assessment bodies such as the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and U.S. National Research Council (NRC) were presented. Climate changes and their influence on the mercury cycle in the environment especially mercury methylation and concentrations of methylmercury in marine species were also presented. Consumer advice prepared by European Commission and Member States as regards consumption of predatory fishes such as swordfish, tuna, shark, marlin and pike, taking into account the most vulnerable groups of population e.g. women planning pregnancy, pregnant or breastfeeding women and children were presented. Mercury and methylmercury contamination of fishes and seafood on the basis of the literature references as well as intake of mercury with fish and fish products in Poland and other European country were discussed. The role of selenium as a factor which counteracts methylmercury toxicity and protects against some neurological effects of methylmercury exposure in humans, as well as information on potential etiological factors connected with autism disorder were also described. Attention has also been drawn to increasing number of notifications to Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed

  15. Neurological and electrophysiological examinations on three groups of workers with different levels of exposure to mercury vapors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, P; Lukás, E; Nerudová, J; Cábelková, Z; Cikrt, M

    1999-09-01

    The authors performed neurological, visual evoked potentials (VEP) and electroneurography (ENG) examinations on three groups of workers with occupational exposure to mercury vapors (Hg(0)), and on a control group. The exposure of dental professionals (n = 36) was mild, that of chloralkali plant workers (n = 36) was intermediate, and that of workers from mercury works (n = 77) was very high. Symptoms and signs of micromercurialism were observed only in the group with the highest exposure to Hg(0). In comparison with the control group, a shortening of VEP latency and a decrease in amplitude were found in the exposed groups. The VEP changes correlated with Hg(0) excreted in urine after administration of a chelating agent - sodium 2,3-dimercapto-1-propan sulfonate (DMPS). The frequency of abnormal VEP results increased with increasing levels of exposure. ENG changes were observed only in the group with the highest exposure to Hg(0). An isolated decrease of sural nerve conduction velocity was observed in 18% of total workers. In 70% of the cases, this was associated with an abnormality in VEP. The combination of a decrease in sural nerve conduction velocity and an abnormality of VEP seems to be a characteristic pattern of electrophysiological changes in persons exposed to mercury vapors. Copyright Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

  16. Differing foraging strategies influence mercury (Hg) exposure in an Antarctic penguin community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polito, Michael J; Brasso, Rebecka L; Trivelpiece, Wayne Z; Karnovsky, Nina; Patterson, William P; Emslie, Steven D

    2016-11-01

    Seabirds are ideal model organisms to track mercury (Hg) through marine food webs as they are long-lived, broadly distributed, and are susceptible to biomagnification due to foraging at relatively high trophic levels. However, using these species as biomonitors requires a solid understanding of the degree of species, sexual and age-specific variation in foraging behaviors which act to mediate their dietary exposure to Hg. We combined stomach content analysis along with Hg and stable isotope analyses of blood, feathers and common prey items to help explain inter and intra-specific patterns of dietary Hg exposure across three sympatric Pygoscelis penguin species commonly used as biomonitors of Hg availability in the Antarctic marine ecosystem. We found that penguin tissue Hg concentrations differed across species, between adults and juveniles, but not between sexes. While all three penguins species diets were dominated by Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and to a lesser extent fish, stable isotope based proxies of relative trophic level and krill consumption could not by itself sufficiently explain the observed patterns of inter and intra-specific variation in Hg. However, integrating isotopic approaches with stomach content analysis allowed us to identify the relatively higher risk of Hg exposure for penguins foraging on mesopelagic prey relative to congeners targeting epipelagic or benthic prey species. When possible, future seabird biomonitoring studies should seek to combine isotopic approaches with other, independent measures of foraging behavior to better account for the confounding effects of inter and intra-specific variation on dietary Hg exposure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Mercury Exposure in Healthy Korean Weaning-Age Infants: Association with Growth, Feeding and Fish Intake.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Ju Young; Park, Jeong Su; Shin, Sue; Yang, Hye Ran; Moon, Jin Soo; Ko, Jae Sung

    2015-11-17

    Low-level mercury (Hg) exposure in infancy might be harmful to the physical growth as well as neurodevelopment of children. The aim of this study was to investigate postnatal Hg exposure and its relationship with anthropometry and dietary factors in late infancy. We recruited 252 healthy Korean infants between six and 24 months of age from an outpatient clinic during the 2009/2010 and 2013/2014 seasons. We measured the weight and height of the infants and collected dietary information using questionnaires. The Hg content of the hair and blood was assessed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. The geometric mean Hg concentration in the hair and blood was 0.22 (95% confidence interval: 0.20-0.24) µg/g and 0.94 (n = 109, 95% confidence interval: 0.89-0.99) µg/L, respectively. The hair Hg concentration showed a good correlation with the blood Hg concentration (median hair-to-blood Hg ratio: 202.7, r = 0.462, p 1 µg/g in five infants. The hair Hg concentration showed significant correlations with weight gain after birth (Z-score of the weight for age-Z-score of the birthweight; r = -0.156, p = 0.015), the duration (months) of breastfeeding as the dominant method of feeding (r = 0.274, p exposure through breastfeeding and fish intake as a complementary food did not directly affect anthropometry in this population. If prolonged breastfeeding is expected, however, the Hg exposure through fish intake may need to be monitored for both mothers and infants.

  18. Mercury chronic toxicity might be associated to some cases of hydrocephalus in adult humans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva Sieger, Federico A; Díaz Silva, Gustavo A; Ardila, Gustavo Pradilla; García, Ronald G

    2012-07-01

    Mercury accumulates in nervous tissue causing neurological and psychiatric manifestations. Numerous clinical findings have been described in patients that suffered chronic mercury intoxication. Some findings, such as hydrocephalus, have been described only in experimental studies. Following, we present a case of 50 year-old man with a 3-month history of severe frontal headache episodes and vision loss together with a history of asthenia, anorexia, muscle pain, fatigue and neuropsychiatric symptoms. The magnetic resonance imaging showed hydrocephalus and stenosis of aqueduct of Sylvius. This patient reported that he worked as laboratory metallurgic auxiliary for over 30 years. During this time, he had been chronically exposed to elemental mercury. The metals whole blood test was normal, except by his blood mercury level that was 61.5 μg/L (normal ~1 μg/L). In our best knowledge, hydrocephalus and stenosis of aqueduct of Sylvius have been described only in animals exposed to methylmercury during their gestation. We think that this case of hydrocephalus might be associated with the chronic mercury exposure and therefore this etiology must be taken in account in a patient with hydrocephalus of unknown etiology. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Mercury Vapour Long-Lasting Exposure: Lymphocyte Muscarinic Receptors as Neurochemical Markers of Accidental Intoxication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Roda

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction. Chronic poisoning may result in home setting after mercury (Hg vapours inhalation from damaged devices. We report a chronic, nonoccupational Hg poisoning due to 10-year indoor exposure to mercury spillage. Case Report. A 72-year-old man with polyneuropathy of suspected toxic origin. At hospitalization, toxicological clinical evaluations confirmed the altered neurological picture documented across the last decade. Periodic blood and urine Hg levels (BHg, UHg monitoring were performed from admission (t0, until 1 year later (t2, paralleled by blood neurochemical markers assessment, that is, lymphocytes muscarinic receptors (l-MRs. At t0: BHg and UHg were 27 and 1.4 microg/L, respectively (normal values: BHg 1–4.5; UHg 0.1–4.5, associated with l-MRs increase, 185.82 femtomoL/million lymphocytes (normal range: 8.0–16.0. At t1 (two days after DMSA-mobilization test, BHg weak reduction, paralleled by UHg 3.7-fold increase, was measured together with further l-MRs enhancement (205.43 femtomoL/million lymphocytes. At t2 (eight months after two cycles of DMSA chelating therapy ending, gradual improving of clinical manifestations was accompanied by progressive decrease of BHg and UHg (4.0 and 2.8 microg/L, resp. and peripheral l-MRs neurochemical marker (24.89 femtomoL/million lymphocytes. Conclusion. l-MRs modulatory effect supports their use as peripheral neurochemical marker in Hg poisoning diagnosis and chelation therapy monitoring.

  20. Mercury Vapour Long-Lasting Exposure: Lymphocyte Muscarinic Receptors as Neurochemical Markers of Accidental Intoxication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roda, E; Giampreti, A; Vecchio, S; Apostoli, P; Coccini, T

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Chronic poisoning may result in home setting after mercury (Hg) vapours inhalation from damaged devices. We report a chronic, nonoccupational Hg poisoning due to 10-year indoor exposure to mercury spillage. Case Report. A 72-year-old man with polyneuropathy of suspected toxic origin. At hospitalization, toxicological clinical evaluations confirmed the altered neurological picture documented across the last decade. Periodic blood and urine Hg levels (BHg, UHg) monitoring were performed from admission (t0), until 1 year later (t2), paralleled by blood neurochemical markers assessment, that is, lymphocytes muscarinic receptors (l-MRs). At t0: BHg and UHg were 27 and 1.4 microg/L, respectively (normal values: BHg 1-4.5; UHg 0.1-4.5), associated with l-MRs increase, 185.82 femtomoL/million lymphocytes (normal range: 8.0-16.0). At t1 (two days after DMSA-mobilization test), BHg weak reduction, paralleled by UHg 3.7-fold increase, was measured together with further l-MRs enhancement (205.43 femtomoL/million lymphocytes). At t2 (eight months after two cycles of DMSA chelating therapy ending), gradual improving of clinical manifestations was accompanied by progressive decrease of BHg and UHg (4.0 and 2.8 microg/L, resp.) and peripheral l-MRs neurochemical marker (24.89 femtomoL/million lymphocytes). Conclusion. l-MRs modulatory effect supports their use as peripheral neurochemical marker in Hg poisoning diagnosis and chelation therapy monitoring.

  1. Mercury exposure in two coastal communities of the Bay of Fundy, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legrand, Melissa; Arp, Paul; Ritchie, Charlie; Chan, Hing Man

    2005-05-01

    There is a rising global concern with regard to mercury (Hg) exposure among coastal populations. Two communities on the Bay of Fundy (New Brunswick, Canada) were assessed by hair monitoring and dietary methods. Average concentration of total Hg in hair was 0.70+/-0.55 mg/kg (N=91) at Grand Manan and 0.42+/-0.15 mg/kg (N=52) at St. Andrews/St. Stephen. Average daily consumption of fresh fish and shellfish was 50+/-40 g/day for Grand Manan and 19+/-19 g/day for St. Andrews/St. Stephen. Average daily total Hg intake estimated from the food frequency and 24-h recall questionnaires was 0.05+/-0.04 microg Hg/kg bw/day at Grand Manan and 0.03+/-0.04 microg Hg/kg bw/day at St. Andrews/St. Stephen. A significant correlation (r=0.47, P=0.002) between Hg intake and hair was observed for Grand Manan. Low Hg intakes and body burden can be attributed to the low Hg levels found in the species commonly consumed: haddock, canned tuna, lobster, and pollock (all below 0.2 microg/g wet weight). The results showed that Hg exposure in these Canadian coastal communities is low; fish with higher levels of Hg (shark, tuna, swordfish, pickerel, and bass) are not consumed locally.

  2. No effect of mercury exposure on kidney function during ongoing artisanal gold mining activities in Colombia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, Luz Helena Sánchez; Rodríguez-Villamizar, Laura Andrea; Flórez-Vargas, Oscar; Fiallo, Yolanda Vargas; Ordoñez, Álvaro; Gutiérrez, Myriam Del Carmen

    2017-01-01

    This cross-sectional study examined whether people who are exposed to mercury (Hg) vapours in ongoing artisanal gold mining activities have alteration in kidney function monitoring parameters. The study enrolled 164 miners and 127 participant controls. The Hg concentrations for miners and control participants were measured in blood (B-Hg; median 7.0 vs. 2.5 µg/L), urine (U-Hg; median 3.9 vs. 1.5 µg/g creatinine) and hair (H-Hg; median 0.8 vs. 0.4 µg/g hair). The biomarkers of renal function were creatinine, albumin and excretion of β-2 microglobulin. Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the chronic kidney disease epidemiology collaboration equation. Significant statistical differences were found in Hg concentrations and eGFR levels between the two study groups ( p exposure in ongoing artisanal gold mining, whose population has a level of Hg exposure from low to moderate (B-Hg from 3.4 to 11.0 µg/L and U-Hg from 1.3 to 9.6 µg/g creatinine).

  3. Molecular and physiological mechanisms associated with root exposure to mercury in barley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopes, Marta S; Iglesia-Turiño, Santiago; Cabrera-Bosquet, Llorenç; Serret, Maria Dolores; Bort, Jordi; Febrero, Anna; Araus, José Luis

    2013-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that affects plant growth. Here the effect of Hg exposure on plant growth and leaf gas-exchange together with gene expression in roots is reported for barley. Hg was mainly accumulated in roots and only very small amounts were found in the shoots. Chlorophyll fluorescence and net photosynthesis were not affected by Hg. Nevertheless exposure to Hg reduced shoot and root growth, the shoot to root ratio, stomatal conductance, carbon isotope discrimination and expression of an aquaporin transcript, whereas abscisic acid related transcripts were over-expressed. These results suggested some degree of limitation to water uptake causing a moderate water stress when plants are exposed to Hg. Microarray (MapMan) analysis revealed changes in the transcription of genes involved in nitrogen metabolism, which were accompanied by decreased nitrogen concentrations in the shoots, together with an increase in transcripts associated with secondary metabolism, stress, inhibition of DNA synthesis/chromatin structure and cell organization elements. Moreover, Hg induced the expression of many transcripts known to be involved in the uptake, accumulation, transport and general responses to other heavy metals. It is concluded that barley is able to accumulate high amounts of Hg in roots through several transcriptional, metabolic and physiological adjustments.

  4. Low-level Mercury Exposure and Risk of Asthma in School-age Children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyoung-Nam; Bae, Sanghyuk; Park, Hye Yin; Kwon, Ho-Jang; Hong, Yun-Chul

    2015-09-01

    Mercury (Hg) has been reported to have adverse effects on the immune system. However, the association between Hg exposure and asthma remains unclear. We hypothesized that blood Hg concentrations are associated with asthma and immune system blood profile changes in school-age children. Between 2005 and 2010, we evaluated 4,350 Korean children at 7-8 years of age with no previous asthma diagnosis. Follow-up surveys were conducted twice, each 2 years apart, until 11-12 years of age. For every survey, we evaluated asthma through a questionnaire and blood profile. We analyzed the association of Hg concentration with asthma by logistic and Cox regression models and the association with blood profile by generalized additive and linear mixed models. Blood Hg concentrations at 7-8 years of age were associated with an increased risk of asthma (odds ratio [OR] = 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0, 1.6) at ages up to 11-12 years (n = 191). Hg concentration was also associated with wheezing (OR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0, 1.3), asthma medication use (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 0.97, 2.0), and airway hyperresponsiveness (OR = 1.2; 95% CI = 1.0, 1.3). Further adjustment for fish consumption did not change the results appreciably. Low-level Hg exposure was associated with asthma and blood profile changes in school-age children.

  5. Population-Based Inorganic Mercury Biomonitoring and the Identification of Skin Care Products as a Source of Exposure in New York City

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wendy McKelvey; Nancy Jeffery; Nancy Clark; Daniel Kass; Patrick J. Parsons

    .... Cases with urine concentrations > 20 μg/L were followed up with a telephone or in-person interview that asked about potential sources of exposure, including ritualistic/cultural practices, skin care products, mercury spills, herbal...

  6. Fish consumption during pregnancy, prenatal mercury exposure, and anthropometric measures at birth in a prospective mother-infant cohort study in Spain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ramón, Rosa; Ballester, Ferran; Aguinagalde, Xabier; Amurrio, Ascensión; Vioque, Jesús; Lacasaña, Marina; Rebagliato, Marisa; Murcia, Mario; Iñiguez, Carmen

    2009-01-01

    .... The objective was to assess the association of consumption of different types of fish and prenatal mercury exposure with birth weight, birth length, and classification as small for gestational age (SGA) in newborns...

  7. Prenatal Exposure to Mercury: Associations with Global DNA Methylation and Hydroxymethylation in Cord Blood and in Childhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas, Andres; Rifas-Shiman, Sheryl L; Godderis, Lode; Duca, Radu-Corneliu; Navas-Acien, Ana; Litonjua, Augusto A; DeMeo, Dawn L; Brennan, Kasey J; Amarasiriwardena, Chitra J; Hivert, Marie-France; Gillman, Matthew W; Oken, Emily; Baccarelli, Andrea A

    2017-08-29

    Mercury is a global pollutant, and prenatal exposure is associated with adverse health effects. To date, no studies have evaluated the association between prenatal mercury exposure and DNA hydroxymethylation, an epigenetic modification important for tissue differentiation and embryonic development. We sought to evaluate the association between prenatal mercury exposure and offspring global DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation at birth and test for persistence of the association in childhood. Within Project Viva, a U.S. prebirth cohort, we examined associations of maternal second trimester red blood cell mercury (RBC-Hg) concentrations with global 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (%-5hmC) and 5-methylcytosine (%-5mC) DNA content in blood collected at birth ( n =306), early childhood ( n =68; 2.9 to 4.9 y), and midchildhood ( n =260; 6.7 to 10.5 y). Median prenatal RBC-Hg concentration was 3.23μg/g [interquartile range (IQR)=3.29]. At birth, median cord blood %-5mC, %-5hmC, and their ratio were 4.95%, 0.22%, and 24.37, respectively. The mean adjusted difference [95% confidence interval (CI)] of blood %-5hmC for a doubling in prenatal RBC-Hg concentration was -0.013% (-0.029, 0.002), -0.031% (-0.056, -0.006), and 0.005% (-0.007, 0.018) at birth, early, and midchildhood, respectively. The corresponding relative adjusted change in the genomic ratio of %-5mC to %-5hmC for a doubling in prenatal RBC-Hg concentration was 4.70% (0.04, 9.58), 22.42% (7.73, 39.11), and 0.73% (-4.18, 5.88) at birth, early, and midchildhood, respectively. No associations were present between prenatal maternal RBC-Hg and %-5mC at any time point. Prenatal mercury exposure was associated with lower %-5hmC genomic content and a corresponding increase in the ratio of %-5mC to %-5hmC in cord blood. This association was persistent in early but not midchildhood blood. Our results demonstrate the potential malleability of epigenetic modifications associated with mercury exposure in utero . https

  8. Increased mercury release from dental amalgam restorations after exposure to electromagnetic fields as a potential hazard for hypersensitive people and pregnant women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortazavi, Ghazal; Mortazavi, S M J

    2015-01-01

    Over the past decades, the use of common sources of electromagnetic fields such as Wi-Fi routers and mobile phones has been increased enormously all over the world. There is ongoing concern that exposure to electromagnetic fields can lead to adverse health effects. It has recently been shown that even low doses of mercury are capable of causing toxicity. Therefore, efforts are initiated to phase down or eliminate the use of mercury amalgam in dental restorations. Increased release of mercury from dental amalgam restorations after exposure to electromagnetic fields such as those generated by MRI and mobile phones has been reported by our team and other researchers. We have recently shown that some of the papers which reported no increased release of mercury after MRI, may have some methodological errors. Although it was previously believed that the amount of mercury released from dental amalgam cannot be hazardous, new findings indicate that mercury, even at low doses, may cause toxicity. Based on recent epidemiological findings, it can be claimed that the safety of mercury released from dental amalgam fillings is questionable. Therefore, as some individuals tend to be hypersensitive to the toxic effects of mercury, regulatory authorities should re-assess the safety of exposure to electromagnetic fields in individuals with amalgam restorations. On the other hand, we have reported that increased mercury release after exposure to electromagnetic fields may be risky for the pregnant women. It is worth mentioning that as a strong positive correlation between maternal and cord blood mercury levels has been found in some studies, our findings regarding the effect of exposure to electromagnetic fields on the release of mercury from dental amalgam fillings lead us to this conclusion that pregnant women with dental amalgam fillings should limit their exposure to electromagnetic fields to prevent toxic effects of mercury in their fetuses. Based on these findings, as infants

  9. Fishing activity, health characteristics and mercury exposure of Amerindian women living alongside the Beni River (Amazonian Bolivia).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benefice, Eric; Luna-Monrroy, Selma; Lopez-Rodriguez, Ronald

    2010-11-01

    Populations in Bolivian Amazonia are exposed to mercury contamination through fish ingestion. A group of 170 Amerindian women living along the banks of the Beni River were examined in order to detect any adverse effects on their health consistent with the toxic effects of mercury. The mercury content of the women's hair (H-Hg) was used as the bio-indicator of mercury exposure. The women answered a 24-h food recall questionnaire on the frequency of their fish consumption. They also underwent a clinical examination with their weight, stature, hemoglobin concentration in blood, and blood pressure being recorded. Significant relationships were found between fishing practices, the frequency of fish consumption and H-Hg levels with mercury contaminated women (H-Hg>5μg/g) being more likely to present neurological abnormalities (paresthesia, static and dynamic imbalance, poor motor coordination) than non-contaminated women. No relationship was found between blood pressure and mercury levels. Women with higher H-Hg reported more infant deaths than did women with lower levels. A logistic regression analysis which included socio-cultural traits, fish consumption habits and health characteristics was performed in order to determine the risks of contamination. Contaminated women were more likely to belong to those communities pursuing traditional fishing activities; moreover these women tended to be younger and frailer than other. They also exhibited mild neurological abnormalities and reported more infant deaths. These findings should stimulate local communities to take preventive actions directed towards the more "traditional" and vulnerable groups of population. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Genetic Aspects of Susceptibility to Mercury Toxicity: An Overview

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia Andreoli

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Human exposure to mercury is still a major public health concern. In this context, children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action, in particular among population groups with significant mercury exposure. New scientific evidence on genetic backgrounds has raised the issue of whether candidate susceptibility genes can make certain individuals more or less vulnerable to mercury toxicity. In this review, the aim is to evaluate a new genetic dimension and its involvement in mercury risk assessment, focusing on the important role played by relevant polymorphisms, located in attractive gene targets for mercury toxicity. Existing original articles on epidemiologic research which report a direct link between the genetic basis of personal vulnerability and different mercury repercussions on human health will be reviewed. Based on this evidence, a careful evaluation of the significant markers of susceptibility will be suggested, in order to obtain a powerful positive “feedback” to improve the quality of life. Large consortia of studies with clear phenotypic assessments will help clarify the “window of susceptibility” in the human health risks due to mercury exposure.

