WorldWideScience

Sample records for mercury health risks

  1. Health risk and significance of mercury in the environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, W C; Tse, H F

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) has long been recognised as a global pollutant, because it can remain in the atmosphere for more than 1 year. The mercury that enters the environment is generally acknowledged to have two sources: natural and anthropogenic. Hg takes three major forms in the environment, namely methyl-Hg (MeHg), Hg(0) and Hg(2+). All three forms of Hg adversely affect the natural environment and pose a risk to human health. In particular, they may damage the human central nervous system, leading to cardiovascular, respiratory and other diseases. MeHg is bioavailable and can be bioaccumulated within food webs. Therefore, several methods of eliminating Hg from the soil and the aquatic system have been proposed. The focus of this article is on phytoremediation, as this technique provides a low-cost and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional methods.

  2. 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 ...

  3. Assessment of mercury health risks to adults from coal combustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Fthenakis, V.M.; DePhillips, M.P.; Viren, J.; Saroff, L.

    1994-05-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing, for the U.S. Congress, a report evaluating the need to regulate mercury (Hg) emissions from electric utilities. This study, to be completed in 1995, will have important health and economic implications. In support of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, sponsored a risk assessment project at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) to evaluate methylmercury (MeHg) hazards independently. In the BNL study, health risks to adults resulting from Hg emissions from a hypothetical 1000 MW{sub e} coal-fired power plant were estimated using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. The approach draws on the extant knowledge in each of the important steps in the calculation chain from emissions to health effects. Estimated results at key points in the chain were compared with actual measurements to help validate the modeled estimates. Two cases were considered: the baseline case (no local impacts), and the impact case (maximum local power-plant impact). The BNL study showed that the effects of emissions of a single power plant may double the background exposures to MeHg resulting from consuming fish obtained from a localized area near the power plant. Many implicit and explicit sources of uncertainty exist in this analysis. Those that appear to be most in need of improvement include data on doses and responses for potentially sensitive subpopulations (e.g., fetal exposures). Rather than considering hypothetical situations, it would also be preferable to assess the risks associated with actual coal-fired power plants and the nearby sensitive water bodies and susceptible subpopulations. Finally, annual total Hg emissions from coal burning and from other anthropogenic sources are still uncertain; this makes it difficult to estimate the effects of U.S. coal burning on global Hg concentration levels, especially over the long term.

  4. Mercury contamination in facial skin lightening creams and its health risks to user.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Yu Bin; Abdullah, Nor Hidayu; Hamsan, Hazwanee; Tan, Eugenie Sin Sing

    2017-08-01

    This study aims to determine concentrations of mercury in facial skin lightening cream according to different price categories (category I: mercury in samples were less than the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) permitted trace levels (mercury in facial skin lightening creams ranged from not detected to 1.13 mg kg -1 . There was no significant association between concentrations of mercury with price categories (p = 0.12). There was no significant non-carcinogenic health risk due to daily application of the facial skin lightening creams based on assumption of 30 years exposure period (HQ < 1). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Mercury in fish from the Madeira River and health risk to Amazonian and riverine populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soares, José Maria; Gomes, José M; Anjos, Marcelo R; Silveira, Josianne N; Custódio, Flavia B; Gloria, M Beatriz A

    2018-07-01

    The objective of this study was to quantify total mercury in highly popular Amazonian fish pacu, curimatã, jaraqui, and sardinha from the Madeira River and to estimate the exposure to methylmercury from fish consumption. The samples were obtained from two locations - Puruzinho Igarapé and Santa Rosa - near Humaitá, Amazonia, Brazil in two seasons of 2015 (high and low waters). The fish were identified, weighed and measured, and lipids were quantified. Total mercury was determined by gold amalgamation-atomic absorption spectrometry. Mean levels were used to calculate exposure of Amazonian and riverine populations. There was significant correlation (p < 0.05) between length × weight for all fish; length × lipid and weight × lipid were significant only for pacu. Total mercury levels varied along muscle tissue for the fish, except for sardinha; therefore muscle from the dorsal area along the fish were sampled, homogenized and used for analysis. The levels of total mercury varied from 0.01 to 0.46 mg/kg, with higher median levels in sardinha (0.24 mg/kg), followed by curimatã (0.16 mg/kg), jaraqui (0.13 mg/kg) and pacu (0.04 mg/kg), corresponding with the respective feeding habits along the trophic chain. Total mercury levels were not affected by the location of fish capture and by high and low waters seasons. Total mercury correlated significantly with length and weight for jaraqui and with length for sardinha (negative correlation). Total mercury levels in fish complied with legislation; however, exposures to methylmercury from fish consumption overpassed the safe intake reference dose for sardinha for Amazonians; however, for the riverine communities, all of the fish would cause potential health risk, mainly for children and women of childbearing age. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An assessment of mercury emissions and health risks from a coal-fired power plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fthenakis, V.M.; Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Saroff, L. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Title III of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the rate and effect of mercury emissions in the atmosphere and technologies to control the emissions. The US DOE sponsored a risk assessment project at Brookhaven (BNL) to evaluate health risks of mercury emissions from coal combustion. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the compound predominantly responsible for human exposure to atmospheric mercury in the United States, through fish ingestion. In the BNL study, health risks to adults resulting from Hg emissions from a hypothetical coal-fired power plant were estimated using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. This study showed that the effects of emissions of a single large power plant may double the background exposures to MeHg resulting from consuming fish obtained from a localized are near the power plant. Even at these more elevated exposure levels, the attributable incidence in mild neurological symptoms (paresthesia) was estimated to be quite small, especially when compared with the estimated background incidence in the population. 29 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. An assessment of mercury emissions and health risks from a coal-fired power plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fthenakis, V.M.; Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Saroff, L.

    1995-01-01

    Title III of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) directed the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the rate and effect of mercury emissions in the atmosphere and technologies to control the emissions. The US DOE sponsored a risk assessment project at Brookhaven (BNL) to evaluate health risks of mercury emissions from coal combustion. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the compound predominantly responsible for human exposure to atmospheric mercury in the United States, through fish ingestion. In the BNL study, health risks to adults resulting from Hg emissions from a hypothetical coal-fired power plant were estimated using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. This study showed that the effects of emissions of a single large power plant may double the background exposures to MeHg resulting from consuming fish obtained from a localized are near the power plant. Even at these more elevated exposure levels, the attributable incidence in mild neurological symptoms (paresthesia) was estimated to be quite small, especially when compared with the estimated background incidence in the population. 29 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs

  8. Distribution, sources and health risk assessment of mercury in kindergarten dust

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Guangyi; Li, Zhonggen; Bi, Xiangyang; Chen, Yupeng; Lu, Shuangfang; Yuan, Xin

    2013-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination in urban area is a hot issue in environmental research. In this study, the distribution, sources and health risk of Hg in dust from 69 kindergartens in Wuhan, China, were investigated. In comparison with most other cities, the concentrations of total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) were significantly elevated, ranging from 0.15 to 10.59 mg kg-1 and from 0.64 to 3.88 μg kg-1, respectively. Among the five different urban areas, the educational area had the highest concentrations of THg and MeHg. The GIS mapping was used to identify the hot-spot areas and assess the potential pollution sources of Hg. The emissions of coal-power plants and coking plants were the main sources of THg in the dust, whereas the contributions of municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills and iron and steel smelting related industries were not significant. However, the emission of MSW landfills was considered to be an important source of MeHg in the studied area. The result of health risk assessment indicated that there was a high adverse health effect of the kindergarten dust in terms of Hg contamination on the children living in the educational area (Hazard index (HI) = 6.89).

  9. Elimination of mercury in health care facilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-03-01

    Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative toxin that has been linked to numerous health effects in humans and wildlife. It is a potent neurotoxin that may also harm the brain, kidneys, and lungs. Unborn children and young infants are at particular risk for brain damage from mercury exposure. Hospitals' use of mercury in chemical solutions, thermometers, blood pressure gauges, batteries, and fluorescent lamps makes these facilities large contributors to the overall emission of mercury into the environment. Most hospitals recognize the dangers of mercury. In a recent survey, four out of five hospitals stated that they have policies in place to eliminate the use of mercury-containing products. Sixty-two percent of them require vendors to disclose the presence of mercury in chemicals that the hospitals purchase. Only 12 percent distribute mercury-containing thermometers to new parents. Ninety-two percent teach their employees about the health and environmental effects of mercury, and 46 percent teach all employees how to clean up mercury spills. However, the same study showed that many hospitals have not implemented their policies. Forty-two percent were not aware whether they still purchased items containing mercury. In addition, 49 percent still purchase mercury thermometers, 44 percent purchase mercury gastrointestinal diagnostic equipment, and 64 percent still purchase mercury lab thermometers.

  10. Assessment of health risk of exposure to mercury through intake under canned tuna in health registration process period January 2010-December 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrillo, M.; Tovar, M.; Alvarez, J.; Arraez, M.; Hordziejewicz, I.; Loreto, I.

    2013-01-01

    The power point presentation is about: Assessing the health risk due to exposure to mercury through ingestion canned tuna under sanitary registration process in the country, using the risk assessment tool recommended by the Codex Alimentarius establishing safety according to the use of local diets. The analytical method appied was Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry Amalgamation (SS TDA AS). As a recommendation was important to maintain an ongoing program of monitoring of mercury in tuna as being a highly recommended food as being excellent source of protein and fatty acids beneficial to health can also be a source of mercury poisoning in cases of people who have a high consumption thereof in the diet

  11. Mercury contamination in Khramulia (Capoeta capoeta) from the Cheshme Kile and Zarrin Gol Rivers in Iran and human health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malvandi, Hassan; Sari, Abbas Esmaili; Aliabadian, Mansour

    2014-10-01

    Total mercury concentrations were determined in muscle tissue of Khramulia (Capoeta capoeta) captured in the Cheshme Kile and Zarrin Gol Rivers, Iran. In Cheshme Kile River, 49 fish samples were collected. The mean total mercury concentration in the muscles of C. capoeta from this area was 249 ng g(-1) dw. In Zarrin Gol River, where 62 fish samples were collected, the total mercury in muscles averaged 164 ng g(-1) dw. A significant difference was found between means of mercury in the rivers (p rivers had mean mercury concentrations below the maximum allowable limits for mercury set by the Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, Standardization Administration of China and Environmental Protection Agency. The results of this study indicate that the values of hazard target quotient and estimated weekly intake are low and represent a negligible risk for human health.

  12. Mercury accumulation in marine fish most favoured by Malaysian women, the predictors and the potential health risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeevanaraj, Pravina; Hashim, Zailina; Elias, Saliza Mohd; Aris, Ahmad Zaharin

    2016-12-01

    We identified marine fish species most preferred by women at reproductive age in Selangor, Malaysia, mercury concentrations in the fish muscles, factors predicting mercury accumulation and the potential health risk. Nineteen most preferred marine fish species were purchased (n = 175) from selected fisherman's and wholesale market. Length, weight, habitat, feeding habit and trophic level were recognised. Edible muscles were filleted, dried at 80 °C, ground on an agate mortar and digested in Multiwave 3000 using HNO 3 and H 2 O 2 . Total mercury was quantified using VP90 cold vapour system with N 2 carrier gas. Certified reference material DORM-4 was used to validate the results. Fish species were classified as demersal (7) and pelagic (12) or predators (11), zoo benthos (6) and planktivorous (2). Length, weight and trophic level ranged from 10.5 to 75.0 cm, 0.01 to 2.50 kg and 2.5 to 4.5, respectively. Geometric mean of total mercury ranged from 0.21 to 0.50 mg/kg; maximum in golden snapper (0.90 mg/kg). Only 9 % of the samples exceeded the JECFA recommendation. Multiple linear regression found demersal, high trophic (≥4.0) and heavier fishes to accumulate more mercury in muscles (R 2  = 27.3 %), controlling for all other factors. About 47 % of the fish samples contributed to mercury intake above the provisional tolerable level (45 μg/day). While only a small portion exceeded the JECFA fish Hg guideline, the concentration reported may be alarming for heavy consumers. Attention should be given in risk management to avoid demersal and high trophic fish, predominantly heavier ones.

  13. POTENTIAL HEALTH RISK REDUCTION ARISING FROM REDUCED MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, T. M.; Lipfert, F. W.; Morris, S. C.; Moskowitz, P. D.

    2001-09-01

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to regulate mercury (Hg) emissions from coal-fired power plants. EPA has not prepared a quantitative assessment of the reduction in risk that could be achieved through reduction in coal plant emissions of Hg. To address this issue, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) with support from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fossil Energy (DOE FE) prepared a quantitative assessment of the reduction in human health risk that could be achieved through reduction in coal plant emissions of Hg. The primary pathway for Hg exposure is through consumption of fish. The most susceptible population to Hg exposure is the fetus. Therefore the risk assessment focused on consumption of fish by women of child-bearing age. Dose response factors were generated from studies on loss of cognitive abilities (language skills, motor skills, etc.) by young children whose mothers consumed large amounts of fish with high Hg levels. Population risks were estimated for the general population in three regions of the country, (the Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast) that were identified by EPA as being heavily impacted by coal emissions. Three scenarios for reducing Hg emissions from coal plants were considered: (1) A base case using current conditions; (2) A 50% reduction; and, (3) A 90% reduction. These reductions in emissions were assumed to translate linearly into a reduction in fish Hg levels of 8.6% and 15.5%, respectively. Population risk estimates were also calculated for two subsistence fisher populations. These groups of people consume substantially more fish than the general public and, depending on location, the fish may contain higher Hg levels than average. Risk estimates for these groups were calculated for the three Hg levels used for the general population analyses. Analysis shows that the general population risks for exposure of the fetus to Hg are small. Estimated risks under current conditions (i.e., no

  14. Human health risk assessment of mercury vapor around artisanal small-scale gold mining area, Palu city, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakazawa, Koyomi; Nagafuchi, Osamu; Kawakami, Tomonori; Inoue, Takanobu; Yokota, Kuriko; Serikawa, Yuka; Cyio, Basir; Elvince, Rosana

    2016-02-01

    Emissions of elemental mercury, Hg(0), from artisanal small-scale gold mining activities accounted for 37% of total global Hg(0) emissions in 2010. People who live near gold-mining areas may be exposed to high concentrations of Hg(0). Here, we assessed the human health risk due to Hg(0) exposure among residents of Palu city (Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia). The area around the city has more than 60t of gold reserves, and the nearby Poboya area is the most active gold-mining site in Indonesia. Owing to its geography, the city experiences alternating land and sea breezes. Sampling was done over a period of 3 years (from 2010 Aug. to 2012 Dec.) intermittently with a passive sampler for Hg(0), a portable handheld mercury analyzer, and a mercury analyzer in four areas of the city and in the Poboya gold-processing area, as well as wind speeds and directions in one area of the city. The 24-h average concentration, wind speed, and wind direction data show that the ambient air in both the gold-processing area and the city was always covered by high concentration of mercury vapor. The Hg(0) concentration in the city was higher at night than in the daytime, owing to the effect of land breezes. These results indicate that the inhabitants of the city were always exposed to high concentrations of Hg(0). The average daytime point-sample Hg(0) concentrations in the city, as measured with a handheld mercury analyzer over 3 days in July 2011, ranged from 2096 to 3299ngm(-3). In comparison, the average daytime Hg(0) concentration in the Poboya gold-processing area was 12,782ngm(-3). All of these concentrations are substantially higher than the World Health Organization air-quality guideline for annual average Hg exposure (1000ngm(-3)). We used the point-sample concentrations to calculate hazard quotient ratios by means of a probabilistic risk assessment method. The results indicated that 93% of the sample population overall was at risk (hazard quotient ratio ≥1 and cut off at

  15. 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

  16. Mercury Quick Facts: Health Effects of Mercury Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 2012 What are the Health Effects of Mercury Exposure? The health effects that can be caused by breathing mercury depend ... they breathe faster and have smaller lungs. Health effects caused by long-term exposure to mercury vapors • • Anxiety • • Excessive shyness • • Anorexia • • Sleeping ...

  17. MERCURY EMISSIONS FROM COAL FIRED POWER PLANTS LOCAL IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH RISK.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SULLIVAN, T.M.; BOWERMAN, B.; ADAMS, J.; LIPFERT, F.; MORRIS, S.M.; BANDO, A.; PENA, R.; BLAKE, R.

    2005-12-01

    deposition and fish content. Soil and vegetation sampling programs were performed around two mid-size coal fired power plants. The objectives were to determine if local mercury hot-spots exist, to determine if they could be attributed to deposition of coal-fired power plant emissions, and to determine if they correlated with model predictions. These programs found the following: (1) At both sites, there was no correlation between modeled mercury deposition and either soil concentrations or vegetation concentrations. At the Kincaid plant, there was excess soil Hg along heavily traveled roads. The spatial pattern of soil mercury concentrations did not match the pattern of vegetation Hg concentrations at either plant. (2) At both sites, the subsurface (5-10 cm) samples the Hg concentration correlated strongly with the surface samples (0-5 cm). Average subsurface sample concentrations were slightly less than the surface samples; however, the difference was not statistically significant. (3) An unequivocal definition of background Hg was not possible at either site. Using various assumed background soil mercury concentrations, the percentage of mercury deposited within 10 km of the plant ranged between 1.4 and 8.5% of the RGM emissions. Based on computer modeling, Hg deposition was primarily RGM with much lower deposition from elemental mercury. Estimates of the percentage of total Hg deposition ranged between 0.3 and 1.7%. These small percentages of deposition are consistent with the empirical findings of only minor perturbations in environmental levels, as opposed to ''hot spots'', near the plants. The major objective of this study was to determine if there was evidence for ''hot-spots'' of mercury deposition around coal-fired power plants. Although the term has been used extensively, it has never been defined. From a public health perspective, such a ''hot spot'' must be large enough to insure that it did not occur by

  18. PERCEPTION OF MERCURY RISK INFORMATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Approximately 8% of American women have blood Mercury levels exceeding the EPA reference dose (a dose below which symptoms would be unlikely). The children of these women are at risk of neurological deficits (lower IQ scores) primarily because of the mother's consumption of conta...

  19. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in surface soils, Pueblo, Colorado: Implications for population health risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diawara, D.M.; Litt, J.S.; Unis, D.; Alfonso, N.; Martinez, L.A.; Crock, J.G.; Smith, D.B.; Carsella, J.

    2006-01-01

    Decades of intensive industrial and agricultural practices as well as rapid urbanization have left communities like Pueblo, Colorado facing potential health threats from pollution of its soils, air, water and food supply. To address such concerns about environmental contamination, we conducted an urban geochemical study of the city of Pueblo to offer insights into the potential chemical hazards in soil and inform priorities for future health studies and population interventions aimed at reducing exposures to inorganic substances. The current study characterizes the environmental landscape of Pueblo in terms of heavy metals, and relates this to population distributions. Soil was sampled within the city along transects and analyzed for arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg) and lead (Pb). We also profiled Pueblo's communities in terms of their socioeconomic status and demographics. ArcGIS 9.0 was used to perform exploratory spatial data analysis and generate community profiles and prediction maps. The topsoil in Pueblo contains more As, Cd, Hg and Pb than national soil averages, although average Hg content in Pueblo was within reported baseline ranges. The highest levels of As concentrations ranged between 56.6 and 66.5 ppm. Lead concentrations exceeded 300 ppm in several of Pueblo's residential communities. Elevated levels of lead are concentrated in low-income Hispanic and African-American communities. Areas of excessively high Cd concentration exist around Pueblo, including low income and minority communities, raising additional health and environmental justice concerns. Although the distribution patterns vary by element and may reflect both industrial and non-industrial sources, the study confirms that there is environmental contamination around Pueblo and underscores the need for a comprehensive public health approach to address environmental threats in urban communities. ?? Springer 2006.

  20. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles Elias

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objective of this study was to assess community risk knowledge and perception of potential mercury and arsenic toxicity and/or exposure from artisanal gold mining in Rwamagasa in northwestern Tanzania. Methods A cross-sectional survey of respondents in five sub-villages in the Rwamagasa Village located in Geita District in northwestern Tanzania near Lake Victoria was conducted. This area has a history of artisanal gold mining and many of the population continue to work as miners. Using a clustered random selection approach for recruitment, a total of 160 individuals over 18 years of age completed a structured interview. Results The interviews revealed wide variations in knowledge and risk perceptions concerning mercury and arsenic exposure, with 40.6% (n=65 and 89.4% (n=143 not aware of the health effects of mercury and arsenic exposure respectively. Males were significantly more knowledgeable (n=59, 36.9% than females (n=36, 22.5% with regard to mercury (x2=3.99, px2=22.82, p= Conclusions The knowledge of individuals living in Rwamagasa, Tanzania, an area with a history of artisanal gold mining, varied widely with regard to the health hazards of mercury and arsenic. In these communities there was limited awareness of the threats to health associated with exposure to mercury and arsenic. This lack of knowledge, combined with minimal environmental monitoring and controlled waste management practices, highlights the need for health education, surveillance, and policy

  1. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles, Elias; Thomas, Deborah S K; Dewey, Deborah; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E; Konje, Eveline

    2013-01-25

    An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objective of this study was to assess community risk knowledge and perception of potential mercury and arsenic toxicity and/or exposure from artisanal gold mining in Rwamagasa in northwestern Tanzania. A cross-sectional survey of respondents in five sub-villages in the Rwamagasa Village located in Geita District in northwestern Tanzania near Lake Victoria was conducted. This area has a history of artisanal gold mining and many of the population continue to work as miners. Using a clustered random selection approach for recruitment, a total of 160 individuals over 18 years of age completed a structured interview. The interviews revealed wide variations in knowledge and risk perceptions concerning mercury and arsenic exposure, with 40.6% (n=65) and 89.4% (n=143) not aware of the health effects of mercury and arsenic exposure respectively. Males were significantly more knowledgeable (n=59, 36.9%) than females (n=36, 22.5%) with regard to mercury (x²=3.99, pmining (n=63, 73.2%) were more knowledgeable about the negative health effects of mercury than individuals in other occupations. Of the few individuals (n=17, 10.6%) who knew about arsenic toxicity, the majority (n=10, 58.8%) were miners. The knowledge of individuals living in Rwamagasa, Tanzania, an area with a history of artisanal gold mining, varied widely with regard to the health hazards of mercury and arsenic. In these communities there was limited awareness of the threats to health associated with exposure to mercury and arsenic. This lack of

  2. Risk assessment of mercury contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hempel, M.

    1993-01-01

    At two sites, highly contaminated with mercury, risk assessment was executed. Methods were developed to determine organomercury compounds in water, air and soil. Toxicity tests demonstrated the high toxicity of organomercury compounds compared to inorganic mercury. Besides highly toxic methylmercury, ethylmercury was found in soils close to a chemical plant in Marktredwitz. In ultrafiltration-experiments mercury showed great affinity to high molecular substances in water. Lysimeter-experiments proved, that organomercury compounds are adsorbed and transformed to inorganic and elemental mercury. (orig.) [de

  3. Mercury (Environmental Health Student Portal)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in contact with) to mercury is by eating fish or shellfish that have high levels of mercury. You can also get sick from: Touching it Breathing it in Drinking contaminated water How can mercury ...

  4. Mercury risk from fluorescent lamps in China: current status and future perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yuanan; Cheng, Hefa

    2012-09-01

    Energy-efficient lighting is one of the key measures for addressing electric power shortages and climate change mitigation, and fluorescent lamps are expected to dominate the lighting market in China over the next several years. This review presents an overview on the emissions and risk of mercury from fluorescent lamps during production and disposal, and discusses measures for reducing the mercury risk through solid waste management and source reduction. Fluorescent lamps produced in China used to contain relatively large amounts of mercury (up to 40 mg per lamp) due to the prevalence of liquid mercury dosing, which also released significant amounts of mercury to the environment. Upgrade of the mercury dosing technologies and manufacturing facilities had significantly reduced the mercury contents in fluorescent lamps, with most of them containing less than 10 or 5mg per lamp now. Occupational hygiene studies showed that mercury emissions occurred during fluorescent lamp production, particularly in the facilities using liquid mercury dosing, which polluted the environmental media at and surrounding the production sites and posed chronic health risk to the workers by causing neuropsychological and motor impairments. It is estimated that spent fluorescent lamps account for approximately 20% of mercury input in the MSW in China. Even though recycling of fluorescent lamps presents an important opportunity to capture the mercury they contain, it is difficult and not cost-effective at reducing the mercury risk under the broader context of mercury pollution control in China. In light of the significant mercury emissions associated with electricity generation in China, we propose that reduction of mercury emissions and risk associated with fluorescent lamps should be achieved primarily through lowering their mercury contents by the manufacturers while recycling programs should focus on elemental mercury-containing waste products instead of fluorescent lamps to recapture

  5. Issues in the assessment of congenital health risks from mercury in coal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Saroff, L.

    1995-01-01

    This paper describes a probabilistic assessment of congenital neurological risks associated with consumption of fish and shellfish containing MeHg and the effects that local coal combustion might have on those risks. Two scenarios were considered with this model: the ''baseline'' scenario (MeHg from fish consumption without local impacts), and the ''impact'' scenario (baseline plus local power-plant impact on freshwater fish). In this paper, we describe the framework and application of the model, including parameters and statistical linkages, the distributions used to represent the parameters, and the statistical methods used to characterize the inherent variability in each individual's diet and the distribution of individuals within a hypothetical population. These factors define the baseline, which is then compared to observations of MeHg in hair in order to demonstrate the model's validity. The incremental effect of local coal combustion is represented by augmenting the distribution of Hg in local freshwater fish by a prescribed amount, which we refer to as the ''impact factor.'' Conventional air pollution dispersion modeling is then used to relate this factor to an appropriate range of powerplant characteristics

  6. Issues in the assessment of congenital health risks from mercury in coal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States); Saroff, L. [USDOE Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Washington, DC (United States). Clean Coal Technology Program

    1995-04-01

    This paper describes a probabilistic assessment of congenital neurological risks associated with consumption of fish and shellfish containing MeHg and the effects that local coal combustion might have on those risks. Two scenarios were considered with this model: the ``baseline`` scenario (MeHg from fish consumption without local impacts), and the ``impact`` scenario (baseline plus local power-plant impact on freshwater fish). In this paper, we describe the framework and application of the model, including parameters and statistical linkages, the distributions used to represent the parameters, and the statistical methods used to characterize the inherent variability in each individual`s diet and the distribution of individuals within a hypothetical population. These factors define the baseline, which is then compared to observations of MeHg in hair in order to demonstrate the model`s validity. The incremental effect of local coal combustion is represented by augmenting the distribution of Hg in local freshwater fish by a prescribed amount, which we refer to as the ``impact factor.`` Conventional air pollution dispersion modeling is then used to relate this factor to an appropriate range of powerplant characteristics.