  11. Genetic Aspects of Susceptibility to Mercury Toxicity: An Overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreoli, Virginia; Sprovieri, Francesca

    2017-01-18

    Human exposure to mercury is still a major public health concern. In this context, children have a higher susceptibility to adverse neurological mercury effects, compared to adults with similar exposures. Moreover, there exists a marked variability of personal response to detrimental mercury action, in particular among population groups with significant mercury exposure. New scientific evidence on genetic backgrounds has raised the issue of whether candidate susceptibility genes can make certain individuals more or less vulnerable to mercury toxicity. In this review, the aim is to evaluate a new genetic dimension and its involvement in mercury risk assessment, focusing on the important role played by relevant polymorphisms, located in attractive gene targets for mercury toxicity. Existing original articles on epidemiologic research which report a direct link between the genetic basis of personal vulnerability and different mercury repercussions on human health will be reviewed. Based on this evidence, a careful evaluation of the significant markers of susceptibility will be suggested, in order to obtain a powerful positive "feedback" to improve the quality of life. Large consortia of studies with clear phenotypic assessments will help clarify the "window of susceptibility" in the human health risks due to mercury exposure.

  12. Differential diagnosis between organic and inorganic mercury poisoning in human cases--the pathologic point of view.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eto, K; Takizawa, Y; Akagi, H; Haraguchi, K; Asano, S; Takahata, N; Tokunaga, H

    1999-01-01

    Differences in pathology were found between acute and chronic exposure to methylmercury, mercury vapor, and inorganic mercury. Characteristic pathologic changes produced by organic mercury in the brain have previously been described in patients with Minamata disease. The brains of patients who presented with acute onset of symptoms and died within 2-mo showed loss of neurons with reactive proliferation of glial cells, microcavitation, vascular congestion, petechial hemorrhage, and edema in the cerebral cortices, predominantly in the calcarine, pre- and postcentral, and transverse temporal cortices and in the cerebellar cortex. The neuropathologic changes in the patients with acute onset of symptoms who survived for a long period (>10 yr) were also included neuronal loss with reactive proliferation of glial cells in similar anatomic locations. The neuropathologic changes in patients with inorganic mercury poisoning are quite different. Autopsies performed on 3 individuals with fatal cases of acute inorganic mercury poisoning who were exposed to mercury vapor for about 2 wk revealed diffuse organized pneumonia, renal cortical necrosis, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, and infarctions in the brain and kidneys. In 2 other patients who worked in mercury mines for about 10 yr and who suffered from chronic inorganic poisoning, no specific lesions were demonstrated in the brain. However, the assay and the histochemistry of mercury revealed that inorganic mercury was present in the brain in all 3 groups irrespective of the brain lesions and the duration of clinical signs.

  13. Spatial variability in selenium and mercury interactions in a key recreational fish species: implications for human health and environmental monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, H J; Butler, E C V; Macleod, C K

    2013-09-15

    Selenium's (Se) protective effects against mercury (Hg) toxicity have been demonstrated; however, this is seldom considered in health assessments, where dietary exposure is still evaluated by Hg concentration alone. Se:Hg ratios and selenium health benefit values (Se HBVs) offer a more comprehensive seafood safety model. Here we describe total mercury (THg), methylmercury (MeHg) and Se concentrations in fish from a Hg-polluted estuary. Spatial variation in THg, MeHg and Se was evident, though all regions maintained Se:Hg ratio values >1. Se HBV varied between regions and in one region mean negative values (-5.17) were evident. This study provides the first evidence that quoting a single all-encompassing Se HBV is not appropriate when species demonstrate strong site fidelity. It highlights the need for research into Se-Hg relationships in environments with established Hg pollution and reinforces the assertion that Se concentration be considered in assessments of human health risk to Hg exposure. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. The usefulness of chelation therapy for the remission of symptoms caused by previous treatment with mercury-containing pharmaceuticals: a case report

    OpenAIRE

    Corsello, Serafina; Fulgenzi,Alessandro; Vietti, Daniele; Ferrero, Maria Elena

    2009-01-01

    Introduction A great deal of data regarding the toxicology of mercury has been recently reported. Although the most common human exposures to mercury are currently mercury vapour from amalgam tooth fillings, methylmercury from seafood and ethylmercury as a preservative in vaccines, in the past mercury compounds have been used in the treatment of syphilis. Case presentation Mercury intoxication was found in a 67 year-old Italian man affected by neurological symptoms of apparently unknown origi...

  15. Mercury exposure and short-term consequences on physiology and reproduction in Antarctic petrels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carravieri, Alice; Fort, Jérôme; Tarroux, Arnaud; Cherel, Yves; Love, Oliver P; Prieur, Solène; Brault-Favrou, Maud; Bustamante, Paco; Descamps, Sébastien

    2017-11-13

    Mercury (Hg) is a pervasive contaminant reaching Antarctic environments through atmospheric transport and deposition. Seabirds as meso to top predators can accumulate high quantities of Hg through diet. Reproduction is one of the most sensitive endpoints of Hg toxicity in marine birds. Yet, few studies have explored Hg exposure and effects in Antarctic seabirds, where increasing environmental perturbations challenge animal populations. This study focuses on the Antarctic petrel Thalassoica antarctica from Svarthamaren, Antarctica, where the world's largest breeding population is thought to be in decline. Hg and the stable isotopes of carbon (δ(13)C, proxy of feeding habitat) and nitrogen (δ(15)N, trophic position/diet) were measured in red blood cells from 266 individuals over two breeding years (2012-13, 2013-14). Our aims were to 1) quantify the influence of individual traits (size and sex) and feeding ecology (foraging location, δ(13)C and δ(15)N values) on Hg exposure, and 2) test the relationship between Hg concentrations with body condition and breeding output (hatching success and chick survival). Hg concentrations in Antarctic petrels (mean ± SD, 0.84 ± 0.25, min-max, 0.42-2.71 μg g(-1) dw) were relatively low when compared to other Antarctic seabirds. Hg concentrations increased significantly with δ(15)N values, indicating that individuals with a higher trophic level (i.e. feeding more on fish) had higher Hg exposure. By contrast, Hg exposure was not driven by feeding habitat (inferred from both foraging location and δ(13)C values), suggesting that Hg transfer to predators in Antarctic waters is relatively homogeneous over a large geographical scale. Hg concentrations were not related to body condition, hatching date and short-term breeding output. At present, Hg exposure is likely not of concern for this population. Nevertheless, further studies on other fitness parameters and long-term breeding output are warranted because Hg can have long

  16. Leeches as indicators of dietary mercury exposure in non-piscivorous waterfowl in central Ontario, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNicol, D K; Mallory, M L; Mierle, G; Scheuhammer, A M; Wong, A H

    1997-01-01

    We collected and analysed 113 leeches (Hirudinea) from 17 small lakes in the acid-stressed Muskoka region of central Ontario, Canada to examine the relationship between lake chemistry and mercury (Hg) concentrations in leeches, and thus determine whether leeches and other benthic invertebrates posed a dietary risk of Hg exposure for non-piscivorous waterfowl. Hg concentrations in leeches were generally low and only a few-fold above the detection limit (0.78 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww)). Mean Hg concentration in the bloodsucker Macrobdella decora was 6.94 +/- 0.78 SE ng g(-1) ww (n=49) and was 5.98 +/- 0.46 ng g(-1) ww (n=64) in the scavenger Percymoorensis marmoratis. Leech Hg concentrations were correlated with calcium and dissolved organic carbon concentrations in the water, respectively. These data suggest that leeches are not suitable monitors of Hg (usually as methylmercury) biomagnification in central Ontario lakes, and do not pose a dietary risk to non-piscivorous waterfowl.

  17. Mercury exposure and neurochemical impacts in bald eagles across several Great Lakes states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rutkiewicz, Jennifer; Nam, Dong-Ha; Cooley, Thomas; Neumann, Kay; Padilla, Irene Bueno; Route, William; Strom, Sean; Basu, Niladri

    2011-10-01

    In this study, we assessed mercury (Hg) exposure in several tissues (brain, liver, and breast and primary feathers) in bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) collected from across five Great Lakes states (Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) between 2002-2010, and assessed relationships between brain Hg and neurochemical receptors (NMDA and GABA(A)) and enzymes (glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)). Brain total Hg (THg) levels (dry weight basis) averaged 2.80 μg/g (range: 0.2-34.01), and levels were highest in Michigan birds. THg levels in liver (r(p) = 0.805) and breast feathers (r(p) = 0.611) significantly correlated with those in brain. Brain Hg was not associated with binding to the GABA(A) receptor. Brain THg and inorganic Hg (IHg) were significantly positively correlated with GS activity (THg r(p) = 0.190; IHg r(p) = 0.188) and negatively correlated with NMDA receptor levels (THg r(p) = -0245; IHg r(p) = -0.282), and IHg was negatively correlated with GAD activity (r(s) = -0.196). We also report upon Hg demethylation and relationships between Hg and Se in brain and liver. These results suggest that bald eagles in the Great Lakes region are exposed to Hg at levels capable of causing subclinical neurological damage, and that when tissue burdens are related to proposed avian thresholds approximately 14-27% of eagles studied here may be at risk.

  18. In Situ Behavioral Response of Common Loons Associated with Elevated Mercury (Hg Exposure

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    Joseph J. Nocera

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available Common Loons (Gavia immer in Nova Scotia, Canada have the highest blood mercury (Hg concentrations of any loon population in North America. Previous studies have shown that exposure to varying levels of Hg in prey is associated with changes in pre-nesting adult behavior. We report here the first association of sublethal blood Hg contamination with changes in behavior of Common Loon young. As Hg levels in their blood rise, the amount of time that chicks spend brooding (by back-riding decreases (P = 0.004 and time spent preening increases (P = 0.003. The sum increase in energy expenditure is not being compensated for with expected increases in feeding rates or begging. We suggest that such altered time-activity budgets may disrupt the energetic balance of young. Our results show that variation in time spent back-riding is associated with changes in fledging rates. Adult behavior did not significantly vary with Hg, but results are suggestive that an association may exist. We also show that monitoring the time-activity budgets of very young chicks can serve to indicate the effects Hg concentrations in their blood. We confirm the hypothesis that loons and other upper trophic level predators could be at risk from elevated levels of bioavailable Hg. This may help to explain the chronically low productivity of such contaminated sites as Kejimkujik and allow for more focused management initiatives.

  19. Exposure to lead and mercury through breastfeeding during the first month of life: A CHECK cohort study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Yelim; Lee, Aram; Choi, Kyungho; Kim, Hai-Joong; Lee, Jeong Jae; Choi, Gyuyeon; Kim, Sungjoo; Kim, Su Young; Cho, Geum Joon; Suh, Eunsook; Kim, Sung Koo; Eun, So-Hee; Eom, Soyong; Kim, Seunghyo; Kim, Gun-Ha; Moon, Hyo-Bang; Kim, Sungkyoon; Choi, Sooran; Kim, Young Don; Kim, Jinho; Park, Jeongim

    2018-01-15

    Mercury and lead are naturally occurring toxicants and are responsible for various health issues including neurobehavioral and developmental disorders. Because of crucial synchronized developmental processes occurring at the early stage of life, infancy and childhood are considered as among the most susceptible windows to the exposure to these metals. Breastmilk is often the only source of nutrition during the first months of life. As breastmilk can be contaminated with these metals, breastfeeding may serve as a significant route of heavy metal exposure among infants. In order to understand current levels of exposure to mercury and lead through breastfeeding, and their associated risks, a total of 157 lactating mothers were recruited from Children's Health and Environmental Chemicals of Korea (CHECK) cohort, and breastmilk samples were collected at 15 and 30days after delivery (n=207). Mercury was detected from 100% of breastmilk with a median concentration of 0.59μg/L, and lead was detected in 77% of the samples with a median at 4.71μg/L. Higher concentrations of lead were found in the 30- day breastmilk than in the 15-day. Up to 45% of the breastmilk samples exceeded the normal range of the breastmilk lead suggested by WHO. Based on Monte Carlo simulation, about 71% of 15days old infants and 56% of 30days old infants were estimated at risk due to lead exposure through breastfeeding. Considering vulnerability of infants and well-known neurological toxicity of these metals, further studies to identify major exposure sources that contribute the lead concentration in breastmilk and health implication of early life stage exposure to lead among the breastfed infants are warranted. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Alterations in biochemical markers due to mercury (Hg) exposure and its influence on infant's neurodevelopment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleh, Iman; Elkhatib, Rola; Al-Rouqi, Reem; Abduljabbar, Mai; Eltabache, Chafica; Al-Rajudi, Tahreer; Nester, Michael

    2016-11-01

    This study examined the role of oxidative stress due to mercury (Hg) exposure on infant's neurodevelopmental performance. A total of 944 healthy Saudi mothers and their respective infants (aged 3-12 months) were recruited from 57 Primary Health Care Centers in Riyadh City. Total mercury (Hg) was measured in mothers and infants urine and hair samples, as well as mother's blood and breast milk. Methylmercury (MeHg) was determined in the mothers and infants' hair and mother's blood. Urinary 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), malondialdehyde (MDA), and porphyrins were used to assess oxidative stress. The infant's neurodevelopment was evaluated using Denver Developmental Screening Test II (DDST-II) and Parents' Evaluation of Developmental Status. The median total Hg levels in mother's urine, infant's urine, mother's hair, infant's hair, and mother's blood and breast milk were 0.995μg/l, 0.716μg/l, 0.118μg/g dw, 0.101μg/g dw, 0.635μg/l, and 0.884μg/l respectively. The median MeHg levels in mother's hair, infant's hair, and mother's blood were 0.132μg/g dw, 0.091μg/g dw, and 2.341μg/l respectively. A significant interrelationship between mothers and infants Hg measures in various matrices was noted. This suggests that mother's exposure to different forms of Hg (total and/or MeHg) from various sources contributed significantly to the metal body burden of their respective infants. Even though Hg exposure was low, it induced high oxidative stress in mothers and infants. The influence of multiplicative interaction terms between Hg measures and oxidative stress biomarkers was tested using multiple regression analysis. Significant interactions between the urinary Hg levels in mothers and infants and oxidative stress biomarkers (8-OHdG and MDA) were noted. The MeHg levels in mother-infant hair revealed similar interaction patterns. The p-values for both were below 0.001. These observations suggest that the exposure of our infants to Hg via mothers either during

  1. Mercury toxicity and neurodegenerative effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carocci, Alessia; Rovito, Nicola; Sinicropi, Maria Stefania; Genchi, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is among the most toxic heavy metals and has no known physiological role in humans. Three forms of mercury exist: elemental, inorganic and organic. Mercury has been used by man since ancient times. Among the earliest were the Chinese and Romans, who employed cinnabar (mercury sulfide) as a red dye in ink (Clarkson et al. 2007). Mercury has also been used to purify gold and silver minerals by forming amalgams. This is a hazardous practice, but is still widespread in Brazil's Amazon basin, in Laos and in Venezuela, where tens of thousands of miners are engaged in local mining activities to find and purify gold or silver. Mercury compounds were long used to treat syphilis and the element is still used as an antiseptic,as a medicinal preservative and as a fungicide. Dental amalgams, which contain about 50% mercury, have been used to repair dental caries in the U.S. since 1856.Mercury still exists in many common household products around the world.Examples are: thermometers, barometers, batteries, and light bulbs (Swain et al.2007). In small amounts, some organo mercury-compounds (e.g., ethylmercury tiosalicylate(thimerosal) and phenylmercury nitrate) are used as preservatives in some medicines and vaccines (Ballet al. 2001).Each mercury form has its own toxicity profile. Exposure to Hg0 vapor and MeHg produce symptoms in CNS, whereas, the kidney is the target organ when exposures to the mono- and di-valent salts of mercury (Hg+ and Hg++, respectively)occur. Chronic exposure to inorganic mercury produces stomatitis, erethism and tremors. Chronic MeHg exposure induced symptoms similar to those observed in ALS, such as the early onset of hind limb weakness (Johnson and Atchison 2009).Among the organic mercury compounds, MeHg is the most biologically available and toxic (Scheuhammer et a!. 2007). MeHg is neurotoxic, reaching high levels of accumulation in the CNS; it can impair physiological function by disrupting endocrine glands (Tan et a!. 2009).The most

  2. PAJANAN MERKURI PADA TENAGA KESEHATAN GIGI (Mercury Exposure in Dental Workers

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    F. X. Sintawati

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available This review has been conducted in order to inform that amalgam filling can be a source ofmercury vapor pollution. Population at risk are dentist, assistant and patient. The dentist and assistant exposed by inhalation and contact to skin. The patient exposed by mercury from amalgam filling in corosive process. Many studies informed that 13% dentists and assistants take risk from indoor airpollution. For patient Jess than 2% get alergy reaction. Using amalgam in capsule can decrease mercury indoor air pollution. Beside that can use high copper alloy with low mercury as a filling material. Periodically indoor air pollution monitoring and biomonitoring (mercury in blood and urine dentists and assistant must be done. Physically amalgam filling is a good material filling, so still can use as a filling with a proper handling.Keywords: dental, amalgam, mercury

  3. [Value of plasma microRNAs has-let-7d and has-let-7e as potential molecular markers in workers with occupational exposure to mercury].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, J; Zhang, H Q; Ding, E M; Bai, Y; Zhu, B L

    2017-10-20

    Objective: To investigate whether plasma microRNAs has-let-7d and has-let-7e can be used as potential molecular markers for workers with occupational exposure to mercury. Methods: October 2013, the workers with occupational exposure to mercury who worked in a mercury thermometer factory and participated in occupational health examination were selected as subjects, and biological samples and basic data were collected. The subjects were divided into chronic mercury poisoning group,mercury absorption group,and control group,with 30 individuals in each group. AmicroRNA microarray combined with RT-qPCR was used to measure the expression of has-let-7d and has-let-7e in the three groups, the receiver operating characteristic(ROC)curve was used to analyze the values of has-let-7d and has-let-7e in the diagnosis of occupational chronic mercury poisoning,a software platform was used to predict target genes. Gene ontology enrichment analysis and KEGG pathway analysis were also performed. Results: Compared with the control group, the chronic mercury poisoning group and the mercury absorption group had significant increases in the expression of has-let-7d and has-let-7e(P<0.05). The areas under the ROC curve for microRNAs has-let-7d and has-let-7e in the diagnosis of occupational chronic mercury poisoning were 0.912(95% confidence interval[CI]0.843-0.981)and 0.908(95%CI0.837-0.979),respectively,and there was a significant difference between them(P<0.001). Conclusion: Plasma microRNAs has-let-7d and has-let-7e can be used as potential molecular markers for workers with occupational exposure to mercury.