  7. Mercury risk in poultry in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yin, Runsheng; Zhang, Wei; Sun, Guangyi; Feng, Zhaohui; Hurley, James P.; Yang, Liyuan; Shang, Lihai; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-01-01

    In this study, total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in muscles (leg and breast), organs (intestine, heart, stomach, liver) and blood were investigated for backyard chickens, ducks and geese of the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. THg in poultry meat products range from 7.9 to 3917.1 ng/g, most of which exceeded the Chinese national standard limit for THg in meat (50 ng/g). Elevated MeHg concentrations (0.4–62.8 ng/g) were also observed in meat products, suggesting that poultry meat can be an important human MeHg exposure source. Ducks and geese showed higher Hg levels than chickens. For all poultry species, the highest Hg concentrations were observed in liver (THg: 23.2–3917.1 ng/g; MeHg: 7.1–62.8 ng/g) and blood (THg: 12.3–338.0 ng/g; MeHg: 1.4–17.6 ng/g). We estimated the Hg burdens in chickens (THg: 15.3–238.1 μg; MeHg: 2.2–15.6 μg), ducks (THg: 15.3–238.1 μg; MeHg: 3.5–14.7 μg) and geese (THg: 83.8–93.4 μg; MeHg: 15.4–29.7 μg). To not exceed the daily intake limit for THg (34.2 μg/day) and MeHg (6 μg/day), we suggested that the maximum amount (g) for chicken leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 1384, 1498, 2315, 1214, 1081, 257, and 717, respectively; the maximum amount (g) for duck leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 750, 1041, 986, 858, 752, 134, and 573, respectively; and the maximum amount (g) for goose leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 941, 1051, 1040, 1131, 964, 137, and 562, respectively. - Highlights: • Elevated mercury levels were observed in poultry from Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. • Ducks and geese showed higher mercury levels than chickens. • Liver and blood showed the highest mercury levels. • Poultry can be an important dietary Hg exposure source for local residents. - High levels of Hg associated with poultry surrounding the Wanshan Mercury Mine pose a great risk of Hg exposure to

  8. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques. Highlights and achievements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia

    2002-01-01

    This is the first comprehensive health evaluation made by the Department of Health of the mining community's exposure to total and methyl mercury. Previous studies have mainly focused more on the health risks associated with occupational exposure to mercury. Other sources of mercury exposure such as diet and other environmental media was not investigated and the population studied did not include high risk groups such as pregnant women and children

  9. Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining on Buru Island, Indonesia – Potential future risks to environmental health and food safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Male, Yusthinus Thobias; Reichelt-Brushett, Amanda Jean; Pocock, Matt; Nanlohy, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining, Buru Island, Indonesia. • Measured dispersal into the marine environment. • Implications for food safety. • Challenges for introducing mercury reduction strategies. -- Abstract: In November 2011 gold was found at Mount Botak, Buru Island, Mollucas Province, Indonesia. Since 2012 mercury has been used to extract the gold requiring large volumes of water and resulting in deposition of mercury into Wamsait River and Kayeli Bay. Total mercury in waste ponds was over 680 mg/kg. In sediments at the mouth of the local river and a small feeder creek >3.00 mg/kg and >7.66 mg/kg respectively. River and bay sediments were proportionately higher in available mercury than elemental mercury and more strongly bound mercuric sulfide compared to that in trommel waste. This preliminary investigation raises concerns about the long term distribution and speciation of mercury. The floodplain is an important agricultural resource, and Mollucas Province is recognised nationally as the centre for Indonesian fish stocks. Challenges for management include communicating the potential future risks to the community and leaders and identifying mechanisms to reduce mercury waste

  10. DIFFUSION AND PERCEPTION OF MERCURY RISK INFORMATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Approximately 8% of American women have blood Mercury levels exceeding the EPA reference dose (a dose below which symptoms would be unlikely). The children of these women are at risk of neurological deficits (lower IQ scores) primarily because of the mother’s consumption of...

  11. Global Trends in Mercury Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Kyunghee

    2012-01-01

    The United Nations Environmental Program Governing Council has regulated mercury as a global pollutant since 2001 and has been preparing the mercury convention, which will have a strongly binding force through Global Mercury Assessment, Global Mercury Partnership Activities, and establishment of the Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury. The European Union maintains an inclusive strategy on risks and contamination of mercury, and has executed the Mercury Export Ban Act since December in 2010. The US Environmental Protection Agency established the Mercury Action Plan (1998) and the Mercury Roadmap (2006) and has proposed systematic mercury management methods to reduce the health risks posed by mercury exposure. Japan, which experienced Minamata disease, aims vigorously at perfection in mercury management in several ways. In Korea, the Ministry of Environment established the Comprehensive Plan and Countermeasures for Mercury Management to prepare for the mercury convention and to reduce risks of mercury to protect public health. PMID:23230466

  12. Assessment of environmental and health risks in former polymetallic ore mining and smelting area, Slovakia: Spatial distribution and accumulation of mercury in four different ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Árvay, Július; Demková, Lenka; Hauptvogl, Martin; Michalko, Miloslav; Bajčan, Daniel; Stanovič, Radovan; Tomáš, Ján; Hrstková, Miroslava; Trebichalský, Pavol

    2017-10-01

    Former long-term mining and smelting of pollymetallic ores in the Middle Spiš area caused a serious contamination problem of the environment with heavy metals and metalloids, especially mercury (Hg). Several studies have reported concentration of Hg in the area but this paper provides first detailed characterization of Hg contamination of different environmental components in agricultural, forest, grassland and urban ecosystems. The ecosystems are in different distances from emission sources - former mercury and copper smelting plants in NE Slovakia. Total Hg content was studied in soil/substrate samples (n = 234) and characteristic biological samples (Athyrium filix-femina (L.) Roth, Macrolepiota procera (Scop.) Singer, Boletus edulis Bull., Cyanoboletus pulverulentus (Opat.) Gelardi, Vizzini & Simonini, Triticum aestivum (L.), Poa pratensis (L.)) (n = 234) collected in the above-mentioned ecosystems. The level of contamination and environmental risks were assessed by contamination factor (C f ), index of geoaccumulation (I geo ) and potential environmental risk index (PER). To determine the level of transition of Hg from abiotic to biotic environment, bioconcentration factor (BCF) was used. To determine a health risk resulting from regular and long-term consumption of the locally available species, the results of the Hg content were compared with the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) for Hg defined by World Health Organization. The results suggest that almost 63% of the area belong to the very high risk category and 80% of the sampling sites shown very high contamination factor. Geoaccumulation index showed that almost 30% of the area is very strongly contaminated and only 8% is not contaminated with Hg. Spearman's correlation relationship confirmed that the values of PER, BCF, C f and I geo decreased with an increasing distance from the pollution source. The percentage of contribution to PTWI ranged between 5.76-69.0% for adults and 11.5-138% for

  13. The Association Between Blood Mercury Levels and Risk for Overweight in a General Adult Population: Results from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Seunghyun; Yoon, Jin-Ha; Won, Jong-Uk; Lee, Wanhyung; Lee, June-Hee; Seok, Hongdeok; Kim, Yeong-Kwang; Kim, Chi-Nyon; Roh, Jaehoon

    2016-06-01

    The primary objective of this study was to estimate the association between blood mercury levels and overweight in Korean adults. We analyzed cross-sectional data from 9228 participants (4283 men and 4945 women) who completed the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), 2007-2013. The population was divided into two groups according to the body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC). Blood mercury levels were analyzed using a gold amalgam method with a DMA-80 instrument, categorized into quartiles, and stratified by sex. After adjusting for all covariates, blood mercury was significantly associated with overweight in all subjects. According to the BMI criteria, the adjusted odds ratio of being in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.75 (95 % confidence interval [CI], 1.53-2.01) overall, 2.09 (95 % CI, 1.71-2.55) in men, and 1.58 (95 % CI, 1.32-1.89) in women. According to the WC criteria, the adjusted odds ratio of being in the highest blood mercury quartile was 1.85 (95 % CI, 1.49-2.30) in men and 1.96 (95 % CI, 1.62-2.36) in women compared to the lowest quartile. Additionally, a trend in overweight across increasing blood mercury levels was observed by the p for trend test in the multiple diagnostic criteria.

  14. 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

  15. Total Mercury in Squalid Callista Megapitaria squalida from the SW Gulf of California, Mexico: Tissue Distribution and Human Health Risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romo-Piñera, Abril K; Escobar-Sánchez, Ofelia; Ruelas-Inzunza, Jorge; Frías-Espericueta, Martín G

    2018-03-01

    We evaluated the total Hg concentration in different tissues of squalid callista Megapitaria squalida in order to measure Hg distribution in tissue and to estimate human health risk. Samples were obtained by free diving in the SW Gulf of California, Mexico. Concentrations are given on a wet weight basis. A total of 89 squalid callista specimens were obtained, presenting an average Hg concentration of 0.07 ± 0.04 µg g -1 . There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in Hg concentration between tissues (visceral mass = 0.09 ± 0.08 µg g -1 ; mantle = 0.06 ± 0.07 µg g -1 ; muscle = 0.06 ± 0.04 µg g -1 ). The low Hg values found in squalid callista and its low risk quotient (HQ = 0.03) suggest that the consumption of squalid callista does not represent a human health risk. However, HQ calculated using MeHg was > 1, it which could indicate a potential risk related to consumption of clams.

  16. RISK PERCEPTION AND DIFFUSION OF MERCURY RISK INFORMATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    The most recent NHANES data reveals that approximately 8% of American women have blood Mercury levels exceeding the EPA reference dose (a dose below which symptoms would be unlikely). The children of these women are at risk of neurological deficits (lower IQ scores) primarily bec...

  17. Mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vilas, F.; Chapman, C.R.; Matthews, M.S.

    1988-01-01

    Papers are presented on future observations of and missions to Mercury, the photometry and polarimetry of Mercury, the surface composition of Mercury from reflectance spectrophotometry, the Goldstone radar observations of Mercury, the radar observations of Mercury, the stratigraphy and geologic history of Mercury, the geomorphology of impact craters on Mercury, and the cratering record on Mercury and the origin of impacting objects. Consideration is also given to the tectonics of Mercury, the tectonic history of Mercury, Mercury's thermal history and the generation of its magnetic field, the rotational dynamics of Mercury and the state of its core, Mercury's magnetic field and interior, the magnetosphere of Mercury, and the Mercury atmosphere. Other papers are on the present bounds on the bulk composition of Mercury and the implications for planetary formation processes, the building stones of the planets, the origin and composition of Mercury, the formation of Mercury from planetesimals, and theoretical considerations on the strange density of Mercury

  18. Understanding the mercury reduction issue: the impact of mercury on the environment and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kao, Richard T; Dault, Scott; Pichay, Teresa

    2004-07-01

    Mercury has been used in both medicine and dentistry for centuries. Recent media attention regarding the increased levels of mercury in dietary fish, high levels of mercury in air emissions, and conjecture that certain diseases may be caused by mercury exposure has increased public awareness of the potential adverse health effects of high doses of mercury. Dentistry has been criticized for its continued use of mercury in dental amalgam for both public health and environmental reasons. To address these concerns, dental professionals should understand the impact of the various levels and types of mercury on the environment and human health. Mercury is unique in its ability to form amalgams with other metals. Dental amalgam--consisting of silver, copper, tin, and mercury--has been used as a safe, stable, and cost-effective restorative material for more than 150 years. As a result of this use, the dental profession has been confronted by the public on two separate health issues concerning the mercury content in amalgam. The first issue is whether the mercury amalgamated with the various metals to create dental restorations poses a health issue for patients. The second is whether the scraps associated with amalgam placement and the removal of amalgam restorations poses environmental hazards which may eventually have an impact on human health. Despite the lack of scientific evidence for such hazards, there is growing pressure for the dental profession to address these health issues. In this article, the toxicology of mercury will be reviewed and the impact of amalgam on health and the environment will be examined.

  19. Concentrations and health risks of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury in rice and edible mushrooms in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Yong; Sun, Xinyang; Yang, Wenjian; Ma, Ning; Xin, Zhihong; Fu, Jin; Liu, Xiaochang; Liu, Meng; Mariga, Alfred Mugambi; Zhu, Xuefeng; Hu, Qiuhui

    2014-03-15

    In this study, four common heavy metals, lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) in rice and edible mushrooms of China were studied to evaluate contamination level and edible safety. Ninety two (92) rice samples were collected from the main rice growing regions in China, and 38 fresh and 21 dry edible mushroom samples were collected from typical markets in Nanjing City. The analyzed metal concentrations were significantly different between rice and edible mushroom samples (price samples respectively, were above maximum allowable concentration (MAC). In fresh edible mushroom, Pb and Hg contents in 2.6% samples were above MAC, respectively. However, only Hg content in 4.8% dry edible mushroom samples was above its MAC. Therefore, more than 95% rice and edible mushroom samples in our test had high edible safety. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... IRIS database Top of Page Elemental (Metallic) Mercury Effects Exposures to metallic mercury most often occur when metallic ... poor performance on tests of mental function Higher exposures may also cause kidney effects, respiratory failure and death. Note that metallic mercury ...

  1. Mercury concentration in meconium and risk assessment of fish consumption among pregnant women in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chuen-Bin; Yeh, Ching-Ying; Lee, Hung-Chang; Chen, Ming-Jun; Hung, Fang-Yu; Fang, Sheng-Shiung; Chien, Ling-Chu

    2010-01-01

    Meconium is a matrix that can be obtained easily and noninvasively and is useful for detecting antenatal fetal exposure to environmental toxins. Taiwan is an island with high fish consumption, and many pregnant women would like to enjoy the benefits of fish without jeopardizing their health or that of their child. The aim of this study is to assess the mercury concentration in meconium in relation to the health risk of mercury exposure. A total of 198 mother-infant pairs residing in the city of HsinChu were recruited for the study between January 2007 and June 2007. The average mean concentration of mercury in meconium was 79.2+/-7.3 ng g(-1) dry wt We use the Monte Carlo technique to assess the uncertainty in risk assessment and the impact of these uncertainties on the estimation of expected risk of mercury intake from fish in mothers. Based on the FAO/WHO's tolerable daily intake of methylmercury (0.23 microg kg(-1)d(-1)), we found that 17.3% and 14.0% of the daily mercury exposure estimated exceeded the reference dose for foreign-born and Taiwan-born mothers, respectively. We found that the mercury concentration in meconium was much higher than in other studies, except for one study done in Tagum in the Philippines where mercury is used in gold mining. This may be because Asia is the largest emitter of anthropogenic mercury, accounting for 53% of worldwide emissions. Sensitivity analysis suggests that mercury concentration in fish and the rate of ingesting fish may be the key parameters for governments offering risk management guidance to protect the health of mothers and unborn babies.

  2. 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.

  3. Fish consumption, mercury exposure, and the risk of cholesterol profiles: findings from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong Min Cho

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the associations between mercury (Hg exposure and cholesterol profiles were analyzed, and increased Hg levels and cholesterol profiles according to the amount of fish consumption were evaluated. Data on levels of blood Hg, the frequency of fish consumption, total blood cholesterol (TC, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, and triglyceride (TG in 3951 adults were obtained from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2010-2011 database. To compare the distribution for each log-transformed indicator, Student’s t-test and analysis of variance were carried out, and the groups were classified according to the frequency of fish consumption through linear regression analysis; the association between Hg level and cholesterol profiles in each group was analyzed. The blood Hg levels (arithmetic mean, median, and geometric mean for all target participants were 4.59, 3.66, and 3.74 µg/L, respectively. The high cholesterol group, low HDL-C group, and high TG group showed a statistically and significantly higher blood Hg level than the low-risk group. In both sexes, as the frequency of fish consumption increased, blood Hg level also increased, but TC, HDL-C, LDL-C, and TG did not show a similar trend. Increased blood Hg level showed a significant association with increased TC and LDL-C. This statistical significance was maintained in the group with less frequent fish consumption (8 times per month did not show a similar trend. The results of this study suggest that fish consumption increases the level of Hg exposure, and that as the level of Hg exposure increases, the levels of cholesterol profiles increase. However, this study also suggests that the levels of cholesterol profiles in those with frequent fish consumption can be diminished.

  4. Probabilistic risk analysis of mercury intake via food consumption in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-Ortega, Alicia; Moreno-Rojas, Rafael; Martínez-Álvarez, Jesús Román; González Estecha, Montserrat; Castro González, Numa Pompilio; Amaro López, Manuel Ángel

    2017-09-01

    In Spain, recently, the public institutions have given information to the population in relation to fish consumption and the risk that it poses to health from the ingestion of mercury supposedly contained in the fish. At the same time, several scientific societies have published various works in this direction. All this without there being, up to now, any study on the evaluation of a probabilistic risk from mercury due to fish and seafood intake in Spain, which is the objective of this present work. For that purpose, we took individual data from a survey of the total diet of 3000 people, whose consumption of the principal fish and seafood species (49) was estimated. We compiled individualized data (2000) on the total mercury content of those species, which were completed and validated with bibliographic statistical data. After estimating the distributions of each fish and seafood species, both of their consumption and their mercury content, a simulation was made of the distribution of mercury ingestion from fish and seafood offered by 2.6% of the Spanish population at risk of exceeding total mercury recommendations, and between 12.2% and 21.2% of those exceeding methylmercury ones. The main species responsible were tuna fish, swordfish and hake, and significant differences were identified in fish consumption between sexes and ages, although, in the risk percentage, what stands out is an increase in the latter with an increase in age. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  5. Mercury risk in poultry in the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Runsheng; Zhang, Wei; Sun, Guangyi; Feng, Zhaohui; Hurley, James P; Yang, Liyuan; Shang, Lihai; Feng, Xinbin

    2017-11-01

    In this study, total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in muscles (leg and breast), organs (intestine, heart, stomach, liver) and blood were investigated for backyard chickens, ducks and geese of the Wanshan Mercury Mine, China. THg in poultry meat products range from 7.9 to 3917.1 ng/g, most of which exceeded the Chinese national standard limit for THg in meat (50 ng/g). Elevated MeHg concentrations (0.4-62.8 ng/g) were also observed in meat products, suggesting that poultry meat can be an important human MeHg exposure source. Ducks and geese showed higher Hg levels than chickens. For all poultry species, the highest Hg concentrations were observed in liver (THg: 23.2-3917.1 ng/g; MeHg: 7.1-62.8 ng/g) and blood (THg: 12.3-338.0 ng/g; MeHg: 1.4-17.6 ng/g). We estimated the Hg burdens in chickens (THg: 15.3-238.1 μg; MeHg: 2.2-15.6 μg), ducks (THg: 15.3-238.1 μg; MeHg: 3.5-14.7 μg) and geese (THg: 83.8-93.4 μg; MeHg: 15.4-29.7 μg). To not exceed the daily intake limit for THg (34.2 μg/day) and MeHg (6 μg/day), we suggested that the maximum amount (g) for chicken leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 1384, 1498, 2315, 1214, 1081, 257, and 717, respectively; the maximum amount (g) for duck leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 750, 1041, 986, 858, 752, 134, and 573, respectively; and the maximum amount (g) for goose leg, breast, heart, stomach, intestine, liver, and blood should be 941, 1051, 1040, 1131, 964, 137, and 562, respectively. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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 ...

  7. [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.

  8. Women, mercury and artisanal gold mining : Risk communication and mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinton, J. J.; Veiga, M. M.; Beinhoff, C.

    2003-05-01

    Artisanal miners employ rudimentary techniques for minéral extraction and often operate under hazardous, labour intensive, highly disorganized and illegal conditions. Gold is the main mineral extracted by artisanal miners, and the ecological and human health impacts resulting from mercury (Hg) use in gold extraction warrant special consideration. More than 30% of world's 13 million artisanal miners are women and, as they are often perceived to be less suited for labour intensive mining methods, the majority of women work in the processing aspect of artisanal mining, including amalgamation with Hg. As women are also predominantly responsible for food preparation, they are in an excellent position to respond to health risks associated with consumption of Hg-contaminated foods in impacted areas. In addition to their influence on consumption habits, women in artisanal mining communities may be in a position to effect positive change with respect to the technologies employed. Thus, gender sensitive approaches are necessary to reduce exposure risks to women and their families, promote clean technologies and support the development of stronger, healthier artisanal mining communities. This paper describes the roles of women in artisanal gold mining, highlights their importance in reducing the Hg exposure in these communities, and provides insight into how risks from Hg pollution can effectively be communicated and mitigated.

  9. 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.

  10. A Review of Mercury Exposure and Health of Dental Personnel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natasha Nagpal

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Considerable effort has been made to address the issue of occupational health and environmental exposure to mercury. This review reports on the current literature of mercury exposure and health impacts on dental personnel. Citations were searched using four comprehensive electronic databases for articles published between 2002 and 2015. All original articles that evaluated an association between the use of dental amalgam and occupational mercury exposure in dental personnel were included. Fifteen publications from nine different countries met the selection criteria. The design and quality of the studies showed significant variation, particularly in the choice of biomarkers as an indicator of mercury exposure. In several countries, dental personnel had higher mercury levels in biological fluids and tissues than in control groups; some work practices increased mercury exposure but the exposure levels remained below recommended guidelines. Dental personnel reported more health conditions, often involving the central nervous system, than the control groups. Clinical symptoms reported by dental professionals may be associated with low-level, long-term exposure to occupational mercury, but may also be due to the effects of aging, occupational overuse, and stress. It is important that dental personnel, researchers, and educators continue to encourage and monitor good work practices by dental professionals.

  11. Mercury

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Irma

    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

  12. Health and environmental assessment of mercury exposure in a gold mining community in Western Mindanao, Philippines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Sunio, Rose; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta

    2006-10-01

    The small-scale gold mining activities using mercury began in the late 1980s in Sibutad, Western Mindanao. It is located very near the Murcielagos Bay with tailing ponds directly discharging into bodies of water. This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the health and environmental effects of gold mining activities on the community. Residents were randomly selected and classified into two groups, namely, the directly exposed and indirectly exposed populations using a set inclusion criteria. Complete medical and laboratory examinations were performed. Environmental and biologic samples were collected for total mercury and methylmercury determinations. The results showed that the directly exposed group had significantly higher mean blood total mercury and methylmercury levels in comparison with the indirectly exposed population. Although there were no significant differences between hair total mercury and methylmercury levels, there was a trend for higher levels of these biomarkers among the directly exposed residents as compared with the unexposed group. The absence of statistically significant differences may be attributable to the small sample size. Ambient air quality monitoring for mercury exceeded the allowable levels. However, levels of mercury in drinking water and sediments were within allowable limits. Frequency of gastrointestinal complaints was significantly associated with elevated hair methylmercury levels (p=0.02). Also, there appears to be a trend towards higher blood total mercury levels and frequency of gastrointestinal complaints (p=0.09). An interesting finding in this study was the increasing incidence of elevated diastolic blood pressure with elevated hair total mercury levels (p=0.07). Mercury storage at home is a risk factor.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-02-08

    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 mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction.

  14. Selenium and mercury molar ratios in commercial fish from New Jersey and Illinois: variation within species and relevance to risk communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2013-07-01

    There is an emerging consensus that people consuming large amounts of fish with selenium:mercury ratios below 1 are at higher risk from mercury toxicity. As the relative amount of selenium increases compared to mercury, risk may be lowered, but it is unclear how much excess selenium is required. It would be useful if the selenium:mercury ratio was relatively consistent within a species, but this has not been the case in our studies of wild-caught fish. Since most people in developed countries and urban areas obtain their fish and other seafood commercially, we examined selenium:mercury molar ratios in commercial fish purchased in stores and fish markets in central New Jersey and Chicago. There was substantial interspecific and intraspecific variation in molar ratios. Across species the selenium:mercury molar ratio decreased with increasing mean mercury levels, but selenium variation also contributed to the ratio. Few samples had selenium:mercury molar ratios below 1, but there was a wide range in ratios, complicating the interpretation for use in risk management and communication. Before ratios can be used in risk management, more information is needed on mercury:selenium interactions and mutual bioavailability, and on the relationship between molar ratios and health outcomes. Further, people who are selenium deficient may be more at risk from mercury toxicity than others. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Selenium and mercury molar ratios in commercial fish from New Jersey and Illinois: Variation within species and relevance to risk communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2015-01-01

    There is an emerging consensus that people consuming large amounts of fish with selenium:mercury ratios below 1 may be at higher risk from mercury toxicity. As the relative amount of selenium increases compared to mercury, risk may be lowered, but it is unclear how much excess selenium is required. It would be useful if the selenium:mercury ratio was relatively consistent within a species, but this has not been the case in our studies of wild-caught fish. Since most people in developed countries and urban areas obtain their fish and other seafood commercially, we examined selenium:mercury molar ratios in commercial fish purchased in stores and fish markets in central New Jersey and Chicago. There was substantial interspecific and intraspecific variation in molar ratios. Across species the selenium:mercury molar ratio decreased with increasing mean mercury levels, but selenium variation also contributed to the ratio. Few samples had selenium:mercury molar ratios below 1, but there was a wide range in ratios, complicating the interpretation for use in risk management and communication. Before ratios can be used in risk management, more information is needed on mercury:selenium interactions and mutual bioavailability, and on the relationship between molar ratios and health outcomes. Further, people who are selenium deficient may be more at risk from mercury toxicity than others. PMID:23541437

  16. 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

  17. Environmental and health aspects of lighting: Mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clear, R.; Berman, S.

    1993-07-01

    Most discharge lamps, including fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps, and high pressure sodium lamps, contain Mercury, a toxic chemical. Lighting professionals need to be able to respond to questions about the direct hazards of Mercury from accidentally breaking lamps, and the potential environmental hazards of lamp operation and disposal. We calculated the exposures that could occur from an accidental breakage of lamps. Acute poisoning appears almost impossible. Under some circumstances a sealed environment, such as a space station, could be contaminated enough to make it unhealthy for long-term occupation. Mercury becomes a potential environmental hazard after it becomes methylated. Mercury is methylated in aquatic environments, where it may accumulate in fish, eventually rendering them toxic to people and other animals. Lighting causes Mercury to enter the environment directly from lamp disposal, and indirectly from power plant emissions. The environmental tradeoffs between incandescent and discharge lamps depend upon the amounts released by these two sources, their local concentrations, and their probabilities of being methylated. Indirect environmental effects of lighting also include the release of other heavy metals (Cadmium, Lead and Arsenic), and other air pollutants and carbon dioxide that are emitted by fossil fuel power plants. For a given light output, the level of power plant emissions depends upon the efficacy of the light source, and is thus much larger for incandescent lamps than for fluorescent or discharge lamps. As disposal and control technologies change the relative direct and indirect emissions from discharge and incandescent lamps will change.

  18. Bioaccessibility and health risk of arsenic, mercury and other metals in urban street dusts from a mega-city, Nanjing, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Xin; Zhang, Yun; Luo Jun; Wang Tijian; Lian Hongzhen; Ding Zhuhong

    2011-01-01

    The oral bioaccessibility and the human health risks of As, Hg and other metals (Cu, Pb, Zn, Ni, Co, Cd, Cr, Mn, V and Fe) in urban street dusts from different land use districts in Nanjing (a mega-city), China were investigated. Both the total contents and the oral bioaccessibility estimated by the Simple Bioaccessibility Extraction Test (SBET) of the studied elements varied with street dusts from different land use districts. Cd, Zn, Mn, Pb, Hg and As showed high bioaccessibility. SBET-extractable contents of elements were significantly correlated with their total contents and the dust properties (pH, organic matter contents). The carcinogenic risk probability for As and Cr to children and adults were under the acceptable level ( -4 ). Hazard Quotient values for single elements and Hazard Index values for all studied elements suggested potential non-carcinogenic health risk to children, but not to adults. - Highlights: → Spatial variation of elements in street dusts from different land use districts. → Oral bioaccessibility of elements in street dusts from different land use districts. → Human health risks of elements in street dusts from different land use districts. - Bioaccessibility and health risks of trace elements differed with street dusts from different land use districts in Nanjing.

  19. Arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium: Toxicity, levels in breast milk and the risks for breastfed infants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rebelo, Fernanda Maciel [Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency, University of Brasilia, 70910-900 Brasilia, DF (Brazil); Caldas, Eloisa Dutra, E-mail: eloisa@unb.br [Laboratory of Toxicology, Department of Pharmacy, University of Brasilia, 70910-900 Brasilia, DF (Brazil)

    2016-11-15

    Metals are ubiquitous in nature, being found in all environmental compartments, and have a variety of applications in human activities. Metals are transferred by maternal blood to the fetus via the placenta, and exposure continues throughout life. For the general population, exposure comes mainly from water and food consumption, including breast milk. In this paper, we reviewed studies on the toxicity of arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium, the toxic metals of most concern to human health, focusing on the potential risks to newborns and infants. A total of 75 studies published since 2000 reporting the levels of these metals in breast milk were reviewed. Lead was the metal most investigated in breast milk (43 studies), and for which the highest levels were reported (up to 1515 µg/L). Arsenic was the least investigated (18 studies), with higher levels reported for breast milk (up to 149 µg/L) collected in regions with high arsenic concentrations in water (>10 µg/L). Data from 34 studies on mercury showed that levels in breast milk were generally higher in populations with high fish consumption, where it may be present mainly as MeHg. Cadmium levels in breast milk were the lowest, with means <2 µg/L in most of the 29 studies reviewed. Results of risk assessments indicated that the intake of arsenic, lead and mercury by infants through breastfeeding can be considered a health concern in most regions of the world. Although the potential risks to infants are mostly outweighed by the benefits of breast milk consumption, it is essential that contaminants be continuously monitored, especially in the most critical regions, and that measures be implemented by health authorities to reduce exposure of newborns and infants to these metals, and thus avoid unnecessary health risks. - Highlights: • Review of 75 studies that analyzed arsenic, lead, mercury and/or cadmium levels. • Higher levels of arsenic found in India; of mercury found in Brazil. • Lead was the most

  20. Arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium: Toxicity, levels in breast milk and the risks for breastfed infants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rebelo, Fernanda Maciel; Caldas, Eloisa Dutra

    2016-01-01

    Metals are ubiquitous in nature, being found in all environmental compartments, and have a variety of applications in human activities. Metals are transferred by maternal blood to the fetus via the placenta, and exposure continues throughout life. For the general population, exposure comes mainly from water and food consumption, including breast milk. In this paper, we reviewed studies on the toxicity of arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium, the toxic metals of most concern to human health, focusing on the potential risks to newborns and infants. A total of 75 studies published since 2000 reporting the levels of these metals in breast milk were reviewed. Lead was the metal most investigated in breast milk (43 studies), and for which the highest levels were reported (up to 1515 µg/L). Arsenic was the least investigated (18 studies), with higher levels reported for breast milk (up to 149 µg/L) collected in regions with high arsenic concentrations in water (>10 µg/L). Data from 34 studies on mercury showed that levels in breast milk were generally higher in populations with high fish consumption, where it may be present mainly as MeHg. Cadmium levels in breast milk were the lowest, with means <2 µg/L in most of the 29 studies reviewed. Results of risk assessments indicated that the intake of arsenic, lead and mercury by infants through breastfeeding can be considered a health concern in most regions of the world. Although the potential risks to infants are mostly outweighed by the benefits of breast milk consumption, it is essential that contaminants be continuously monitored, especially in the most critical regions, and that measures be implemented by health authorities to reduce exposure of newborns and infants to these metals, and thus avoid unnecessary health risks. - Highlights: • Review of 75 studies that analyzed arsenic, lead, mercury and/or cadmium levels. • Higher levels of arsenic found in India; of mercury found in Brazil. • Lead was the most

  1. Concentration of Mercury in Cockles (Anadara granosa and A. antiquata) Harvested from Estuaries of Western Lombok, Indonesia, and Potential Risks to Human Health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahayu, Rachmawati Noviana; Irawan, Bambang; Soegianto, Agoes

    2016-01-01

    This study measured the levels of total mercury (tHg) in the whole tissues of cockles (Anadara granosa and A. antiquata) harvested from three estuaries of Western Lombok Island (WLI), Indonesia. This paper also evaluated the hazard level posed by the mercury in relation to the maximum residual limit for human consumption and to estimate the weekly intake and compare it with the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). The tHg concentrations in A. granosa ranged from 0.020 to 0.070 mg kg(-1), and those in A. antiquata were between 0.032 and 0.077 mg kg(-1) at all locations. All samples of cockles harvested from WLI contain tHg below the permissible limit for human consumption. The maximum weekly intakes for total mercury by coastal people range from 0.28 to 1.08 µg kg(-1) b.w., and they are below the recommended values of PTWI (5.6 µg kg(-1) b.w.). If it is assumed that 100% of the Hg in cockles is methyl mercury (MeHg), consumption of the indicated amounts at the measured values wouldn't exceed the MeHg PTWI (1.6 µg kg(-1) b.w.).

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

    OpenAIRE

    Park, Jung-Duck; 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 o...

  3. Mercury risk to avian piscivores across western United States and Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, Allyson K.; Evers, David C.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Willacker, James J.; Elliott, John E.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Vander Pol, Stacy S.; Bryan, Colleen E.

    2016-01-01

    The widespread distribution of mercury (Hg) threatens wildlife health, particularly piscivorous birds. Western North America is a diverse region that provides critical habitat to many piscivorous bird species, and also has a well-documented history of mercury contamination from legacy mining and atmospheric deposition. The diversity of landscapes in the west limits the distribution of avian piscivore species, complicating broad comparisons across the region. Mercury risk to avian piscivores was evaluated across the western United States and Canada using a suite of avian piscivore species representing a variety of foraging strategies that together occur broadly across the region. Prey fish Hg concentrations were size-adjusted to the preferred size class of the diet for each avian piscivore (Bald Eagle = 36 cm, Osprey = 30 cm, Common and Yellow-billed Loon = 15 cm, Western and Clark's Grebe = 6 cm, and Belted Kingfisher = 5 cm) across each species breeding range. Using a combination of field and lab-based studies on Hg effect in a variety of species, wet weight blood estimates were grouped into five relative risk categories including: background ( 3 μg/g). These risk categories were used to estimate potential mercury risk to avian piscivores across the west at a 1 degree-by-1 degree grid cell resolution. Avian piscivores foraging on larger-sized fish generally were at a higher relative risk to Hg. Habitats with a relatively high risk included wetland complexes (e.g., prairie pothole in Saskatchewan), river deltas (e.g., San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound, Columbia River), and arid lands (Great Basin and central Arizona). These results indicate that more intensive avian piscivore sampling is needed across Western North America to generate a more robust assessment of exposure risk.

  4. A cross-sectional survey on knowledge and perceptions of health risks associated with arsenic and mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining in Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Charles, Elias; Thomas, Deborah SK; Dewey, Deborah; Davey, Mark; Ngallaba, Sospatro E; Konje, Eveline

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background An estimated 0.5 to 1.5 million informal miners, of whom 30-50% are women, rely on artisanal mining for their livelihood in Tanzania. Mercury, used in the processing gold ore, and arsenic, which is a constituent of some ores, are common occupational exposures that frequently result in widespread environmental contamination. Frequently, the mining activities are conducted haphazardly without regard for environmental, occupational, or community exposure. The primary objectiv...

  5. An Assessment of health risk associated with mercury in soil and sediment from East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Revis, N.; Holdsworth, G.; Bingham, G.; King, A.; Elmore, J.

    1989-04-01

    This report presents results from a study conducted to determine the toxicity of Mercury in soils sediments samples. Mice were fed via diet, soils and sediment, from various locations along the East Fork Poplar creek. Tissue distribution of pollutants was determined at various intervals. The tissue level relative to toxicity was used to determine the effect of a complex matrix on the gastrointestinal absorption and tissue distribution of the pollutants (other pollutants included cadmium and selenium).

  6. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... that mercuric chloride and methylmercury are possible human carcinogens. top How does mercury affect children? Very young ... billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum ...

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Seong-Ah; Kwon, YoungMin; Kim, Suejin; Joung, Hyojee

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:27598185

  9. Mercury levels and potential risk from subsistence foods from the Aleutians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Jeitner, Christian; Burke, Sean; Stamm, Tim; Snigaroff, Ronald; Snigaroff, Dan; Patrick, Robert; Weston, Jim

    2007-10-01

    ), and for 11 of the 15 fish species examined. Nine of the 15 fish species had some samples over the 0.3 ppm level, and 7 of 15 fish had some samples over 0.5 ppm. For birds, 95% of the pigeon guillemot muscle samples were above the 0.3 ppm, and 43% were above 0.5 ppm. While health professionals may argue about the risk and benefits of eating fish, and of eating alternative protein sources, the public should be provided with enough information for them to make informed decisions. This is particularly true for subsistence people who consume large quantities of self-caught foods, particularly for sensitive sub-populations, such as pregnant women. We argue that rather than giving people blanket statements about the health benefits or risks from eating fish, information on mean and maximum mercury levels should also be provided on a wide range of subsistence foods, allowing informed decisions, especially by those most at risk.

  10. Use of mercury in the small mining and the implications for the environment and the health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennig, Walther

    2004-01-01

    the breathing roads in quick and complete form absorb the mercury. This way the mercury can arrive through the blood to the brain and through the placenta to those even not born. Compound organic of mercury in the foods they are absorbed in 95% in the alimentary canal and stored in the fatty fabric and the brain. The biological period for compound organic of mercury it ascends to several (1 -18) years. While in a mature brain they are only attacked and damaged, partly in irreversible form his structure already existent, in a brain of a boy the mercury can cause that these structures not even go being formed. In the children the chronic absorption is cause of the Feer illness. If those affected are mature with similar symptoms it is also spoken of micro-mercuryalism. The clinical scheme is manifested p. e.g. in the non acceptance of walking, to be stopped and to sit down, without appetite behavior and of bad humor, apathy, muscular pains and of the articulations, loss appetite and of weight. The adults also present audition problems and tremors. In the world environment the mercury causes more dangers for the health of what was supposed until recently. This was of an alarming study of the program of the environment of the United Nations (UNEP) Some scientists suppose that for this reason annually only in USA 300000 recently born they take a bigger risk for cerebral damages. This implies from problems in the learning until damages in the nervous system. Most of the miners know about the dangers for the health caused by the mercury. However their careless handling is usually more the rule that the exception, since the effects then no longer reversible they are not immediate, but for the alone accumulation they are manifested in the course of the time, even after years. The technical alternatives in front of the use of mercury in the extraction of gold exist. But many times they require a bigger capital investment and in their handling they are more complex. Therefore it

  11. Mercury Exposure and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Two U.S. Cohorts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mozaffarian, Dariush; Shi, Peilin; Morris, J. Steven; Spiegelman, Donna; Grandjean, Philippe; Siscovick, David S.; Willett, Walter C.; Rimm, Eric B.

    2011-01-01

    BACKGROUND 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. METHODS Among subjects from two U.S. cohorts (a total of 51,529 men and 121,700 women) whose toenail clippings had been stored, we prospectively identified incident cases of cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease and stroke) in 3427 participants and matched them to risk-set–sampled controls according to age, sex, race, and smoking status. Toenail mercury and selenium concentrations were assessed with the use of neutron-activation analysis. Other demographic characteristics, cardiovascular risk factors, fish consumption, and lifestyle habits were assessed by means of validated questionnaires. Associations between mercury exposure and incident cardiovascular disease were evaluated with the use of conditional logistic regression. RESULTS Median toenail mercury concentrations were 0.23 µg per gram (interdecile range, 0.06 to 0.94) in the case participants and 0.25 µg per gram (interdecile range, 0.07 to 0.97) in the controls. In multivariate analyses, participants with higher mercury exposures did not have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. For comparisons of the fifth quintile of mercury exposure with the first quintile, the relative risks were as follows: coronary heart disease, 0.85 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.69 to 1.04; P = 0.10 for trend); stroke, 0.84 (95% CI, 0.62 to 1.14; P = 0.27 for trend); and total cardiovascular disease, 0.85 (95% CI, 0.72 to 1.01; P = 0.06 for trend). Findings were similar in analyses of participants with low selenium concentrations or low overall fish consumption and in several additional sensitivity analyses. CONCLUSIONS We found no evidence of any clinically relevant adverse effects of mercury exposure on coronary heart disease, stroke, or total

  12. Mercury

    CERN Document Server

    Mahoney, T J

    2014-01-01

    This gazetteer and atlas on Mercury lists, defines and illustrates every named (as opposed to merely catalogued) object and term as related to Mercury within a single reference work. It contains a glossary of terminology used, an index of all the headwords in the gazetteer, an atlas comprising maps and images with coordinate grids and labels identifying features listed in the gazetteer, and appendix material on the IAU nomenclature system and the transcription systems used for non-roman alphabets. This book is useful for the general reader, writers and editors dealing with astronomical themes, and those astronomers concerned with any aspect of astronomical nomenclature.

  13. 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.

  14. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

    The dispersion and transformation of mercury in the southwest Lake Victoria gold fields was investigated through field and laboratory studies in order to evaluate the environmental impact and human health risks due to mercury pollution from small-scale gold mining in Tanzania. River sediment, gold-ore tailings, fish, and lichens were analyzed for their mercury content to determine mercury contamination levels. Mercury concentrations in the tailings from Rwamagaza mine were in the range of 165 to 232 mg/kg while at the Mugusu mine the maximum concentration was 6 mg/kg in the river sediment contaminated by the tailings. The dispersion of mercury along the Mabubi River downstream of the gold-ore processing site at the Mugusu mine decreased rapidly to less than 0.5 mg/kg at a distance of 4 km, and less than 0.1 mg/kg at 9 km. Granulometrical analysis of mercury distribution indicated highest mercury concentrations to be associated with the grain size fraction <212 mm in the sediment. Total mercury concentrations in eight fish species from the Lake Victoria at Nungwe Bay were generally very low and varied from 2 to 34, μg/kg (w.w). The lowest concentrations were found in Tilapia and the highest in Nile perch. The percentage of methylmercury in the fish muscle ranged from 65 to 97%. These results suggest that mercury contamination from gold mining operations in the southwest Lake Victoria goldfields has not led to any significant increase in environmental methylmercury levels that could be reflected in high mercury concentrations in the fish. Based on these results, fish consumption from the Nungwe Bay area of the Lake Victoria does not pose any human health risks on account of very low mercury levels in the fish at present. Mercury concentrations in two lichen species, Parmelia and Usnea, in the Geita Forest Reserve around the Mugusu mine ranged from 0.10 to 3.10 μg/g (d.w.). The mercury concentration in the lichens decreased away from the mine village, indicating the

  15. JV Task 77 - Health Implications of Mercury - Selenium Interactions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicholas Ralstion; Laura Raymond

    2007-12-15

    Exposure to mercury (Hg) commonly results from eating fish containing bioaccumulated methylmercury (MeHg). However, conflicting observations and conclusions have arisen from the ongoing human studies of MeHg exposure from fish consumption. Resolving these uncertainties has important implications for human health since significant nutritional benefits will be lost if fish consumption is needlessly avoided. Selenium (Se), an important nutrient that is abundant in ocean fish, has a potent protective effect against Hg toxicity. This protective effect was thought to be due to the high binding affinities between Hg and Se resulting in Se sequestration of Hg to prevent its harmful effects. However, it is imperative to consider the opposing effect of Hg on Se physiology. Crucial proteins that require Se normally protect the brain and hormone-producing glands from oxidative damage. MeHg is able to cross all biological barriers and enter cells in these tissues, where its high Se affinity results in Se sequestration. Sequestration in association with Hg prevents Se from participating in proteins that perform essential antioxidant activities. Supplemental dietary Se is able to replace Se sequestered by Hg and maintain normal antioxidant protection of brain and glands. The goal of this research project was to assess the potency of normal dietary levels of Se in protection against MeHg toxicity. Results from this project indicate that MeHg toxicity is only evident in situations resulting in Hg occurring in high molar excess of Se. Additionally, the common method of MeHg risk assessments using measurements of toenail and blood levels of Hg was shown to provide an accurate reflection of Hg exposure but did not accurately indicate risk of toxicity resulting from that exposure. Instead, Hg:Se molar ratios are proposed as a superior means of assessing risks associated with MeHg exposure.

  16. Incorporating ethnographic methods in multidisciplinary approaches to risk assessment and communication: cultural and religious uses of mercury in Latino and Caribbean communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riley, Donna M; Newby, C Alison; Leal-Almeraz, Tomás O

    2006-10-01

    The potential risk from cultural and religious practices involving mercury in Latino and Caribbean communities raises central methodological and ethical questions for risk assessment and risk communication. Here, specific cultural practices unfamiliar to most risk professionals carry significant inherent risks in the eyes of those professionals but not necessarily in the eyes of practitioners. Practitioners' past experience and history as targets of religious suppression and anti-immigrant sentiment create a reluctance to engage with researchers or public health officials in risk assessment or preventive risk communication efforts. The potential for the risk--in this case mercury contamination in dwellings--to extend beyond the practicing community to future occupants adds to public health concern. Understanding the risks of these practices requires both an understanding of the cultural and political context, beliefs, and behaviors of mercury users and an understanding of the fate and transport of mercury in typical use scenarios. In this study, we employed ethnographic methods (interviews and participant observation) to understand beliefs and behavior about mercury use as well as quantitative modeling and measurement to estimate and assess potential exposures. This represents a new methodology tailored to situations in which traditional activities or observances that are integral components of cultural identity pose risks in and of themselves. Our findings indicate that there are different types of mercury use stemming from different cultural and religious traditions that result in different levels of exposure. Many of the mercury uses that can result in the highest exposures to mercury vapors have previously been attributed to the religious tradition of Santeria, but appear instead to have their roots outside of the religion.

  17. Introduction of Mercury-free Gold Extraction Methods to Medium-Scale Miners and Education of Health Care Providers to Reduce the use of Mercury in Sorata, Bolivia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter W. U. Appel

    2015-01-01

    Conclusions. The gold ores tested during the project proved amenable to mercury-free gold extraction using borax smelting. The miners also realized that gold recovery increased when performing mercury-free gold extraction. The miners decided to stop using mercury and a follow-up project cleaned their mining equipment for mercury and modified the processing lines. The health care providers were also successfully trained.

  18. 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.

  19. Health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments in China studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Dingyong; Qing Changle; Shi Xiaojun; Zheng Yonghua; Li Bo; Yang Xuechun

    2001-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic non-essential element. The mercury cycling in natural environments is a complex process. In recent years, the stable mercury isotope tracer and related analytical techniques have been developed. They offer unique possibility to understand the biogeochemistry of mercury in various environmental conditions. So a new co-ordinated research project (CRP) on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques has been supported by the IAEA. This paper introduces the research project whose IAEA research contract number is CPR-10874. It includes the scientific background, scope of the project, methods, some results related to this CRP and the plans for future work. (author)

  20. Health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments in China studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Dingyong; Shi Xiaojun; Wei Shiqiang; Zheng Yonghua; Qing Changle

    2002-01-01

    Mercury is a highly toxic non-essential element. The mercury cycling in natural environments is a complex process. In recent years, the stable mercury isotope tracer and related analytical techniques have been developed. They offer unique possibility to understand the biogeochemistry of mercury in various environmental conditions. So a new coordinated research project (CRP), on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques, has been supported by the IAEA. This paper introduces the research project which is IAEA research contract number CPR-10874. It includes the scientific background, scope of the project, methods, some results related to this CRP and the plans for future work. (author)

  1. 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.

  2. Mercury in terrestrial forested systems with highly elevated mercury deposition in southwestern China: The risk to insects and potential release from wildfires

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Jun; Wang, Zhangwei; Sun, Ting; Zhang, Huan; Zhang, Xiaoshan

    2016-01-01

    Forests are considered a pool of mercury in the global mercury cycle. However, few studies have investigated the distribution of mercury in the forested systems in China. Tieshanping forest catchment in southwest China was impacted by mercury emissions from industrial activities and coal combustions. Our work studied mercury content in atmosphere, soil, vegetation and insect with a view to estimating the potential for mercury release during forest fires. Results of the present study showed that total gaseous mercury (TGM) was highly elevated and the annual mean concentration was 3.51 ± 1.39 ng m"−"2. Of the vegetation tissues, the mercury concentration follows the order of leaf/needle > root > bark > branch > bole wood for each species. Total ecosystem mercury pool was 103.5 mg m"−"2 and about 99.4% of the mercury resides in soil layers (0–40 cm). The remaining 0.6% (0.50 mg m"−"2) of mercury was stored in biomass. The large mercury stocks in the forest ecosystem pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and additional ecological stress to forest insect: dung beetles, cicada and longicorn, with mercury concentration of 1983 ± 446, 49 ± 38 and 7 ± 5 ng g"−"1, respectively. Hence, the results obtained in the present study has implications for global estimates of mercury storage in forests, risks to forest insect and potential release to the atmosphere during wildfires. - Highlights: • Mercury in air, soil, biomass and insect were studied at a subtropical forest. • 99.4% of the total ecosystem mercury pools was resided in soil layers. • High mercury pools were large pulses to the atmosphere during potential wildfires. • High mercury deposition in forest pose an ecological stress to insect. - Large mercury pools in forest pose a serious threat for large pluses to the atmospheric mercury during potential wildfires and ecological stress to insect.

  3. 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.

  4. Mercury in birds of San Francisco Bay-Delta, California: trophic pathways, bioaccumulation, and ecotoxicological risk to avian reproduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Heinz, Gary; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Takekawa, John Y.; Miles, A. Keith; Adelsbach, Terrence L.; Herzog, Mark P.; Bluso-Demers, Jill D.; Demers, Scott A.; Herring, Garth; Hoffman, David J.; Hartman, Christopher A.; Willacker, James J.; Suchanek, Thomas H.; Schwarzbach, Steven E.; Maurer, Thomas C.

    2014-01-01

    San Francisco Bay Estuary in northern California has a legacy of mercury contamination, which could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds in the estuary. The goal of this study was to use an integrated field and laboratory approach to evaluate the risks of mercury exposure to birds in the estuary. We examined mercury bioaccumulation, and other contaminants of concern, in five waterbird species that depend heavily on San Francisco Bay Estuary for foraging and breeding habitat: American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), Caspian terns (Hydroprogne caspia), and surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata). These species have different foraging habitats and diets that represent three distinct foraging guilds within the estuary’s food web. In this report, we provide an integrated synthesis of the primary findings from this study and results are synthesized from 54 peer-reviewed publications generated to date with other unpublished results.

  5. Mercury in breast milk - a health hazard for infants in gold mining areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Roider, Gabriele; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-10-01

    Breast-feeding can be a source of mercury exposure for infants. The main concern up to now is methyl-mercury exposure of women at child-bearing age. Certain fish species have high levels of methyl-mercury leading to consumer's advisory guidelines in regard of fish consumption to protect infants from mercury exposure passing through breast milk. Little is known about the transfer of inorganic mercury passing through breast milk to infants. Epidemiological studies showed negative health effects of inorganic mercury in gold mining areas. Small-scale gold miners use mercury to extract the gold from the ore. Environmental and health assessments of gold mining areas in Indonesia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe showed a high exposure with inorganic mercury in these gold mining areas, and a negative health impact of the exposure to the miners and the communities. This paper reports about the analysis and the results of 46 breast milk samples collected from mercury-exposed mothers. The median level of 1.87mug/l is fairly high compared to other results from literature. Some breast milk samples showed very high levels of mercury (up to 149mug/l). Fourteen of the 46 breast milk samples exceed 4mug/l which is considered to be a "high" level. US EPA recommends a "Reference Dose" of 0.3mug inorganic mercury/kg body weight/day [United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1997. Volume V: Health Effects of Mercury and Mercury Compounds. Study Report EPA-452/R-97-007: US EPA]. Twenty-two of the 46 children from these gold mining areas had a higher calculated total mercury uptake. The highest calculated daily mercury uptake of 127mug exceeds by far the recommended maximum uptake of inorganic mercury. Further systematic research of mercury in breast milk from small-scale gold mining areas is needed to increase the knowledge about the bio-transfer of mercury from mercury vapour-exposed mothers passing through breast milk to the breast-fed infant.

  6. 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.

  7. Selenium and mercury molar ratios in saltwater fish from New Jersey: Individual and species variability complicate use in human health fish consumption advisories☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Balancing risk versus benefits to humans and other organisms from consuming fish is a national concern in the USA, as well as in many other parts of the world. Protecting public health is both a federal and state responsibility, and states respond by issuing fish consumption advisories, particularly for mercury. Recently it has been emphasized that the protective role of selenium against mercury toxicity depends on their molar ratios, which should be evaluated as an indication of selenium’s protective capacity, and incorporated in risk assessments for fish consumption. However, there is no single “protective” ratio agreed upon. In this paper we examine the selenium:mercury (Se:Hg) molar ratios in a wide range of saltwater fish caught and eaten by recreational fishers along the New Jersey coast. We were particularly interested in interspecific and intraspecific variability, and whether the molar ratios were consistent within a species, allowing for its use in managing risk. The selenium–mercury molar ratio showed significant variation among and within fish species. The molar ratio decreased with the size of the fish species, decreased with the mercury levels, and within a fish species, the selenium:mercury ratio decreased with fish size. As an essential element, selenium undergoes some homeostatic regulation, but it is also highly toxic. Within species, mercury level tends to increase with size, accounting for the negative relationship between size and ratio. This variability may make it difficult to use the selenium:mercury molar ratio in risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication at this time, and more information is needed on how mercury and selenium actually interact and on the relationship between the molar ratios and health outcomes. PMID:22405995

  8. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2001-01-01

    The catchment areas of Lake Victoria in Tanzania are impacted by mercury contamination from small-scale gold mining activities. A preliminary survey of the mercury contamination has indicated in some cases mercury concentrations that are higher than background levels in soil and river sediment downstream of the mining areas. Average mercury concentration in contaminated soil is in the order of 3.4 mg/kg whereas in river sediment the concentration is about 4.9 mg/kg. Mercury concentrations in fish from a few areas of the Lake Victoria close to gold mining areas are in the range of 2-20 ppb. These fish mercury concentrations are surprisingly low considering the extent of mercury contamination in the Lake Victoria catchment. The dynamics of mercury cycling and their long-term impact on mercury levels in fish and other aquatic organisms in the Lake Victoria gold fields still need to be clarified. Research activities for the first year (2000) will concentrate on the determination of total mercury distribution patterns among soil, river water, sediment, and biota (fish, and other aquatic biota) in two areas (Mugusu-Nungwe Bay and Imweru-Bukombe Bay) of the Lake Victoria gold fields. The relationships between local tropical soil-sediment- and water-chemistry and the distribution of mercury in the contaminated areas will be investigated. Data from this work will be used in the identification and selection of suitable bio-monitors for mercury contamination and human health risk assessment in the study areas. In the second year, the project will focus mainly on methylmercury production and partition between sediment, water and biota in contaminated local tropical sediments. The main factors influencing the methylation and distribution of mercury species will be evaluated in laboratory experiments and extrapolated to environmental conditions. The results of the project will have important implications in mercury pollution monitoring, mitigation, and health risk assessment not

  9. 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.

  10. Determination of toxic elements (mercury, cadmium, lead, tin and arsenic) in fish and shellfish samples. Risk assessment for the consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmedo, P; Pla, A; Hernández, A F; Barbier, F; Ayouni, L; Gil, F

    2013-09-01

    Although fish intake has potential health benefits, the presence of metal contamination in seafood has raised public health concerns. In this study, levels of mercury, cadmium, lead, tin and arsenic have been determined in fresh, canned and frozen fish and shellfish products and compared with the maximum levels currently in force. In a further step, potential human health risks for the consumers were assessed. A total of 485 samples of the 43 most frequently consumed fish and shellfish species in Andalusia (Southern Spain) were analyzed for their toxic elements content. High mercury concentrations were found in some predatory species (blue shark, cat shark, swordfish and tuna), although they were below the regulatory maximum levels. In the case of cadmium, bivalve mollusks such as canned clams and mussels presented higher concentrations than fish, but almost none of the samples analyzed exceeded the maximum levels. Lead concentrations were almost negligible with the exception of frozen common sole, which showed median levels above the legal limit. Tin levels in canned products were far below the maximum regulatory limit, indicating that no significant tin was transferred from the can. Arsenic concentrations were higher in crustaceans such as fresh and frozen shrimps. The risk assessment performed indicated that fish and shellfish products were safe for the average consumer, although a potential risk cannot be dismissed for regular or excessive consumers of particular fish species, such as tuna, swordfish, blue shark and cat shark (for mercury) and common sole (for lead). Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Can environmental purchasing reduce mercury in U.S. health care?