  4. Ultraviolet Radiation: Human Exposure and Health Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenkate, Thomas D.

    1998-01-01

    Provides an overview of human exposure to ultraviolet radiation and associated health effects as well as risk estimates for acute and chronic conditions resulting from such exposure. Demonstrates substantial reductions in health risk that can be achieved through preventive actions. Also includes a risk assessment model for skin cancer. Contains 36…

  5. PARTNERING TO IMPROVE HUMAN EXPOSURE METHODS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methods development research is an application-driven scientific area that addresses programmatic needs. The goals are to reduce measurement uncertainties, address data gaps, and improve existing analytical procedures for estimating human exposures. Partnerships have been develop...

  6. SEROLOGIC EVALUATION OF HUMAN MICROCYSTIN EXPOSURE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Introduction Microcystins (MCYST) are among the most commonly detected toxins associated with cyanobacteria blooms worldwide. Biological evidence of human exposure is needed in order to evaluate potential MCYST-associated health effects. MCYST are detectable in free and bound fo...

  7. Mercury Exposure in Healthy Korean Weaning-Age Infants: Association with Growth, Feeding and Fish Intake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ju Young Chang

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Low-level mercury (Hg exposure in infancy might be harmful to the physical growth as well as neurodevelopment of children. The aim of this study was to investigate postnatal Hg exposure and its relationship with anthropometry and dietary factors in late infancy. We recruited 252 healthy Korean infants between six and 24 months of age from an outpatient clinic during the 2009/2010 and 2013/2014 seasons. We measured the weight and height of the infants and collected dietary information using questionnaires. The Hg content of the hair and blood was assessed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy. The geometric mean Hg concentration in the hair and blood was 0.22 (95% confidence interval: 0.20–0.24 µg/g and 0.94 (n = 109, 95% confidence interval: 0.89–0.99 µg/L, respectively. The hair Hg concentration showed a good correlation with the blood Hg concentration (median hair-to-blood Hg ratio: 202.7, r = 0.462, p < 0.001 and was >1 µg/g in five infants. The hair Hg concentration showed significant correlations with weight gain after birth (Z-score of the weight for age—Z-score of the birthweight; r = −0.156, p = 0.015, the duration (months of breastfeeding as the dominant method of feeding (r = 0.274, p < 0.001, and the duration of fish intake more than once per week (r = 0.138, p = 0.033. In an ordinal logistic regression analysis with categorical hair Hg content (quartiles, dietary factors, including breastfeeding as the dominant method of feeding in late infancy (cumulative odds ratio: 6.235, 95% confidence interval: 3.086–12.597, p < 0.001 and the monthly duration of fish intake more than once per week (cumulative odds ratio: 1.203, 95% confidence interval: 1.034–1.401; p = 0.017, were significantly associated with higher hair Hg content. Weight gain after birth was not, however, significantly associated with hair Hg content after adjustment for the duration of breastfeeding as the dominant method of feeding. Low-level Hg

  8. Stable and episodic/bolus patterns of methylmercury exposure on mercury accumulation and histopathologic alterations in the nervous system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakamoto, Mineshi; Kakita, Akiyoshi; Domingo, José L; Yamazaki, Hiroshi; Oliveira, Ricardo B; Sarrazin, Sandra L F; Eto, Komyo; Murata, Katsuyuki

    2017-01-01

    The main purpose of the present study was to compare the blood and brain mercury (Hg) accumulation and neurological alterations in adult male and pregnant female/fetal rats following stable and episodic/bolus patterns of methylmercury (MeHg) exposure. In addition, MeHg accumulation in the human body was estimated by a one-compartment model using three different patterns of MeHg exposure. In the adult male rat experiment, doses of 0.3 and 1.5mg MeHg/kg/day were orally administered to the stable groups for 5 weeks, while 7-fold higher doses of 2.1 and 10.5mg MeHg/kg/once a week were administered to the bolus groups. The blood Hg levels increased constantly in the stable groups, but increased with repeated waves in the bolus groups. At completion of the experiment, there were no significant differences in the brain Hg concentrations or neurological alterations between the stable and bolus groups, when the total doses of MeHg were the same. In the pregnant female rat experiment, a dose of 1mg MeHg/kg/day was administered orally to the stable group for 20 days (until 1day before expected parturition), while a 5-fold higher dose of 5mg MeHg/kg/once every 5 days was administered to the bolus group. In the brains of the maternal/fetal rats, there were no significant differences in the Hg concentrations and neurological alterations between the stable and bolus groups. The mean Hg concentrations in the fetal brains were approximately 2-fold higher than those in the maternal brains for both stable and bolus groups. Using the one-compartment model, the Hg accumulation curves in humans at doses of 7µg MeHg/day, 48µg MeHg/once a week, and 96µg MeHg/once every 2 weeks were estimated to be similar, while the bolus groups showed dose-dependent amplitudes of repeated waves. These results suggest that stable and episodic/bolus patterns of MeHg exposure do not cause differences in Hg accumulation in the blood and brain, or in neurological alterations, when the total doses are the

  9. What do we know of childhood exposures to metals (arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury) in emerging market countries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horton, Lindsey M; Mortensen, Mary E; Iossifova, Yulia; Wald, Marlena M; Burgess, Paula

    2013-01-01

    Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury present potential health risks to children who are exposed through inhalation or ingestion. Emerging Market countries experience rapid industrial development that may coincide with the increased release of these metals into the environment. A literature review was conducted for English language articles from the 21st century on pediatric exposures to arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) top 10 Emerging Market countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey. Seventy-six peer-reviewed, published studies on pediatric exposure to metals met the inclusion criteria. The reported concentrations of metals in blood and urine from these studies were generally higher than US reference values, and many studies identified adverse health effects associated with metals exposure. Evidence of exposure to metals in the pediatric population of these Emerging Market countries demonstrates a need for interventions to reduce exposure and efforts to establish country-specific reference values through surveillance or biomonitoring. The findings from review of these 10 countries also suggest the need for country-specific public health policies and clinician education in Emerging Markets.

  10. Marine diet and tobacco exposure affects mercury concentrations in pregnant women (I from Baja California Sur, Mexico

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    Ramón Gaxiola-Robles

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Seafood provides essential polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA and other nutrients to pregnant women and their fetus(es while a diet rich in finfish can be a major pathway of monomethyl mercury (MeHg+ exposure. We measured total mercury concentration ([THg] in hair samples provided by 75 women in Baja California Sur (BCS to assess its relationship with age, parity, tobacco smoke exposure, and diet based on survey methodologies. Generalized linear models (GLM were used to explain the possible association of the different variables with [THg] in hair. Median [THg] in hair was 1.52 μg g−1, ranging from 0.12 to 24.19 μg g−1 and varied significantly by segment. Approximately 72% (54/75 of those evaluated exceed 1 μg g−1 [THg] and 8% (6/75 exceed 5 μg g−1 [THg] in hair. Although frequency of fish consumption contributed significantly to explaining hair [THg], fish consumption only explained 43% of [THg] in a GLM incorporating tobacco exposure and body mass index. This study establishes possible relationships among multiple potential sources of exposure and other factors related to [THg] in hair of women in the prenatal period. A more detailed examination of other sources of exposure and factors contributing to [THg] is warranted.

  11. What Do We Know of Childhood Exposures to Metals (Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury in Emerging Market Countries?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lindsey M. Horton

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury present potential health risks to children who are exposed through inhalation or ingestion. Emerging Market countries experience rapid industrial development that may coincide with the increased release of these metals into the environment. A literature review was conducted for English language articles from the 21st century on pediatric exposures to arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in the International Monetary Fund's (IMF top 10 Emerging Market countries: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey. Seventy-six peer-reviewed, published studies on pediatric exposure to metals met the inclusion criteria. The reported concentrations of metals in blood and urine from these studies were generally higher than US reference values, and many studies identified adverse health effects associated with metals exposure. Evidence of exposure to metals in the pediatric population of these Emerging Market countries demonstrates a need for interventions to reduce exposure and efforts to establish country-specific reference values through surveillance or biomonitoring. The findings from review of these 10 countries also suggest the need for country-specific public health policies and clinician education in Emerging Markets.

  12. Dietary exposure of the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis) to total and methyl mercury in Zhalong Wetland, northeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Jinming; Ye, Yajie; Wang, Yongjie

    2014-06-01

    To determine the dietary exposure of the migratory red-crowned crane to mercury (Hg), this study analyzed the concentrations of total mercury (T-Hg) and methyl mercury (MeHg) in its prey, i.e., reeds and three aquatic animal families (Perccottus glenni Dybowski, Cybister japonicus Sharp, and Viviparidae) in northeastern China. Results indicated that the Hg concentration in Zhalong Wetland was elevated through the food chain, and the prey of the red-crowned crane contained measurable levels of T-Hg and MeHg. In prey tissues, MeHg was the main form of the Hg element and accounted for 61% of total Hg concentration in Viviparidae, 58% in C. japonicus Sharp, and 85% in P. glenni Dybowski. The highest T-Hg and MeHg concentrations ranged from 1.66 to 3.89 ppm and from 1.12 to 2.67 ppm, respectively, and they were detected in the feathers of the red-crowned cranes. The lowest T-Hg concentration was determined in the excretions of wild red-crowned cranes at 0.21 ppm; furthermore, the content of MeHg was below the detection limit. In Zhalong Wetland, the level of dietary exposure of the population of red-crowned cranes to Hg is below the threshold of Hg toxicity. Moreover, eggshells are suitable indicators of Hg risk levels to the red-crowned crane.

  13. Mercury contamination in human hair and fish from Cambodia: levels, specific accumulation and risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Agusa, Tetsuro [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Kunito, Takashi [Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, Shinshu University, 3-1-1 Asahi, Matsumoto, Nagano 390-8621 (Japan); Iwata, Hisato [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Monirith, In [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tana, Touch Seang [Social and Cultural Observation Unit (OBSES) of the Cabinet of the Council of Ministers, Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Subramanian, Annamalai [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan); Tanabe, Shinsuke [Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577 (Japan)]. E-mail: shinsuke@agr.ehime-u.ac.jp

    2005-03-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations in human hair and fish samples from Phnom Penh, Kien Svay, Tomnup Rolork and Batrong, Cambodia, collected in November 1999 and December 2000 were determined to understand the status of contamination, and age- and sex-dependent accumulation in humans and to assess the intake of mercury via fish consumption. Mercury concentrations in human hair ranged from 0.54 to 190 {mu}g/g dry wt. About 3% of the samples contained Hg levels exceeding the no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL) of WHO (50 {mu}g/g) and the levels in some hair samples of women also exceeded the NOAEL (10 {mu}g/g) associated with fetus neurotoxicity. A weak but significant positive correlation was observed between age and Hg levels in hair of residents. Mercury concentrations in muscle of marine and freshwater fish from Cambodia ranged from <0.01 to 0.96 {mu}g/g wet wt. Mercury intake rates were estimated on the basis of the Hg content in fish and daily fish consumption. Three samples of marine fish including sharp-tooth snapper and obtuse barracuda, and one sample of sharp-tooth snapper exceeded the guidelines by US EPA and by Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA), respectively, which indicates that some fish specimens examined (9% and 3% for US EPA and JECFA guidelines, respectively) were hazardous for consumption at the ingestion rate of Cambodian people (32.6 g/day). It is suggested that fish is probably the main source of Hg for Cambodian people. However, extremely high Hg concentrations were observed in some individuals and could not be explained by Hg intake from fish consumption, indicating some other contamination sources of Hg in Cambodia. - A source other than fish may be responsible for high Hg in some Cambodians.

  14. Human exposure to dioxin from combustion sources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hattemer-Frey, H.A.; Travis, C.C.

    1988-01-01

    Because of their extreme toxicity, much concern and debate has arisen about the nature and extent of human exposure to dioxin. Since municipal solid waste (MSW) incinerators are known to emit polychorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polycholorinated dibenzofurnas (PCDFs) many people who live near MSW incinerators fear that they will be exposed to high levels of dioxin and subsequently develop cancer. What is often overlooked in this debate, however, is the fact that the general population is continuously being exposed to trace amounts of dioxin as exemplified by the fact that virtually all human adipose tissue samples contain dioxin at levels of 3 parts per trillion (ppt) or greater. This paper provides a perspective on MSW incineration as a source of human exposure to dioxin by comparing this exposure source with exposure to background environmental contamination and evaluates some of the potential key sources of PCDD/PCDF input into the enviroment. 32 refs., 3 tabs.

  15. Modelling Human Exposure to Chemicals in Food

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slob W

    1993-01-01

    Exposure to foodborne chemicals is often estimated using the average consumption pattern in the human population. To protect the human population instead of the average individual, however, interindividual variability in consumption behaviour must be taken into account. This report shows how food

  16. Toward a Unified Understanding of Mercury and Methylated Mercury from the World's Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNutt, M. K.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Landing, W. M.; Sunderland, E. M.

    2012-12-01

    Marine fish and shellfish are the main source of toxic methylmercury exposure for humans. As recently as decade ago, very limited aqueous methylated mercury data were available from marine settings, resulting in a generally poor understanding of the processes controlling mercury in pelagic marine food webs. Recent oceanographic cruises have significantly improved availability of reliable measurements of methylated mercury and total mercury in seawater. This presentation will focus on vertical seawater profiles collected to depths 1000 m from three recent sampling efforts in collaboration with the CLIVAR Repeat Hydrography Program sponsored by NOAA including: 1) the northeastern Pacific (P16N cruise from Honolulu, Hawaii to Kodiak, Alaska); (2) the southern Indian Ocean (I5 cruise from Cape Town, South Africa, to Fremantle, Australia); and, (3) the Southern Ocean cruise (S4P from McMurdo, Antarctica, to Punta Arenas, Chile). Analytical results presented were all derived from the USGS Mercury Research Lab (http://wi.water.usgs.gov/mercury-lab). Supporting data derived from these cruises on water mass ages, nutrients, carbon and dissolved oxygen provide an opportunity to develop a stronger understanding of the biogeochemical factors controlling oceanic distributions of mercury and methylated mercury. Whole-water, median total mercury, and methylated mercury concentrations for the northern Pacific, southern Indian, and Southern Ocean were 1.10, 0.80, and 1.65 pM, , and 0.11, 0.08, and 0.32 pM, respectively. For all three oceans, vertical profiles of total mercury generally show the lowest concentrations in the surface mixed layer, and concentration maxima at the 700-1000 m depths. Surface depletion of total mercury is attributed to photo-chemical reduction and evasion of gaseous elemental mercury as well as scavenging by settling particulate matter, the main vector of transport to the subsurface ocean. Methylated mercury in all the ocean profiles reveal distinct mid

  17. Mercury exposure in a low-income community in South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Oosthuizen, MA

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available and water consumption, neurological symptoms, and confounders such as alcohol consumption and brain injuries. Mercury levels were determined in 28 urine and 20 blood samples of these respondents....

  18. Mercury Exposure in Piscivorous Birds at the Carson River (NV) Superfund Site, 1997-2006

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The persistence and degree of mercury contamination of the lower Carson River system (LCRS) have led to placement of a portion of the Carson River Basin (including...

  19. Mercury exposure as measured through abandoned common loon eggs in New Hampshire, 1998

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Mercury (Hg) is a highly mobile contaminant with the ability to cycle through land, air and water. One of its organic forms, methlymercury (MeHg) bioaccumulates and...

  20. Determining the Optimum Exposure and Recovery Periods for Efficient Operation of a QCM Based Elemental Mercury Vapor Sensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. M. Mohibul Kabir

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, mass based transducers such as quartz crystal microbalance (QCM have gained huge interest as potential sensors for online detection of elemental mercury (Hg0 vapor from anthropogenic sources due to their high portability and robust nature enabling them to withstand harsh industrial environments. In this study, we determined the optimal Hg0 exposure and recovery times of a QCM based sensor for ensuring its efficient operation while monitoring low concentrations of Hg0 vapor (<400 ppbv. The developed sensor was based on an AT-cut quartz substrate and utilized two gold (Au films on either side of the substrate which functions as the electrodes and selective layer simultaneously. Given the temporal response mechanisms associated with mass based mercury sensors, the experiments involved the variation of Hg0 vapor exposure periods while keeping the recovery time constant following each exposure and vice versa. The results indicated that an optimum exposure and recovery periods of 30 and 90 minutes, respectively, can be utilized to acquire the highest response magnitudes and recovery rate towards a certain concentration of Hg0 vapor whilst keeping the time it takes to report an accurate reading by the sensor to a minimum level as required in real-world applications.

  1. Toxic Effects of Mercury on the Cardiovascular and Central Nervous Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bruna Fernandes Azevedo

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. This exposure is more common than expected, and the health consequences of such exposure remain unclear. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities, and now, exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Many studies show that high exposure to mercury induces changes in the central nervous system, potentially resulting in irritability, fatigue, behavioral changes, tremors, headaches, hearing and cognitive loss, dysarthria, incoordination, hallucinations, and death. In the cardiovascular system, mercury induces hypertension in humans and animals that has wide-ranging consequences, including alterations in endothelial function. The results described in this paper indicate that mercury exposure, even at low doses, affects endothelial and cardiovascular function. As a result, the reference values defining the limits for the absence of danger should be reduced.

  2. Impacts of food web structure and feeding behavior on mercury exposure in Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMeans, Bailey C; Arts, Michael T; Fisk, Aaron T

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log10THg increased significantly with δ(15)N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg · g(-1) [113 ± 1 ng · g(-1)] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg · g(-1)). The slope of the log10THg vs. δ(15)N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Demographic responses to mercury exposure in two closely related Antarctic top predators.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goutte, A; Bustamante, P; Barbraud, C; Delord, K; Weimerskirch, H; Chastel, O

    2014-04-01

    Although toxic chemicals constitute a major threat for wildlife, their effects have been mainly assessed at the individual level and under laboratory conditions. Predicting population-level responses to pollutants in natural conditions is a major and ultimate task in ecological and ecotoxicological research. The present study aims to estimate the effect of mercury (Hg) levels on future apparent survival rates and breeding performances. We used a long-term data set (-10 years) and recently developed methodological tools on two closely related Antarctic top predators, the South Polar Skua Catharacta maccormicki from Adélie Land and the Brown Skua C. lonnbergi from the Kerguelen Archipelago. Adult survival rates and breeding probabilities were not affected by Hg levels, but breeding success in the following year decreased with increasing Hg levels. Although South Polar Skuas exhibited much lower Hg levels than Brown Skuas, they suffered from higher Hg-induced breeding failure. This species difference could be attributed to an interaction between Hg and other environmental perturbations, including climate change and a complex cocktail of pollutants. By including Hg-dependent demographic parameters in population models, we showed a weak population decline in response to increasing Hg levels. This demographic decline was more pronounced in South Polar Skuas than in Brown Skuas. Hence, Hg exposure differently affects closely related species. The wide range of environmental perturbations in Antarctic regions could exacerbate the demographic responses to Hg levels. In that respect, we urge future population modeling to take into account the coupled effects of climate change and anthropogenic pollution to estimate population projections.