    OpenAIRE

    Eagan, Patrick D; Kaiser, Barb

    2002-01-01

    Environmental purchasing represents an innovative approach to mercury control for the health care sector in the United States. The U.S. health care sector creates significant environmental impacts, including the release of toxic substances such as mercury. Our goal in this study was to provide the health care industry with a method of identifying the environmental impacts associated with the products they use. The Health Care Environmental Purchasing Tool (HCEPT) was developed and tested at n...

  12. Transport, transformation and risks of mercury in the environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gombos, B.; Kupka, J.

    1992-01-01

    The meaning of mercury in the assessment of the environmental conditions results from the increase in the concentration of mercury from natural sources in the atmosphere and that from the anthropogenic processes which one met especially in the civilized areas of Europe. Conversion and migration mechanisms in the environment are pointed out and judged from the hygienic viewpoint, taking into consideration the site of Rudnany in Eastern Slowaky where, for a long time, mercurial .. has been exploited and processed. The theses mentioned in the article are supported by the experimental data won in the studies. Clinical symptons of micromercurialism were not found in the people exposed to mercury for a long time. The hygienic situation in Rudnany can be improved by careful technical preventive measures and by changing the technological methods of production. (BBR) [de

  13. Environmental exposures to lead, mercury, and cadmium among South Korean teenagers (KNHANES 2010-2013): Body burden and risk factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Nam-Soo; Ahn, Jaeouk; Lee, Byung-Kook; Park, Jungsun; Kim, Yangho

    2017-07-01

    Limited information is available on the association of age and sex with blood concentrations of heavy metals in teenagers. In addition, factors such as a shared family environment may have an association. We analyzed data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2010-2013) to determine whether blood levels of heavy metals differ by risk factors such as age, sex, and shared family environment in a representative sample of teenagers. This study used data obtained in the KNHANES 2010-2013, which had a rolling sampling design that involved a complex, stratified, multistage, probability-cluster survey of a representative sample of the non-institutionalized civilian population in South Korea. Our cross-sectional analysis was restricted to teenagers and their parents who completed the health examination survey, and for whom blood measurements of cadmium, lead, and mercury were available. The final analytical sample consisted of 1585 teenagers, and 376 fathers and 399 mothers who provided measurements of blood heavy metal concentrations. Male teenagers had greater blood levels of lead and mercury, but sex had no association with blood cadmium level. There were age-related increases in blood cadmium, but blood lead decreased with age, and age had little association with blood mercury. The concentrations of cadmium and mercury declined from 2010 to 2013. The blood concentrations of lead, cadmium, and mercury in teenagers were positively associated with the levels in their parents after adjustment for covariates. Our results show that blood heavy metal concentrations differ by risk factors such as age, sex, and shared family environment in teenagers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortex-Maramba, Nelia; Trinidad Francisco-Rivera, Ana; Manglicmot, Ailyn; Santos, Flora; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2001-01-01

    Artisanal gold mining activities using mercury has proliferated in various parts of the country since the early 1980's. In Southern Philippines, it is estimated that a small-scale gold processor utilizes one kilogram of mercury every week or an average of fifty-two kgs./yr. Production is estimated at 30 kilograms of gold per day. It has been estimated that 140 tons of mercury flux have been dumped directly into the river systems from small-scale gold mining operations in one of the gold rush areas in the country. Small-scale mining operations have affected tributaries and water systems in the country that also relies heavily on fishing as a source of livelihood as well as the daily food fare among the low-income sectors in the area. Aside from this, cattle livestock and agricultural production have also been affected by these mining activities because of contamination of the irrigation and water systems. Presently, environmental and health monitoring conducted by several government agencies in the recent past were limited to the determination of total mercury only. Previous studies undertaken focused mainly on the exposure of adults and workers to mercury during mining/processing operations. Environmental quality monitoring showed total mercury sediment levels ranged from 0.55 ug/g dry weight while water samples from river systems exhibited mercury levels from 0.0728-0.0784 ppb. Fish samples collected showed levels ranging from 1.07-438.8 ppb for total mercury and 0.71-377.18 ppb for methyl mercury. Methyl mercury content in fish ranged from 56-99%. Laboratory results showed that total mercury hair samples in schoolchildren ranged from 0.278-20.393 ppm while methyl mercury levels were from 0.191-18.469 ppm. Methyl mercury represented 45.96%-99.81% of the total mercury levels in hair. Total blood mercury levels ranged from 0.757-56.88 ppb while methyl mercury blood levels ranged from 1.36-46.73 ppb. Summary of physical examination results showed that predominant

  15. Mercury Bioaccumulation in Tropical Mangrove Wetland Fishes: Evaluating Potential Risk to Coastal Wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Dung Quang; Satyanarayana, Behara; Fui, Siau Yin; Shirai, Kotaro

    2018-03-26

    The present study, aimed at observing the total concentration of mercury (Hg) in edible finfish species with an implication to human health risk, was carried out from the Setiu mangrove wetlands on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Out of 20 species observed, the highest Hg concentrations were found among carnivores-fish/invertebrate-feeders, followed by omnivores and carnivores-invertebrate-feeders, while the lowest concentrations in herbivores. The Hg concentrations varied widely with fish species and body size, from 0.12 to 2.10 mg/kg dry weight. A positive relationship between body weight and Hg concentration was observed in particular for Toxotes jaculatrix and Tetraodon nigroviridis. Besides the permissible range of Hg concentration up to 0.3 mg/kg (cf. United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)) in majority of species, the carnivore feeders such as Acanthopagrus pacificus, Gerres filamentosus, and Caranx ignobilis have shown excess amounts (> 0.40 mg/kg flesh weight) that raising concerns over the consumption by local people. However, the weekly intake of mercury-estimated through the fish consumption in all three trophic levels-suggests that the present Hg concentrations are still within the range of Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) reported by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA). Perhaps, a multi-species design for Hg monitoring at Setiu wetlands would be able to provide further insights into the level of toxicity transfer among other aquatic organisms and thereby a strong health risk assessment for the local communities.

  16. Mercury Production and Use in Colonial Andean Silver Production: Emissions and Health Implications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagan, Nicole A.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Colonial cinnabar mining and refining began in Huancavelica, Peru, in 1564. With a local source of mercury, the amalgamation process was adopted to refine silver in Potosí, Bolivia, in the early 1570s. As a result, large quantities of mercury were released into the environment. Objectives: We used archival, primary, and secondary sources to develop the first estimate of mercury emissions from cinnabar refining in Huancavelica and to revise previous estimates of emissions from silver refining in Potosí during the colonial period (1564–1810). Discussion: Although other estimates of historical mercury emissions have recognized Potosí as a significant source, Huancavelica has been overlooked. In addition, previous estimates of mercury emissions from silver refining under-estimated emissions because of unrecorded (contra-band) production and volatilization of mercury during processing and recovery. Archival descriptions document behavioral and health issues during the colonial period that are consistent with known effects of mercury intoxication. Conclusions: According to our calculations, between 1564 and 1810, an estimated 17,000 metric tons of mercury vapor were emitted from cinnabar smelting in Huancavelica, and an estimated 39,000 metric tons were released as vapor during silver refining operations in Potosí. Huancavelica and Potosí combined contributed > 25% of the 196,000 metric tons of mercury vapor emissions in all of Latin America between 1500 and 1800. The historical record is laden with evidence of mercury intoxication consistent with effects recognized today. Our estimates serve as the foundation of investigations of present-day contamination in Huancavelica and Potosí resulting from historical emissions of mercury. PMID:22334094

  17. 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.

  18. Potential risk to wood storks (Mycteria americana) from mercury in Carolina Bay fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brant, H.A.; Jagoe, C.H.; Snodgrass, J.W.; Bryan, A.L.; Gariboldi, J.C.

    2002-01-01

    Fish mercury levels from some Carolina bays pose risk to wood stork. - Carolina bays are freshwater wetlands that serve as important feeding habitats for the endangered wood stork (Mycteria americana). Water levels in these bays fluctuate greatly and tend to be acidic and rich in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), factors that favor mercury (Hg) methylation and bioaccumulation in fish. To assess potential risks to wood storks consuming mercury contaminated fish in bays, we sampled fish from 10 bays on the Savannah River Site (SRS), South Carolina, an area with documented use by wood storks. Whole body mercury concentrations in 258 fishes of three species (Erimyzon sucetta, Acantharchus pomotis and Esox americanus) commonly consumed by wood storks were determined. Risk factors for nestlings and free-ranging adults were calculated using published no and lowest observable adverse effect concentration (NOAEC and LOAEC) values for birds. Fish from higher trophic levels and those from wetlands with relatively shallow maximum depths and fluctuating water levels were more likely to exceed NOAEC and LOAEC values. Calculation of exposure rates of nestling wood storks indicated they are at highest risk during the first 10 days of the nestling period. These calculations suggest that there is potential concern for wood storks foraging in relatively shallow bays with fluctuating water levels, even though there is no obvious local source of mercury to these wetlands

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Seasonal variation of mercury vapor concentrations in industrial ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mercury has been known as a toxic substance that could raise potential risks to human health. The main anthropogenic sources of mercury pollution in air include combustion of fossil fuel, metal smelting and processing, and vehicle transportation all of which exist in Ahvaz city in Southwestern Iran. Ambient air mercury ...

  2. Assessing exposure risks for freshwater tilapia species posed by mercury and methylmercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yi-Hsien; Lin, Yi-Jun; You, Shu-Han; Yang, Ying-Fei; How, Chun Ming; Tseng, Yi-Ting; Chen, Wei-Yu; Liao, Chung-Min

    2016-08-01

    Waterborne and dietborne exposures of freshwater fish to mercury (Hg) in the forms of inorganic (Hg(II)) and organic (methylmercury or MeHg) affect their growth, development, and reproduction. However, an integrated mechanistic risk model framework to predict the impact of Hg(II)/MeHg on freshwater fish is lacking. Here, we integrated biokinetic, physiological and biogeographic data to calibrate and then establish key risk indices-hazardous quotient and exceedance risk-for freshwater tilapia species across geographic ranges of several major rivers in Taiwan. We found that Hg(II) burden was highest in kidney followed by gill, intestine, liver, blood, and muscle. Our results showed that Hg was less likely to pose mortality risk (mortality rate less than 5 %) for freshwater tilapia species. However, Hg is likely to pose the potential hazard to aquatic environments constrained by safety levels for aquatic organisms. Sensitivity analysis showed that amount of Hg accumulated in tilapia was most influenced by sediment uptake rate. Our approach opens up new possibilities for predicting future fish population health with the impacts of continued Hg exposure to provide information on which fish are deemed safe for human consumption.

  3. MERCURY IN EDIBLE WILD-GROWN MUSHROOMS FROM HISTORICAL MINING AREA – SLOVAKIA: BIOACCUMULATION AND RISK ASSESSMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Július Árvay

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper, we focused on assessment of the contamination levels of five species (n = 33 of edible wild mushrooms (Macrolepiota procera, Boletus reticulatus, Suillus grevillei, Russula xerampelina and Xerocomellus chrysenteron. We collected samples of above-ground parts of the macroscopic fungi species in historical mining and processing area surrounding Banská Bystrica (Central Slovakia in 2014. Within 2 m radius of the samples, we also took samples of underlying substrate. On the basis of the substrate, along with the monitored contaminant – mercury, we calculated bioaccumulation factors for individual species and their anatomical parts (cap and stipe. From the obtained results of the mercury content in the edible mushrooms, we then determined provisionally tolerable weekly intake (PTWI. The limit value for mercury (0.350 mg Hg kg-1 for an individual with average weight of 70 kg is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO. Our results suggest that despite the relatively low level of Hg in the underlying substrate, the species Macrolepiota procera (1.98 mg kg-1 ± 68.2 (0.41 - 3.20 mg kg-1 DW is characterized by extremely high bioaccumulation ability, as confirmed by the bioaccumulation factors (BAFc = 15.3; BAFs = 8.02. PTWI value was exceeded by almost 20%. In case of the other studied edible wild mushroom species, we did not record any increased risk of mercury intake by consumers. Generally it can be stated that consumption of wild mushrooms represents a relatively small but significant risk of negative impact on the consumer´s health.

  4. Estimation of Seasonal Risk Caused by the Intake of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium through Freshwater Fish Consumption from Urban Water Reservoirs in Arid Areas of Northern Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Myrna Nevárez

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Bioavailability and hence bioaccumulation of heavy metals in fish species depends on seasonal conditions causing different risks levels to human health during the lifetime. Mercury, cadmium and lead contents in fish from Chihuahua (Mexico water reservoirs have been investigated to assess contamination levels and safety for consumers. Muscle samples of fish were collected across the seasons. Lead and cadmium were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry, and mercury by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. The highest concentrations of cadmium (0.235 mg/kg, mercury (0.744 mg/kg and lead (4.298 mg/kg exceeded the maximum levels set by European regulations and Codex Alimentarius. Lead concentrations found in fish from three water reservoirs also surpassed the limit of 1 mg/kg established by Mexican regulations. The provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI suggested by the World Health Organization for methyl mercury (1.6 µg/kg bw per week was exceeded in the spring season (1.94 µg/kg bw per week. This might put consumers at risk of mercury poisoning.

  5. Elevated serum ferritin and mercury concentrations are associated with hypertension; analysis of the fourth and fifth Korea national health and nutrition examination survey (KNHANES IV-2, 3, 2008-2009 and V-1, 2010).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Beomhee; Yeum, Kyung-Jin; Park, Soo-Jung; Kim, Kyu-Nam; Joo, Nam-Seok

    2015-01-01

    The impact of simultaneously elevated serum ferritin and mercury concentrations on hypertension in the general population is not known. To determine the association of serum ferritin and mercury concentrations with hypertension, 6213 subjects (3060 men and 3153 women) over 20 years of age from 2008 to 2010 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were divided into tertiles according to serum ferritin and mercury concentrations in each gender. Serum ferritin (258.2 vs. 94.8 pmol/L) and mercury concentrations (28.4 vs. 19.9 nmol/L) were higher in men than in women. Serum ferritin (men; P = 0.029, women; P mercury (men; P mercury concentrations in both men (r = 0.193, P mercury tertiles increased after proper adjustments. Furthermore, significantly higher odds ratios of hypertension were found in the second (OR = 1.86, 95% CI; 1.05-3.30), and third (OR = 1.84, 95% CI; 1.01-3.36) tertiles of serum ferritin with the top tertile of serum mercury in men. The current study indicate that serum ferritin and mercury concentrations are associated with the prevalence of hypertension and that simultaneously elevated serum ferritin and mercury concentrations are related to the risk for hypertension in men. © 2013 The Authors. The Environmental Toxicology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Mercury content in skin-lightening creams and potential hazards to the health of Saudi Women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    al-Saleh, I; al-Doush, I

    1997-06-06

    It seems evident from a wealth of scientific research that mercury is toxic. Because of the nature of the Saudi markets, different brands of skin-lightening creams are widely available. In this study, 38 skin-lightening cream samples were collected and analyzed for mercury by inductively coupled plasma spectrometry after an acid digestion procedure. About 45% of the tested skin-lightening cream samples contained mercury at levels well above the FDA's acceptable limit of 1 ppm. These findings are alarming and have wide legal and educational implications for Saudi Arabia in particular and developing countries in general. Further investigation for possible adverse health effects is also needed.

  7. Mercury Contamination of Skin-whitening Creams in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Murphy

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion. Some producers of skin-whitening creams in Thailand, China and Taiwan appear to be aware of the risks of mercury contamination and have modified their products. However, other producers of skin-whitening creams continue to use mercury. XRF analysis allows for rapid screening of mercury in cosmetics and should be used to gather additional information on mercury content in cosmetics in support of public health efforts to stem the import, export and sales of skin creams containing mercury.

  8. Mercury exposure and risk of cardiovascular disease: a nested case-control study in the PREDIMED (PREvention with MEDiterranean Diet) study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downer, Mary K; Martínez-González, Miguel A; Gea, Alfredo; Stampfer, Meir; Warnberg, Julia; Ruiz-Canela, Miguel; Salas-Salvadó, Jordi; Corella, Dolores; Ros, Emilio; Fitó, Montse; Estruch, Ramon; Arós, Fernando; Fiol, Miquel; Lapetra, José; Serra-Majem, Lluís; Bullo, Monica; Sorli, Jose V; Muñoz, Miguel A; García-Rodriguez, Antonio; Gutierrez-Bedmar, Mario; Gómez-Gracia, Enrique

    2017-01-05

    Substantial evidence suggests that consuming 1-2 servings of fish per week, particularly oily fish (e.g., salmon, herring, sardines) is beneficial for cardiovascular health due to its high n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid content. However, there is some concern that the mercury content in fish may increase cardiovascular disease risk, but this relationship remains unclear. The PREDIMED trial included 7477 participants who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease at baseline. In this study, we evaluated associations between mercury exposure, fish consumption and cardiovascular disease. We randomly selected 147 of the 288 cases diagnosed with cardiovascular disease during follow-up and matched them on age and sex to 267 controls. Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used to assess toenail mercury concentration. In-person interviews, medical record reviews and validated questionnaires were used to assess fish consumption and other covariates. Information was collected at baseline and updated yearly during follow-up. We used conditional logistic regression to evaluate associations in the total nested case-control study, and unconditional logistic regression for population subsets. Mean (±SD) toenail mercury concentrations (μg per gram) did not significantly differ between cases (0.63 (±0.53)) and controls (0.67 (±0.49)). Mercury concentration was not associated with cardiovascular disease in any analysis, and neither was fish consumption or n-3 fatty acids. The fully-adjusted relative risks for the highest versus lowest quartile of mercury concentration were 0.71 (95% Confidence Interval [CI], 0.34, 1.14; p trend  = 0.37) for the nested case-control study, 0.74 (95% CI, 0.32, 1.76; p trend  = 0.43) within the Mediterranean diet intervention group, and 0.50 (95% CI, 0.13, 1.96; p trend  = 0.41) within the control arm of the trial. Associations remained null when mercury was jointly assessed with fish consumption at baseline and during follow

  9. 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.

  10. Health and environmental impact of mercury in the Philippines using nuclear techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cortes-Maramba, Nelia; Reyes, J.P.; Panganiban, L.C.P.; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Suplido, M.L.; Akagi, Hirokatsu

    2002-01-01

    Mercury pollution in most parts of the regions in the world are caused by release into the environment of metallic mercury used in the recovery of gold by an amalgamation technique with subsequent mercury emission into the atmosphere by blowtorching operations. Significant small-scale gold mining operations in other countries such as Tanzania, Philippines, Indonesia, China and Vietnam have been reported with roughly 10 million people estimated to be involved in these activities Artisanal gold mining activities using mercury has proliferated in various parts of the country since the early 1980's. In Southern Philippines, it is estimated that a small-scale gold processor utilizes one kilogram of mercury every week or an average of fifty-two kgs/1yr. Production is estimated at 30 kilograms of gold per day. It has been estimated that 140 tons of mercury flux has been dumped directly into the river systems from small-scale gold mining operations in one of the gold rush areas in the country. In the 1980's, gold rush activities intensified in Northeastern Mindanao providing livelihood opportunities to about 80,000-120,000 people at the height of mining activities in the area. In gold mining areas it should be noted that transformation in the natural environment of inorganic mercury to methylmercury occurs which can easily bio-accumulate in fish and other organisms through the aquatic food chains. Therefore, there are two main exposure pathways of mercury contamination that can affect the human population in gold mining areas. First, gold miners and workers are exposed to inorganic mercury due to direct inhalation of mercury during gold recovery processes and second, people living along the river systems and depending on riverine products for food sources can be exposed to methylmercury mainly through fish consumption. Presently, environmental and health monitoring conducted by several government agencies in the recent past were limited to the determination of total

  11. Mercury and autoimmunity: implications for occupational and environmental health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silbergeld, Ellen K.; Silva, Ines A.; Nyland, Jennifer F.

    2005-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) has long been recognized as a neurotoxicant; however, recent work in animal models has implicated Hg as an immunotoxicant. In particular, Hg has been shown to induce autoimmune disease in susceptible animals with effects including overproduction of specific autoantibodies and pathophysiologic signs of lupus-like disease. However, these effects are only observed at high doses of Hg that are above the levels to which humans would be exposed through contaminated fish consumption. While there is presently no evidence to suggest that Hg induces frank autoimmune disease in humans, a recent epidemiological study has demonstrated a link between occupational Hg exposure and lupus. In our studies, we have tested the hypothesis that Hg does not cause autoimmune disease directly, but rather that it may interact with triggering events, such as genetic predisposition, exposure to antigens, or infection, to exacerbate disease. Treatment of mice that are not susceptible to Hg-induced autoimmune disease with very low doses and short term exposures of inorganic Hg (20-200 μg/kg) exacerbates disease and accelerates mortality in the graft versus host disease model of chronic lupus in C57Bl/6 x DBA/2 mice. Furthermore, low dose Hg exposure increases the severity and prevalence of experimental autoimmune myocarditis (induced by immunization with cardiac myosin peptide in adjuvant) in A/J mice. To test our hypothesis further, we examined sera from Amazonian populations exposed to Hg through small-scale gold mining, with and without current or past malaria infection. We found significantly increased prevalence of antinuclear and antinucleolar antibodies and a positive interaction between Hg and malaria. These results suggest a new model for Hg immunotoxicity, as a co-factor in autoimmune disease, increasing the risks and severity of clinical disease in the presence of other triggering events, either genetic or acquired

  12. [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.

  13. Ranking the contributions of commercial fish and shellfish varieties to mercury exposure in the United States: implications for risk communication.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Groth, Edward

    2010-04-01

    Fish and shellfish have important nutritional benefits, and US per capita seafood consumption has increased substantially since 2002. Recent research has reinforced concerns about adverse effects of methylmercury exposure, suggesting that methylmercury doses associated with typical US rates of fish consumption may pose measurable risks, with no threshold. These converging trends create a need to improve risk communication about fish consumption and mercury. The analysis performed here identifies the relative importance of different fish and shellfish as sources of mercury in the US seafood supply and proposes improved consumer advice, so that the public can benefit from fish consumption while minimizing mercury exposure. I have quantified contributions to total mercury in the US seafood supply by 51 different varieties of fish and shellfish, then ranked and sorted the 51 varieties in terms of relative impact. Except for swordfish, most fish with the highest mercury levels are relatively minor contributors to total inputs. Tuna (canned light, canned albacore and fresh/frozen varieties) accounts for 37.4 percent of total mercury inputs, while two-thirds of the seafood supply and nine of the 11 most heavily consumed fish and shellfish are low or very low in mercury. Substantial improvement in risk communication about mercury in fish and seafood is needed; in particular, several population subsets need better guidance to base their seafood choices more explicitly on mercury content. I have sorted the 51 seafood varieties into six categories based on mercury levels, as a framework for improving risk communication in this regard. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Choropampa case: mercury spilland damage to health in rural exppsed population

    OpenAIRE

    Arana-Zegarra, Marco; Teólogo. Máster en Sociología. Diplomado en Agua y Saneamiento. Diplomado en Gerencia Social. Miembro del Consejo Directivo de la Red Muqui y ex Director de la ONG Grupo de formación e Intervención para el Desarrollo Sostenible. Cajamarca, Perú.

    2009-01-01

    In 2000, a spill of metallic mercury is evaporated into the atmosphere, and it affected the health of over a thousand peasants, who, eight years later, still are suffering the consequences on their health. Modern mining does not guarantee an adequate management, control and mitigation of environmental impacts and public authority does not grant the right to health of populations in environments which miners from the point of view of the right to environmental health should be sites consid...

  15. A review of mercury in Lake Victoria, East Africa: implications for human and ecosystem health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Linda; Dixon, D G; Hecky, R E

    2003-01-01

    Lake Victoria, East Africa, has been the site of many recent studies measuring mercury (Hg) concentrations in water, fish, sediment, soil, and humans. Most of these studies were motivated by concerns about Hg contamination from processing of gold ore on the southern shores. Total Hg (THg) concentrations in fish were usually below permissible World Health Organization (WHO) concentrations and international marketing limits and do not threaten the lucrative export industry. Nile perch 3-10 kg and most >10 kg had THg concentrations above the WHO threshold concentrations for at-risk groups (200 ng/g). Elevated THg concentrations in large Nile perch are not of major concern because Nile perch are rarely consumed by the people living on Lake Victoria and very large Nile perch are becoming increasingly rare in catches. Water THg concentrations were below Canadian drinking water guidelines but were elevated relative to those in the northern Great Lakes. Sediment and soil THg concentrations were within inter-national guidelines and are comparable to those in northern latitudes but are lower than those in the Amazon basin. Biomass burning and soil erosion are estimated to be the major sources of THg for the lake and probably constitute a larger source of THg than gold mining in Tanzania.THg concentrations in urine and hair from human volunteers indicate that while gold miners and frequent skin-bleaching cream users are at risk of inorganic mercury poisoning, the rest of the population, including fishermen, is not. Human exposure assessments demonstrated that fish consumption and soil geophagy constitute major sources of THg for humans, but the total estimated daily intake of THg was below the Health Canada tolerable daily intake (TDI) limits. The use of beauty creams containing high inorganic Hg concentrations, however, caused the estimated THg exposure to exceed the TDI. The high THg content in the hair of regular cream users supports this assessment. The nutritional

  16. Spatial variability in selenium and mercury interactions in a key recreational fish species: Implications for human health and environmental monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, H.J.; Butler, E.C.V.; Macleod, C.K.

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: • THg and Se concentrations in fish varied between estuary regions but all maintained positive Se:Hg ratios. • Regional negative selenium health benefit values (Se HBVs) were evident suggesting increased Hg toxicity risk. • Single all-encompassing Se HBV for any given species may not be appropriate when there is strong site fidelity. • The results highlight the importance of including Se in assessments of seafood safety. -- Abstract: 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

  17. Atmospheric deposition of mercury in Atlantic Forest and ecological risk to soil fauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cristhy Buch, Andressa; Cabral Teixeira, Daniel; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Vieira Silva-Filho, Emmanoel

    2014-05-01

    The increasing levels of mercury (Hg) found in the atmosphere nowadays has a great contribution from anthropogenic sources and has been a great concern in the past two decades in industrialized countries. Brazil is the seventh country with the highest rate of mercury in the atmosphere. Certainly, the petroleum refineries have significant contribution, seen that 100 million m3 of crude oil are annually processed. These refineries contribute with low generation of solid waste; however, a large fraction of Hg can be emitted to the atmosphere. There are sixteen refineries in Brazil, three of them located in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Hg is a toxic and hazardous trace element, naturally found in the earth crust. The major input of Hg to ecosystems is through atmospheric deposition (wet and dry), being transported in the atmosphere over large distances. The forest biomes are of great importance in the atmosphere/soil cycling of elemental Hg through foliar uptake and subsequent transfer to the soil through litterfall, which play an important role as Hg sink. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is the greater contributor of fauna and flora biodiversity in the world and, according to recent studies, this biome has the highest concentrations of mercury in litter in the world, as well as in China, at Subtropical Forest. Ecotoxicological assessments can predict the potential ecological risk of Hg toxicity in the soil can lead to impact the soil fauna and indirectly other trophic levels of the food chain within one or more ecosystems. This study aims to determine mercury levels that represent risks to diversity and functioning of soil fauna in tropical forest soils. The study is conducted in two forest areas inserted into conservation units of Rio de Janeiro state. One area is located next to an important petroleum refinery in activity since fifty-two years ago, whereas the other one is located next to other refinery under construction (beginning activities in 2015), which will

  18. Mercury and selenium contamination in waterbird eggs and risk to avian reproduction at Great Salt Lake, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Herzog, Mark P.; Hartman, Christopher A.; Isanhart, John P.; Herring, Garth; Vaughn, Sharon; Cavitt, John F.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Browers, Howard; Cline, Chris; Vest, Josh

    2015-01-01

    The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem are recognized regionally, nationally, and hemispherically for their importance as breeding, wintering, and migratory habitat for diverse groups of waterbirds. Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is the largest freshwater component of the Great Salt Lake ecosystem and provides critical breeding habitat for more than 60 bird species. However, the Great Salt Lake ecosystem also has a history of both mercury and selenium contamination, and this pollution could reduce the health and reproductive success of waterbirds. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the risk of mercury and selenium contamination to birds breeding within Great Salt Lake, especially at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, and to identify the waterbird species and areas at greatest risk to contamination. We sampled eggs from 33 species of birds breeding within wetlands of Great Salt Lake during 2010 ̶ 2012 and focused on American avocets (Recurvirostra americana), black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus), Forster’s terns (Sterna forsteri), white-faced ibis (Plegadis chihi), and marsh wrens (Cistothorus palustris) for additional studies of the effects of contaminants on reproduction.

  19. Spatial-temporal distribution and risk assessment of mercury in different fractions in surface sediments from the Yangtze River estuary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qingrui; Liu, Ruimin; Men, Cong; Xu, Fei; Guo, Lijia; Shen, Zhenyao

    2017-11-15

    The temporal and spatial distributions of mercury in different fractions and its potential ecological risk were investigated in sediments from the Yangtze River estuary (YRE) by analyzing data collected from the study area. The results showed that mercury in the organic and residual fractions had dominant proportions, from 15.2% to 48.52% and from 45.96% to 81.59%, respectively. The fractions were more susceptible to seasonal changes than other fractions. Higher proportions of mercury in organic fraction were found in wet seasons; the opposite was true for mercury in residual fraction. With respect to the spatial distribution, the concentration mercury in exchangeable, carbonate and Fe-Mn oxide fractions showed a decreasing trend from the inner estuary to the outer estuary, but no obvious trends were found in the distributions of mercury in the organic and residual fractions. The risk assessment code (RAC) was used to evaluate the potential ecological risk in the study area based on the proportions of exchangeable and carbonate fractions. The average RAC values during the four periods were 6.00%, 2.20%, 2.83%, and 0.61%. Although these values show that the risk in the study area is generally low, the distribution of RAC values indicates that the inner estuary has a medium risk, with a value up to 10%. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Can environmental purchasing reduce mercury in U.S. health care?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagan, Patrick D; Kaiser, Barb

    2002-01-01

    Environmental purchasing represents an innovative approach to mercury control for the health care sector in the United States. The U.S. health care sector creates significant environmental impacts, including the release of toxic substances such as mercury. Our goal in this study was to provide the health care industry with a method of identifying the environmental impacts associated with the products they use. The Health Care Environmental Purchasing Tool (HCEPT) was developed and tested at nine health care facilities in the Great Lakes region of the United States. As a result, more than 1 kg of mercury was removed from four facilities. The complexity of the supply chain inhibits a direct environmental information exchange between health-care decision makers and suppliers. However, a dialogue is starting within the health care supply chain to address environmental issues. The HCEPT has been shown to assist health care facilities with that dialogue by identifying products that have environmental consequences. This promising tool is now available for further experimentation and modification, to facilitate overall environmental improvement, and to provide a systematic method for environmental assessment of health care products. PMID:12204816

  1. An ecosystem approach to the health effects of mercury in the Great Lakes basin ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gilbertson, Michael; Carpenter, D.O.

    2004-01-01

    New concerns about the global presence and human health significance of mercury have arisen as a result of recent epidemiological data demonstrating subtle neurological effects from consumption of mercury-contaminated fish. In the Great Lakes Basin, the complexity of the diverse sources, pools, and sinks of mercury and of the pathways of distribution, fate, and biotransformation requires an ecosystem approach to the assessment of exposures of Great Lakes' human populations. Further epidemiological research is needed to verify preliminary indications of harmful effects in people living near the Great Lakes. Great Lakes fish are valuable resources for subsistence nutrition, recreation, and commerce, but the benefits of fish consumption must be balanced by concern for the hazards from the contaminants that they may contain. The efficacy of fish consumption advisories in reducing exposures should continue to be evaluated while planning continues for remedial actions on contaminated sediments from historic industrial activities and for regulatory action to control sources

  2. 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.

  3. Study of high levels indoor air mercury contamination from mercury amalgam use in dentistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khwaja, M.A.; Abbasi, M.S.; Mehmood, F.; Jahangir, S.

    2014-01-01

    In 2005, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) estimated that 362 tonnes of dental mercury are consumed annually worldwide. Dental mercury amalgams also called silver fillings and amalgam fillings are widely done. These fillings gave off mercury vapours. Estimated average absorbed concentrations of mercury vapours from dental fillings vary from 3,000 to 17,000 ng Hg. Mercury (Hg) also known as quick silver is an essential constituent of dental amalgam. It is a toxic substance of global concern. A persistent pollutant, mercury is not limited to its source but it travels, on time thousands of kilometers away from the source. Scientific evidence, including, UNEP Global Mercury report, establishes mercury as an extremely toxic substance, which is a major threat to wildlife, ecosystem and human health, at a global scale. Children are more at risk from mercury poisoning which affects their neurological development and brain. Mercury poisoning diminishes memory, attention, thinking and sight. In the past, a number of studies at dental sites in many countries have been carried out and reported which have been reviewed and briefly described. This paper describes and discusses the recent investigations, regarding mercury vapours level in air, carried out at 18 dental sites in Pakistan and other countries. It is evident from the data of 42 dental sites in 17 countries, including, selected dental sites in five main cities of Pakistan, described and discussed in this paper that at most dental sites in many countries including Pakistan, the indoor mercury vapours levels exceed far above the permissible limit, recommended for safe physical and mental health. At these sites, public, in general, and the medical, paramedical staff and vulnerable population, in particular, are at most serious risk to health resulting from exposure to toxic and hazardous mercury. (author)

  4. Assessing risk of mercury exposure and nutritional benefits of consumption of caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation community of Old Crow, Yukon, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Roseanne C; Gamberg, Mary; Dickson, Cindy; Chan, Hing Man

    2011-08-01

    The contamination of traditional foods with chemical pollutants is a challenge to the food security of Aboriginal Peoples. Mercury levels are generally low in terrestrial animals; however renal mercury levels have been shown to change over time in the Porcupine Caribou Herd, the principal food source for the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation of Old Crow in Yukon, Canada. Seventy-five Porcupine Caribou muscle, sixty-three kidney and three liver samples were analyzed for total mercury. Average concentrations were 0.003, 0.360 and 0.120mg/kg wet weight total mercury for muscle, kidney and liver, respectively. Consumption data of caribou muscle, kidney and liver were collected from twenty-six adults in Vuntut Gwitchin households. Women of child-bearing age (n=5) consumed a median of 71.5g/person/day of caribou muscle and 0.0g/person/day kidney but consumed no liver; median consumptions for all other adults (women aged 40+ and all men, n=21) were 75.8, 3.2 and 2.5g/person/day for meat, kidney and liver, respectively. Median dietary exposures to total mercury from caribou tissues were estimated to be 0.138μg/kg body weight for women of child-bearing age and 0.223μg/kg body weight for other adults. Caribou tissues were found to contribute high levels of important nutrients to the diet and pose minimal health risk from mercury exposure. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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...

  6. Significance of mercury in environmental health - an overview; Bedeutung von Quecksilber in der Umweltmedizin - eine Uebersicht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweinsberg, F. [Chemisches Labor, Institut fuer Allgemeine Hygiene und Umwelthygiene, Tuebingen (Germany)

    2002-07-01

    In addition to occupational exposure to mercury, dental amalgam fillings and fish consumption are the most important sources of mercury body burden in environmental medicine. The principle signs of chronic diseases of the nervous system caused by inorganic mercury are tremor, ataxia, impaired vision and emotional agitation. In the kidneys, tubular necrosis may develop. In patients with severe kidney dysfunction, no amalgam fillings should by inserted. In rare cases, amalgam fillings may cause allergic reactions of the delayed type IV sensitivity and oral lichenoid reactions. Subclinical effects caused by amalgam fillings and their impact on human health is still a topic of controversial discussion. In scientific terms it is not possible to demonstrate a correlation between unspecific symptoms and exposure of mercury released by amalgam fillings. Chronic toxicology of the nervous system caused by organic mercury is characterized by paresthesia, ataxia, dysarthria, constriction of the visual field and hearing impairment. Possible adverse effects on the fetus as a result of the uptake of organic mercury in fish consumption during pregnancy must be critically assessed. The evaluation of adverse health effects brought about by exposure to mercury is assessed in Germany by the definition of human biological monitoring (HBM) values. In long-term exposure to inorganic mercury above the HMB-II value of mercury in urine of 25 {mu}g/L, adverse health effects can arise. The corresponding HMB-II value in blood brought about by organic mercury is 15 {mu}g/L, which is approximately equal to a mercury content of 5 {mu}g/kg in hair. (orig.) [German] Neben dem Arbeitsplatz sind heute im Umweltbereich Amalgamfuellungen und Fischkonsum die wichtigsten Expositionsquellen mit Quecksilber. Leitsymptome einer chronischen Erkrankung des Nervensystems durch anorganisches Quecksilber sind Tremor, Koordinationsstoerungen von Bewegungsablaeufen, Sehstoerungen und Ueberregbarkeit. In den Nieren

  7. Alternative drugs go global: possible lead and/ or mercury intoxication from imported natural health products and a need for scientifically evaluated poisoning monitoring from environmental exposures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Budnik, Lygia Therese; Baur, Xaver; Harth, Volker; Hahn, Axel

    2016-01-01

    With increases in globalization, cultural remedies from Chinese, Ayurvedic, Arab and other traditions have become more available to international consumers, offering unfamiliar "Natural Health Products" (NHP), used as alternative medicine or supplementary medicine. Contamination with toxic ingredients including lead, mercury, arsenic, and other toxic elements has been documented in several of these products from various parts of the globe, particularly from some parts of Asia and the Orient. We have been following this development in the last 6 years and have analyzed n  = 20 such products (60 analyses) from patients with intoxication symptoms in a pilot study, showing alarming high concentrations of mercury and/or lead (the first one in "therapeutic" doses). 82 % of the studied NHP contained lead concentrations above the EU limit for dietary supplements. 62 % of the samples exceeded the limit values for mercury. Elevated blood lead and mercury levels in patients along with clinical intoxication symptoms corroborate the causal assumption of intoxication (s). We present one detailed clinical case report of severe lead and mercury intoxications and give an overview about blood concentration related symptoms and signs of n  = 41 case reports of mercury intoxications of the German monitoring BfR-DocCenter. For NHP there is evidence on a distinct toxicological risk with alarming low awareness for a possible intoxication which prevents potentially life-saving diagnostic steps in affected cases. In many cases patients do not communicate the events to their physicians or the local health authority so that case reports (e.g. the BfR-DocCentre) are missing. Thus, there is an urgent need to raise awareness and to initiate more suitable monitory systems (e.g. National Monitoring of Poisonings) and control practice protecting the public.

  8. Integrating toxicity risk in bird eggs and chicks: using chick down feathers to estimate mercury concentrations in eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Eagles-Smith, Collin A

    2009-03-15

    The concentration of mercury (Hg) in eggs that causes reduced hatching success is regarded as a critical end point for Hg toxicity in birds. However, incorporating effects of in ovo mercury exposure on chick health and survival could improve risk assessment. We developed equations to predict Hg in eggs using Hg in chick down feathers, and vice versa, by assessing the relationship between Hg in feathers (0.5-32.4 microg g(-1) fw) and eggs (0.04-2.79 microg g(-1) fww) for three waterbird species in San Francisco Bay, CA. Feather Hg sampled from embryos of pipping eggs was highly correlated with fresh whole-egg Hg (n=94, r2 = 0.96). Additionally, using an egg microsampling technique, albumen Hg was correlated with feather Hg sampled from chicks in the same nest (n=28, r2 = 0.79). Down feather Hg in recaptured chicks (feather Hg at hatching (feathers of chicks < or =10 days of age to nonlethally predict Hg in eggs and thus provide the ability to develop exposure thresholds for eggs that incorporate in ovo Hg's effects on both egg hatchability and subsequent chick mortality.

  9. Risk assessment of aflatoxins B1 (AFB1) in corn arepas in Colombia and chemical risk assessment case study mercury in Fish

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Correa Lizarazo, D.

    2013-01-01

    The power point presentation is about: Identify the pair substrate (corn, wheat and rice) - mycotoxin (DON, AFB1) higher risk for the Colombian population, based on the exposure assessment and mercury in freshwater fish from Colombia. This report answer some the following questions: what are the most consumed products in the country, which may create a risk for the Colombian population, what are the prevention and control recommendations to reduce potential contamination of the products selected, what are economic activities and their impact areas that contribute most to the incorporation of of mercury in freshwater fish from Colombia,what are the species that may pose greater accumulation of mercury and methylmercury identified , what is the risk associated with the consumption of the species, what are the preventive measures to minimize exposure from consumption of fish with mercury and methylmercury and possible intervention strategies

  10. 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

    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...... 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.......82 (0.62-1.08) in men, and 0.94 (0.84-1.06) in both cohorts combined. Findings were similar when more extreme categories of mercury were compared (across deciles, with geometric mean levels in highest decile ≈2.9-fold higher than the reference dose) and in analyses stratified by fish or omega-3...

  11. Presenting information on regulation values improves the public’s sense of safety: Perceived mercury risk in fish and shellfish and its effects on consumption intention

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Mai; Yamaguchi, Tomiko

    2017-01-01

    Risk communication aims to promote health and understanding through information exchange; however, explanations regarding the basis of regulation values for the public are insufficient. Moreover, it is unclear how information presentation affects the public’s sense of safety and their consumption intentions. We first investigated the relationship between perception of mercury-risk in fish and shellfish and individual attributes and knowledge. We then examined how presenting information on regulation values and primary factors regarding perception affected sense of safety toward regulations and food-consumption intentions. An online survey was conducted with Japanese individuals (N = 1148). Respondents were randomly assigned to one of three groups based on the presentation level of regulation values. People who frequently consumed tuna had a high perception of dread risk of mercury. This suggests that the dread risk perception of mercury does not determine tuna-type consumption behavior; rather, individuals’ consumption behavior determines dread risk perception of mercury. Among those with high tuna-type consumption, those receiving information that a safety factor of 10 times had been considered showed a significantly greater sense of safety than did the group that was not presented with information on regulation values (odds ratio (95% confidence interval): 2.04 (1.18–3.53), p values showed a weak but significantly positive correlation with excessive intake of tuna-type fish (odds ratio: 2.95 (0.93–9.32), p values increases sense of safety; however, it may also lead to excessive intake. PMID:29267301

  12. Community-Led Assessment of Risk from Exposure to Mercury by Native Amerindian Wayana in Southeast Suriname

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peplow, D.; Augustine, S.; Peplow, D.

    2012-01-01

    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

  13. Occupational reproductive health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filkins, K; Kerr, M J

    1993-01-01

    The potentially harmful effects on women of certain workplace exposures are widely appreciated, and steps to control these have included legislative efforts such as right-to-know laws of well as corporate policies mandating selective restriction of fertile women, which are illegal under federal civil rights laws. This chapter reviews the various occupational health risks reproductive women face in the workplace but also considers the effects of other genetic, medical, social, infectious, and environmental factors which may be of even greater concern than most occupational factors.

  14. Mercury in western North America: A synthesis of environmental contamination, fluxes, bioaccumulation, and risk to fish and wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Wiener, James G.; Eckley, Chris S.; Willacker, James J.; Evers, David C.; Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Obrist, Daniel; Fleck, Jacob; Aiken, George R.; Lepak, Jesse M.; Jackson, Allyson K.; Webster, Jackson; Stewart, Robin; Davis, Jay; Alpers, Charles N.; Ackerman, Joshua T.

    2016-01-01

    Western North America is a region defined by extreme gradients in geomorphology and climate, which support a diverse array of ecological communities and natural resources. The region also has extreme gradients in mercury (Hg) contamination due to a broad distribution of inorganic Hg sources. These diverse Hg sources and a varied landscape create a unique and complex mosaic of ecological risk from Hg impairment associated with differential methylmercury (MeHg) production and bioaccumulation. Understanding the landscape-scale variation in the magnitude and relative importance of processes associated with Hg transport, methylation, and MeHg bioaccumulation requires a multidisciplinary synthesis that transcends small-scale variability. The Western North America Mercury Synthesis compiled, analyzed, and interpreted spatial and temporal patterns and drivers of Hg and MeHg in air, soil, vegetation, sediments, fish, and wildlife across western North America. This collaboration evaluated the potential risk from Hg to fish, and wildlife health, human exposure, and examined resource management activities that influenced the risk of Hg contamination. This paper integrates the key information presented across the individual papers that comprise the synthesis. The compiled information indicates that Hg contamination is widespread, but heterogeneous, across western North America. The storage and transport of inorganic Hg across landscape gradients are largely regulated by climate and land-cover factors such as plant productivity and precipitation. Importantly, there was a striking lack of concordance between pools and sources of inorganic Hg, and MeHg in aquatic food webs. Additionally, water management had a widespread influence on MeHg bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems, whereas mining impacts where relatively localized. These results highlight the decoupling of inorganic Hg sources with MeHg production and bioaccumulation. Together the findings indicate that developing

  15. The role of sport-fish consumption advisories in mercury risk communication: a 1998-1999 12-state survey of women age 18-45

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anderson, H.A.; Hanrahan, L.P.; Smith, A.; Draheim, L.; Kanarek, M.; Olsen, J.

    2004-01-01

    Background: In 2002, in the United States, 48 states issued advisories for sport-fish consumers that included 39 chemical contaminants. The most commonly identified chemical was methyl mercury, which is linked to reproductive and developmental effects. Advisories to reduce consumption of contaminated fish have been issued by states since the early 1970s. Advisories are being integrated to include both sport and commercial fish. Methods: As part of a comprehensive risk-communication project, from December 1998 through August 1999 the Wisconsin Division of Public Health and the State of Maine Bureau of Health conducted a 12-state random-digit-dial telephone survey of 3015 women of childbearing age (ages 18-45). The goal was to assess the prevalence of fish consumption, understanding of mercury toxicity, and awareness of state sport-fish consumption advisories for mercury. We gathered information concerning respondents' demographic characteristics, understanding of mercury toxicity, fish consumption during the preceding 12 months, and sport-fish consumption advisory awareness. Results: The overall survey completion rate was 57% with a Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO)-calculated response rate of 50%. Completion rates varied from 37% in New Jersey to 73% in Minnesota. Fish consumption during the previous 12 months was reported by 87% of respondents (range by state of 82-90%). Nearly 10% of women reported consuming two or more fish-meals per week over the prior 12 months. Twenty-nine percent reported sport-fish consumption during the same time period, with a greater state-to-state variability (14-43%). Most women (71%) were aware of mercury's toxicity to a developing child (87% among those aware of an advisory and 67% among those unaware of an advisory). However, awareness of state advisories was only 20%, ranging by state from 8% to 32%. Women who were older, had more than a high school education, and had a household member with a fishing

  16. Economic evaluation of health benefits of mercury emission controls for China and the neighboring countries in East Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Wei; Zhen, Gengchong; Chen, Long; Wang, Huanhuan; Li, Ying; Ye, Xuejie; Tong, Yindong; Zhu, Yan; Wang, Xuejun

    2017-01-01

    Globally, coal-fired power plant (CFPP) is a major source of mercury. China is developing its first National Implementation Plan on Mercury Control, which priorities the control of emissions from CFPPs. While social benefits play an important role in designing environmental policies in China, the benefits associated with mercury control are not yet understood, mainly due to the scientific challenges to trace mercury's emissions-to-impacts path. This study evaluates the benefits of mercury reductions in China's CFPPs for China and its three neighboring countries in East Asia. Four policy scenarios are analyzed following the policies-to-impacts path, which links a global atmospheric model to health benefit analysis models to estimate the economic gains from avoided mercury-related adverse health outcomes under each scenario, and take into account key uncertainties in the path. Under the most stringent scenario, the benefits of mercury reduction by 2030 are projected to be $432 billion (95% CI: $166–941 billion), with the benefits for China and the neighboring countries accounting for 96% and 4% of the total benefits, respectively. Policy scenario analysis indicates that coal washing generates the greatest benefits in the near term, whereas upgrading air pollution control devices maximizes health benefits in the long term. - Highlights: • Benefits of mercury controls for China and neighboring countries are analyzed. • Policy analysis shows that coal washing generates the largest benefits in near term. • Upgrading air pollution control devices maximizes health benefits in long term. • For mercury controls, local policies contribute most to local benefits.

  17. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-09-15

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish.

  18. Increased Mercury Bioaccumulation Follows Water Quality Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogle, M.A.; Peterson, M.J.; Smith, J.G.; Southworth, G.R.

    1999-01-01

    Changes in physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic habitats made to reduce or eliminate ecological risks can sometimes have unforeseen consequences. Environmental management activities on the U.S. Dept. of Energy reservation in Oak Ridge, Tennessee,have succeeded in improving water quality in streams impacted by discharges fi-om industrial facilities and waste disposal sites. The diversity and abundance of pollution-sensitive components of the benthic macroinvertebrate communities of three streams improved after new waste treatment systems or remedial actions reduced inputs of various toxic chemicals. Two of the streams were known to be mercury-contaminated from historical spills and waste disposal practices. Waterborne mercury concentrations in the third were typical of uncontaminated systems. In each case, concentrations of mercury in fish, or the apparent biological availability of mercury increased over the period during which ecological metrics indicated improved water quality. In the system where waterborne mercury concentrations were at background levels, increased mercury bioaccumulation was probably a result of reduced aqueous selenium concentrations; however, the mechanisms for increased mercury accumulation in the other two streams remain under investigation. In each of the three systems, reduced inputs of metals and inorganic anions was followed by improvements in the health of aquatic invertebrate communities. However, this reduction in risk to aquatic invertebrates was accompanied by increased risk to humans and piscivorous wildlife related to increased mercury concentrations in fish

  19. Plastics and health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halden, Rolf U

    2010-01-01

    By 2010, the worldwide annual production of plastics will surpass 300 million tons. Plastics are indispensable materials in modern society, and many products manufactured from plastics are a boon to public health (e.g., disposable syringes, intravenous bags). However, plastics also pose health risks. Of principal concern are endocrine-disrupting properties, as triggered for example by bisphenol A and di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP). Opinions on the safety of plastics vary widely, and despite more than five decades of research, scientific consensus on product safety is still elusive. This literature review summarizes information from more than 120 peer-reviewed publications on health effects of plastics and plasticizers in lab animals and humans. It examines problematic exposures of susceptible populations and also briefly summarizes adverse environmental impacts from plastic pollution. Ongoing efforts to steer human society toward resource conservation and sustainable consumption are discussed, including the concept of the 5 Rs--i.e., reduce, reuse, recycle, rethink, restrain--for minimizing pre- and postnatal exposures to potentially harmful components of plastics.

  20. Contribution of environmental conditions in dental offices of Antioquia to the risk of mercury contamination

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jairo A. Ruiz C

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This article is a product from the project “Environmental Management of Dental Amalgam in the State of Antioquia” which was carried out by the following research groups belonging to the University of Antioquia: Science and Biomedical Technology, Precious Materials, and Pirometallurgical and Materials Researches, as well as the private company New Stetic S. A., between February 2005 and February 2007. Objective: to describe the environmental conditions in 30 big dental offices of the State of Antioquia, Colombia. Those dental offices having more than five dental chairs in the same work place were defined as “big” for the purpose of this project. Due to the fact that these dental offices represents 85% of the population of reference, the results described in this article can be consequently considered as is they were derived from a census. The description is made bearing in mind the people who are exposed to the risk of mercury contamination due to their occupation. Materials and method: an observation tool was designed in order to be applied in each dental office. It contained aspects as floor and wall characteristics, ventilation, room temperature, storing place for mercury, elements for handling amalgam scraps, and those activities which deviate from the regular dental service in the same site. Each dental office was visited by a research engineer and an advanced engineering student on a previously defined date. The researchers were trained in advance to collect the information. Results: it was found that some big dental offices have inadequate conditions in their premises for offering their services, and do not have a good handling of the environmental conditions. That’s why immediate actions are mandatory to minimize the risk of mercury contamination.

  1. Preliminary results of mercury levels in raw and cooked seafood and their public health impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Fernanda do N; Korn, Maria Graças A; Brito, Geysa B; Ferlin, Stacy; Fostier, Anne H

    2016-02-01

    Mercury is toxic for human health and one of the main routes of exposure is through consumption of contaminated fish and shellfish. The objective of this work was to assess the possible mercury contamination of bivalves (Anomalocardia brasiliana, Lucina pectinata, Callinectes sapidus), crustacean (C. sapidus) and fish (Bagre marinus and Diapterus rhombeus) collected on Salinas da Margarida, BA (Brazil), a region which carciniculture, fishing and shellfish extraction are the most important economic activities. The effect of cooking on Hg concentration in the samples was also studied. The results showed that Hg concentration was generally higher in the cooked samples than in raw samples. This increase can be related to the effect of Hg pre-concentration, formation of complexes involving mercury species and sulfhydryl groups present in tissues and/or loss of water and fat. The highest concentrations were found in B. marinus samples ranging 837.0-1585.3 μg kg(-1), which exceeded those recommended by Brazilian Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA). In addition, Hg values found in the other samples also suggest the monitoring of the Hg concentrations in seafood consumed from the region. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Total mercury in muscles and liver of Mugil spp. from three coastal lagoons of NW Mexico: concentrations and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Alvarez, C G; Frías-Espericueta, M G; Ruelas-Inzunza, J; Becerra-Álvarez, M J; Osuna-Martínez, C C; Aguilar-Juárez, M; Osuna-López, J I; Escobar-Sánchez, O; Voltolina, D

    2017-07-01

    Total mercury (Hg) concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry in muscles and liver of composite samples of Mugil cephalus and M. curema collected during November 2013 and in January, April, and July 2014 from the coastal lagoons Altata-Ensenada del Pabellón (AEP), Ceuta (CEU), and Teacapán-Agua Brava (TAG) of Sinaloa State. The mean Hg contents and information on local consumption were used to assess the possible risk caused by fish ingestion. Mean total mercury levels in the muscles ranged from 0.11 to 0.39 μg/g, while the range for liver was 0.12-3.91 μg/g. The mean Hg content of the liver was significantly (p mercury calculated for the younger age classes of one fishing community were >1, indicating a possible risk for some fishing communities of the Mexican Pacific coast.

  3. 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

  4. Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Health Professional Resources Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk Assessment of weight and health risk involves using ... risk for developing obesity-associated diseases or conditions. Risk Factors for Health Topics Associated With Obesity Along ...

  5. Urban artisanal gold shops and mercury emissions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cordy, P.; Veiga, M.; Carrasco, V.H.G.