  4. A comprehensive assessment of mercury exposure in penguin populations throughout the Southern Hemisphere: Using trophic calculations to identify sources of population-level variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasso, Rebecka L; Chiaradia, André; Polito, Michael J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Emslie, Steven D

    2015-08-15

    The wide geographic distribution of penguins (Order Sphenisciformes) throughout the Southern Hemisphere provided a unique opportunity to use a single taxonomic group as biomonitors of mercury among geographically distinct marine ecosystems. Mercury concentrations were compared among ten species of penguins representing 26 geographically distinct breeding populations. Mercury concentrations were relatively low (⩽2.00ppm) in feathers from 18/26 populations considered. Population-level differences in trophic level explained variation in mercury concentrations among Little, King, and Gentoo penguin populations. However, Southern Rockhopper and Magellanic penguins breeding on Staten Island, Tierra del Fuego, had the highest mercury concentrations relative to their conspecifics despite foraging at a lower trophic level. The concurrent use of stable isotope and mercury data allowed us to document penguin populations at the greatest risk of exposure to harmful concentrations of mercury as a result of foraging at a high trophic level or in geographic 'hot spots' of mercury availability. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Detection and Spatial Mapping of Mercury Contamination in Water Samples Using a Smart-Phone

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-20

    environmental and biological samples has become a high priority. Various neurological effects of mer- cury exposure have beenmainly attributed to the organic... Mercury Exposure with Single Human Hair Strand. Environ. Sci. Technol. 2005, 39, 4594–4598. 12. Hightower, J. M.; Moore, D. Mercury Levels in High-End... Mercury Contamination in Water Samples Using a Smart-Phone QingshanWei,†,‡,§ Richie Nagi, ),# Kayvon Sadeghi,†,‡,# Steve Feng,† Eddie Yan,† So Jung Ki

  6. Mercury in tropical and subtropical coastal environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Monica F.; Landing, William M.; Kehrig, Helena A.; Barletta, Mário; Holmes, Christopher D.; Barrocas, Paulo R. G.; Evers, David C.; Buck, David G.; Vasconcellos, Ana Claudia; Hacon, Sandra S.; Moreira, Josino C.; Malm, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities influence the biogeochemical cycles of mercury, both qualitatively and quantitatively, on a global scale from sources to sinks. Anthropogenic processes that alter the temporal and spatial patterns of sources and cycling processes are changing the impacts of mercury contamination on aquatic biota and humans. Human exposure to mercury is dominated by the consumption of fish and products from aquaculture operations. The risk to society and to ecosystems from mercury contamination is growing, and it is important to monitor these expanding risks. However, the extent and manner to which anthropogenic activities will alter mercury sources and biogeochemical cycling in tropical and sub-tropical coastal environments is poorly understood. Factors as (1) lack of reliable local/regional data; (2) rapidly changing environmental conditions; (3) governmental priorities and; (4) technical actions from supra-national institutions, are some of the obstacles to overcome in mercury cycling research and policy formulation. In the tropics and sub-tropics, research on mercury in the environment is moving from an exploratory “inventory” phase towards more process-oriented studies. Addressing biodiversity conservation and human health issues related to mercury contamination of river basins and tropical coastal environments are an integral part of paragraph 221 paragraph of the United Nations document “The Future We Want” issued in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. PMID:22901765

  7. Environmental medicine, part three: long-term effects of chronic low-dose mercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crinnion, W J

    2000-06-01

    Mercury is ubiquitous in the environment, and in our mouths in the form of "silver" amalgams. Once introduced to the body through food or vapor, mercury is rapidly absorbed and accumulates in several tissues, leading to increased oxidative damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and cell death. Mercury primarily affects neurological tissue, resulting in numerous neurological symptoms, and also affects the kidneys and the immune system. It causes increased production of free radicals and decreases the availability of antioxidants. It also has devastating effects on the glutathione content of the body, giving rise to the possibility of increased retention of other environmental toxins. Fortunately, effective tests are available to help distinguish those individuals who are excessively burdened with mercury, and to monitor them during treatment. Therapies for assisting the reduction of a mercury load include the use of 2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) and 2,3-dimercato-1-propanesulfonic acid (DMPS). Additional supplementation to assist in the removal of mercury and to reduce its adverse effects is discussed.

  8. Human Exposure to Urban Vehicle Emissions

    OpenAIRE

    Apte, Joshua Schulz

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation investigates human exposure to vehicular air pollutant emissions in urban areas. Since resources for protecting human health from the adverse consequences of inadvertent environmental releases are constrained, it is often desirable to identify sources and settings in which emissions controls could lead to especially high human health benefits per unit effort. The three measurement and modeling studies that comprise this dissertation aim to contribute towards this goal by adv...

  9. Population-Based Inorganic Mercury Biomonitoring and the Identification of Skin Care Products as a Source of Exposure in New York City

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKelvey, Wendy; Jeffery, Nancy; Clark, Nancy; Kass, Daniel; Parsons, Patrick J.

    2011-01-01

    Background Mercury is a toxic metal that has been used for centuries as a constituent of medicines and other items. Objective We assessed exposure to inorganic mercury in the adult population of New York City (NYC). Methods We measured mercury concentrations in spot urine specimens from a representative sample of 1,840 adult New Yorkers in the 2004 NYC Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Cases with urine concentrations ≥ 20 μg/L were followed up with a telephone or in-person interview that asked about potential sources of exposure, including ritualistic/cultural practices, skin care products, mercury spills, herbal medicine products, and fish. Results Geometric mean urine mercury concentration in NYC was higher for Caribbean-born blacks [1.39 μg/L; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.14–1.70] and Dominicans (1.04 μg/L; 95% CI, 0.82–1.33) than for non-Hispanic whites (0.67 μg/L; 95% CI, 0.60–0.75) or other racial/ethnic groups. It was also higher among those who reported at least 20 fish meals in the past 30 days (1.02 μg/L; 95% CI, 0.83–1.25) than among those who reported no fish meals (0.50 μg/L; 95% CI, 0.41–0.61). We observed the highest 95th percentile of exposure (21.18 μg/L; 95% CI, 7.25–51.29) among Dominican women. Mercury-containing skin-lightening creams were a source of exposure among those most highly exposed, and we subsequently identified 12 imported products containing illegal levels of mercury in NYC stores. Conclusion Population-based biomonitoring identified a previously unrecognized source of exposure to inorganic mercury among NYC residents. In response, the NYC Health Department embargoed products and notified store owners and the public that skin-lightening creams and other skin care products that contain mercury are dangerous and illegal. Although exposure to inorganic mercury is not a widespread problem in NYC, users of these products may be at risk of health effects from exposure. PMID:20923743

  10. Estimating exposure of piscivorous birds and sport fish to mercury in California lakes using prey fish monitoring: a predictive tool for managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Hartman, C. Alex; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Davison, Jay; Ichikawa, Gary; Bonnema, Autumn

    2015-01-01

    Numerous water bodies in California are listed under the Clean Water Act as being impaired due to mercury (Hg) contamination. The Surface Water Ambient Monitoring Program (SWAMP), via the Bioaccumulation Oversight Group (BOG), has recently completed statewide surveys of contaminants in sport fish tissue from more than 250 lakes and rivers in California and throughout coastal waters. This effort focused on human health issues but did not include beneficial uses by wildlife. Many piscivorous birds such as grebes, terns, cormorants, and mergansers eat fish smaller than those that were sampled by BOG, and sport fish Hg concentrations are not always indicative of wildlife exposure to Hg; therefore, the BOG surveys could not address whether wildlife were at risk due to Hg-induced reproductive impairment in these lakes.

  11. Mercury contamination in Southern New England coastal fisheries and dietary habits of recreational anglers and their families: Implications to human health and issuance of consumption advisories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, David L; Williamson, Patrick R

    2017-01-15

    Total mercury (Hg) was measured in coastal fishes from Southern New England (RI, USA), and Hg exposure was estimated for anglers and family members that consumed these resources. Fish Hg was positively related to total length (n = 2028 across 7 fish species), and interspecies differences were evident among legally harvestable fish. Many recreational anglers and their families experienced excessively high Hg exposure rates, which was attributed to the enriched Hg content of frequently consumed fishes. Specifically, 51.5% of participants in this study had Hg exposures exceeding the US EPA reference dose, including 50.0% of women of childbearing years. These results are noteworthy given that Hg neurotoxicity occurs in adults and children from direct and prenatal low-dose exposure. Moreover, this study underscores the need for geographic-specific research that accounts for small-scale spatial variations in fish Hg and dietary habits of at-risk human populations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. The neurological effects of prenatal and postnatal mercury/methylmercury exposure on three-year-old children in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsi, Hsing-Cheng; Jiang, Chuen-Bin; Yang, Tzu-Hsuan; Chien, Ling-Chu

    2014-04-01

    This study attempts to elucidate the relationship between neurological effects and mercury/methylmercury concentrations in various biomarkers, including meconium, hair, fingernail, and toenail. Eight-three mother-infant pairs were recruited between August 2008 and December 2009, and follow-up examinations on these children were completed after three years. The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Bayley-III) for evaluating the cognitive, language, and motor development of three-year-old children were calculated and validated. The geometric mean of the total mercury concentration in meconium was 89.6 ng g(-1). The methylmercury concentrations in hair, fingernail, and toenail samples were 1.96, 0.64, and 0.55 μg g(-1), respectively. Seventy percent of children had hair methylmercury concentrations exceeding the U.S. environmental protection agency (EPA) reference of 1 μg g(-1). A significantly positive correlation was obtained between methylmercury levels in hair, fingernail, and toenail. These methylmercury levels were also significantly positively correlated with the children's fish intake and negatively correlated with a Bayley-III scale score of expressive language. The prenatal mercury exposure, however, did not show significant influence on neurological development. High fish consumption appears to be a critical risk factor for methylmercury levels in children and may cause a lower expressive language score. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Elucidation of the defence mechanism in microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana under mercury exposure. Identification of Hg-phytochelatins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Jacinto, Verónica; García-Barrera, Tamara; Gómez-Ariza, José Luis; Garbayo-Nores, Inés; Vílchez-Lobato, Carlos

    2015-08-05

    Algae and aquatic macrophytes are capable of accumulating heavy metals up to concentrations several orders of magnitude higher than those existing in their surrounding environment. Investigation of mercury toxicology in microalgae is of great interest from ecological point of view, since they could be used as bioindicator to evaluate aquatic ecosystems affected by Hg pollution. In this study, we have performed an exposure experiment focused on the biological response of microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana, a unicellular model organism, to Hg-induced toxicity. The culture was exposed to different concentrations of this element for nine days, namely 0.5, 1, 5 and 10mg L(-1) of HgCl2 (as Hg). To achieve a better understanding of the biological mechanisms triggered by Hg-induced toxicity in this alga a metallomic approach based on SEC-ICP-ORS-MS was applied to survey biomarkers of biological response to mercury contamination in surface water. In addition, the combination of RP-HPLC-ICP-ORS-MS and RP-HPLC-ESI-QqQ-TOF-MS was applied to identify, for the first time, two Hg-binding phytochelatins in this aquatic organism, using cell extracts from microalgae exposed to inorganic mercury. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Evaluation of DNA damage induced by environmental exposure to mercury in Liza aurata using the comet assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Carla Sofia Alves; Guilherme, Sofia Isabel Antunes Gomes; Barroso, Carlos Miguel Miguez; Verschaeve, Luc; Pacheco, Mário Guilherme Garcês; Mendo, Sónia Alexandra Leite Velho

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the major aquatic contaminants even though emissions have been reduced over the years. Despite the relative abundance of investigations carried out on Hg toxicity, there is a scarcity of studies on its DNA damaging effects in fish under realistic exposure conditions. This study assessed the Hg genotoxicity in Golden grey mullets (Liza aurata) at Laranjo basin, a particularly contaminated area of Ria de Aveiro (Portugal) well known for its Hg contamination gradient. (1) Fish were seasonally caught at Laranjo basin and at a reference site (S. Jacinto), and (2) animals from the reference site were transplanted and caged (at bottom and surface), for 3 days, in two different locations within Laranjo basin. Using the comet assay, blood was analyzed for genetic damage and apoptotic cell frequency. The seasonal survey showed greater DNA damage in the Hg-contaminated area for all sampling seasons excluding winter. The temporal variation pattern of DNA lesions was: summer approximately autumn > winter > spring. Fish caged at Laranjo also exhibited greater DNA damage than those caged at the reference site, highlighting the importance of gill uptake on the toxicity of this metal. No increased susceptibility to apoptosis was detected in either wild or caged fish, indicating that mercury damages DNA of blood cells by a nonapoptotic mechanism. Both L. aurata and the comet assay proved to be sensitive and suitable for genotoxicity biomonitoring in mercury-contaminated coastal systems.

  15. Minamata Convention on Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    On November 6, 2013 the United States signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury, a new multilateral environmental agreement that addresses specific human activities which are contributing to widespread mercury pollution

  16. Apocynin prevents vascular effects caused by chronic exposure to low concentrations of mercury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danize A Rizzetti

    Full Text Available UNLABELLED: Mercury increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and oxidative stress and alters vascular reactivity. This metal elicits endothelial dysfunction causing decreased NO bioavailability via increased oxidative stress and contractile prostanoid production. NADPH oxidase is the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS in the vasculature. Our aim was to investigate whether treatment with apocynin, an NADPH oxidase inhibitor, prevents the vascular effects caused by chronic intoxication with low concentrations of mercury. Three-month-old male Wistar rats were treated for 30 days with a intramuscular injections (i.m. of saline; b HgCl(2 (i.m. 1(st dose: 4.6 µg/kg, subsequent doses: 0.07 µg/kg/day; c Apocynin (1.5 mM in drinking water plus saline i.m.; and d Apocynin plus HgCl(2. The mercury treatment resulted in 1 an increased aortic vasoconstrictor response to phenylephrine and reduced endothelium-dependent responses to acetylcholine; 2 the increased involvement of ROS and vasoconstrictor prostanoids in response to phenylephrine, whereas the endothelial NO modulation of such responses was reduced; and 3 the reduced activity of aortic superoxide dismutase (SOD and glutathione peroxidase (GPx and increased plasma malondialdehyde (MDA levels. Treatment with apocynin partially prevented the increased phenylephrine responses and reduced the endothelial dysfunction elicited by mercury treatment. In addition, apocynin treatment increased the NO modulation of vasoconstrictor responses and aortic SOD activity and reduced plasma MDA levels without affecting the increased participation of vasoconstrictor prostanoids observed in aortic segments from mercury-treated rats. CONCLUSIONS: Mercury increases the vasoconstrictor response to phenylephrine by reducing NO bioavailability and increasing the involvement of ROS and constrictor prostanoids. Apocynin protects the vessel from the deleterious effects caused by NADPH oxidase, but not from those

  17. Impacts of food web structure and feeding behavior on mercury exposure in Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McMeans, Bailey C., E-mail: bcmcmeans@gmail.com [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); Arts, Michael T. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); National Water Research Institute, Environment Canada, 867 Lakeshore Road, PO Box 5050, Burlington, Ontario L7R 4A6 (Canada); Fisk, Aaron T. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada)

    2015-03-15

    Benthic and pelagic food web components in Cumberland Sound, Canada were explored as sources of total mercury (THg) to Greenland Sharks (Somniosus microcephalus) via both bottom-up food web transfer and top-down shark feeding behavior. Log{sub 10}THg increased significantly with δ{sup 15}N and trophic position from invertebrates (0.01 ± 0.01 μg·g{sup −1} [113 ± 1 ng·g{sup −1}] dw in copepods) to Greenland Sharks (3.54 ± 1.02 μg·g{sup −1}). The slope of the log{sub 10}THg vs. δ{sup 15}N linear regression was higher for pelagic compared to benthic food web components (excluding Greenland Sharks, which could not be assigned to either food web), which resulted from THg concentrations being higher at the base of the benthic food web (i.e., in benthic than pelagic primary consumers). However, feeding habitat is unlikely to consistently influence shark THg exposure in Cumberland Sound because THg concentrations did not consistently differ between benthic and pelagic shark prey. Further, size, gender and feeding behavior (inferred from stable isotopes and fatty acids) were unable to significantly explain THg variability among individual Greenland Sharks. Possible reasons for this result include: 1) individual sharks feeding as generalists, 2) high overlap in THg among shark prey, and 3) differences in turnover time between ecological tracers and THg. This first assessment of Greenland Shark THg within an Arctic food web revealed high concentrations consistent with biomagnification, but low ability to explain intra-specific THg variability. Our findings of high THg levels and consumption of multiple prey types, however, suggest that Greenland Sharks acquire THg through a variety of trophic pathways and are a significant contributor to the total biotic THg pool in northern seas. - Highlights: • THg significantly increased with δ{sup 15}N from invertebrates to Greenland Sharks. • THg increased with δ{sup 15}N at a faster rate through the pelagic than

  18. Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Human Mercury and Saturn Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan

    2015-01-01

    Human and robotic missions to Mercury and Saturn are presented and analyzed. Unique elements of the local planetary environments are discussed and included in the analyses and assessments. Using historical studies of space exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and industrialization all point to the vastness of natural resources in the solar system. Advanced propulsion benefitted from these resources in many way. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear pulse propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Updated analyses based on these historical visions will be presented. Nuclear thermal propulsion and ISRU enhanced chemical propulsion landers are assessed for Mercury missions. At Saturn, nuclear pulse propulsion with alternate propellant feed systems and Titan exploration with chemical propulsion options are discussed.

  19. Post exposure prophylaxis against human immunodeficiency virus ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Objective: To determine the level of awareness, knowledge and practice of human immunodeficiency virus post exposure prophylaxis (HIV PEP) among paediatricians in Nigeria. Methodology: The study was a cross sectional questionnairebased survey conducted among paediatrcians that attended the Paediatric ...

  20. Monitoring human exposure to 2-hydroxyethylating carcinogens

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Farmer, P.B.; Cordero, Rosa; Autrup, Herman

    1996-01-01

    It is known that human hemoglobin contains low levels of N-terminal N-(2-hydroxyethyl)valine. Possible sources of this modified amino acid are exposure to ethylene oxide or other 2-hydroxy-ethylating agents. Although such processes are likely to occur endogenously, the exogenous contribution to t...

  1. Birth outcome measures and maternal exposure to heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) in Saudi Arabian population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Saleh, Iman; Shinwari, Neptune; Mashhour, Abdullah; Rabah, Abdullah

    2014-03-01

    This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess the association between exposure to heavy metals (lead, cadmium and mercury) during pregnancy and birth outcomes in 1578 women aged 16-50 years who delivered in Al-Kharj hospital, Saudi Arabia, in 2005 and 2006. The levels of lead, cadmium and mercury were measured in umbilical cord blood, maternal blood and the placenta. Outcome variables were anthropometric measures taken at birth, along with the risk of being small-for-gestational age (SGA). We selected the 10th percentile as the cutoff for dichotomizing measures of birth outcome. Cadmium, despite its partial passage through the placenta had the most prominent effect on several measures of birth outcome. After adjustment for potential confounders, logistic regression models revealed that crown-heel length (p=0.034), the Apgar 5-minute score (p=0.004), birth weight (p=0.015) and SGA (p=0.049) were influenced by cadmium in the umbilical cord blood. Significant decreases in crown-heel length (p=0.007) and placental thickness (p=0.022) were seen with higher levels of cadmium in maternal blood. As placental cadmium increased, cord length increased (p=0.012) and placental thickness decreased (p=0.032). Only lead levels in maternal blood influenced placental thickness (p=0.011). Mercury in both umbilical cord and maternal blood was marginally associated with placental thickness and placental weight, respectively. Conversely, placental mercury levels significantly influenced head circumference (p=0.017), the Apgar 5-minute score (p=0.01) and cord length (p=0.026). The predictions of these models were further assessed with the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating curves (ROCs), which were modest (larger than 0.5 and smaller than 0.7). The independence of gestational age or preterm births on the observed effect of metals on some measures of birth outcome, suggested detrimental effects of exposure on fetal development. The magnitude of the estimated effects

  2. Associations of prenatal mercury exposure from maternal fish consumption and polyunsaturated fatty acids with child neurodevelopment: a prospective cohort study in Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valent, Francesca; Mariuz, Marika; Bin, Maura; Little, D'Anna; Mazej, Darja; Tognin, Veronica; Tratnik, Janja; McAfee, Alison J; Mulhern, Maria S; Parpinel, Maria; Carrozzi, Marco; Horvat, Milena; Tamburlini, Giorgio; Barbone, Fabio

    2013-09-05

    Mercury is a neurotoxin, and limited prenatal exposure to it can affect long-term child neurodevelopment. However, results of epidemiologic studies of such exposure have been inconsistent. We examined the association of prenatal mercury exposure from maternal fish consumption with child neurodevelopment in northern Italy. A population-based cohort of 606 children and their mothers was studied from pregnancy to age 18 months. Mercury levels were measured in maternal hair and blood during pregnancy and in umbilical cord blood and breast milk. Levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) were measured in maternal serum. Maternal and child intakes of fish were assessed by using a food frequency questionnaire. The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition (BSID-III) was used to evaluate child neurodevelopment. Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association of mercury exposure with BSID-III scores, after controlling for maternal fish intake, PUFAs during pregnancy, and several other confounders. Mean weekly fish intake during pregnancy was less than 2 servings. Mercury concentrations in biological samples were low (mean, 1061 ng/g in hair) and moderately correlated with fish intake, particularly of carnivorous species. Maternal ω-3 PUFA concentrations were poorly correlated with fish intake. Maternal intelligence quotient (IQ) and child intake of fish were significantly associated with neurodevelopment scores. In multivariate models, the level of Hg exposure was not associated with neurodevelopmental performance at 18 months. In this Italian population, neurodevelopment at 18 months was associated with child intake of fresh fish and maternal IQ rather than with mercury exposure. The expected beneficial effect of maternal fish intake (from maternal ω-3 PUFAs) was not found.