    2008-01-01

    Artisanal miners in developing countries use mercury amalgamation processes to extract gold. The amalgams are then refined before being sold on to urban gold shops. The amalgams can often contain between 2 to 40 per cent mercury. Unburned amalgams are also often sold directly to gold shops. There are serious health risks for shop employees and nearby populations when the gold is melted and further purified. Studies have shown that mercury concentrations in the ambient air of gold shops often exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) limits by an order of magnitude or more. This study examined the practices and technologies used to refine gold in Latin America and Indonesia. The study compared and contrasted various refining methods and their resulting mercury emissions. Methods of reducing mercury emissions were also investigated, including a filtration system designed to capture 80 per cent of mercury emissions. Barriers to implementing mercury emissions reduction plans were also investigated. It was concluded that the design of urban gold shops must include condensers, fume hoods, and efficient mercury capture systems. 15 refs

  6. Mercury and omega-3 fatty acid profiles in freshwater fish of the Dehcho Region, Northwest Territories: Informing risk benefit assessments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Matthew J; Henao, Juan J Aristizabal; Reyes, Ellen S; Stark, Ken D; Low, George; Swanson, Heidi K; Laird, Brian D

    2018-05-17

    Traditional foods have significant nutritional, sociocultural and economic value in subarctic First Nations communities of the Northwest Territories, and play a crucial role in promoting cultural continuity and sovereignty. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (N-3 PUFAs), including eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), carry significant benefits for neurocognitive development and cardiovascular health. However, the health risks posed by methylmercury may serve to undermine the benefits of fish consumption in Northern Indigenous communities. The objective of this study was to characterize profiles for mercury (Hg) and fatty acids in fish species harvested across lakes of the Dehcho Region, in the Mackenzie Valley of the Northwest Territories, to better understand the risks and benefits associated with traditional foods. Hg levels increased with trophic position, with the highest levels found in Burbot, Lake Trout, Walleye, and Northern Pike. Lake Trout, along with planktivorous species including Lake Whitefish, Cisco, and Sucker, demonstrated higher N-3 PUFAs than other species. Negative associations were observed between Hg and N-3 PUFAs in Lake Trout, Northern Pike, Walleye and Burbot. Further stratifying these relationships revealed significant interactions by lake. Significant differences observed in fatty acid and Hg profiles across lakes underscore the importance of considering both species- and lake-specific findings. This growing dataset of freshwater fish of the Dehcho will inform future efforts to characterize human Hg exposure profiles using probabilistic dose reconstruction models. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Effect of mercury on general and reproductive health of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) from three lakes in New Jersey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedmann, Andrew S; Costain, E Kimble; MacLatchy, Deborah L; Stansley, William; Washuta, Edmund J

    2002-06-01

    The influence of mercury on the general and reproductive health of wild fish populations has not been well studied. Therefore, a variety of health and reproductive indicators were measured in male largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) collected from three bodies of water in New Jersey: Assunpink Lake, Manasquan Reservoir, and Atlantic City Reservoir. The mean mercury content in fish muscle from Assunpink Lake was 0.30 microg/g; from Manasquan Reservoir, 1.23 microg/g; and from Atlantic City Reservoir, 5.42 microg/g. Body weight, length, condition factor, and gonadosomatic index were similar for all three lakes. Furthermore, there was no significant relationship between muscle mercury content and adrenocortical function, indicated by interrenal nuclear diameter and serum cortisol levels following stress. Bass from the Atlantic City Reservoir had a slightly lower, although significant, liver somatic index than bass from the two other lakes. A significant, positive correlation between 11-ketotestosterone serum concentrations and mercury muscle content was detected, although no significant relationship between testosterone serum concentrations and mercury muscle content was found. The findings of this study suggest that, while elevated levels of mercury in fish potentially alter androgen profiles, they do not substantially decrease other indicators of general and reproductive health. (c) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

  10. Exploration Health Risks: Probabilistic Risk Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhatigan, Jennifer; Charles, John; Hayes, Judith; Wren, Kiley

    2006-01-01

    Maintenance of human health on long-duration exploration missions is a primary challenge to mission designers. Indeed, human health risks are currently the largest risk contributors to the risks of evacuation or loss of the crew on long-duration International Space Station missions. We describe a quantitative assessment of the relative probabilities of occurrence of the individual risks to human safety and efficiency during space flight to augment qualitative assessments used in this field to date. Quantitative probabilistic risk assessments will allow program managers to focus resources on those human health risks most likely to occur with undesirable consequences. Truly quantitative assessments are common, even expected, in the engineering and actuarial spheres, but that capability is just emerging in some arenas of life sciences research, such as identifying and minimize the hazards to astronauts during future space exploration missions. Our expectation is that these results can be used to inform NASA mission design trade studies in the near future with the objective of preventing the higher among the human health risks. We identify and discuss statistical techniques to provide this risk quantification based on relevant sets of astronaut biomedical data from short and long duration space flights as well as relevant analog populations. We outline critical assumptions made in the calculations and discuss the rationale for these. Our efforts to date have focussed on quantifying the probabilities of medical risks that are qualitatively perceived as relatively high risks of radiation sickness, cardiac dysrhythmias, medically significant renal stone formation due to increased calcium mobilization, decompression sickness as a result of EVA (extravehicular activity), and bone fracture due to loss of bone mineral density. We present these quantitative probabilities in order-of-magnitude comparison format so that relative risk can be gauged. We address the effects of

  11. Mercurio y salud en la odontología Mercury and health in the dental practice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivelin Morales Fuentes

    2003-04-01

    Full Text Available El mercurio es un metal pesado ampliamente utilizado por el hombre. Se considera muy tóxico por generar afecciones sobre el sistema nervioso central, perturbaciones en el comportamiento y trastornos renales, inmunes y sexuales, entre otros. Desde hace más de un siglo, el mercurio es utilizado en la práctica odontológica por su capacidad de unir metales (amalgamar, su bajo costo y su rápida fijación en la reparación de piezas dentales. Actualmente, existe una gran controversia acerca de la seguridad del uso de las amalgamas dentales y se ha demostrado el riesgo ocupacional al que están expuestos dentistas y asistentes dentales. El objetivo del trabajo es revisar aspectos relacionados con la toxicidad del mercurio metálico tanto para el personal involucrado en la práctica odontológica como para los pacientes con amalgamas. De igual modo, se presentan las rutas de exposición a este metal en la odontología, los riesgos ocupacionales a los cuales están expuestos los odontólogos y asistentes dentales y las medidas para prevenir la intoxicación por mercurio. Se realizó la búsqueda bibliográfica sobretudo en las bases de datos Biological Abstracts y Science Citation Index para el período comprendido entre los años 1990 y 2000.Mercury is a heavy metal widely used by man. It is considered very toxic causing conditions in the central nervous system, behavior disturbances, and renal and sexual disorders. For a century, mercury has been used in the dental practice for its capacity of joining metals (amalgamate, its low cost and its rapid fixing in dental pieces repair. Currently, there is much controversy about the safety of dental amalgams and it has been demonstrated it poses occupational risks to dental practitioners and their assistants. The objective of this study is review aspects related to metallic mercury toxicity for personnel involved in the dental practice and patients with dental amalgams. Routes of mercury exposure in

  12. Health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments of central India studied by NAA and ICP-MS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patel, K.S.

    2001-01-01

    The heavy metal pollution in the Indian continent is increasing due to rapid industrialisation. Among heavy metals, the element: mercury is considered as global pollutant. In central India it is considered as global pollutant. Central India has been chosen for the investigation of the mercury pollution and their health impacts in the proposed project. The concentration and flux levels of the organic, inorganic and total mercury and their variations, sources and co-relation are investigated in various atmospheric and environmental compartments air, dry deposit, wet deposits, water, soil, sediment, etc. of central India lying between 18-23 deg. N latitude and 80-84 deg. longitude. The techniques CVAAS, NAA, XFS, ICP-MS, etc. would be used for monitoring the various chemical species of mercury employing established methodologies. (author)

  13. Awareness assessment of harmful effects of mercury in a health care set-up in India: A survey-based study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halder, Nabanita; Peshin, Sharda Shah; Pandey, Ravindra Mohan; Gupta, Yogendra Kumar

    2015-12-01

    Mercury, one of the most toxic heavy metals, is ubiquitous in environment. The adverse health impact of mercury on living organisms is well known. The health care facilities are one of the important sources of mercury release into the atmosphere as mercury items are extensively used in hospitals. To assess the awareness about mercury toxicity and the knowledge of proper handling and disposal of mercury-containing items in health care set-up, a questionnaire-based survey was carried out amongst doctors (n = 835), nurses (n = 610) and technicians (n = 393) in government hospitals, corporate hospitals and primary health care centres in the Indian states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The study was conducted using a tool-containing pretested structured multiple-choice questionnaire. Analysis of the results using STATA 11.1 software highlighted that overall awareness was more in corporate sector. However, percentage range of knowledge of respondents irrespective of health care sector was only between 20 and 40%. Despite the commitment of various hospitals to be mercury free, mercury containing-thermometer/sphygmomanometer are still preferred by health professionals. The likely reasons are availability, affordability, accuracy and convenience in use. There is an urgent need for source reduction, recycling and waste minimization. Emphasis must be laid on mercury alternative products, education and training of health personnel and public at large, about correct handling and proper clean up of spills. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. Health risks in perspective: Judging health risks of energy technologies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rowe, M.D.

    1992-09-18

    Almost daily, Americans receive reports from the mass news media about some new and frightening risk to health and welfare. Most such reports emphasize the newsworthiness of the risks -- the possibility of a crisis, disagreements among experts, how things happened, who is responsible for fixing them, how much will it cost, conflict among parties involved, etc. As a rule, the magnitudes of the risks, or the difficulty of estimating those magnitudes, have limited newsworthiness, and so they are not mentioned. Because of this emphasis in the news media, most people outside the risk assessment community must judge the relative significance of the various risks to which we all are exposed with only that information deemed newsworthy by reporters. This information is biased and shows risks in isolation. There is no basis for understanding and comparing the relative importance of risks among themselves, or for comparing one risk, perhaps a new or newly-discovered one, in the field of all risks. The purpose of this report is to provide perspective on the various risks to which we are routinely exposed. It serves as a basis for understanding the meaning of quantitative risk estimates and for comparing new or newly-discovered risks with other, better-understood risks. Specific emphasis is placed on health risks of energy technologies.

  15. Mercury, Fatty Acids Content and Lipid Quality Indexes in Muscles of Freshwater and Marine Fish on the Polish Market. Risk Assessment of Fish Consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Łuczyńska, Joanna; Paszczyk, Beata; Nowosad, Joanna; Łuczyński, Marek Jan

    2017-09-25

    Mercury content and fatty acids in muscles of Perca fluviatilis L. (European perch), Leuciscus idus L. (ide), Cyprinus carpio L. (European or common carp), Oncorhynchus mykiss Walb. (rainbow trout), Platichthys flesus L. (European flounder). and Clupea harengus L. (bream) from the Polish market were investigated. The total mercury was processed with AAS. The fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography. The concentration of mercury in muscles varied from 0.006 to 0.138 mg/kg and decreased as follows: perch ≈ ide > flounder > herring ≈ bream ≈ rainbow trout > carp ( p ≤ 0.05). There were only significant positive correlations between body weight and mercury content in muscle tissue of carp (r = 0.878), flounder (r = 0.925) and herring (r = 0.982) ( p ≤ 0.05). The atherogenic index (AI), thrombogenicity index (TI) and flesh-lipid quality index (FLQ) were calculated as follows 0.33-0.70 (IA), 0.16-0.31 (IT) and 13.01-33.22 (FLQ). Hypocholesterolemic (OFA) and hypercholesterolemic fatty acids (DFA) in muscles of fish ranged from 18.26 to 23.01 and from 73.91 to 78.46, respectively. In most cases, there were not significant correlations between size (body weight and total length) and fatty acids in the muscles of the examined fish ( p > 0.05). The Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) values were below 1, which shows that there is no non-carcinogenic health risk to the consumer by consuming the examined fish.

  16. Mercury, Fatty Acids Content and Lipid Quality Indexes in Muscles of Freshwater and Marine Fish on the Polish Market. Risk Assessment of Fish Consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanna Łuczyńska

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Mercury content and fatty acids in muscles of Perca fluviatilis L. (European perch, Leuciscus idus L. (ide, Cyprinus carpio L. (European or common carp, Oncorhynchus mykiss Walb. (rainbow trout, Platichthys flesus L. (European flounder. and Clupea harengus L. (bream from the Polish market were investigated. The total mercury was processed with AAS. The fatty acids were analyzed by gas chromatography. The concentration of mercury in muscles varied from 0.006 to 0.138 mg/kg and decreased as follows: perch ≈ ide > flounder > herring ≈ bream ≈ rainbow trout > carp (p ≤ 0.05. There were only significant positive correlations between body weight and mercury content in muscle tissue of carp (r = 0.878, flounder (r = 0.925 and herring (r = 0.982 (p ≤ 0.05. The atherogenic index (AI, thrombogenicity index (TI and flesh-lipid quality index (FLQ were calculated as follows 0.33–0.70 (IA, 0.16–0.31 (IT and 13.01–33.22 (FLQ. Hypocholesterolemic (OFA and hypercholesterolemic fatty acids (DFA in muscles of fish ranged from 18.26 to 23.01 and from 73.91 to 78.46, respectively. In most cases, there were not significant correlations between size (body weight and total length and fatty acids in the muscles of the examined fish (p > 0.05. The Target Hazard Quotient (THQ values were below 1, which shows that there is no non-carcinogenic health risk to the consumer by consuming the examined fish.

  17. Health shocks and risk aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decker, Simon; Schmitz, Hendrik

    2016-12-01

    We empirically assess whether a health shock influences individual risk aversion. We use grip strength data to obtain an objective health shock indicator. In order to account for the non-random nature of our data regression-adjusted matching is employed. Risk preferences are traditionally assumed to be constant. However, we find that a health shock increases individual risk aversion. The finding is robust to a series of sensitivity analyses and persists for at least four years after the shock. Income changes do not seem to be the driving mechanism. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Some like it cold: microbial transformations of mercury in polar regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Barkay, Tamar; Kroer, Niels A.; Poulain, Alexandre J.

    2011-01-01

    The contamination of polar regions with mercury that is transported from lower latitudes as inorganic mercury has resulted in the accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in food chains, risking the health of humans and wildlife. While production of MeHg has been documented in polar marine and terres......The contamination of polar regions with mercury that is transported from lower latitudes as inorganic mercury has resulted in the accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg) in food chains, risking the health of humans and wildlife. While production of MeHg has been documented in polar marine...

  19. Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Products For Consumers Home For Consumers Consumer Updates Mercury Poisoning Linked to Skin Products Share Tweet Linkedin ... and, in some situations, criminal prosecution. Dangers of Mercury Exposure to mercury can have serious health consequences. ...

  20. Mercury exposure of workers and health problems related with small-scale gold panning and extraction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, S.; Shah, M.T.; Din, I.U.; Rehman, S.

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted to investigate mercury (Hg) exposure and health problems related to small-scale gold panning and extraction (GPE) in the northern Pakistan. Urine and blood samples of occupational and non-occupational persons were analyzed for total Hg, while blood's fractions including red blood cells and plasma were analyzed for total Hg and its inorganic and organic species. The concentrations of Hg in urine and blood samples were significantly (P<0.01) higher in occupational persons as compared to non-occupational and exceeded the permissible limits set by World Health Organization (WHO) and United State Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA). Furthermore, the data indicated that numerous health problems were present in occupational persons involved in GPE. (author)

  1. Health Security and Risk Aversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herington, Jonathan

    2016-09-01

    Health security has become a popular way of justifying efforts to control catastrophic threats to public health. Unfortunately, there has been little analysis of the concept of health security, nor the relationship between health security and other potential aims of public health policy. In this paper I develop an account of health security as an aversion to risky policy options. I explore three reasons for thinking risk avoidance is a distinctly worthwhile aim of public health policy: (i) that security is intrinsically valuable, (ii) that it is necessary for social planning and (iii) that it is an appropriate response to decision-making in contexts of very limited information. Striking the right balance between securing and maximizing population health thus requires a substantive, and hitherto unrecognized, value judgment. Finally, I critically evaluate the current health security agenda in light of this new account of the concept and its relationship to the other aims of public health policy. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Occupational Metallic Mercury Poisoning in Gilders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Vahabzadeh

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Occupational exposure to elemental mercury vapor usually occurs through inhalation during its utilizations. This leads to a variety of adverse health effects. In some Islamic cities, this type of poisoning may occur during gilding of shrines using elemental mercury with gold. Herein, we report on three male patients aged 20–53 years, who were diagnosed with occupational metallic mercury poisoning due to gilding of a shrine. All patients presented with neuro-psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, loss of memory and concentration, and sleep disorders with high urinary mercury concentrations of 326–760 μg/L upon referring, 3–10 days after cessation of elemental mercury exposure. Following chelating therapy, the patients recovered clinically and their mercury concentrations declined to non-toxic level (<25 μg/L. Health, environmental and labor authorities, as well as the gilders should be aware of the toxicity risk of exposure to metalic mercury during gilding in closed environments and act accordingly.

  3. Health assessment and mercury analyses of fishes of the Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    Department of the Interior — Mercury and poor water quality in the Atchafalaya River Basin have been documented by the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality’s Mercury Monitoring Program....

  4. 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

    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......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......% three months later. Average hair-mercury concentrations decreased by 21%. However, the total seafood intake remained at the same level after three months. CONCLUSIONS: Increased exposure to methylmercury among pregnant women is an important public health concern in Denmark. The observed lowering of hair...

  5. Pregnancy - health risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to areas where viral or bacterial infections could affect the health of an unborn baby. Men need to be careful, too. Smoking and alcohol may cause problems with the unborn baby. Smoking, alcohol, and marijuana use have also been shown to lower sperm ...

  6. Ethnic Kawasaki Disease Risk Associated with Blood Mercury and Cadmium in U.S. Children

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeter, Deniz; Portman, Michael A.; Aschner, Michael; Farina, Marcelo; Chan, Wen-Ching; Hsieh, Kai-Sheng; Kuo, Ho-Chang

    2016-01-01

    Kawasaki disease (KD) primarily affects children <5 years of age (75%–80%) and is currently the leading cause of acquired heart disease in developed nations. Even when residing in the West, East Asian children are 10 to 20 times more likely to develop KD. We hypothesized cultural variations influencing pediatric mercury (Hg) exposure from seafood consumption may mediate ethnic KD risk among children in the United States. Hospitalization rates of KD in US children aged 0–4 years (n = 10,880) and blood Hg levels in US children aged 1–5 years (n = 713) were determined using separate US federal datasets. Our cohort primarily presented with blood Hg levels <0.1 micrograms (µg) per kg bodyweight (96.5%) that are considered normal and subtoxic. Increased ethnic KD risk was significantly associated with both increasing levels and detection rates of blood Hg or cadmium (Cd) in a linear dose-responsive manner between ethnic African, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic children in the US (p ≤ 0.05). Increasing low-dose exposure to Hg or Cd may induce KD or contribute to its later development in susceptible children. However, our preliminary results require further replication in other ethnic populations, in addition to more in-depth examination of metal exposure and toxicokinetics. PMID:26742052

  7. Mercury in the Umbilical Cord: Implications for Risk Assessment for Minamata Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalgård, Christine; Grandjean, Philippe; Jørgensen, Poul Jørgen

    1994-01-01

    Umbilical cord tissue was obtained from 50 births in the Faroe Islands, where high mercury intake is due to ingestion of pilot whale meat. The mercury concentration correlated significantly with the frequency of maternal whale meat dinners during pregnancy and with mercury concentrations in umbil...... mercury concentration of 4.95 nmol/g dry weight in Minamata would correspond to 668 nmol/l cord blood and 114 nmol/g maternal hair. These levels agree well with other evidence of susceptibility of the fetus to increased exposure to methylmercury....... in umbilical cord blood and in maternal hair. The results were compared with published values for mercury in umbilical cord tissue from 12 infants diagnosed with congenital methylmercury poisoning in Minamata, Japan. From the regression coefficients obtained in the Faroese samples, the median umbilical cord...

  8. New insights into mercury bioaccumulation in deep-sea organisms from the NW Mediterranean and their human health implications

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koenig, Samuel, E-mail: koenig@icm.csic.es [Institut de Ciencies del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Catalunya (Spain); Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental i Estudis de l' Aigua (IDAEA-CSIC), C/Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Catalunya (Spain); Sole, Montserrat [Institut de Ciencies del Mar (ICM-CSIC), Passeig Maritim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Catalunya (Spain); Fernandez-Gomez, Cristal; Diez, Sergi [Institut de Diagnosi Ambiental i Estudis de l' Aigua (IDAEA-CSIC), C/Jordi Girona 18, 08034 Barcelona, Catalunya (Spain)

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have found high levels of mercury (Hg) in deep-sea organisms throughout the world's oceans, but the underlying causes are not clear as there is no consensus on the origin and cycling of Hg in the ocean. Recent findings suggested that Hg accumulation may increase with increasing forage depth and pointed to the deep-water column as the origin of most Hg in marine biota, especially its organic methylmercury (MeHg) form. In the present study, we determined the total mercury (THg) levels in 12 deep-sea fish species and a decapod crustacean and investigated their relationship with the species' nitrogen stable isotope ratio ({delta}{sup 15}N) as an indicator of their trophic level, average weight and habitat depth. THg levels ranged from 0.27 to 4.42 {mu}g/g w.w. and exceeded in all, except one species, the recommended 0.5 {mu}g/g w.w. guideline value. While THg levels exhibited a strong relationship with {delta}{sup 15}N values and to a lesser extent with weight, the habitat depth, characterized as the species' depth of maximum abundance (DMA), had also a significant effect on Hg accumulation. The fish species with a shallower depth range exhibited lower THg values than predicted by their trophic level ({delta}{sup 15}N) and body mass, while measured THg values were higher than predicted in deeper-dwelling fish. Overall, the present results point out a potential risk for human health from the consumption of deep-sea fish. In particular, for both, the red shrimp Aristeus antennatus, which is one of the most valuable fishing resources of the Mediterranean, as well as the commercially exploited fish Mora moro, THg levels considerably exceeded the recommended 0.5 {mu}g/g w.w. limit and should be consumed with caution. -- Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer High total mercury (THg) levels were detected in Mediterranean deep-sea organisms. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Uniform contamination pattern was observed across the Mediterranean

  9. New insights into mercury bioaccumulation in deep-sea organisms from the NW Mediterranean and their human health implications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koenig, Samuel; Solé, Montserrat; Fernández-Gómez, Cristal; Díez, Sergi

    2013-01-01

    A number of studies have found high levels of mercury (Hg) in deep-sea organisms throughout the world's oceans, but the underlying causes are not clear as there is no consensus on the origin and cycling of Hg in the ocean. Recent findings suggested that Hg accumulation may increase with increasing forage depth and pointed to the deep-water column as the origin of most Hg in marine biota, especially its organic methylmercury (MeHg) form. In the present study, we determined the total mercury (THg) levels in 12 deep-sea fish species and a decapod crustacean and investigated their relationship with the species' nitrogen stable isotope ratio (δ 15 N) as an indicator of their trophic level, average weight and habitat depth. THg levels ranged from 0.27 to 4.42 μg/g w.w. and exceeded in all, except one species, the recommended 0.5 μg/g w.w. guideline value. While THg levels exhibited a strong relationship with δ 15 N values and to a lesser extent with weight, the habitat depth, characterized as the species' depth of maximum abundance (DMA), had also a significant effect on Hg accumulation. The fish species with a shallower depth range exhibited lower THg values than predicted by their trophic level (δ 15 N) and body mass, while measured THg values were higher than predicted in deeper-dwelling fish. Overall, the present results point out a potential risk for human health from the consumption of deep-sea fish. In particular, for both, the red shrimp Aristeus antennatus, which is one of the most valuable fishing resources of the Mediterranean, as well as the commercially exploited fish Mora moro, THg levels considerably exceeded the recommended 0.5 μg/g w.w. limit and should be consumed with caution. -- Highlights: ► High total mercury (THg) levels were detected in Mediterranean deep-sea organisms. ► Uniform contamination pattern was observed across the Mediterranean basin. ► All except one species exceeded recommended consumption limit of 0.5 μg/g w.w. ► THg

  10. Mercury Study Report to Congress

    Science.gov (United States)

    EPA's Report to Congress on Mercury provides an assessment of the magnitude of U.S. mercury emissions by source, the health and environmental implications of those emissions, and the availability and cost of control technologies.

  11. Mercury concentrations in Northwest Atlantic winter-caught, male spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias): A geographic mercury comparison and risk-reward framework for human consumption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Gelais, Adam T; Costa-Pierce, Barry A

    2016-01-15

    Mercury (Hg) contamination testing was conducted on winter-caught male spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) in southern New England and results compared to available data on Hg concentrations for this species. A limited risk-reward assessment for EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) and DHA (docosahexanoic acid) lipid concentrations of spiny dogfish was completed in comparison with other commonly consumed marine fish. Mean Hg concentrations were 0.19 ppm (±0.30) wet weight. In comparison, mean Hg concentrations in S. acanthias varied geographically ranging from 0.05 ppm (Celtic Sea) to 2.07 ppm (Crete, Mediterranean Sea). A risk-reward assessment for Hg and DHA+EPA placed S. acanthias in both "low-risk, high-reward" and "high-risk, high-reward" categories for consumption dependent on locations of the catch. Our results are limited and are not intended as consumption advisories but serve to illustrate the need for making more nuanced, geo-specific, consumption guidance for spiny dogfish that is inclusive of seafood traceability and nutritional benefits. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  12. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia L Winder

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010. Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1 Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2 Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3 Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663 were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9 and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23. Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315. However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. CONCLUSION AND SIGNIFICANCE: This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population

  13. Characterization of mercury and its risk in Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winder, Virginia L

    2012-01-01

    Nelson's, Saltmarsh, and Seaside Sparrows (Ammodramus nelsoni, A. caudacutus, and A. maritimus, respectively) depend on marsh and wetland habitats--ecosystems in which mercury (Hg) bioavailability is notoriously high. The purpose of the present study was to address the potential impact of Hg on these species using first primary and breast feathers as non-destructive biomonitoring tools. Feathers were sampled from wintering sparrows in North Carolina salt marshes (2006-2010). Feather Hg data were used in three risk analysis components (1) Threshold Component--examined feather Hg with regard to published negative effects thresholds; (2) Hg Dynamics Component--examined Hg in sparrows captured multiple times; and (3) Capture Frequency and Survival Component--tested for links between Hg and return frequency and survival. Threshold Component analyses indicated that Hg concentrations in 42-77% of sampled individuals (breast feather n = 879; first primary feather n = 663) were within the range associated with decreased reproduction in other avian species. Hg Dynamics Component analyses demonstrated that Hg increased between first and second captures for Nelson's (n = 9) and Seaside Sparrows (n = 23). Capture Frequency and Survival Component analyses detected a negative relationship between Hg and capture frequency in Nelson's Sparrows (n = 315). However, MARK models detected no effect of Hg on apparent survival in any species. This study indicates that current Hg exposure places a considerable proportion of each population at risk. In particular, 52% of all sampled Saltmarsh Sparrows exhibited first primary feather Hg concentrations exceeding those associated with a >60% reduction in reproductive success in other species. This study reports evidence for net annual bioaccumulation, indicating an increased risk in older individuals. These data can be used to inform future population assessments and management for these species.

  14. Children at health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekar, H R

    1992-01-01

    In India, 69% of the children of the working class die, most of whom are child laborers. Economic pressure forces parents to make their children work. Employers want child workers because they can manipulate them and pay them low wages, thereby ensuring their viability. The caste system induces social inequality, inheritance invokes cultural inequality, and patriarchal socialization is responsible for gender inequality, all of which perpetuates exploitation of children by employers. In Sivakasi, an estimated 125,000 children make up the child labor force, comprising 30% of the entire labor force. 75% are from the lowest castes. 90% of child workers are girls because they are more obedient and accept even lower wages than boys, and girls need to save for their dowry. Girls often suffer verbal and physical abuse. Like their parents who were also child workers, child workers are illiterate and work long hours. A small rich elite in Sivakasi controls most of the trading and industrial capital, educational institutions, and voluntary organizations. Employers' agents give parents a loan and use their children's labor as security. Each day, they bring child workers to Sivakasi in factory buses from villages to work at least 12 hour days. They work under hazardous conditions, e.g., working with toxic chemicals. Coughing, sore throat, dizziness, methemoglobinemia, and anemia are common effects of ingestion or inhalation of chlorate dust. Inhalation of sulphur dust causes respiratory infections, eye infections, and chronic lung diseases (e.g., asthma). Fires and explosions are common risks for working children. Factory management seldom undertake fire prevention measures. An extensive survey of the problem of child labor is needed in Sivakasi before systematic planning to protect children could be done. Overall development, especially agricultural development, is needed. Parents, employers, enforcement authorities, trade unions, and social groups need to be sensitized to the

  15. Health risk evaluation of certain compounds found in contaminated soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dock, L.; Victorin, K.; Vahter, M.; Ahlborg, U.G.

    1991-01-01

    As part of a redevelopment plan for an old gas works site in Stockholm, the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IEM) at the Karolinska Institute was asked to evaluate the health risks associated with exposure to coal tar, containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), phenols, cyanides, sulfur compounds, arsenic, lead, cadmium and mercury in soil and to suggest guide line values for these compounds in residential areas. Our health risk evaluation was limited to possible effects following direct exposure to contaminated soil. Indirect exposure, i.e. through contaminated ground water or home-grown vegetables, was not considered, nor were effects on building material. The routes of exposure considered were ingestion, dermal contact and inhalation of soil dust. Small children were considered the primary risk group. The critical health effect associated with dermal exposure to PAH in soil is skin cancer. Ingestion of phenols, cyanides and sulphur compounds may cause acute health effects. Recommended guide line values for these contaminants were generally obtained by dividing the lowest observed effect levels with appropriate safety factors. The metals considered may cause both acute and chronic health effects. The guide line values for cadmium and mercury in soil were set based on a maximum intake through ingestion of soil corresponding to 10% of the provisional tolerable weekly intake levels (PTWI) set by FAO/WHO. For arsenic, the guide line value corresponds to 5% of the PTWI-value for a child. The suggested guide line level for lead was based on studied on the association between soil lead concentration and blood lead levels in children. The suggested guide line level for lead in soil may increase the blood-lead in a child by less than 10%. (31 refs.) (au)

  16. Hair mercury (signature of fish consumption) and cardiovascular risk in Munduruku and Kayabi Indians of Amazonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dórea, José G; de Souza, Jurandir R; Rodrigues, Patricia; Ferrari, Iris; Barbosa, Antonio C

    2005-02-01

    Fish is an important natural resource in the diet of inhabitants of the Amazon rain forest and a marker of its consumption (hair Hg) was used to compare selected cardiovascular risk parameters between tribes of Eastern Amazonia. Three Munduruku (Terra Preta, Kaburua, Cururu) villages and one Kayabi village at the banks of head rivers (Tapajos, Tropas, Kabitutu, Cururu, Curuzinho, Teles Pires) of the Tapajos Basin were studied in relation to fish Hg concentrations, mercury in hair (fish consumption) and erythrocytes, body mass index (height/weight, kg/cm2), and blood pressure. The mean fish Hg concentrations were higher in predatory (578.6 ng/g) than in nonpredatory species (52.8 ng/g). Overall only 26% of fish Hg concentrations were above 500 ng/g, and only 11% were above 1000 ng/g. There was no systematic trend in fish Hg concentrations from rivers with a history of gold-mining activities. The biomarker of fish consumption (hair Hg) was significantly associated with erythrocyte-Hg (r=0.5181; P=0.0001) and was significantly higher in Kayabi (12.7 microg/g) than in the Munduruku (3.4 microg/g). Biomarker-assessed fish consumption rate was higher in the Kayabi (110 g/day) than in the Munduruku villages (30 g/day). Although no significant differences in body mass index (BMI) were observed between tribes, there was a trend of lower increase in blood pressure with age among the higher fish consumers (Kayabi). Summary clinical evaluation did not detect neurologic complaints compatible with Hg intoxication (paraparesis, numbness, tremor, balancing failure), but endemic tropical diseases such as clinical history of malaria showed a high prevalence (55.4%). Fish is an abundant natural resource, important in the Indian diet, that has been historically consumed without perceived problems and can easily be traced through hair Hg. The exposure to freshwater fish monomethyl mercury is less of an issue than endemic infectious diseases such as malaria and lack of basic medical

  17. [Evaluation of the mercury accumulating capacity of pepper (Capsicum annuum)].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Vargas, Híver M; Vidal-Durango, Jhon V; Marrugo-Negrete, José L

    2014-01-01

    To assess the mercury accumulating capacity in contaminated soils from the community of Mina Santa Cruz, in the south of the department of Bolívar, Colombia, of the pepper plant (Capsicum annuum), in order to establish the risk to the health of the consuming population. Samples were taken from tissues (roots, stems, and leaves) of pepper plants grown in two soils contaminated with mercury and a control soil during the first five months of growth to determine total mercury through cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Total mercury was determined in the samples of pepper plant fruits consumed in Mina Santa Cruz. The mean concentrations of total mercury in the roots were higher than in stems and leaves. Accumulation in tissues was influenced by mercury levels in soil and the growth time of the plants. Mercury concentrations in fruits of pepper plant were lower than tolerable weekly intake provided by WHO. Percent of translocation of mercury to aerial parts of the plant were low in both control and contaminated soils. Despite low levels of mercury in this food, it is necessary to minimize the consumption of food contaminated with this metal.

  18. 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

  19. Mercury in the environment : a primer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lourie, B; Glenn, W [ed.; Ogilvie, K; Everhardus, E; Friesen, K; Rae, S

    2003-06-01

    This report provides an overview of the occurrence and effects of mercury in the environment and its impacts on human health. Low levels of mercury occur naturally everywhere in the environment in plants, animals, rocks and air. Incidental emissions occur when natural mercury is released to the environment through human activity. In Canada, coal burning and metal processing are the two largest point sources of atmospheric mercury emissions. Energy facilities have the option to invest in expensive control technologies for coal plants, or they can generate electricity from alternative energy sources. Energy conservation, however, offers the greatest overall benefits for the environment and the public. Mercury can also be released when products containing mercury (such as electrical switches, thermostats, dental amalgam, and thermometers) are broken while in use, or when they are crushed in garbage trucks and dumped in landfills. Source separation is the best way to reduce waste-related emissions. Once mercury is released to the natural environment, it can be transported long distances through air or watercourses. It is volatile, therefore evaporates readily to the atmosphere where it may do one of three things: it may fall out near the point where it was emitted; it may be transported long distances to some point downwind; or, it may enter the global atmospheric mercury pool where it will circle the globe for a year or more within the Earth's major weather systems before being deposited. Data from Canada's National Pollutant Release Inventory indicates that mercury releases and transfers total 28,674 kg per year. The most critical component of the mercury cycle is the conversion of inorganic forms of mercury to the organic compound methylmercury which is more toxic to humans. Most concern about mercury focuses on lakes and other aquatic ecosystems. Fish in hydroelectric reservoirs have been found to contain elevated methylmercury levels because natural mercury in the

  20. Selenium's importance in regulatory issues regarding mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raymond, Laura J.; Ralston, Nicholas V.C. [University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center, 15 North 23rd Street, Stop 9018, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9018 (United States)

    2009-11-15

    Current seafood safety and health risk assessment criteria use mercury concentrations as their sole basis. This unfortunate limitation omits consideration of selenium, an essential trace element that appears to be the primary molecular target of mercury toxicity. Although selenium has been recognized for decades as a means of counteracting mercury toxicity, its effects have often been overlooked or misunderstood. Experimental animal studies have demonstrated that increasing concentrations of selenium throughout the normal dietary range increasingly counteracts methylmercury toxicity. Dietary concentrations of selenium that are slightly less than the average amount present in ocean fish have been shown to completely prevent the onset of toxic symptoms of mercury toxicity, while animals fed lesser amounts of selenium rapidly sickened and died. Dietary selenium from a variety of sources including ocean fish such as tuna, swordfish, menhaden, and rockfish has been shown to counteract mercury toxicity. Since ocean fish are among the richest sources of dietary selenium, it is important to include selenium concentration measurements in future mercury risk assessments and seafood safety criteria. Mercury:selenium molar ratios in blood provide far more consistent and physiologically meaningful risk assessments. Comprehensive seafood safety criteria such as the Selenium Health Benefit Value enable clear differentiation between seafoods that are safe and those that are hazardous for human consumption. Use of parameters that integrate mercury-selenium relationships also make it easy to understand the differences between the findings of maternal mercury exposure studies that have been performed in New Zealand, the Faroes, the Seychelles, and the United Kingdom. Development of criteria for evaluating mercury-selenium interactions will enhance environmental protection and improve public safety. (author)

  1. Health risks of energy technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travis, C.C.; Etnier, E.L.

    1983-01-01

    This volume examines occupational, public health, and environmental risks of the coal fuel cycle, the nuclear fuel cycle, and unconventional energy technologies. The 6 chapters explore in detail the relationship between energy economics and risk analysis, assess the problems of applying traditional cost-benefit analysis to long-term environmental problems (such as global carbon dioxide levels), and consider questions about the public's perception and acceptance of risk. Also included is an examination of the global risks associated with current and proposed levels of energy production and comsumption from all major sources. A separate abstract was prepared for each of the 6 chapters; all are included in Energy Abstracts for Policy Analysis (EAPA) and four in Energy Research Abstracts

  2. Evaluation of mercury speciation by EPA (Draft) Method 29

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laudal, D.L.; Heidt, M.K. [Energy & Environmental Research Center, Grand Forks, ND (United States); Nott, B. [Electric Power Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA (United States)

    1995-11-01

    The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments require that the U.S. Environmental protection Agency (EPA) assess the health risks associated with mercury emissions. Also, the law requires a separate assessment of health risks posed by the emission of 189 tract chemicals (including mercury) for electric utility steam-generating units. In order to conduct a meaningful assessment of health and environmental effects, we must have, among other things, a reliable and accurate method to measure mercury emissions. In addition, the rate of mercury deposition and the type of control strategies used may depend upon the type of mercury emitted (i.e., whether it is in the oxidized or elemental form). It has been speculated that EPA (Draft) Method 29 can speciate mercury by selective absorption; however, this claim has yet to be proven. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have contracted with the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) at University of North Dakota to evaluate EPA (Draft) Method 29 at the pilot-scale level. The objective of the work is to determine whether EPA (Draft) Method 29 can reliably quantify and speciate mercury in the flue gas from coal-fired boilers.

  3. Serum long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mercury, and risk of sudden cardiac death in men: a prospective population-based study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jyrki K Virtanen

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: Fish consumption has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD, especially sudden cardiac death (SCD. Fish is the major source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. It is also a major source of methylmercury, which was associated with increased risk of CVD in this study population. Impact of interaction between long-chain n-3 PUFA and methylmercury on the SCD risk is unknown. METHODS: A total of 1857 men from the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor study, aged 42-60 years and free of CVD at baseline in 1984-1989, were studied. Serum long-chain n-3 PUFA was used as the marker for long-chain n-3 PUFA intake and hair mercury as the marker for mercury exposure. RESULTS: During the mean follow-up of 20.1 years, 91 SCD events occurred. In the multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models, serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentration was not associated with the risk of SCD until hair mercury was accounted for; then the hazard ratio (HR in the highest vs. lowest tertile was 0.54 [95% confidence interval (CI 0.32 to 0.91, p for trend = 0.046]. When the analyses were stratified by hair mercury content, among those with lower hair mercury, each 0.5 percentage unit increase in the serum long-chain n-3 PUFA was associated with HR of 0.77 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.93, whereas no association was seen among those with higher hair mercury (p for interaction = 0.01. Among the individual long-chain n-3 PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid was most strongly associated with the risk. CONCLUSION: High exposure to mercury may reduce the benefits of long-chain n-3 PUFA on SCD.

  4. Serum Long-Chain n-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids, Mercury, and Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death in Men: A Prospective Population-Based Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virtanen, Jyrki K.; Laukkanen, Jari A.; Mursu, Jaakko; Voutilainen, Sari; Tuomainen, Tomi-Pekka

    2012-01-01

    Objectives Fish consumption has been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), especially sudden cardiac death (SCD). Fish is the major source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. It is also a major source of methylmercury, which was associated with increased risk of CVD in this study population. Impact of interaction between long-chain n-3 PUFA and methylmercury on the SCD risk is unknown. Methods A total of 1857 men from the prospective, population-based Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor study, aged 42–60 years and free of CVD at baseline in 1984–1989, were studied. Serum long-chain n-3 PUFA was used as the marker for long-chain n-3 PUFA intake and hair mercury as the marker for mercury exposure. Results During the mean follow-up of 20.1 years, 91 SCD events occurred. In the multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models, serum long-chain n-3 PUFA concentration was not associated with the risk of SCD until hair mercury was accounted for; then the hazard ratio (HR) in the highest vs. lowest tertile was 0.54 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.32 to 0.91, p for trend  = 0.046]. When the analyses were stratified by hair mercury content, among those with lower hair mercury, each 0.5 percentage unit increase in the serum long-chain n-3 PUFA was associated with HR of 0.77 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.93), whereas no association was seen among those with higher hair mercury (p for interaction  = 0.01). Among the individual long-chain n-3 PUFA, docosahexaenoic acid was most strongly associated with the risk. Conclusion High exposure to mercury may reduce the benefits of long-chain n-3 PUFA on SCD. PMID:22815906

  5. Mercury exposure in Munduruku Indians from the community of Sai Cinza, state of Para, Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira Santos, Elisabeth C. de; Maura de Jesus, Iracina; Camara, Volney e M.; Brabo, Edilson; Brito Loureiro, Edvaldo C.; Mascarenhas, Artur; Weirich, Judith; Ragio Luiz, Ronir; Cleary, David

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this cross-sectional study was to evaluate mercury exposure and health status among Munduruku Indians from the community of Sai inza, State of Para, Brazil. The population studied included 330 Indians, who submitted to a questionnaire, clinical exams, and collection of hair, blood, urine, and feces. Mercury was measured in hair and fish. Although no person was found to have overt mercury intoxication, the mean levels of mercury in hair were elevated (14.45 μg/g for children from 7 to 12 years ld, 15.70 μg/g for women between 14 and 44 years old, and 14.1 μg/g or the remaining population). Mercury levels in fish were below levels recommended by the World Health Organization, but rates of fish consumption ere high. These results place this indigenous population as a group under risk of mercury toxicity from the gold production

  6. Mercury bioaccumulation and risk to three waterbird foraging guilds is influenced by foraging ecology and breeding stage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; De La Cruz, Susan E.W.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated mercury (Hg) in five waterbird species representing three foraging guilds in San Francisco Bay, CA. Fish-eating birds (Forster's and Caspian terns) had the highest Hg concentrations in thier tissues, but concentrations in an invertebrate-foraging shorebird (black-necked stilt) were also elevated. Foraging habitat was important for Hg exposure as illustrated by within-guild differences, where species more associated with marshes and salt ponds had higher concentrations than those more associated with open-bay and tidal mudflats. Importantly, Hg concentrations increased with time spent in the estuary. Surf scoter concentrations tripled over six months, whereas Forster's terns showed an up to 5-fold increase between estuary arrival and breeding. Breeding waterbirds were at elevated risk of Hg-induced reproductive impairment, particularly Forster's terns, in which 48% of breeding birds were at high risk due to their Hg levels. Our results highlight the importance of habitat and exposure timing, in addition to trophic position, on waterbird Hg bioaccumulation and risk. - The influence of foraging habitat, trophic position, and exposure timing on mercury bioaccumulation and risk to reproduction is evaluated in three waterbird guilds.

  7. Environmental quality as a public health issue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-03-01

    Mercury is a persistent, bio-accumulative toxin that has been linked to numerous health effects in wildlife and humans. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin which may also harm the brain, kidneys and lungs. The unborn child and young infants are at special risk of brain damage from mercury exposure. Hospitals' use of mercury in chemical solutions, thermometers, blood pressure gauges, batteries, and fluorescent lamps make them large contributors to the overall mercury emission into the environment. Most hospitals recognize the dangers of mercury. In a recent survey, 4 out of 5 hospitals asked have policies in place to eliminate the use of mercury containing products and 62% require vendors to disclose the presence of mercury in chemicals that the hospital purchases. Only 12% distribute mercury-containing thermometers to new parent. Ninety two percent teach their employees about the health and environmental effects of mercury and 46 percent teach all employees how to clean up mercury spills. However, the same study showed that many hospitals have not implemented those policies. Forty two percent were not aware if they still purchased items containing mercury. In addition, 49% still purchase mercury thermometers, 44% purchase mercury gastrointestinal diagnostic equipment, and 64% still purchase mercury lab thermometers.

  8. Blood mercury can be a factor of elevated serum ferritin: analysis of Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES 2008-2012).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joo, Nam-Seok; Choi, Young-Hwa; Yeum, Kyung-Jin; Park, Soo-Jung; Choi, Beomhee; Kim, Young-Sang

    2015-03-01

    Serum ferritin as well as blood mercury are reported to be associated with chronic inflammation. However, the relation between serum ferritin and blood mercury has not yet been established. We utilized the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2008-2012) 10,977 subjects (5433 males and 5544 females). To evaluate the association of serum ferritin and blood mercury cross-sectionally, complex sample analysis was conducted after adjustment for the relevant variables. Serum concentrations of ferritin and blood mercury were higher in males than in females (115.7 ± 1.7 vs. 40.9 ± 0.7 ng/mL and 5.0 ± 0.1 vs. 3.6 ± 0.1 μg/L, respectively). Serum ferritin and blood mercury concentrations had significant correlations in both genders after adjustment (r = 0.062, P mercury (P = 0.007) in males. The adjusted odds ratio of having the highest tertile of serum ferritin in the top tertile of blood mercury in males was 1.52 (95 % confidence interval (CI), 1.05-2.21). Thus, the current study indicates that blood mercury concentration can be a factor for the elevated serum ferritin concentration.

  9. A gradient of mercury concentrations in Scottish single malt whiskies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, Neil L; Yang, Handong; Turner, Simon D

    2016-02-01

    Mercury (Hg) concentrations were measured in 26 Scottish single malt whiskies, and all found to be very low (mercury emissions and deposition over the last 200 years affecting concentrations in local waters used in whisky production. As UK atmospheric emissions of mercury have declined by 90 % since the 1970s, we suggest that whisky being produced today should have even lower Hg concentrations when consumed in 10- to 15-years time. This reduction may be compromised by the remobilisation of contaminants stored in catchment soils being transferred to source waters, but is very unlikely to raise the negligible health risk due to Hg from Scottish single malt whisky consumption.

  10. Below a Historic Mercury Mine: Non-linear Patterns of Mercury Bioaccumulation in Aquatic Organisms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, J.; Ichikawa, G.; Ode, P.; Salsbery, D.; Abel, J.

    2001-12-01

    Unlike most heavy metals, mercury is capable of bioaccumulating in aquatic food-chains, primarily because it is methylated by bacteria in sediment to the more toxic methylmercury form. Mercury concentrations in a number of riparian systems in California are highly elevated as a result of historic mining activities. These activities included both the mining of cinnabar in the coastal ranges to recover elemental mercury and the use of elemental mercury in the gold fields of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The most productive mercury mining area was the New Almaden District, now a county park, located in the Guadalupe River drainage of Santa Clara County, where cinnabar was mined and retorted for over 100 years. As a consequence, riparian systems in several subwatersheds of the Guadalupe River drainage are contaminated with total mercury concentrations that exceed state hazardous waste criteria. Mercury concentrations in fish tissue frequently exceed human health guidelines. However, the potential ecological effects of these elevated mercury concentrations have not been thoroughly evaluated. One difficulty is in extrapolating sediment concentrations to fish tissue concentrations without accounting for physical and biological processes that determine bioaccumulation patterns. Many processes, such as methylation and demethylation of mercury by bacteria, assimilation efficiency in invertebrates, and metabolic rates in fish, are nonlinear, a factor that often confounds attempts to evaluate the effects of mercury contamination on aquatic food webs. Sediment, benthic macroinvertebrate, and fish tissue samples were collected in 1998 from the Guadalupe River drainage in Santa Clara County at 13 sites upstream and downstream from the historic mining district. Sediment and macroinvertebrate samples were analyzed for total mercury and methylmercury. Fish samples were analyzed for total mercury as whole bodies, composited by species and size. While linear correlations of sediment

  11. Mercury-impacted scrap metal: Source and nature of the mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finster, Molly E; Raymond, Michelle R; Scofield, Marcienne A; Smith, Karen P

    2015-09-15

    The reuse and recycling of industrial solid wastes such as scrap metal is supported and encouraged both internationally and domestically, especially when such wastes can be used as substitutes for raw material. However, scrap metal processing facilities, such as mini-mills, have been identified as a source of mercury (Hg) emissions in the United States. This research aims to better define some of the key issues related to the source and nature of mercury in the scrap metal waste stream. Overall, it is difficult to pinpoint the key mercury sources feeding into scrap metal recycling facilities, quantify their associated mercury concentrations, or determine which chemical forms are most significant. Potential sources of mercury in scrap metal include mercury switches from discarded vehicles, electronic-based scrap from household appliances and related industrial systems, and Hg-impacted scrap metal from the oil and gas industry. The form of mercury associated with scrap metal varies and depends on the source type. The specific amount of mercury that can be adsorbed and retained by steel appears to be a function of both metallurgical and environmental factors. In general, the longer the steel is in contact with a fluid or condensate that contains measurable concentrations of elemental mercury, the greater the potential for mercury accumulation in that steel. Most mercury compounds are thermally unstable at elevated temperatures (i.e., above 350 °C). As such, the mercury associated with impacted scrap is expected to be volatilized out of the metal when it is heated during processing (e.g., shredding or torch cutting) or melted in a furnace. This release of fugitive gas (Hg vapor) and particulates, as well as Hg-impacted bag-house dust and control filters, could potentially pose an occupational exposure risk to workers at a scrap metal processing facility. Thus, identifying and characterizing the key sources of Hg-impacted scrap, and understanding the nature and extent

  12. Total Blood Mercury Levels and Depression among Adults in the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005–2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ng, Tsz Hin H.; Mossey, Jana M.; Lee, Brian K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Mercury is a neurotoxicant linked with psychiatric symptoms at high levels of exposure. However, it is unclear whether an association is present at the low exposure levels in the US adult population. Materials and Methods Cross-sectional associations of total blood mercury and depression were assessed in 6,911 adults age ≥20 in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005–2008. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 was used to assess depression (high likelihood of a depressive spectrum disorder diagnosis; score 5–27). Results Unadjusted survey weighted logistic regression suggested that higher total blood mercury was associated with lower odds of depression (Odds Ratio  = 0.49, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.36–0.65, comparing the highest and lowest mercury quintiles). This association largely disappeared after adjustment for sociodemographic variables (income-poverty ratio, education, marital status). However, in age-stratified analyses, this inverse relationship remained in older adults (age ≥40) even after adjustment for sociodemographic variables. Simulation analyses adjusting for expected confounding effects of fish intake suggested that the inverse relationship among older adults may be plausibly attributed to residual confounding (Odds Ratio  = 0.75, 95% Confidence Interval: 0.50–1.12, comparing the highest and lowest mercury quintiles). Conclusions Higher total blood mercury was not associated with increased odds of depression. The lower odds of depression in older adults with higher total blood mercury may be due to residual confounding. PMID:24244482

  13. Mercury contamination in human hair and fish from Cambodia: levels, specific accumulation and risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Agusa, Tetsuro; Kunito, Takashi; Iwata, Hisato; Monirith, In; Tana, Touch Seang; Subramanian, Annamalai; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2005-01-01

    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 μg/g dry wt. About 3% of the samples contained Hg levels exceeding the no observed adverse effects level (NOAEL) of WHO (50 μg/g) and the levels in some hair samples of women also exceeded the NOAEL (10 μg/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 μg/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. Mercury Levels in Locally Manufactured Mexican Skin-Lightening Creams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luz O. Leal

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is considered one of the most toxic elements for plants and animals. Nevertheless, in the Middle East, Asia and Latin America, whitening creams containing mercury are being manufactured and purchased, despite their obvious health risks. Due to the mass distribution of these products, this can be considered a global public health issue. In Mexico, these products are widely available in pharmacies, beauty aid and health stores. They are used for their skin lightening effects. The aim of this work was to analyze the mercury content in some cosmetic whitening creams using the cold vapor technique coupled with atomic absorption spectrometry (CV-AAS. A total of 16 skin-lightening creams from the local market were investigated. No warning information was noted on the packaging. In 10 of the samples, no mercury was detected. The mercury content in six of the samples varied between 878 and 36,000 ppm, despite the fact that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA has determined that the limit for mercury in creams should be less than 1 ppm. Skin creams containing mercury are still available and commonly used in Mexico and many developing countries, and their contents are poorly controlled.

  15. Mercury speciation and distribution in a glacierized mountain environment and their relevance to environmental risks in the inland Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xuejun; Zhang, Qianggong; Kang, Shichang; Guo, Junming; Li, Xiaofei; Yu, Zhengliang; Zhang, Guoshuai; Qu, Dongmei; Huang, Jie; Cong, Zhiyuan; Wu, Guangjian

    2018-08-01

    Glacierized mountain environments can preserve and release mercury (Hg) and play an important role in regional Hg biogeochemical cycling. However, the behavior of Hg in glacierized mountain environments and its environmental risks remain poorly constrained. In this research, glacier meltwater, runoff and wetland water were sampled in Zhadang-Qugaqie basin (ZQB), a typical glacierized mountain environment in the inland Tibetan Plateau, to investigate Hg distribution and its relevance to environmental risks. The total mercury (THg) concentrations ranged from 0.82 to 6.98ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the THg concentrations among the three different water samples showed that the THg concentrations were comparable. The total methylmercury (TMeHg) concentrations ranged from 0.041 to 0.115ng·L -1 , and non-parametric pairwise multiple comparisons of the TMeHg concentrations showed a significant difference. Both the THg and MeHg concentrations of water samples from the ZQB were comparable to those of other remote areas, indicating that Hg concentrations in the ZQB watershed are equivalent to the global background level. Particulate Hg was the predominant form of Hg in all runoff samples, and was significantly correlated with the total suspended particle (TSP) and not correlated with the dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentration. The distribution of mercury in the wetland water differed from that of the other water samples. THg exhibited a significant correlation with DOC as well as TMeHg, whereas neither THg nor TMeHg was associated with TSP. Based on the above findings and the results from previous work, we propose a conceptual model illustrating the four Hg distribution zones in glacierized environments. We highlight that wetlands may enhance the potential hazards of Hg released from melting glaciers, making them a vital zone for investigating the environmental effects of Hg in glacierized environments and beyond. Copyright © 2018

  16. Mercury concentrations in cattle from NW Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Alonso, M; Benedito, J L; Miranda, M; Castillo, C; Hernández, J; Shore, R F

    2003-01-20

    Mercury is a toxic metal that is released into the environment as a result of various industrial and agricultural processes. It can be accumulated by domestic animals and so contaminate human foodstuffs. To date, there is no information on mercury residues in livestock in Spain and the aim of the present study was to quantify the concentrations of mercury in cattle in two of the major regions in north-west Spain, Galicia (a largely rural region) and Asturias, which is characterised by heavy industry and mining. Total mercury concentrations were determined in tissue (liver, kidney and muscle) and blood from 284 calves (6-10 months old) and 56 cows (2-16 years old) from across the whole of the two regions. Mercury was usually detected in the kidney (62.4-87.5% of samples) but most (79.5-96%) liver, muscle and blood samples did not contain detectable residues. Renal mercury concentrations did not differ between male and female calves but were significantly greater in female calves than in cows. Unexpectedly, kidney mercury concentrations were significantly higher in calves from the predominantly rural region of Galicia (geometric mean: 12.2 microg/kg w.wt.) than in animals from the industrialised-mining region of Asturias (3.40 microg/kg w.wt.). Overall, mercury residues in cattle from NW Spain were similar to those reported in cattle from non-polluted areas in other countries and do not constitute a risk to animal or human health. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  17. The evaluation of total mercury and arsenic in skin bleaching creams commonly used in Trinidad and Tobago and their potential risk to the people of the Caribbean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terry Mohammed

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Background. Skin lightening is very popular among women and some men of the Caribbean, and its popularity appears to be growing. The lightening of skin colour is done to produce a lighter complexion which is believed to increase attractiveness, social standing and improves one’s potential of being successful. Design and Methods. Fifteen (15 common skin lightening creams found in pharmacies and cosmetic retailers throughout Trinidad and Tobago were evaluated for Mercury by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (CVAAS and Arsenic by Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (HGAAS. The results obtained were compared to global standards and previous research. Results. Fourteen (14 of the fifteen samples analysed contained Mercury in the range of 0.473 μg/g to 0.766 μg/g. One sample had a Mercury content of 14,507.74±490.75 μg/g which was over 14,000 times higher than the USFDA limit for mercury in cosmetics of 1 μg/g. All samples contained Arsenic in the range 1.016 μg/g to 6.612 μg/g, which exceeds the EU limit for cosmetics of 0 μg/g. Conclusions. All the samples analysed contained significant amounts of Mercury and Arsenic and none of them can be considered safe for prolonged human use. The samples that contained Mercury levels which were lower than the USFDA limit contained Arsenic levels which exceeded the EU standard of 0 μg/g in cosmetics. The popularity of these skin lightening creams in the Caribbean region places the population at elevated risk of chronic Mercury and Arsenic poisoning and possibly acute Mercury Poisoning.