  3. A translatable predictor of human radiation exposure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph Lucas

    Full Text Available Terrorism using radiological dirty bombs or improvised nuclear devices is recognized as a major threat to both public health and national security. In the event of a radiological or nuclear disaster, rapid and accurate biodosimetry of thousands of potentially affected individuals will be essential for effective medical management to occur. Currently, health care providers lack an accurate, high-throughput biodosimetric assay which is suitable for the triage of large numbers of radiation injury victims. Here, we describe the development of a biodosimetric assay based on the analysis of irradiated mice, ex vivo-irradiated human peripheral blood (PB and humans treated with total body irradiation (TBI. Interestingly, a gene expression profile developed via analysis of murine PB radiation response alone was inaccurate in predicting human radiation injury. In contrast, generation of a gene expression profile which incorporated data from ex vivo irradiated human PB and human TBI patients yielded an 18-gene radiation classifier which was highly accurate at predicting human radiation status and discriminating medically relevant radiation dose levels in human samples. Although the patient population was relatively small, the accuracy of this classifier in discriminating radiation dose levels in human TBI patients was not substantially confounded by gender, diagnosis or prior exposure to chemotherapy. We have further incorporated genes from this human radiation signature into a rapid and high-throughput chemical ligation-dependent probe amplification assay (CLPA which was able to discriminate radiation dose levels in a pilot study of ex vivo irradiated human blood and samples from human TBI patients. Our results illustrate the potential for translation of a human genetic signature for the diagnosis of human radiation exposure and suggest the basis for further testing of CLPA as a candidate biodosimetric assay.

  4. Biological interactions between mercury and selenium in distribution and detoxification processes in mice under controlled exposure. Effects on selenoprotein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Sevillano, M A; Rodríguez-Moro, G; García-Barrera, T; Navarro, F; Gómez-Ariza, J L

    2015-03-05

    Antagonistic interactions between mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se), were evaluated in mouse (Mus musculus), as a mammalian model, in a series of controlled exposure experiments. The beneficial effect of Se against Hg toxicity involves a variety of biochemical and toxicological processes that have not been clarified yet. For this purpose, a metallomic workflow based on the use of size-exclusion chromatography (SEC) with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) detection was complemented with the speciation of selenoproteins and low molecular mass selenium species in serum and liver cytosolic extracts using a multidimensional approach based on SEC-AF-HPLC-ICPMS, using species-unspecific isotope dilution (SUID)-ICP-MS for selenium quantification. The results showed potential interactions between Hg/Se in organs and serum related to accumulation and detoxification processes, in addition to the effects of mercury on selenoproteins in hepatic cytosolic extracts and bloodstream when both elements are administrated at the same time. These results provide information about elements distribution, interactions and homeostasis and reveal the potential of metallomic approaches in exposure experiments. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Mercury exposure associated with altered plasma thyroid hormones in the declining western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) from California mountain streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Erik; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Sparling, Donald; Blumenshine, Steve

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global threat to wildlife health that can impair many physiological processes. Mercury has well-documented endocrine activity; however, little work on the effects of Hg on the thyroid hormones triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) in aquatic wildlife exists despite the fact that it is a sensitive endpoint of contaminant exposure. An emerging body of evidence points to the toxicological susceptibility of aquatic reptiles to Hg exposure. We examined the endocrine disrupting potential of Hg in the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata), a long-lived reptile that is in decline throughout California and the Pacific Northwest. We measured total Hg (THg) concentrations in red blood cells (RBCs) and plasma T3 and T4 of turtles from several locations in California that have been impacted by historic gold mining. Across all turtles from all sites, the geometric mean and standard error THg concentration was 0.805 ± 0.025 μg/g dry weight. Sampling region and mass were the strongest determinants of RBC THg. Relationships between RBC THg and T3 and T4 were consistent with Hg-induced disruption of T4 deiodination, a mechanism of toxicity that may cause excess T4 levels and depressed concentrations of biologically active T3.

  6. Triclosan exposure, transformation, and human health effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherly, Lisa M; Gosse, Julie A

    2017-01-01

    Triclosan (TCS) is an antimicrobial used so ubiquitously that 75% of the US population is likely exposed to this compound via consumer goods and personal care products. In September 2016, TCS was banned from soap products following the risk assessment by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, TCS still remains, at high concentrations, in other personal care products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, hand sanitizer, and surgical soaps. TCS is readily absorbed into human skin and oral mucosa and found in various human tissues and fluids. The aim of this review was to describe TCS exposure routes and levels as well as metabolism and transformation processes. The burgeoning literature on human health effects associated with TCS exposure, such as reproductive problems, was also summarized.

  7. Harmonizing human exposure and toxicity characterization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fantke, Peter; Jolliet, O.; McKone, T.E.

    2017-01-01

    The UNEP-SETAC Life Cycle Initiative has launched a project to provide global guidance and build consensus on environmental life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) indicators. Human health effects from exposure to toxic chemicals was selected as impact category due to high relevance of human toxicity...... impacts, past and present efforts in human toxicity assessment, and the need for further harmonization and global guidance. To address this need, an expert workshop was implemented in Utrecht in October 2016 with the aim of building a roadmap for a reliable and consistent approach for improving...... and use of impact factors for toxic chemicals. We propose to couple fate processes in consumer and occupational environments with existing environmental compartments and processes via a consistent and mass balance-based set of transfer fractions to quantify overall aggregated exposure to toxic substances...

  8. ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO TOLUENE DIISOCYANATE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    OLIVIA ANCA RUSU

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of human exposure to toluene diisocyanate. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI, an aromatic compound, may be dangerous for human health. Diisocyanates have wide industrial use in the fabrication of flexible and rigid foams, fibers, elastomers, and coatings such as paints and varnishes. Isocyanates are known skin and respiratory sensitizers, and proper engineering controls should be in place to prevent exposure to isocyanate liquid and vapor; exposure to TDI vapors is well documented to increase asthma risk. The study focused on the exposure of workers and nearby populations to toluene diisocyanate in a Polyurethane Foam Factory located in Baia Mare, Romania. Workplace air measurements were performed in different departments of the plant, after sampling either in fixed points or as personal monitoring. Sampling in four different locations of Baia Mare town was carried out, - during and after the foaming process. TDI sampling was performed on silica cartridge followed by GC-MS analysis. TDI concentration at workplace was lower than 0,035 mg/m³, which represents the permissible exposure limit, while in the city the TDI concentration had shown values below 0,20 μg/m³. Health assessment of a group of 49 workers was based on questionnaire interview, determination of TDI antibodies and lung function tests. Data collected until this stage do not show any negative effects of TDI on the employees health. Since this plant had only recently begun operating, continuous workplace and ambient air TDI monitoring, along with workers health surveillance, is deemed necessary.

  9. Postnatal exposure to methyl mercury from fish consumption: a review and new data from the Seychelles Child Development Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myers, Gary J; Thurston, Sally W; Pearson, Alexander T; Davidson, Philip W; Cox, Christopher; Shamlaye, Conrad F; Cernichiari, Elsa; Clarkson, Thomas W

    2009-05-01

    Fish is an important source of nutrition worldwide. Fish contain both the neurotoxin methyl mercury (MeHg) and nutrients important for brain development. The developing brain appears to be most sensitive to MeHg toxicity and mothers who consume fish during pregnancy expose their fetus prenatally. Although brain development is most dramatic during fetal life, it continues for years postnatally and additional exposure can occur when a mother breast feeds or the child consumes fish. This raises the possibility that MeHg might influence brain development after birth and thus adversely affect children's developmental outcomes. We reviewed postnatal MeHg exposure and the associations that have been published to determine the issues associated with it and then carried out a series of analyses involving alternative metrics of postnatal MeHg exposure in the Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS) Main Cohort. The SCDS is a prospective longitudinal evaluation of prenatal MeHg exposure from fish consumption. The Main Cohort includes 779 subjects on whom recent postnatal exposure data were collected at the 6-, 19-, 29-, 66-, and 107-month evaluations. We examined the association of recent postnatal MeHg exposure with multiple 66- and 107-month outcomes and then used three types of alternative postnatal exposure metrics to examine their association with the children's intelligence quotient (IQ) at 107 months of age. Recent postnatal exposure at 107 months of age was adversely associated with four endpoints, three in females only. One alternative postnatal metric was beneficially associated with 9-year IQ in males only. We found several associations between postnatal MeHg biomarkers and children's developmental endpoints. However, as has been the case with prenatal MeHg exposure in the SCDS Main Cohort study, no consistent pattern of associations emerged to support a causal relationship.

  10. Development of novel activated carbon-based adsorbents for the control of mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Radisav D. Vidic

    1999-03-01

    In addition to naturally occurring mercury sources, anthropogenic activities increase the mercury loading to the environment. Although not all produced mercury is dissipated directly into the environment, only minor portions of the total production are stocked or recycled, and the rest of the mercury and its compounds is finally released in some way into atmosphere, surface waters and soil, or ends in landfills dumps, and refuse. Since mercury and its compounds are highly toxic, their presence in the environment constitutes potential impact on all living organisms, including man. The first serious consequence of industrial mercury discharges causing neurological disorder even death occurred in Minimata, Japan in 1953. Systematic studies showed that mercury poisoning is mainly found in fish-eating populations. However, various levels of mercury are also found in food other than fish. During the past several decades, research has been conducted on the evaluation of risks due to exposure to mercury and the development of control technologies for mercury emissions. In 1990, the Clean Air Act Amendments listed mercury, along with 10 other metallic species, as a hazardous air pollutant (HAP). This has further stimulated research for mercury control during the past several years. The impact of mercury on humans, sources of mercury in the environment, current mercury control strategies and the objective of this research are discussed in this section.

  11. A Dose-Response Relationship between Organic Mercury Exposure from Thimerosal-Containing Vaccines and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David A. Geier

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A hypothesis testing case-control study evaluated concerns about the toxic effects of organic-mercury (Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing (49.55% Hg by weight vaccines on the risk of neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs. Automated medical records were examined to identify cases and controls enrolled from their date-of-birth (1991–2000 in the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD project. ND cases were diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD, specific developmental delay, tic disorder or hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood. In addition, putative non-thimerosal-related outcomes of febrile seizure, failure to thrive and cerebral degenerations were examined. The cumulative total dose of Hg exposure from thimerosal-containing hepatitis B vaccine (T-HBV administered within the first six months of life was calculated. On a per microgram of organic-Hg basis, PDD (odds ratio (OR = 1.054, specific developmental delay (OR = 1.035, tic disorder (OR = 1.034 and hyperkinetic syndrome of childhood (OR = 1.05 cases were significantly more likely than controls to receive increased organic-Hg exposure. By contrast, none of the non-thimerosal related outcomes were significantly more likely than the controls to have received increased organic-Hg exposure. Routine childhood vaccination may be an important public health tool to reduce infectious disease-associated morbidity/mortality, but the present study significantly associates organic-Hg exposure from T-HBV with an increased risk of an ND diagnosis.

  12. Chronic dietary mercury exposure causes oxidative stress, brain lesions, and altered behaviour in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) parr

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berntssen, Marc H.G.; Aatland, Aase; Handy, Richard D

    2003-10-08

    Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L.) parr were fed for 4 months on fish meal based diets supplemented with mercuric chloride (0, 10, or 100 mg Hg kg{sup -1} DW) or methylmercury chloride (0, 5, or 10 mg Hg kg{sup -1} DW) to assess the effects of inorganic (Hg) and organic dietary mercury on brain lipid peroxidation and neurotoxicity. Lipid peroxidative products, endogenous anti oxidant enzymes, brain histopathology, and overall behaviour were measured. Methylmercury accumulated significantly in the brain of fish fed 5 or 10 mg kg{sup -1} by the end of the experiment, and inorganic mercury accumulated significantly in the brain only at 100 mg kg{sup -1} exposure levels. No mortality or growth reduction was observed in any of the exposure groups. Fish fed 5 mg kg{sup -1} methylmercury had a significant increase (2-fold) in the antioxidant enzyme super oxide dismutase (SOD) in the brain. At dietary levels of 10 mg kg{sup -1} methylmercury, a significant increase (7-fold) was observed in lipid peroxidative products (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, TBARS) and a subsequently decrease (1.5-fold) in anti oxidant enzyme activity (SOD and glutathione peroxidase, GSH-Px). Fish fed 10 mg kg{sup -1} methylmercury also had pathological damage (vacoulation and necrosis), significantly reduced neural enzyme activity (5-fold reduced monoamine oxidase, MAO, activity), and reduced overall post-feeding activity behaviour. Pathological injury started in the brain stem and became more widespread in other areas of the brain at higher exposure levels. Fish fed 100 mg Hg kg{sup -1} inorganic mercury had significant reduced neural MAO activity and pathological changes (astrocyte proliferation) in the brain, however, neural SOD and GSH-Px enzyme activity, lipid peroxidative products (TBARS), and post feeding behaviour did not differ from controls. Compared with other organs, the brain is particular susceptible for dietary methylmercury induced lipid peroxidative stress at relative low

  13. Elemental mercury removal using a wet scrubber.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gonzalez, E.; Livengood, C. D.; Martin, K.; Mendelsohn, M. H.; Zhou, C. Q.

    1999-05-19

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that is emitted into the environment by both natural and human activities. Acute and chronic exposure to mercury and methyl mercury in humans results in central nervous system damage, kidney damage, and even death. Although some Hg emission sources have been regulated, coal-fired utilities have not been. In anticipation of federal regulations on mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has designed a flue gas simulation system to study the removal of elemental mercury. The simulated flue gas enters the system and combines with the inlet mercury vapor (from a calibrated permeation tube), carried by nitrogen gas. This combined gas continues past the flow meter and the pressure gage to the reactor inlet. Inside the reactor chamber, the flue gas is sprayed with NOXSORB{reg_sign}, a chloric acid solution, which reacts with elemental mercury. The amount of reaction (oxidation) of elemental mercury is important since mercury in an oxidized form is highly soluble, In this form, the Hg can be picked up downstream by a wet scrubber from fossil-fuel burning utilities. Experiments on mercury removal from flue gases have been conducted at ANL, with the participation of a senior design team from Purdue University Calumet. Temperature variations ranging from room temperature to 350 F have been studied. Other parameters, such as the concentration of NOXSORB{reg_sign}, were also tested. Furthermore, pump speed and sprayer droplet sizes of the NOXSORB{reg_sign} solution were studied. A literature survey on the current and proposed mercury control legislation, along with the existing control technologies, has been performed as part of the senior design project. With guidance from ANL, an understanding of the simulation system has been developed. This information has been used to determine the mass transfer. Another literature survey was performed on the reaction kinetics of mercury. The information obtained was

  14. Human Biomonitoring Data from Mercury Exposed Miners in Six Artisanal Small-Scale Gold Mining Areas in Asia and Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Baeuml

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Objectives: In artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM areas in many developing countries, mercury (Hg is used to extract gold from ore. Data of 1250 participants from Indonesia, Mongolia, Philippines, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe were combined to analyze the relation between exposure in ASGM areas and body burden. Methods: Four groups were selected relating to their intensity of contact with mercury: (i a non-exposed control group; (ii a low exposed group with participants only living in mining areas, but not working as miners; (iii a medium exposed group, miners living in exposed areas and working with mercury without smelting amalgam; and (iv a high exposed group, miners living in exposed areas and smelting amalgam. Results: Compared to the non-exposed control group, participants living and/ or miners working in highly exposed areas have significantly higher concentration of total mercury in urine, hair and blood (p-value < 0.001. The median mercury value in urine in the control group is < 0.2 µg/L. In the high exposed group of amalgam smelters, the median in urine is 12.0 µg/L. The median in blood in the control group is < 0.93 µg/L. The median level in blood of the high exposed group is 7.56 µg/L. The median for mercury in hair samples from the control group is 0.21 µg/g. In the high exposed group the median hair concentration is 2.4 µg/g hair. Mercury levels also differ considerably between the countries, reflecting a diverse background burden due to different fish eating habits and different work place methods. Conclusions: A high percentage of exposed individuals had levels above threshold values. These high levels of mercury are likely to be related with serious health problems.

  15. Absorption and excretion of mercury in man. VI. Significance of mercury in urine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jacobs, M.B.; Ladd, A.C.; Goldwater, L.J.

    1964-10-01

    The recent literature dealing with mercury in urine of humans has been reviewed and some new data have been developed. On a group basis, there appears to be good correlation between levels of mercury exposure and levels of urinary excretion. This relationship does not always hold for an individual. There is no clear-cut evidence that workers presumed to have unchanged conditions of exposure will show either an increase or decrease in urinary mercury as duration of exposure increases. Levels of mercury in the urine show little or no correlation with manifestation of poisoning. There appears to be no level above which symptoms cannot occur. The empirical use of arbitrary levels in control programs may result in the imposition of unnecessary restrictions. Present evidence suggests that mercury can be found in 20% of ''normal'' urines. Concentrations up to 100..mu..g/liter or more have been found but rarely is the figure greater than 50..mu..g/liter. Wide fluctuations in the hourly and daily excretion of mercury in urine are common in exposed persons. Present knowledge does not justify the application of specific gravity corrections to mercury in urine.

  16. Exposure to Hedione Increases Reciprocity in Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastian Berger

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Cooperation among unrelated humans is frequently regarded as a defining feature in the evolutionary success of our species. Whereas, much research has addressed the strategic and cognitive mechanisms that underlie cooperation, investigations into chemosensory processes have received very limited research attention. To bridge that gap, we build on recent research that has identified the chemically synthesized odorant Hedione (HED as a ligand for the putative human pheromone receptor (VN1R1 expressed in the olfactory mucosa, and hypothesize that exposure to HED may increase reciprocity. Applying behavioral economics paradigms, the present research shows that exposure to the ligand causes differentiated behavioral effects in reciprocal punishments (Study 1 as well as rewards (Study 2, two types of behaviors that are frequently regarded as essential for the development and maintenance of cooperation.

  17. Human biological monitoring of occupational genotoxic exposures

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Knudsen, Lisbeth E.; Sorsa, M

    1993-01-01

    .g. the quantitation of identified DNA-adducts or substance unspecific as is the measurement of DNA-repair. The sample material used for analysis must be well characterized and subject to uniform processing for comparison of the results. Confounding factors of smoking, age and sex must be well controlled......) occupational exposure limit value of styrene in ambient air. The consideration of ethical issues in human genetic monitoring is an important but often overlooked aspect. This includes the scientific and preventional relevance of performing a test on individuals, pre- and post study information of donors......Human biological monitoring is a valuable tool for exposure assessment in groups of persons occupationally exposed to genotoxic agents. If the monitoring activity covers genetic material the term genetic monitoring is used. The methods used for genetic monitoring are either substance specific, e...

  18. Egg white hydrolysate promotes neuroprotection for neuropathic disorders induced by chronic exposure to low concentrations of mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzetti, Danize Aparecida; Fernandez, Francisca; Moreno, Silvia; Uranga Ocio, José Antonio; Peçanha, Franck Maciel; Vera, Gema; Vassallo, Dalton Valentim; Castro, Marta Miguel; Wiggers, Giulia Alessandra

    2016-09-01

    This study aims to investigate whether the egg white hydrolysate (EWH) acts on the neuropathic disorders associated with long-term Mercury (Hg) exposure in rats. 8- week-old male Wistar rats were treated for 60 days with: a) Control - saline solution (i.m.); b) Mercury - HgCl2 (1st dose 4.6μg/kg, subsequent doses 0.07μg/kg/day, i.m.); c) Hydrolysate - EWH (1g/kg/day, gavage); d) Mercury and Hydrolysate. Mechanical allodynia was assessed using Von Frey Hairs test; heat hyperalgesia by the plantar test; catalepsy by a modification of the "ring test" and spontaneous locomotor activity by a photocell activity chambers. Analyses were performed at 0, 30 and 60 days of treatment. Brain and plasma MDA, plasma NPSH and TNF-α determination and skin immunohistochemistry were performed at 60 days. Hg induced a reduction in mechanical sensitivity threshold at 30 and 60 days and in thermal sensitivity threshold at 60 days. At the end of treatment catalepsy was developed, but there was not significant alteration in spontaneous locomotor activity. Hg also increased brain and plasma MDA, plasma NPSH and TNF-α levels and the number of Merkel cell-neurite complex in the skin. EWH prevented the development of mechanical allodynia, thermal hyperalgesia and catalepsy induced by Hg and the increase in MDA concentration in brain and plasma and in the number of Merkel cell-neurite complex in the skin. In conclusion, EWH promotes neuroprotection against the toxic effects caused by Hg, demonstrating a beneficial therapeutic potential. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Ameliorative effects of egg white hydrolysate on recognition memory impairments associated with chronic exposure to low mercury concentration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rizzetti, Danize Aparecida; Altermann, Caroline Dalla Colletta; Martinez, Caroline Silveira; Peçanha, Franck Maciel; Vassallo, Dalton Valentim; Uranga-Ocio, José Antonio; Castro, Marta Miguel; Wiggers, Giulia Alessandra; Mello-Carpes, Pâmela Billig

    2016-12-01

    The study aimed to investigate whether the Egg White Hydrolysate (EWH) is able to prevent the recognition memory disorders associated with long-term Hg exposure in rats. For this, male Wistar rats were treated for 60 days with: a) Untreated: saline solution (i.m.); b) Hydrolysate: EWH (1 g/kg/day, gavage); c) Mercury: HgCl2 (1st dose 4.6 μg/kg, subsequent doses 0.07 μg/kg/day, i.m.); d) Hydrolysate-Mercury. Object recognition memory test was performed to verify Short (STM) and Long-Term Memory (LTM) and Open Field, Plus Maze and Tail Flick tests were performed as control for behavioural experiments. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) in the hippocampus were determined by the dichlorofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) method, malondialdehyde (MDA) levels by TBARS, antioxidant power by FRAP assay and total Hg concentration by atomic fluorescence spectrometry. We confirm that the STM and LTM were impaired in adult rats exposed to Hg at low concentrations, which may be related to the increased metal deposition, ROS production and subsequent oxidative damage in the hippocampus. In addition, we demonstrated for the first time that EWH treatment is able to prevent memory impairment induced by Hg exposure, reducing Hg content and ROS production in the hippocampus. In conclusion, EWH prevents memory impairments induced by chronic exposure to low doses of Hg. These findings may represent a good public health strategy since they indicate that EWH is a promising candidate as a new natural therapy for heavy metal intoxication. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Tracking overwintering areas of fish-eating birds to identify mercury exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavoie, Raphael A; Kyser, T Kurt; Friesen, Vicki L; Campbell, Linda M

    2015-01-20

    Migration patterns are believed to greatly influence concentrations of contaminants in birds due to accumulation in spatially and temporally distinct ecosystems. Two species of fish-eating birds, the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) and the Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) breeding in Lake Ontario were chosen to measure the impact of overwintering location on mercury concentrations ([Hg]). We characterized (1) overwintering areas using stable isotopes of hydrogen (δ(2)H) and band recoveries, and (2) overwintering habitats by combining information from stable isotopes of sulfur (δ(34)S), carbon (δ(13)C), nitrogen (δ(15)N), and δ(2)H in feathers grown during the winter. Overall, overwintering location had a significant effect on [Hg]. Both species showed high [Hg] in (13)C-rich habitats. In situ production of Hg (e.g., through sulfate reducing bacteria in sediments) and allochthonous import could explain high [Hg] in birds visiting (13)C-rich habitats. Higher [Hg] were found in birds with high δ(2)H, suggesting that Hg is more bioavailable in southern overwintering locations. Hotspot maps informed that higher [Hg] in birds were found at the limit of their southeastern overwintering range. Mercury concentrations in winter feathers were positively related to predicted spatial pattern of [Hg] in fish using the National Descriptive Model of Mercury in Fish (NDMMF) based on bird spatial assignment (using δ(2)H). This study indicates that the overwintering location greatly influences [Hg].

  1. Pesticide exposure: human cancers on the horizon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaga, K; Brosius, D

    1999-01-01

    Dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane, a halogenated hydrocarbon, was introduced as an insecticide in the 1940s. In her book "Silent Spring", Rachel Carson expressed her concern for the environment, plants, animals, and human health about the potential harmful effects of such chemicals. In 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency banned the chemical in the USA. DDT and its metabolite DDE are lipid soluble compounds that persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in the body in adipose tissue at levels far higher than those in blood and breast milk. This paper evaluates the possibility of cancer occurring in humans from DDT exposure. Some risk of lymphoma, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and breast cancer was found in humans exposed to DDT. Animal studies showed a significant association between DDT administration and lymphoma, respiratory cancer, liver cancer, and estrogenic effects on mammary tissue. On the basis of on epidemiological principles, human studies were deficient in adequate sample sizes and were not exempt from such confounding factors as multiple chemical exposure, lifestyle factors, genetic, and other environmental influences. Extrapolation of data on DDT toxicity from animals to humans has limitations. With the persistence of DDT and DDE in the environment, the potential risk to the health of man, animals, and the environment remains.

  2. Increased Release of Mercury from Dental Amalgam Fillings due to Maternal Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields as a Possible Mechanism for the High Rates of Autism in the Offspring: Introducing a Hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortazavi, Gh; Haghani, M; Rastegarian, N; Zarei, S; Mortazavi, S M J

    2016-03-01

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO), factors such as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have led to steadily increasing exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields.  Dental amalgam fillings are among the major sources of exposure to elemental mercury vapour in the general population. Although it was previously believed that low levels are mercury (i.g. release of mercury from dental amalgam) is not hazardous, now numerous data indicate that even very low doses of mercury cause toxicity. There are some evidence indicating that perinatal exposure to mercury is significantly associated with an increased risk of developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Furthermore, mercury can decrease the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, noreprenephrine, and acetylcholine in the brain and cause neurological problems. On the other hand, a strong positive correlation between maternal and cord blood mercury levels is found in some studies. We have previously shown that exposure to MRI or microwave radiation emitted by common mobile phones can lead to increased release of mercury from dental amalgam fillings. Moreover, when we investigated the effects of MRI machines with stronger magnetic fields, our previous findings were confirmed. As a strong association between exposure to electromagnetic fields and mercury level has been found in our previous studies, our findings can lead us to this conclusion that maternal exposure to electromagnetic fields in mothers with dental amalgam fillings may cause elevated levels of mercury and trigger the increase in autism rates. Further studies are needed to have a better understanding of the possible role of the increased mercury level after exposure to electromagnetic fields and the rate of autism spectrum disorders in the offspring.

  3. Increased Release of Mercury from Dental Amalgam Fillings due to Maternal Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields as a Possible Mechanism for the High Rates of Autism in the Offspring: Introducing a Hypothesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mortazavi Gh.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available According to the World Health Organization (WHO, factors such as growing electricity demand, ever-advancing technologies and changes in social behaviour have led to steadily increasing exposure to man-made electromagnetic fields. Dental amalgam fillings are among the major sources of exposure to elemental mercury vapour in the general population. Although it was previously believed that low levels are mercury (i.g. release of mercury from dental amalgam is not hazardous, now numerous data indicate that even very low doses of mercury cause toxicity. There are some evidence indicating that perinatal exposure to mercury is significantly associated with an increased risk of developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD. Furthermore, mercury can decrease the levels of neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin, noreprenephrine, and acetylcholine in the brain and cause neurological problems. On the other hand, a strong positive correlation between maternal and cord blood mercury levels is found in some studies. We have previously shown that exposure to MRI or microwave radiation emitted by common mobile phones can lead to increased release of mercury from dental amalgam fillings. Moreover, when we investigated the effects of MRI machines with stronger magnetic fields, our previous findings were confirmed. As a strong association between exposure to electromagnetic fields and mercury level has been found in our previous studies, our findings can lead us to this conclusion that maternal exposure to electromagnetic fields in mothers with dental amalgam fillings may cause elevated levels of mercury and trigger the increase in autism rates. Further studies are needed to have a better understanding of the possible role of the increased mercury level after exposure to electromagnetic fields and the rate of autism spectrum disorders in the offspring.

  4. Environmental Exposures to Lead, Mercury, and Cadmium and Hearing Loss in Adults and Adolescents: KNHANES 2010-2012.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Yoon-Hyeing; Park, Sung Kyun

    2017-06-08

    The prevalence of hearing loss increases rapidly with aging. Hearing loss is common in all age groups, even in young adults and adolescents. A growing body of evidence has suggested that heavy metals have ototoxic effects, yet few epidemiological studies have investigated the association between heavy metals and hearing loss in a general population that includes adults and adolescents. We examined the association between environmental exposures to lead, mercury, and cadmium and the risk of hearing loss in adults and adolescents while controlling for potential confounding factors, including noise exposures and clinical factors. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 5,187 adults and 853 adolescents in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2012. Pure-tone average (PTA) of hearing thresholds at high frequency (3, 4, and 6 kHz) were computed, and hearing loss was defined as a PTA>25 dB in adults and PTA>15 dB in adolescents. In adults, the highest (vs. lowest) quartiles of blood lead and cadmium were associated with 1.70 (95% CI: 1.25, 2.31) and 1.47 (95% CI: 1.05, 2.05) odds ratios for high-frequency hearing loss (p-trendadults or adolescents. The results of the present study suggest that exposure to environmental lead and cadmium in adults and exposure to environmental cadmium in adolescents may play a role in the risk of hearing loss. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP565.

  5. Multiple experimental approaches of immunotoxic effects of mercury chloride in the blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, through in vivo, in tubo and in vitro exposures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duchemin, Matthieu B. [Laboratoire des sciences de l' environnement marin, UMR CNRS 6539, Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Place Nicolas Copernic, 29 280 Plouzane (France); INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 245 Hymus, Pointe-Claire, H9R 1G6 Quebec (Canada)], E-mail: matthieu.duchemin@univ-brest.fr; Auffret, Michel; Wessel, Nathalie [Laboratoire des sciences de l' environnement marin, UMR CNRS 6539, Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Place Nicolas Copernic, 29 280 Plouzane (France); Fortier, Marlene; Morin, Yves [INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 245 Hymus, Pointe-Claire, H9R 1G6 Quebec (Canada); Pellerin, Jocelyne [Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski, Universite du Quebec a Rimouski, 310 Allee des Ursulines, Rimouski, G5L 3A1 Quebec (Canada); Fournier, Michel [INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, 245 Hymus, Pointe-Claire, H9R 1G6 Quebec (Canada); Institut des Sciences de la Mer de Rimouski, Universite du Quebec a Rimouski, 310 Allee des Ursulines, Rimouski, G5L 3A1 Quebec (Canada)

    2008-05-15

    Biological impairments due to mercury discharge into the environment are now an issue of global concern. From the three forms of mercury found in aquatic ecosystems, the immunotoxic effects of mercury chloride were examined in the model animal, the blue mussel. In order to investigate the toxic potency of this chemical, three exposure regimes were carried out: chronic exposure of groups of individuals, a new protocol 'in tubo' designed for sub-acute exposures of individuals, and acute exposures of target cells. Chronic exposure revealed significant immunotoxic effects after 7 days at 10{sup -6} M, while acute exposures showed significant inhibition of phagocytosis at 10{sup -4} M and 10{sup -3} M. In sub-acute exposures both circulating haemocytes and haemocyte mortality increased at 10{sup -4} M and 10{sup -3} M while phagocytosis and the clearance rate drew hormetic toxic effects on healthy individuals. These results suggest the use of the 'in tubo' design for bivalve toxicological individual studies. - HgCl{sub 2} impairs the immune system of test-tube mussels.

  6. Maternal mercury exposure, season of conception and adverse birth outcomes in an urban immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashore, Cynthia J; Geer, Laura A; He, Xin; Puett, Robin; Parsons, Patrick J; Palmer, Christopher D; Steuerwald, Amy J; Abulafia, Ovadia; Dalloul, Mudar; Sapkota, Amir

    2014-08-18

    Adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth (PTB: mercury (Hg) exposure and season of conception in an urban immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York. We recruited 191 pregnant women aged 18-45 in a Brooklyn Prenatal Clinic and followed them until delivery. Urine specimens were collected from the participants during the 6th to 9th month of pregnancy. Cord blood specimens and neonate anthropometric data were collected at birth. We used multivariate logistic regression models to investigate the odds of LBW or PTB with either maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We used linear regression models to investigate the association between continuous anthropometric outcomes and maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We also examined the association between LBW and PTB and the season that pregnancy began. Results showed higher rates of PTB and LBW in this cohort of women compared to other studies. Pregnancies beginning in winter (December, January, February) were at increased odds of LBW births compared with births from pregnancies that began in all other months (OR7.52 [95% CI 1.65, 34.29]). We observed no association between maternal exposure to Hg, and either LBW or PTB. The apparent lack of association is consistent with other studies. Further examination of seasonal association with LBW is warranted.

  7. EDITORIAL: Mercury-free discharges for lighting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haverlag, M.

    2007-07-01

    This special Cluster of articles in Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics covers the subject of mercury-free discharges that are being investigated by different light source researchers, as an alternative to existing mercury-containing lamps. The main driving force to move away from mercury-containing discharge light sources is connected to the environmentally unfriendly nature of mercury. After inhalation or direct contact, severe mercury exposure can lead to damage to human brain cells, the kidneys, the liver and the nervous system. For this reason, the use of mercury in products is becoming more and more restricted by different governmental bodies. In the lighting industry, however, many products still make use of mercury, for different reasons. The main reason is that mercury-containing products are, in most cases, more efficient than mercury-free products. For a realistic comparison of the environmental impact, the mercury-contamination due to electricity production must be taken into account, which depends on the type of fuel being used. For an average European fuel-mix, the amount of mercury that is released into the environment is around 29 μg kWh-1. This means that a typical 30 W TL lamp during a lifetime of 20,000 hours will release a total of about 20 mg mercury due to electricity production, which exceeds the total mercury dose in the lamp (more and more of which is being recycled) by a factor of 5-10 for a modern TL lamp. This illustrates that, quite apart from other environmental arguments like increased CO2 production, mercury-free alternatives that use more energy can in fact be detrimental for the total mercury pollution over the lifetime of the lamp. For this reason, the lighting industry has concentrated on lowering the mercury content in lamps as long as no efficient alternatives exist. Nevertheless, new initiatives for HID lamps and fluorescent lamps with more or less equal efficiency are underway, and a number of them are described in this

  8. Cell death effects of resin-based dental material compounds and mercurials in human gingival fibroblasts

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reichl, Franz-Xaver [Walther-Straub-Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich (Germany); Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, Munich (Germany); Esters, Magali; Simon, Sabine; Seiss, Mario [Walther-Straub-Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich (Germany); Kehe, Kai [Bundeswehr Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Munich (Germany); Kleinsasser, Norbert [University of Regensburg, Head and Neck Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology, Regensburg (Germany); Folwaczny, Matthias; Glas, Juergen; Hickel, Reinhard [Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology, Munich (Germany)

    2006-06-15

    In order to test the hypothesis that released dental restorative materials can reach toxic levels in human oral tissues, the cytotoxicities of the resin-based dental (co)monomers hydroxyethylmethacrylate (HEMA), triethyleneglycoldimethacrylate (TEGDMA), urethanedimethacrylate (UDMA), and bisglycidylmethacrylate (BisGMA) compared with methyl mercury chloride (MeHgCl) and the amalgam component mercuric chloride (HgCl{sub 2}) were investigated on human gingival fibroblasts (HGF) using two different test systems: (1) the modified XTT-test and (2) the modified H 33342 staining assay. The HGF were exposed to various concentrations of the test-substances in all test systems for 24 h. All tested (co)monomers and mercury compounds significantly (P<0.05) decreased the formazan formation in the XTT-test. EC{sub 50} values in the XTT assay were obtained as half-maximum-effect concentrations from fitted curves. Following EC{sub 50} values were found (mean [mmol/l]; s.e.m. in parentheses; n=12; * significantly different to HEMA): HEMA 11.530 (0.600); TEGDMA* 3.460 (0.200); UDMA* 0.106 (0.005); BisGMA* 0.087 (0.001); HgCl{sub 2}* 0.013 (0.001); MeHgCl* 0.005 (0.001). Following relative toxicities were found: HEMA 1; TEGDMA 3; UDMA 109; BisGMA 133; HgCl{sub 2} 887; MeHgCl 2306. A significant (P<0.05) increase of the toxicity of (co)monomers and mercurials was found in the XTT-test in the following order: HEMA < TEGDMA < UDMA < BisGMA < HgCl{sub 2} < MeHgCl. TEGDMA and MeHgCl induced mainly apoptotic cell death. HEMA, UDMA, BisGMA, and HgCl{sub 2} induced mainly necrotic cell death. The results of this study indicate that resin composite components have a lower toxicity than mercury from amalgam in HGF. HEMA, BisGMA, UDMA, and HgCl{sub 2} induced mainly necrosis, but it is rather unlikely that eluted substances (solely) can reach concentrations, which might induce necrotic cell death in the human physiological situation, indicating that other (additional) factors may be involved in

  9. Oral Lichenoid Contact Lesions to Mercury and Dental Amalgam—A Review

    OpenAIRE

    McParland, Helen; Warnakulasuriya, Saman

    2012-01-01

    Human oral mucosa is subjected to many noxious stimuli. One of these substances, in those who have restorations, is dental amalgam which contains mercury. This paper focuses on the local toxic effects of amalgam and mercury from dental restorations. Components of amalgam may, in rare instances, cause local side effects or allergic reactions referred to as oral lichenoid lesions (OLLs). OLLs to amalgams are recognised as hypersensitivity reactions to low-level mercury exposure. The use of patc...

  10. A longitudinal study of mercury exposure associated with consumption of freshwater fish from a reservoir in rural south central USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhao; Jim, Rebecca C; Hatley, Earl L; Backus, Ann S N; Shine, James P; Spengler, John D; Schaider, Laurel A

    2015-01-01

    Methylmercury (MeHg) exposure through fish consumption is a worldwide health concern. Saltwater fish account for most dietary MeHg exposure in the general U.S. population, but less is known about seasonal variations in MeHg exposure and fish consumption among millions of freshwater anglers. This longitudinal study examined associations between MeHg exposure and fish consumption in a rural, low-income population relying on a freshwater reservoir (Oklahoma, USA) for recreational and subsistence fishing. We interviewed 151 participants, primarily anglers and their families, seasonally for one year using 90-day recall food frequency questionnaires to assess general and species-specific fish consumption, and tested hair biomarker samples for total mercury (THg hair). Mean THg hair was 0.27 μg/g (n=595, range: 0.0044-3.1 μg/g), with 4% of participants above U.S. EPA's guideline for women of childbearing age and children. Mean fish consumption was 58 g/d (95% CI: 49-67 g/d), within the range previously reported for recreational freshwater anglers and above the national average. Unlike the general U.S. population, freshwater species contributed the majority of fish consumption (69%) and dietary Hg exposure (60%) among participants, despite relatively low THg in local fish. THg hair increased with fish consumption, age, and education, and was higher among male participants and the lowest in winter. Our results suggest that future studies of anglers should consider seasonality in fish consumption and MeHg exposure and include household members who share their catch. Efforts to evaluate benefits of reducing Hg emissions should consider dietary patterns among consumers of fish from local freshwater bodies. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. The influence of fish length on tissue mercury dynamics: implications for natural resource management and human health risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sackett, Dana K; Cope, W Gregory; Rice, James A; Aday, D Derek

    2013-02-06

    Consumption of fish has well-known human health benefits, though some fish may contain elevated levels of mercury (Hg) that are especially harmful to developing children. Fish length is most often the basis for establishing fishery harvest regulations that determine which fish will ultimately be consumed by humans. It is, therefore, essential to quantify the relationship between fish length and Hg accumulation in regard to harvest regulations for effective fishery and public health policy. We examined this relationship for three sportfish from six lakes across North Carolina, USA. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) had the lowest Hg levels and only the very largest fish in the most contaminated site exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Hg screening level. Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus) had an intermediate level of Hg and larger individuals exceeded the USEPA screening level; however, they tended not to exceed this level before reaching the harvest length limit. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) exceeded the USEPA screening level at sizes below the fishery length limit in two lakes, leaving only higher risk fish for anglers to harvest and consume. Removing the effects of fish age and trophic position, we found strong positive correlations between Hg and fish length for largemouth bass and black crappie. We suggest public health officials and wildlife managers collaborate to structure fishery regulations and length-based fish consumption advisories that protect consumers from Hg exposure and communicate the relative risk of fish consumption.

  12. The Influence of Fish Length on Tissue Mercury Dynamics: Implications for Natural Resource Management and Human Health Risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Derek Aday

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Consumption of fish has well-known human health benefits, though some fish may contain elevated levels of mercury (Hg that are especially harmful to developing children. Fish length is most often the basis for establishing fishery harvest regulations that determine which fish will ultimately be consumed by humans. It is, therefore, essential to quantify the relationship between fish length and Hg accumulation in regard to harvest regulations for effective fishery and public health policy. We examined this relationship for three sportfish from six lakes across North Carolina, USA. Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus had the lowest Hg levels and only the very largest fish in the most contaminated site exceeded the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA Hg screening level. Black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus had an intermediate level of Hg and larger individuals exceeded the USEPA screening level; however, they tended not to exceed this level before reaching the harvest length limit. Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides exceeded the USEPA screening level at sizes below the fishery length limit in two lakes, leaving only higher risk fish for anglers to harvest and consume. Removing the effects of fish age and trophic position, we found strong positive correlations between Hg and fish length for largemouth bass and black crappie. We suggest public health officials and wildlife managers collaborate to structure fishery regulations and length-based fish consumption advisories that protect consumers from Hg exposure and communicate the relative risk of fish consumption.

  13. Toxicological responses to acute mercury exposure for three species of Manila clam Ruditapes philippinarum by NMR-based metabolomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoli; Zhang, Linbao; You, Liping; Cong, Ming; Zhao, Jianmin; Wu, Huifeng; Li, Chenghua; Liu, Dongyan; Yu, Junbao

    2011-03-01

    The Manila clam (Ruditapes philippinarum) has been considered a good sentinel species for metal pollution monitoring in estuarine tidal flats. Along the Bohai coast of China, there are dominantly distributed three species of clams (White, Liangdao Red and Zebra in Yantai population) endowed with distinct tolerances to environmental stressors. In this study, adductor muscle samples were collected from both control and acute mercury exposed White, Liangdao Red and Zebra clams, and the extracts were analyzed by NMR-based metabolomics to compare the metabolic profiles and responses to the acute mercury exposure to determine the most sensitive clam species capable of acting as abioindicator for heavy metal pollution monitoring. The major abundant metabolites in the White clam sample were branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine), lactate, arginine, aspartate, acetylcholine, homarine and ATP/ADP, while the metabolite profile of Zebra clam sample comprised high levels of glutamine, acetoacetate, betaine, taurine and one unidentified metabolite. For the Liangdao Red clam sample, the metabolite profile relatively exhibited high amount of branched-chain amino acids, arginine, glutamate, succinate, acetylcholine, homarine and two unassigned metabolites. After 48h exposure of 20μgL(-1) Hg(2+), the metabolic profiles showed significant differences between three clam species, which included increased lactate, succinate, taurine, acetylcholine, betaine and homarine and decreased alanine, arginine, glutamine, glutamate, acetoacetate, glycine and ATP/ADP in White clam samples, and elevated succinate, taurine and acetylcholine, and declined glutamine, glycine, and aspartate in Liangdao Red clam samples, while the increased branched-chain amino acids, lactate, succinate, acetylcholine and homarine, and reduced alanine, acetoacetate, glycine and taurine were observed in the Zebra clam samples. Overall, our findings showed that White clams could be a preferable

  14. Mercury exposure and health impacts among individuals in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining community: a comprehensive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Herman; O'Leary, Keri Grace

    2014-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) is used in gold mining to extract gold from ore by forming "amalgam"-a mixture composed of approximately equal parts mercury and gold. Approximately 15 million people, including approximately 3 million women and children, participate in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in developing countries. Thirty-seven percent of global air emissions of Hg are produced by ASGM. The recently adopted Minamata Convention calls for nations to gather health data, train health-care workers, and raise awareness in regard to ASGM activity. The purpose of our review was to evaluate the current literature regarding the health effects of Hg among those working and/or living in or near ASGM communities. We searched PubMed, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar for studies relating to health effects and biomarkers of Hg exposure in ASGM communities. Articles published from 1990 through December 2012 were evaluated for relevance. Studies reporting health assessments, kidney dysfunction, neurological disorders and symptoms, and immunotoxicity/autoimmune dysfunction in individuals living in or near an ASGM community were identified. More than 60 studies that measured biomarkers of Hg exposure in individuals living in or near ASGM communities were also identified. These studies, conducted in 19 different countries in South America, Asia, and Africa, demonstrated that hair and urine concentrations are well above World Health Organization health guidance values in ASGM communities. ASGM workers and their families are exposed to Hg vapor, and workers, workers' families, and residents of nearby and downstream communities are consuming fish heavily contaminated with methylmercury.

  15. Microarray Analysis of Mercury-Induced Changes in Gene Expression in Human Liver Carcinoma (HepG2 Cells: Importance in Immune Responses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul B. Tchounwou

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is widely distributed in the biosphere, and its toxic effects have been associated with human death and several ailments that include cardiovascular diseases, anemia, kidney and liver damage, developmental abnormalities, neurobehavioral disorders, autoimmune diseases, and cancers in experimental animals. At the cellular level, mercury has been shown to interact with sulphydryl groups of proteins and enzymes, to damage DNA, and to modulate cell cycle progression and/or apoptosis. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of mercury toxicity remain to be elucidated. Our laboratory has demonstrated that mercury exposure induces cytotoxicity and apoptosis, modulates cell cycle, and transcriptionally activates specific stress genes in human liver carcinoma cells. The liver is one of the few organs capable of regeneration from injury. Dormant genes in the liver are therefore capable of reactivation. In this research, we hypothesize that mercury-induced hepatotoxicity is associated with the modulation of specific gene expressions in liver cells that can lead to several disease states involving immune system dysfunctions. In testing this hypothesis, we used an Affymetrix oligonucleotide microarray with probe sets complementary to more than 20,000 genes to determine whether patterns of gene expressions differ between controls and mercury (1-3μg/mL treated cells. There was a clear separation in gene expression profiles between controls and mercury-treated cells. Hierarchical cluster analysis identified 2,211 target genes that were affected. One hundred and thirty-eight of these genes were up-regulated, among which forty three were significantly over-expressed (p = 0.001 with greater than a two-fold change, and ninety five genes were moderately over-expressed with an increase of more than one fold (p = 0.004. Two thousand and twentythree genes were down-regulated with only forty five of them reaching a statistically significant decline at

  16. Randomized controlled trial demonstrates that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not adversely affect neurological development in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackert, J Rodway

    2010-03-01

    The study subjects were 507 children (228 females and 279 males) from the Casa Pia school system in Lisbon, Portugal; the same cohort of children used in a previous study. The children were 8 to 12 years old at the time of enrollment in the study, which began in January of 1997. To be included in the study, a child must have had at baseline at least one carious lesion in a permanent tooth, no previous exposure to amalgam treatments, urinary mercury level less than 10 mg/L, blood lead level less than 15 mg/dL, IQ greater than or equal to 67 as obtained with the Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, and no interfering health condition. Study subjects were randomly assigned to receive dental treatment with either amalgam or resin-based composite for posterior restorations (and composite for all anterior restorations). By the end of year 1, the participants had a mean of 8.3 surfaces restored with amalgam, and the mean number of surfaces restored varied between 7.7 and 10.7 during the 7 years of follow-up. The primary outcome measures for the study were the presence of neurological hard signs (NHSs), such as tremor, and the presence and severity of neurological soft signs (NSSs), such as synkinesias. NHSs were scored as present or absent. Tremor was reported separately from other NHSs because of its relationship to mercury toxicity. Observation of NSSs did not begin until follow-up year 2, so there were no baseline data for NSSs. NSSs were evaluated using the examination described by Peters et al, and each item was scored from 0 (absent) to 3 (maximum deviation). Over the 7-year duration of the study, there were slight differences in the percentages of subjects exhibiting any NHSs (including tremor, which was reported separately) between the 2 treatment groups, but the directions of the differences were not consistent from year to year, and the differences were not statistically significant in any year. No statistically significant difference in NSSs

  17. Biomarkers of human exposure to ochratoxin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, Peter M

    2005-01-01

    Low blood serum/plasma concentrations of ochratoxin A (OTA) have been reported for healthy persons in more than 20 countries. Epidemiology studies in Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia have found significantly higher serum or plasma levels of OTA in patients with certain kidney disorders compared to healthy people, although the association may not be a causal one. Regional variations within one country, seasonal differences and variation within one person were found in some studies. Correlations with age and gender have not usually been detected. Detection limits using liquid chromatographic methods are about 0.02-0.1 ng ml(-1) plasma/serum so that incidences of positives often are 50-100%, reflecting widespread and continuous exposure of humans to OTA. In a study in the UK, OTA in urine was found to be a better indicator of OTA consumption than OTA in plasma. Nevertheless, blood plasma concentrations have been widely used to estimate dietary intake of OTA, using equations relating it with plasma concentration, plasma clearance and bioavailability. A further source of human exposure is airborne dust. OTA has been detected in human milk in several countries and comparisons with serum/blood levels have been made in Germany and Sweden.

  18. Mercury content in amalgam tattoos of human oral mucosa and its relation to local tissue reactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forsell, M.; Larsson, B.; Ljungqvist, A.; Carlmark, B.; Johansson, O

    1998-02-01

    Mucosal biopsies from 48 patients with and 9 without amalgam tattoos were analysed with respect to their mercury content, distribution of mercury in the tissue, and histological tissue reactions. The distribution of mercury was assessed by auto-metallography (AMG), a silver amplification technique. The mercury content was determined by energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (EDXRF), a multielemental analysis. Mercury was observed in connective tissue where it was confined to fibroblasts and macrophages, in vessel walls and in structures with the histological character of nerve fibres. A correlation was found between the histopathological tissue reaction, the type of mercury deposition, the intensity of the AMG reaction, and the mercury content. Mercury was also found in patients with amalgam dental fittings but without amalgam tattoos. (au) 24 refs.

  19. Elemental changes in hemolymph and urine of Rhodnius prolixus induced by in-vitro exposure to mercury: A study using SR-TXRF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mantuano, Andrea; Barroso, Regina C. [Physics Institute/State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ), RJ (Brazil); Almeida, Andre P. de; Braz, Delson [Nuclear Engineering Program/COPPE/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Cardoso, Simone C. [Physics Institute/Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Penna, Patricia A.; Gonzalez, Marcelo S. [Laboratory of Biochemistry and Physiology of Insects/Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil)

    2011-07-01

    Full text: In the last years have been studied the effects of the pollution of humans and others vertebrates, however, the effects on invertebrates are poorly knows. Some pollutants introduced in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems are potentially toxic to living organisms. Almost the environmental pollutants, the heavy metals are not degradable and can persist during long time of many ecosystems causing ecologic changes often disastrous to species that habit there. Actually some works has shown that the heavy metals beyond be toxic and interfere on development and reproduction of some species of terrestrial and marine invertebrates. When are present in cells, the chemical form and connection type of metals are critical factors that determinate the toxicity. So, the ambient pollution has chronic effects and acute of animals health and can affect any systems and organs. The intoxications that current often are caused by aluminum, arsenic, barium, beryllium, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel. Know that these elements can change cellular structures, enzymes and replace metal cofactors in enzyme activities. In insects, the effects of pollution change according to specie studied. The pollution can act on the weight reduction and increasing the relative growth rate. In this work, we investigated the effect of mercury exposure on the elemental content in hemolymph and urine of Rhodnius prolixus the insect vector of Chagas' disease, which is one of the most important vectors in Latin American and also, the most well-know studied insect in terms of both physiology and vector-parasite interactions. Five-stage nymphs of Rhodnius prolixus were collected from colony of a Laboratory Physiology and Biochemistry of Insects, Institute Oswaldo Cruz RJ. For treatment of insects, mercury chloride has been added to rabbit blood. After feeding the nymphs were separated and packed for two days for collection of hemolymph and urine. The SR-TXRF measurements were performed at the X

  20. [Use of regression analysis in the study of the association between different mercury exposure routes and some functional variables].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decarli, A; Parrinello, G; Cortesi, I; Lucchini, R

    2002-01-01

    The "Mercury Multicentric Project" data-set was analysed with the aim to identify a group of biological variables associated with different types of Hg exposure (occupational exposure, fish dietary intake, exposure due to amalgam restorations). The distribution of socio-demographic, biological and surrogate outcome variables was rather different among the collaborating Units. Mixed linear models (MLM) were used to overcome the problems related to the heterogeneity of variances among Units. MLM are a generalization of the standard linear models, the generalization being that the data are permitted to exhibit correlation and non constant variability. MLM therefore provide with the flexibility of modelling not only the means of the dependent variable, but also their variances and co-variances as well. This allows to represent the total variability of the dependent variable as a sum of two components: the first attributable to the Units and the other one to the random error. A set of biological variables significantly associated with at least one of the Hg exposure variables or with the HgU/creatinine ratio (as surrogate variable for Hg exposure) was identified by means of MLM. This set includes beta 2-MG, sIL8, CD4+, sPRL, FT dominant, BAMT, and some variables related to neurological behaviour. An extension of this analysis will be performed with a structural equations approach in order to study the dose-response relationships among the various variables according to a hierarchical path defined on biological basis. One of the possible simplified general models including all the selected variables is described.

  1. PM Origin or Exposure Duration? Health Hazards from PM-Bound Mercury and PM-Bound PAHs among Students and Lecturers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grzegorz Majewski

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This study assessed inhalation exposure to particulate matter (PM1-bound mercury (Hgp and PM1-bound polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs among university students. For this purpose, simultaneous indoor (I and outdoor (O measurements were taken from two Polish technical universities (in Gliwice and Warsaw located in distinct areas with respect to ambient concentrations and major sources of PM. The indoor geometric mean concentrations of Hgp were found to be 1.46 pg·m−3 and 6.38 pg·m−3 in Warsaw and Gliwice, while the corresponding outdoor concentrations were slightly lower at 1.38 pg·m−3 and 3.03 pg·m−3, respectively. A distinct pattern was found with respect to PAH concentrations with estimated I/O values of 22.2 ng·m−3/22.5 ng·m−3 in Gliwice and 10.9 ng·m−3/11.12 ng·m−3 in Warsaw. Hazard quotients (HQs as a result of exposure to Hgp for students aged 21 ranged from 3.47 × 10−5 (Warsaw to 1.3 × 10−4 (Gliwice in terms of reasonable maximum exposure (RME. The non-cancer human health risk value related to Hgp exposure was thus found to be below the acceptable risk level value of 1.0 given by the US EPA. Daily exposure values for lecture hall occupants, adjusted to the benzo(apyrene (BaP toxicity equivalent (BaPeq, were 2.9 and 1.02 ng·m−3 for the Gliwice and Warsaw students, respectively. The incremental lifetime cancer risk (ILCR values with respect to exposure to PM1-bound PAHs during the students’ time of study were 5.49 × 10−8 (Warsaw and 1.43 × 10−7 (Gliwice. Thus, students’ exposure to indoor PAHs does not lead to increased risk of lung cancer.

  2. Mercury and other element exposure to tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) nesting on Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, North Dakota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Custer, Thomas W. [US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, 2630 Fanta Reed Road, La Crosse, WI 54603 (United States)], E-mail: tcuster@usgs.gov; Custer, Christine M. [US Geological Survey, Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center, 2630 Fanta Reed Road, La Crosse, WI 54603 (United States); Johnson, Kevin M. [US Fish and Wildlife Service, North Dakota Field Office, 3425 Miriam Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501-7926 (United States); Hoffman, David J. [US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, 12011 Beech Forest Road, Laurel, MD 20708 (United States)

    2008-09-15

    Elevated mercury concentrations in water were reported in the prairie wetlands at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, ND. In order to determine whether wildlife associated with these wetlands was exposed to and then accumulated higher mercury concentrations than wildlife living near more permanent wetlands (e.g. lakes), tree swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) eggs and nestlings were collected from nests near seasonal wetlands, semi-permanent wetlands, and lakes. Mercury concentrations in eggs collected near seasonal wetlands were higher than those collected near semi-permanent wetlands or lakes. In contrast, mercury concentrations in nestling livers did not differ among wetland types. Mercury and other element concentrations in tree swallow eggs and nestlings collected from all wetlands were low. As suspected from these low concentrations, mercury concentrations in sample eggs were not a significant factor explaining the hatching success of the remaining eggs in each clutch. - Mercury concentrations in tree swallows nesting in the prairie wetlands at Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge were not elevated.

  3. Mercury exposure and neurochemical biomarkers in multiple brain regions of Wisconsin river otters (Lontra canadensis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dornbos, Peter; Strom, Sean; Basu, Niladri

    2013-04-01

    River otters are fish-eating wildlife that bioaccumulate high levels of mercury (Hg). Mercury is a proven neurotoxicant to mammalian wildlife, but little is known about the underlying, sub-clinical effects. Here, the overall goal was to increase understanding of Hg's neurological risk to otters. First, Hg values across several brain regions and tissues were characterized. Second, in three brain regions with known sensitivity to Hg (brainstem, cerebellum, and occipital cortex), potential associations among Hg levels and neurochemical biomarkers [N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor] were explored. There were no significant differences in Hg levels across eight brain regions (rank order, highest to lowest: frontal cortex, cerebellum, temporal cortex, occipital cortex, parietal cortex, basal ganglia, brainstem, and thalamus), with mean values ranging from 0.7 to 1.3 ug/g dry weight. These brain levels were significantly lower than mean values in the muscle (2.1 ± 1.4 ug/g), liver (4.7 ± 4.3 ug/g), and fur (8.8 ± 4.8 ug/g). While a significant association was found between Hg and NMDA receptor levels in the brain stem (P = 0.028, rp = -0.293), no relationships were found in the cerebellum and occipital cortex. For the GABA receptor, no relationships were found. The lack of consistent Hg-associated neurochemical changes is likely due to low brain Hg levels in these river otters, which are amongst the lowest reported.

  4. [Neuroendocrine and neurobehavioral effects associated with exposure to low doses of mercury from habitual consumption of marine fish].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carta, P; Flore, C; Alinovi, R; Ibba, A; Tocco, M; Aru, G; Carta, R; Girei, M; Mutti, A; Sanna, F Randaccio

    2002-01-01

    To evaluate neuroendocrine and neurobehavioral effects possibly associated with increased dietary intake of organic mercury (Hg), a group of 22 subjects living on the island of Carloforte (south-west Sardinia) was examined, who were regular consumers of tuna fish with relatively high Hg content. This group, never exposed occupationally to either Hg or to other neurotoxic substances, was compared with 22 age-matched controls employed at a chemical plant in Portotorres (northern Sardinia). Hg in urine (HgU) and serum prolactin (PRL) were measured in all cases, whereas measurements of total (HgB) and organic blood mercury were available only for 10 subjects from Carloforte and 6 controls. Data about working history and lifestyle (education, smoking habit, alcohol and sea fish consumption) were collected by an interviewer using a standardised questionnaire. Neurotoxic symptoms were evaluated by a self-administered questionnaire, whereas a test battery, including some computerised tests of the Swedish Performance Evaluation System (SPES) to assess vigilance and psychomotor performance, some tests on motor coordination (Luria-Nebraska and Branches Alternate Movement Task) and one memory test for numbers (Digit Span) was administered to assess neurobehavioral changes associated with exposure to dietary intake of organic mercury. In all cases, characteristics of hand tremor were evaluated by the CATSYS System 7.0. HgU values were significantly higher in the Carloforte group (median 6.5, range 1.8-21.5 micrograms/g creatinine) compared with controls (median 1.5, range 0.5-5.3 micrograms/g creatinine). Serum PRL was significantly higher among subjects from Carloforte and correlated with both urine and blood Hg levels. The scores of each item of the questionnaire investigating neurological symptoms were not statistically different in the two groups. In some tests of the SPES battery (Color Word Vigilance, Digit Symbol and Finger Tapping) the performance of the Carloforte

  5. Bioaccumulation and metallothionein response in the Asiatic clam (Corbicula fluminea) after experimental exposure to cadmium and inorganic mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baudrimont, M.; Metivaud, J.; Maury-Brachet, R.; Ribeyre, F.; Boudou, A. [Univ. Bordeaux I/CNRS, Talence (France). Lab. d`Ecotoxicologie

    1997-10-01

    The involvement of metallothioneins (MTs) in cadmium (Cd) and inorganic mercury (Hg[II]) bioaccumulation by the freshwater bivalve Corbicula fluminea was experimentally investigated after 0, 15, 30 and 45 d of exposure from the water column source. Three levels of contamination were studied for each metal: 0, 5, and 35 {micro}g Cd/L and 0, 1.45, and 5 {micro}g Hg/L, with two replicates per condition. Forty eight experimental units (EUs) were conducted simultaneously. The mollusks were fed twice a week by additions of phytoplanktonic algae. Quantification of MTs was done by Hg-saturation assay, using cold Hg(II). A partial purification of these proteins was conducted by gel-filtration chromatography, followed by Cd determinations in the different eluted fractions. Results at the whole organism (soft tissues) and organ or tissue group (gills, mantle, foot, visceral mass) levels show high metal concentrations, with a fourfold greater accumulation of inorganic Hg than Cd after 30 d exposure at the same concentration of 5 {micro}g/L. Gills and visceral mass were the principal storage compartments. A significant increase in MT concentrations was revealed in these two organs after exposure to Cd: ratios between the MT concentrations in contaminated and control mollusks were 2.4 and 2.8, respectively, for 5 and 35 {micro}g Cd/L. Cd burdens in the cytosol and in {le}18-kDa protein fractions, similar to purified mammal MTs, correspond to 30 and 14% of the total Cd accumulated in the whole organisms. No significant increase in MT biosynthesis was observed after exposure to inorganic Hg, despite the high metal concentrations in the organs.

  6. Altered urinary porphyrins and mercury exposure as biomarkers for autism severity in Egyptian children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khaled, Eman M; Meguid, Nagwa A; Bjørklund, Geir; Gouda, Amr; Bahary, Mohamed H; Hashish, Adel; Sallam, Nermin M; Chirumbolo, Salvatore; El-Bana, Mona A

    2016-12-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social, communication, and behavioral development. Recent evidence supported but also questioned the hypothetical role of compounds containing mercury (Hg) as contributors to the development of ASD. Specific alterations in the urinary excretion of porphyrin-containing ring catabolites have been associated with exposure to Hg in ASD patients. In the present study, the level of urinary porphyrins, as biomarkers of Hg toxicity in children with ASD, was evaluated, and its correlation with severity of the autistic behavior further explored. A total of 100 children was enrolled in the present study. They were classified into three groups: children with ASD (40), healthy controls (40), and healthy siblings of the ASD children (20). Children with ASD were diagnosed using DSM-IV-TR, ADI-R, and CARS tests. Urinary porphyrins were evaluated within the three groups using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), after plasma evaluation of mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb) in the same groups. Results showed that children with ASD had significantly higher levels of Hg, Pb, and the porphyrins pentacarboxyporphyrin, coproporphyrin, precoproporphyrin, uroporphyrins, and hexacarboxyporphyrin compared to healthy controls and healthy siblings of the ASD children. However, there was no significant statistical difference in the level of heptacarboxyporphyrin among the three groups, while a significant positive correlation between the levels of coproporphyrin and precoproporphyrin and autism severity was observed. Mothers of ASD children showed a higher percentage of dental amalgam restorations compared to the mothers of healthy controls suggesting that high Hg levels in children with ASD may relate to the increased exposure to Hg from maternal dental amalgam during pregnancy and lactation. The results showed that the ASD children in the present study had increased blood Hg and Pb levels compared with

  7. Mercury in the Tapajós River basin, Brazilian Amazon: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berzas Nevado, J J; Rodríguez Martín-Doimeadios, R C; Guzmán Bernardo, F J; Jiménez Moreno, M; Herculano, A M; do Nascimento, J L M; Crespo-López, M E

    2010-08-01

    This paper presents a review about mercury contamination and human exposure in the Tapajós River basin (Brazil), one of the major tributaries of the Amazon impacted by traditional gold mining from the mid 1980s. The most recent review in this region was published more than ten years ago and since then many articles about environment and especially human populations have revealed new aspects of mercury toxicology. Additionally, new biomarkers of mercury exposure and toxicity have been studied in these populations. However, there are still many open, about both mercury's biogeochemical cycle and mercury health risks. Further environmental and human risk research directions are proposed. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Assessment of gill pathological responses in the tropical fish yellowfin seabream of Persian Gulf under mercury exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila Hassaninezhad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Gill histomorphological alterations were used to assess the effects of chronic exposure to HgCl2 on the yellowfin seabream, Acanthopagrus latus. In this regard, 90 A. latus were exposed to sublethal concentrations of HgCl2 (10, 20, 35 and 50 μg/L for 3 weeks. Treated fish were erratic and showed respiratory distress. The most common morphological abnormalities included: filaments disorganization, increase of mucus secretion, debris and blood plaques on the filaments, losing or shortening of some filaments. The most frequent histopathological changes detected in the gills included extensive lifting of the lamellar epithelium and edema of lamellae with enlarged sub-epithelial spaces, exfoliated epithelium of lamellae, telangiectasia, hypertrophy and hyperplasia of the epithelial cell resulted in partial fusion of the secondary lamellae and a reduction of the water space, club shaping of gill lamellae, blood congestion. Some more severe alternations found in the gill of fish exposed to higher levels of HgCl2 (35 and 50 μg/L included lamellar aneurysm and hemorrhages with rupture of the lamellar epithelium. According to the results of the present study, mercuric chloride could cause major histomorphological changes in the gill of A. latus, decreasing its gas exchange capability. Two mercury concentrations (10 and 20 μg/L used in the present study were in agreement with the concentration of mercury in the water of different parts of Mahshahr creeks (the north of Persian Gulf (3.66 to 15 μg/L. Therefore, based on the results the presence of pathological alteration in A. latus inhibited in the natural environment (Mahshahr creeks seems to be logical.

  9. Community-Led Assessment of Risk from Exposure to Mercury by Native Amerindian Wayana in Southeast Suriname

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Peplow

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This study was a collaboration between Western public health researchers and Suriname indigenous communities. The question asked was “how can Western researchers effectively engage traditional indigenous communities in Suriname, South America, in public health research”. The approach used a combination of Participatory Action Research methods in which “Western” researchers became participating observers in an indigenous-led research initiative. The Wayana communities of Puleowime (Apetina and Kawemhakan (Anapayke defined a single objective: determine for themselves whether they are at risk from exposure to mercury (Hg contamination. Community members collected hair samples for analysis. Hair samples were analyzed using a portable Hg analyzer. Individual, community and hazard quotient indices were used to quantify risk. Results showed the Wayana were at a high lifetime risk of adverse effects from exposure to Hg. This study showed that the community-led approach is an effective way Westerners can engage indigenous communities and address serious public health threats. While factors that appealed to indigenous communities were identified, obstacles inherent to Western research methodology were also encountered.

  10. Mercury and halogens in coal--Their role in determining mercury emissions from coal combustion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolker, Allan; Quick, Jeffrey C.; Senior, Connie L.; Belkin, Harvey E.

    2012-01-01

    Mercury is a toxic pollutant. In its elemental form, gaseous mercury has a long residence time in the atmosphere, up to a year, allowing it to be transported long distances from emission sources. Mercury can be emitted from natural sources such as volcanoes, or from anthropogenic sources, such as coal-fired powerplants. In addition, all sources of mercury on the Earth's surface can re-emit it from land and sea back to the atmosphere, from which it is then redeposited. Mercury in the atmosphere is present in such low concentrations that it is not considered harmful. Once mercury enters the aquatic environment, however, it can undergo a series of biochemical transformations that convert a portion of the mercury originally present to methylmercury, a highly toxic organic form of mercury that accumulates in fish and birds. Many factors contribute to creation of methylmercury in aquatic ecosystems, including mercury availability, sediment and nutrient load, bacterial influence, and chemical conditions. In the United States, consumption of fish with high levels of methylmercury is the most common pathway for human exposure to mercury, leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue fish consumption advisories in every State. The EPA estimates that 50 percent of the mercury entering the atmosphere in the United States is emitted from coal-burning utility powerplants. An EPA rule, known as MATS (for Mercury and Air Toxics Standards), to reduce emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from powerplants, was signed in December 2011. The rule, which is currently under review, specifies limits for mercury and other toxic elements, such as arsenic, chromium, and nickel. MATS also places limits on emission of harmful acid gases, such as hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid. These standards are the result of a 2010 detailed nationwide program by the EPA to sample stack emissions and thousands of shipments of coal to coal-burning powerplants. The United

  11. Neurological outcomes in children with and without amalgam-related mercury exposure: seven years of longitudinal observations in a randomized trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauterbach, Martin; Martins, Isabel P; Castro-Caldas, Alexandre; Bernardo, Mario; Luis, Henrique; Amaral, Helena; Leitão, Jorge; Martin, Michael D; Townes, Brenda; Rosenbaum, Gail; Woods, James S; Derouen, Timothy

    2008-02-01

    Although large-scale, randomized trials involving children have been completed and their results demonstrate an absence of neurobehavioral effects from clinical exposure to mercury amalgam, neurological findings from such studies have not been reported. The authors conducted a randomized, prospective trial examining the safety of dental amalgam in which 507 children aged 8 through 12 years were assigned to treatment with either amalgam or resin-based composite. During seven years of follow-up, the authors performed annual clinical neurological examinations, including an evaluation of neurological hard signs (NHSs), presence of tremor and neurological soft signs (NSSs). The authors found no significant differences between treatment groups in any of the neurological measures. Groups did not differ with respect to the presence or absence of NHSs or tremor, nor the presence or absence or severity of NSSs at any point. As expected, NSS severity scores diminished with increasing age. Even at the levels of amalgam exposure in this study (a mean of 7.7-10.7 amalgam surfaces per subject across the seven years of follow-up), the authors conclude that exposure to mercury from dental amalgam does not adversely affect neurological status. The current evidence is that potential neurobehavioral or neurological effects from dental amalgam mercury exposure in children are inconsequential.

  12. Mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease in two U.S. cohorts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mozaffarian, Dariush; Shi, Peilin; Morris, J Steven

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to methylmercury from fish consumption has been linked to a potentially increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but evidence from prior studies is equivocal. Beneficial effects of the ingestion of fish and selenium may also modify such effects....

  13. The effects of chronic mercury exposure on the survival, reproduction, and population dynamics of Mysidopsis bahia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gentile, J.H; Gentile, S

    1981-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to demonstrate that M. bahia can be used as a model for evaluating the effects of chronic pollutant exposure on survival patterns, sub-lethal reprodutive responses and populatioon growth rates...

  14. Mercury exposure via breast-milk in infants from a suburban area of Ankara, Turkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orün, Emel; Yalçin, S Songül; Aykut, Osman; Orhan, Günnur; Koç-Morgil, Göksel; Yurdakök, Kadriye; Uzun, Ramazan

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate mercury (Hg) levels in breast-milk in the postpartum 2nd month and to determine the relationship between Hg levels and sociodemographic parameters, maternal nutritional habits, presence of dental amalgam, maternal depression, maternal anemia, and growth status of infants. One hundred forty-four mothers residing in a suburban area in Ankara were invited at the 2nd month postpartum. A questionnaire concerning sociodemographic characteristics, vitamin intake during pregnancy and in the 2nd month postpartum, consumption of fish and viscera, smoking habits, and presence of dental fillings was applied. Hg could be detected in samples of 18% of the mothers, all levels of which were higher than the Hg limit in breast-milk reported by the World Health Organization. The Hg levels were higher in mothers who consumed viscera than in those who did not. Turkish women can still safely breastfeed their children, but Hg contamination in breast-milk should be monitored during the lactation period.

  15. Health Assessment of Mercury Exposure in a Riparian Community in the Madeira River

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vega C. M.

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Mercury concentrations were analyzed in a riparian community from the Cuniã Lake RESEX (a riparian extrativist reserve at the Madeira river, located in the Amazon region. The studied population age ranged from 2 to 90 years old and hair was used as biomarker. A total of 252 hair samples were collected from fishermen families. Hg concentrations averaged 6.0 (IC95% 5.58-6.58 ± 3.9 μg.g-1 (SD. The fish consumption for adults in this community ranges from 40 to 600 grams per day. The results showed significant gender differences for Hg levels (p-value < 0.05; for male individuals the average was 7.4 (IC 95% 5.56-8.28±4,5 μg.g-1 and for female individuals was of 5.0 (IC 95% 4.49-5.54 ±3.3 μg.g-1. Studies on neurological symptoms and diet of this community are under way along with other clinical trials and biochemical measurements.

  16. Future trends in environmental mercury concentrations: implications for prevention strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sunderland Elsie M

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In their new paper, Bellanger and coauthors show substantial economic impacts to the EU from neurocognitive impairment associated with methylmercury (MeHg exposures. The main source of MeHg exposure is seafood consumption, including many marine species harvested from the global oceans. Fish, birds and other wildlife are also susceptible to the impacts of MeHg and already exceed toxicological thresholds in vulnerable regions like the Arctic. Most future emissions scenarios project a growth or stabilization of anthropogenic mercury releases relative to present-day levels. At these emissions levels, inputs of mercury to ecosystems are expected to increase substantially in the future, in part due to growth in the legacy reservoirs of mercury in oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. Seawater mercury concentration trajectories in areas such as the North Pacific Ocean that supply large quantities of marine fish to the global seafood market are projected to increase by more than 50% by 2050. Fish mercury levels and subsequent human and biological exposures are likely to also increase because production of MeHg in ocean ecosystems is driven by the supply of available inorganic mercury, among other factors. Analyses that only consider changes in primary anthropogenic emissions are likely to underestimate the severity of future deposition and concentration increases associated with growth in mercury reservoirs in the land and ocean. We therefore recommend that future policy analyses consider the fully coupled interactions among short and long-lived reservoirs of mercury in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial ecosystems. Aggressive anthropogenic emission reductions are needed to reduce MeHg exposures and associated health impacts on humans and wildlife and protect the integrity of one of the last wild-food sources globally. In the near-term, public health advice on safe fish consumption choices such as smaller species, younger fish, and harvests

  17. Elodea nuttallii exposure to mercury exposure under enhanced ultraviolet radiation: Effects on bioaccumulation, transcriptome, pigment content and oxidative stress

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Regier, Nicole; Beauvais-Flück, Rebecca; Slaveykova, Vera I.; Cosio, Claudia, E-mail: Claudia.Cosio@unige.ch

    2016-11-15

    Highlights: • Exposure to UV radiation does not result in co-tolerance to Hg in Elodea nuttallii. • UV radiation increased the stress response to Hg at the transcriptome level. • UV + Hg dysregulated genes of energy and lipid metabolism, nutrition and redox homeostasis. • UV + Hg treatment decreases Hg accumulation in E. nuttallii shoots. • Hg accumulation depends on UV effects on plant metabolism and Hg bioavailability. - Abstract: The hypothesis that increased UV radiation result in co-tolerance to Hg toxicity in aquatic plants was studied at the physiological and transcriptomic level in Elodea nuttallii. At the transcriptomic level, combined exposure to UV + Hg enhanced the stress response in comparison with single treatments, affecting the expression level of transcripts involved in energy metabolism, lipid metabolism, nutrition, and redox homeostasis. Single and combined UV and Hg treatments dysregulated different genes but with similar functions, suggesting a fine regulation of the plant to stresses triggered by Hg, UV and their combination but lack of co-tolerance. At the physiological level, UV + Hg treatment reduced chlorophyll content and depleted antioxidative compounds such as anthocyanin and GSH/GSSG in E. nuttallii. Nonetheless, combined exposure to UV + Hg resulted in about 30% reduction of Hg accumulation into shoots vs exposure to Hg alone, which was congruent with the level of expression of several transporter genes, as well as the UV effect on Hg bioavailability in water. The findings of the present work underlined the importance of performing experimentation under environmentally realistic conditions and to consider the interplay between contaminants and environmental variables such as light that might have confounding effects to better understand and anticipate the effects of multiple stressors in aquatic environment.

  18. EFFECTS OF ARSENIC EXPOSURE IN HUMAN HEALTH

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aline Sueli de Lima Rodrigues

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, ingestion of inorganic arsenic from drinking water has emerged as an important public health concern. It enters drinking water supplies from natural deposits in the earth or from agricultural and industrial practices, mainly the mining. The health consequences of chronic arsenic exposure include increased risk for various forms of cancer and numerous pathologic effects, such as cutaneous effects (hyperpigmentation and hyperkeratoses, gastrointestinal effects, vascular effects, diabetes mellitus, and peripheral neuropathy. This way, this study presents through a critical revision of the literature, the more relevant current aspects on the immunological consequences, carcinogenic and resulting genetics of the human intoxication for arsenic. They were identified and analyzed 50 works published on the subject among the years of 1979 and 2008, being used as main sources LILACS-BIREME MEDLINE/Index Medicus, SciELO and PubMed. The specific Arsênio e saúde humana effects of the intoxication for arsenic about the human health are not still completely elucidated. Thus, is possible that this element affects functions still unknown, becoming important the scientificexploration on the subject.

  19. Maternal Mercury Exposure, Season of Conception and Adverse Birth Outcomes in an Urban Immigrant Community in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cynthia J. Bashore

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Adverse birth outcomes including preterm birth (PTB: <37 weeks gestation and low birth weight (LBW: <2500 g can result in severe infant morbidity and mortality. In the United States, there are racial and ethnic differences in the prevalence of PTB and LBW. We investigated the association between PTB and LBW with prenatal mercury (Hg exposure and season of conception in an urban immigrant community in Brooklyn, New York. We recruited 191 pregnant women aged 18–45 in a Brooklyn Prenatal Clinic and followed them until delivery. Urine specimens were collected from the participants during the 6th to 9th month of pregnancy. Cord blood specimens and neonate anthropometric data were collected at birth. We used multivariate logistic regression models to investigate the odds of LBW or PTB with either maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We used linear regression models to investigate the association between continuous anthropometric outcomes and maternal urinary mercury or neonate cord blood mercury. We also examined the association between LBW and PTB and the season that pregnancy began. Results showed higher rates of PTB and LBW in this cohort of women compared to other studies. Pregnancies beginning in winter (December, January, February were at increased odds of LBW births compared with births from pregnancies that began in all other months (OR7.52 [95% CI 1.65, 34.29]. We observed no association between maternal exposure to Hg, and either LBW or PTB. The apparent lack of association is consistent with other studies. Further examination of seasonal association with LBW is warranted.

  20. Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to yellow-billed loons (Gavia adamsii) breeding in Alaska and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evers, David C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Basu, Niladri; DeSorbo, Christopher R.; Fair, Jeff; Gray, Carrie E.; Paruk, James D.; Perkins, Marie; Regan, Kevin; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Wright, Kenneth G.

    2014-01-01

    The Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) is one of the rarest breeding birds in North America. Because of the small population size and patchy distribution, any stressor to its population is of concern. To determine risks posed by environmental mercury (Hg) loads, we captured 115 Yellow-billed Loons between 2002 and 2012 in the North American Arctic and sampled their blood and/or feather tissues and collected nine eggs. Museum samples from Yellow-billed Loons also were analyzed to examine potential changes in Hg exposure over time. An extensive database of published Hg concentrations and associated adverse effects in Common Loons (G. immer) is highly informative and representative for Yellow-billed Loons. Blood Hg concentrations reflect dietary uptake of methylmercury (MeHg) from breeding areas and are generally considered near background levels if less than 1.0 µg/g wet weight (ww). Feather (grown at wintering sites) and egg Hg concentrations can represent a mix of breeding and wintering dietary uptake of MeHg. Based on Common Loon studies, significant risk of reduced reproductive success generally occurs when adult Hg concentrations exceed 2.0 µg/g ww in blood, 20.0 µg/g fresh weight (fw) in flight feathers and 1.0 µg/g ww in eggs. Contemporary mercury concentrations for 176 total samples (across all study sites for 115 Yellow-billed Loons) ranged from 0.08 to 1.45 µg/g ww in blood, 3.0 to 24.9 µg/g fw in feathers and 0.21 to 1.23 µg/g ww in eggs. Mercury concentrations in blood, feather and egg tissues indicate that some individual Yellow-billed Loons in breeding populations across North America are at risk of lowered productivity resulting from Hg exposure. Most Yellow-billed Loons breeding in Alaska overwinter in marine waters of eastern Asia. Although blood Hg concentrations from most breeding loons in Alaska are within background levels, some individuals exhibit elevated feather and egg Hg concentrations, which likely indicate the uptake of Me