  18. The evaluation of total mercury and arsenic in skin bleaching creams commonly used in Trinidad and Tobago and their potential risk to the people of the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohammed, Terry; Mohammed, Elisabeth; Bascombe, Shermel

    2017-12-13

    Background. Skin lightening is very popular among women and some men of the Caribbean, and its popularity appears to be growing. The lightening of skin colour is done to produce a lighter complexion which is believed to increase attractiveness, social standing and improves one's potential of being successful. Design and Methods. Fifteen (15) common skin lightening creams found in pharmacies and cosmetic retailers throughout Trinidad and Tobago were evaluated for Mercury by Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (CVAAS) and Arsenic by Hydride Generation Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry (HGAAS). The results obtained were compared to global standards and previous research. Results. Fourteen (14) of the fifteen samples analysed contained Mercury in the range of 0.473 μg/g to 0.766 μg/g. One sample had a Mercury content of 14,507.74±490.75 μg/g which was over 14,000 times higher than the USFDA limit for mercury in cosmetics of 1 μg/g. All samples contained Arsenic in the range 1.016 μg/g to 6.612 μg/g, which exceeds the EU limit for cosmetics of 0 μg/g. Conclusions. All the samples analysed contained significant amounts of Mercury and Arsenic and none of them can be considered safe for prolonged human use. The samples that contained Mercury levels which were lower than the USFDA limit contained Arsenic levels which exceeded the EU standard of 0 μg/g in cosmetics. The popularity of these skin lightening creams in the Caribbean region places the population at elevated risk of chronic Mercury and Arsenic poisoning and possibly acute Mercury Poisoning.

  19. Health risks of passive smoking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papier, C M; Stellman, S D

    1986-01-01

    Passive or involuntary smoking is the inhalation of smoke which escapes directly into the air from the lit end of a burning cigarette. This unfiltered smoke contains the same toxic components of the mainstream smoke inhaled directly by the smoker, including numerous carcinogens, many in greater concentrations. It has long been known that exposure to this type of smoke leads to increased respiratory and other adverse health conditions in non-smokers, especially children. During the past five years, evidence has been accumulating that risk of lung cancer is also higher, particularly in non-smoking women whose husbands smoke. Despite uncertainties and differences in interpretation of various cancer studies, there is ample justification for public health measures now in place or proposed, such as restriction or elimination of smoking in the workplace and in public places.

  20. Mercury in the South African environment

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Matooane, M

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available ? Mercury, also known as quick silver, is ubiquitous in the environment ? Uses - Medical: medicines, thermometers, dental amalgam, etc. - Manufacturing industry: batteries, gold mining, chlorine production, cement production, etc. - Personal care.../day - Adult: >18 yrs - Child: 10 yrs Mercury Health Risks ? Freshwater Fish WMA Species Hazard Quotient Adult Child Berg Silverfish, Catfish; Yellowfish 1.44 ? 2.34 (0.03 ? 0.35) 1.27 ? 13.67 (1.20 ? 1.95) Upper Vaal Yellow fish Banded Tilapia 0...

  1. The Mercury Problem in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esdaile, Louisa J; Chalker, Justin M

    2018-05-11

    Mercury-dependent artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the largest source of mercury pollution on Earth. In this practice, elemental mercury is used to extract gold from ore as an amalgam. The amalgam is typically isolated by hand and then heated-often with a torch or over a stove-to distill the mercury and isolate the gold. Mercury release from tailings and vaporized mercury exceed 1000 tonnes each year from ASGM. The health effects on the miners are dire, with inhaled mercury leading to neurological damage and other health issues. The communities near these mines are also affected due to mercury contamination of water and soil and subsequent accumulation in food staples, such as fish-a major source of dietary protein in many ASGM regions. The risks to children are also substantial, with mercury emissions from ASGM resulting in both physical and mental disabilities and compromised development. Between 10 and 19 million people use mercury to mine for gold in more than 70 countries, making mercury pollution from ASGM a global issue. With the Minamata Convention on Mercury entering force this year, there is political motivation to help overcome the problem of mercury in ASGM. In this effort, chemists can play a central role. Here, the problem of mercury in ASGM is reviewed with a discussion on how the chemistry community can contribute solutions. Introducing portable and low-cost mercury sensors, inexpensive and scalable remediation technologies, novel methods to prevent mercury uptake in fish and food crops, and efficient and easy-to-use mercury-free mining techniques are all ways in which the chemistry community can help. To meet these challenges, it is critical that new technologies or techniques are low-cost and adaptable to the remote and under-resourced areas in which ASGM is most common. The problem of mercury pollution in ASGM is inherently a chemistry problem. We therefore encourage the chemistry community to consider and address this issue that

  2. Environmental modeling and health risk analysis (ACTS/RISK)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aral, M. M

    2010-01-01

    ... presents a review of the topics of exposure and health risk analysis. The Analytical Contaminant Transport Analysis System (ACTS) and Health RISK Analysis (RISK) software tools are an integral part of the book and provide computational platforms for all the models discussed herein. The most recent versions of these two softwa...

  3. Evaluation of a public health intervention to lower mercury exposure from fish consumption in Bermuda.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Dewailly

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVES: To assess the efficacy of a public health intervention to reduce blood mercury (Hg concentration levels in pregnant Bermudian women. METHODS: In 2003, we conducted a study entitled "Prenatal exposure of the Bermudian Population to Environmental Contaminants" which provided Bermuda's first baseline data on prenatal exposure to several environmental contaminants, including Hg. The mean Hg concentration from 42 healthy newborns measured in umbilical cord blood was 41.3 nmol/L, ranging from 5-160 nmol/L. This concentration was much higher than expected, being approximately 8 times the general levels found in Canada and the U.S. Furthermore, we estimated that 85% of total Hg measured was in the form of methylmercury (MeHg, indicating that seafood consumption was the primary source of Hg exposure during pregnancy in Bermuda. Locally sourced seafood was identified as the most significant possible contributory source of Hg exposure. In 2005 the authors began a complementary research programme to study the levels of Hg in local commercial fish species. Coming out of this research were specific local fish consumption guidelines issued by the Department of Health advising pregnant women to avoid those local fish species found to be high in Hg while still encouraging consumption of fish species having lower Hg levels. RESULTS: In 2010, under another research initiative, we returned to Bermuda to carry out another evaluation of Hg in human blood. Hg was measured in the blood of 49 pregnant women. The arithmetic mean Hg blood concentration was 6.6 nmol/L and the geometric mean 4.2 nmol/L. The maximum concentration found was 24 nmol/L. CONCLUSIONS: Hg exposure of Bermudian pregnant women has dropped significantly by a factor of around 5 since the foetal cord blood study in 2003.

  4. CHARACTERIZATION AND MODELING OF THE FORMS OF MERCURY FROM COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dennis L. Laudal

    2001-08-01

    The 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAAs) required the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine whether the presence of mercury in the stack emissions from fossil fuel-fired electric utility power plants poses an unacceptable public health risk. EPA's conclusions and recommendations were presented in the Mercury Study Report to Congress (1) and the Utility Air Toxics Report to Congress (1). The first report addressed both the human health and environmental effects of anthropogenic mercury emissions, while the second addressed the risk to public health posed by the emission of mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from steam-electric generating units. Given the current state of the art, these reports did not state that mercury controls on coal-fired electric power stations would be required. However, they did indicate that EPA views mercury as a potential threat to human health. In fact, in December 2000, the EPA issued an intent to regulate for mercury from coal-fired boilers. However, it is clear that additional research needs to be done in order to develop economical and effective mercury control strategies. To accomplish this objective, it is necessary to understand mercury behavior in coal-fired power plants. The markedly different chemical and physical properties of the different mercury forms generated during coal combustion appear to impact the effectiveness of various mercury control strategies. The original Characterization and Modeling of the Forms of Mercury from Coal-Fired Power Plants project had two tasks. The first was to collect enough data such that mercury speciation could be predicted based on relatively simple inputs such as coal analyses and plant configuration. The second was to field-validate the Ontario Hydro mercury speciation method (at the time, it had only been validated at the pilot-scale level). However, after sampling at two power plants (the Ontario Hydro method was validated at one of them), the EPA issued

  5. Mercury in breast milk from women in the Federal District, Brazil and dietary risk assessment for breastfed infants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebelo, Fernanda M; Cunha, Leandro R da; Andrade, Patrícia D; Costa Junior, Walkimar A da; Bastos, Wanderley R; Caldas, Eloisa D

    2017-12-01

    Mercury is a toxic metal, ubiquitous in nature; it is excreted in breast milk from exposed mothers and may affect infant neuro-development. In this study, 224 breast milk samples provided by eight human milk banks in the Federal District of Brazil were analyzed for total mercury (THg), of which 183 were also analyzed for methyl mercury (MeHg), the most relevant form of this metal for the breastfed infants. Samples were acid digested in a microwave oven and THg determined by atomic fluorescence spectrometry (LOQ of 0.76μg/L). Samples were lyophilized, ethylated and MeHg determined in a MERX automated system (LOQ of 0.10μg/L). Inorganic mercury (IHg) levels were estimated from the THg and MeHg determined in the samples. Most of the samples were collected 1-2 months postpartum, with 38% during the first month. Over 80% of the samples had THg values above the LOQ, reaching a maximum of 8.40μg/L, with a mean of 2.56μg/L. On average, MeHg accounted for 11.8% of THg, with a maximum of 97.4%. Weekly intakes were estimated individually, considering the baby's age and body weight at the time of milk collection. Mean weekly intake for MeHg was 0.16±0.22μg/kg bw, which represented 10% of the PTWI; in only one case, the intake exceeded 100% of the PTWI (1.90μg/kg bw, 119% of PTWI). Mean intake for IHg was 2.1±1.5μg/kg bw, corresponding to 53% PTWI. These results indicate no health concern for the breastfed babies, a conclusion that can be extended to the consumers of breast milk donated to the milk banks, primarily immature and low weight babies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  6. Detecting Airborne Mercury by Use of Palladium Chloride

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Margaret; Shevade, Abhijit; Kisor, Adam; Homer, Margie; Jewell, April; Manatt, Kenneth; Torres, Julia; Soler, Jessica; Taylor, Charles

    2009-01-01

    Palladium chloride films have been found to be useful as alternatives to the gold films heretofore used to detect airborne elemental mercury at concentrations of the order of parts per billion (ppb). Somewhat more specifically, when suitably prepared palladium chloride films are exposed to parts-per-billion or larger concentrations of airborne mercury, their electrical resistances change by amounts large enough to be easily measurable. Because airborne mercury adversely affects health, it is desirable to be able to detect it with high sensitivity, especially in enclosed environments in which there is a risk of leakage of mercury from lamps or other equipment. The detection of mercury by use of gold films involves the formation of gold/mercury amalgam. Gold films offer adequate sensitivity for detection of airborne mercury and could easily be integrated into an electronic-nose system designed to operate in the temperature range of 23 to 28 C. Unfortunately, in order to regenerate a gold-film mercury sensor, one must heat it to a temperature of 200 C for several minutes in clean flowing air. In preparation for an experiment to demonstrate the present sensor concept, palladium chloride was deposited from an aqueous solution onto sets of gold electrodes and sintered in air to form a film. Then while using the gold electrodes to measure the electrical resistance of the films, the films were exposed, at a temperature of 25 C, to humidified air containing mercury at various concentrations from 0 to 35 ppb (see figure). The results of this and other experiments have been interpreted as signifying that sensors of this type can detect mercury in room-temperature air at concentrations of at least 2.5 ppb and can readily be regenerated at temperatures <40 C.

  7. Health risks of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Ham, Martijn

    2003-01-01

    Pharmaceutical products are not exempt from the practice of counterfeiting. In recent years, many reports have become available demonstrating the presence of fake medicines on the market. Several studies have demonstrated that they are quite often of bad quality. It is estimated that 5% of all world trade in branded goods is counterfeit, leading to huge financial losses for the pharmaceutical industry. But much more important, from a public health point of view, is that history has shown that such products may lead to a great health risk. The essence of counterfeit products and the reason they are so dangerous is the complete absence of quality control, since they are often indistinguishable from the genuine product. The existence of counterfeit drugs has long been ignored both by the pharmaceutical industry and by drug regulatory authorities. At present initiatives are being taken, nationally and internationally, to curb counterfeiting. It is now realised that a strong regulatory agency is essential, but the initiatives can only be successful if all parties concerned actively co-operate.

  8. Planet Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    1974-01-01

    Mariner 10's first image of Mercury acquired on March 24, 1974. During its flight, Mariner 10's trajectory brought it behind the lighted hemisphere of Mercury, where this image was taken, in order to acquire important measurements with other instruments.This picture was acquired from a distance of 3,340,000 miles (5,380,000 km) from the surface of Mercury. The diameter of Mercury (3,031 miles; 4,878 km) is about 1/3 that of Earth.Images of Mercury were acquired in two steps, an inbound leg (images acquired before passing into Mercury's shadow) and an outbound leg (after exiting from Mercury's shadow). More than 2300 useful images of Mercury were taken, both moderate resolution (3-20 km/pixel) color and high resolution (better than 1 km/pixel) black and white coverage.

  9. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    pollution effects (i.e. methylmercury in fish). The general pattern of fish contamination follows to some extent a pattern similar to that of current and previous atmospheric pollution. Large areas have fish with mercury concentrations exceeding the health advisory guideline of 0.5 mg/kg or 1.0 mg/kg (for northern pike) in the EU and of around 0.3 mg/kg in the USA, thus restricting their use for human consumption. A more comprehensive assessment of factors influencing levels of methylmercury in fish has to include a number of other parameters such as catchment characteristics (e.g. relative size, presence of wetlands), contents and fluxes of DOC in soil run-off and surface waters as well as methylation potential within ecosystems

  10. Methylmercury and elemental mercury differentially associate with blood pressure among dental professionals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, Jaclyn M.; Wang, Yi; Gillespie, Brenda; Werner, Robert; Franzblau, Alfred; Basu, Niladri

    2013-01-01

    Methylmercury-associated effects on the cardiovascular system have been documented though discrepancies exist, and most studied populations experience elevated methylmercury exposures. No paper has investigated the impact of low-level elemental (inorganic) mercury exposure on cardiovascular risk in humans. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the association between mercury exposure (methylmercury and elemental mercury) and blood pressure measures in a cohort of dental professionals that experience background exposures to both mercury forms. Dental professionals were recruited during the 2010 Michigan Dental Association Annual Convention. Mercury levels in hair and urine samples were analyzed as biomarkers of methylmercury and elemental mercury exposure, respectively. Blood pressure (systolic, diastolic) was measured using an automated device. Distribution of mercury in hair (mean, range: 0.45, 0.02–5.18 μg/g) and urine (0.94, 0.03–5.54 μg/L) correspond well with the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Linear regression models revealed significant associations between diastolic blood pressure (adjusted for blood pressure medication use) and hair mercury (n = 262, p = 0.02). Urine mercury results opposed hair mercury in many ways. Notably, elemental mercury exposure was associated with a significant systolic blood pressure decrease (n = 262, p = 0.04) that was driven by the male population. Associations between blood pressure and two forms of mercury were found at exposure levels relevant to the general population, and associations varied according to type of mercury exposure and gender. PMID:22494934

  11. Assessment of Hair Aluminum, Lead, and Mercury in a Sample of Autistic Egyptian Children: Environmental Risk Factors of Heavy Metals in Autism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohamed, Farida El Baz; Zaky, Eman Ahmed; El-Sayed, Adel Bassuoni; Elhossieny, Reham Mohammed; Zahra, Sally Soliman; Salah Eldin, Waleed; Youssef, Walaa Yousef; Khaled, Rania Abdelmgeed; Youssef, Azza Mohamed

    2015-01-01

    The etiological factors involved in the etiology of autism remain elusive and controversial, but both genetic and environmental factors have been implicated. The aim of this study was to assess the levels and possible environmental risk factors and sources of exposure to mercury, lead, and aluminum in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as compared to their matched controls. One hundred ASD children were studied in comparison to 100 controls. All participants were subjected to clinical evaluation and measurement of mercury, lead, and aluminum through hair analysis which reflects past exposure. The mean Levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum in hair of the autistic patients were significantly higher than controls. Mercury, lead, and aluminum levels were positively correlated with maternal fish consumptions, living nearby gasoline stations, and the usage of aluminum pans, respectively. Levels of mercury, lead, and aluminum in the hair of autistic children are higher than controls. Environmental exposure to these toxic heavy metals, at key times in development, may play a causal role in autism.

  12. Mercurial poisoning

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gorton, B

    1924-01-01

    Cats which had been kept in a thermometer factory to catch rats were afflicted with mercury poisoning. So were the rats they were supposed to eat. The symptoms of mercury poisoning were the same in both species. The source of mercury for these animals is a fine film of the metal which coats floors, a result of accidental spills during the manufacturing process.

  13. Risk management frameworks for human health and environmental risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardine, Cindy; Hrudey, Steve; Shortreed, John; Craig, Lorraine; Krewski, Daniel; Furgal, Chris; McColl, Stephen

    2003-01-01

    A comprehensive analytical review of the risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication approaches currently being undertaken by key national, provincial/state, territorial, and international agencies was conducted. The information acquired for review was used to identify the differences, commonalities, strengths, and weaknesses among the various approaches, and to identify elements that should be included in an effective, current, and comprehensive approach applicable to environmental, human health and occupational health risks. More than 80 agencies, organizations, and advisory councils, encompassing more than 100 risk documents, were examined during the period from February 2000 until November 2002. An overview was made of the most important general frameworks for risk assessment, risk management, and risk communication for human health and ecological risk, and for occupational health risk. In addition, frameworks for specific applications were reviewed and summarized, including those for (1)contaminated sites; (2) northern contaminants; (3) priority substances; (4) standards development; (5) food safety; (6) medical devices; (7) prescription drug use; (8) emergency response; (9) transportation; (10) risk communication. Twelve frameworks were selected for more extensive review on the basis of representation of the areas of human health, ecological, and occupational health risk; relevance to Canadian risk management needs; representation of comprehensive and well-defined approaches; generalizability with their risk areas; representation of "state of the art" in Canada, the United States, and/or internationally; and extent of usage of potential usage within Canada. These 12 frameworks were: 1. Framework for Environmental Health Risk Management (US Presidential/Congressional Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management, 1997). 2. Health Risk Determination: The Challenge of Health Protection (Health and Welfare Canada, 1990). 3. Health Canada Decision

  14. Health risks from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, J.L.

    1992-01-01

    This paper reviews the risk to public health and the environment from uranium mill tailings. The steps taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce this risk from tailing are summarized

  15. Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... develop a hormonal imbalance What are the health risks of an inactive lifestyle? Having an inactive lifestyle ... By not getting regular exercise, you raise your risk of Obesity Heart diseases, including coronary artery disease ...

  16. Hair mercury levels in Amazonian populations: spatial distribution and trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbieri Flavia L

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mercury is present in the Amazonian aquatic environments from both natural and anthropogenic sources. As a consequence, many riverside populations are exposed to methylmercury, a highly toxic organic form of mercury, because of their intense fish consumption. Many studies have analysed this exposure from different approaches since the early nineties. This review aims to systematize the information in spatial distribution, comparing hair mercury levels by studied population and Amazonian river basin, looking for exposure trends. Methods The reviewed papers were selected from scientific databases and online libraries. We included studies with a direct measure of hair mercury concentrations in a sample size larger than 10 people, without considering the objectives, approach of the study or mercury speciation. The results are presented in tables and maps by river basin, displaying hair mercury levels and specifying the studied population and health impact, if any. Results The majority of the studies have been carried out in communities from the central Amazonian regions, particularly on the Tapajós River basin. The results seem quite variable; hair mercury means range from 1.1 to 34.2 μg/g. Most studies did not show any significant difference in hair mercury levels by gender or age. Overall, authors emphasized fish consumption frequency as the main risk factor of exposure. The most studied adverse health effect is by far the neurological performance, especially motricity. However, it is not possible to conclude on the relation between hair mercury levels and health impact in the Amazonian situation because of the relatively small number of studies. Conclusions Hair mercury levels in the Amazonian regions seem to be very heterogenic, depending on several factors. There is no obvious spatial trend and there are many areas that have never been studied. Taking into account the low mercury levels currently handled as acceptable, the

  17. Mercury-Containing Devices and Demolition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Some items inside residential buildings contain mercury, which poses a persistent and toxic human health and environmental threat. These materials should be carefully salvaged for proper recycling to prevent mercury contamination prior to demolition.

  18. EPA Leadership in the Global Mercury Partnership

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Global Mercury Partnership is a voluntary multi-stakeholder partnership initiated in 2005 to take immediate actions to protect human health and the environment from the releases of mercury and its compounds to the environment.

  19. Hair Mercury Concentrations and Fish Consumption Patterns in Florida Residents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam M. Schaefer

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury exposure through the consumption of fish and shellfish represents a significant public health concern in the United States. Recent research has demonstrated higher seafood consumption and subsequent increased risk of methylmercury exposure among subpopulations living in coastal areas. The identification of high concentrations of total mercury in blood and skin among resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL, a coastal estuary in Florida, alerted us to a potential public health hazard in the contiguous human population. Therefore, we analyzed hair mercury concentrations of residents living along the IRL and ascertained their sources and patterns of seafood consumption. The total mean mercury concentration for 135 residents was 1.53 ± 1.89 µg/g. The concentration of hair mercury among males (2.02 ± 2.38 µg/g was significantly higher than that for females (0.96 ± 0.74 µg/g (p < 0.01. Log transformed hair mercury concentration was significantly associated with the frequency of total seafood consumption (p < 0.01. Individuals who reported consuming seafood once a day or more were 3.71 (95% CI 0.84–16.38 times more likely to have a total hair mercury concentration over 1.0 µg/g, which corresponds approximately to the U.S. EPA reference dose, compared to those who consumed seafood once a week or less. Hair mercury concentration was also significantly higher among individuals who obtained all or most of their seafood from local recreational sources (p < 0.01. The elevated human mercury concentrations mirror the elevated concentrations observed in resident dolphins in the same geographical region. The current study is one of the first to apply the concept of a sentinel animal to a contiguous human population.

  20. Health Risk Behavior in Foster Youth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramkowski, Bridget; Kools, Susan; Paul, Steven; Boyer, Cherrie; Monasterio, Erica; Robbins, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    Problem Adolescent health problems are predominantly caused by risk behavior. Foster adolescents have disproportionately poor health; therefore identification of risk behavior is critical. Method A secondary analysis of data from a larger study investigated the health risk behavior of 56 foster youth using the CHIP-AE. Findings Foster youth had some increased risk behavior. Younger adolescents and those in kinship care had less risky behavior. Youth had more risk behavior when: in group homes, parental death, histories of physical or emotional abuse, or history of attempted suicide. Conclusions These results point to areas of strength and vulnerability in foster youth. PMID:19490278

  1. Mercury bioaccumulation in cartilaginous fishes from Southern New England coastal waters: Contamination from a trophic ecology and human health perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, David L.; Kutil, Nicholas J.; Malek, Anna J.; Collie, Jeremy S.

    2014-01-01

    This study examined total mercury (Hg) concentrations in cartilaginous fishes from Southern New England coastal waters, including smooth dogfish (Mustelus canis), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), little skate (Leucoraja erinacea), and winter skate (L. ocellata). Total Hg in dogfish and skates were positively related to their respective body size and age, indicating Hg bioaccumulation in muscle tissue. There were also significant inter-species differences in Hg levels (mean ± 1 SD, mg Hg/kg dry weight, ppm): smooth dogfish (3.3 ± 2.1 ppm; n = 54) > spiny dogfish (1.1 ± 0.7 ppm; n = 124) > little skate (0.4 ± 0.3 ppm; n = 173) ~ winter skate (0.3 ± 0.2 ppm; n = 148). The increased Hg content of smooth dogfish was attributed to its upper trophic level status, determined by stable nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analysis (mean δ15N = 13.2 ± 0.7‰), and the consumption of high Hg prey, most notably cancer crabs (0.10 ppm). Spiny dogfish had depleted δ15N signatures (11.6 ± 0.8‰), yet demonstrated a moderate level of contamination by foraging on pelagic prey with a range of Hg concentrations, e.g., in order of dietary importance, butterfish (Hg = 0.06 ppm), longfin squid (0.17 ppm), and scup (0.11 ppm). Skates were low trophic level consumers (δ15N = 11.9-12.0‰) and fed mainly on amphipods, small decapods, and polychaetes with low Hg concentrations (0.05-0.09 ppm). Intra-specific Hg concentrations were directly related to δ15N and carbon (δ13C) isotope signatures, suggesting that Hg biomagnifies across successive trophic levels and foraging in the benthic trophic pathway increases Hg exposure. From a human health perspective, 87% of smooth dogfish, 32% of spiny dogfish, and < 2% of skates had Hg concentrations exceeding the US Environmental Protection Agency threshold level (0.3 ppm wet weight). These results indicate that frequent consumption of smooth dogfish and spiny dogfish may adversely affect human health, whereas skates present minimal risk. PMID

  2. Environmental transformation and distribution of mercury released from gold mining and its implications on human health in Tanzania, studied by nuclear techniques. Highlights and achievements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ikingura, Justinian R.

    2002-01-01

    Tanzania experienced unprecedented rush for gold mining in late 1980s and early 1990s when a similar gold rush was taking place in Latin America and other developing countries because of good gold market prices. The gold rush in Tanzania was also prompted by the socioeconomic and political transformations that were taking place in the country. The liberalization of mining policy and regulations by the government allowed foreign and local private investment in mining and encouraged small-scale mining and gold trade. Because of the liberalization, thousands of local miners, mostly from rural communities, rushed to gold mining for subsistence income. The use of mercury in gold recovery became widespread in Tanzania as a result of the gold rush. From 1992/93, the Department of Geology of the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM in collaboration with the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) initiated studies to assess the extent of mercury pollution in the country. Further studies on mercury and other heavy metal pollution were undertaken between 1993 and 1997 by UDSM, under a broader project on 'Environmental Aspects of Mining and Industrialization in Tanzania', supported by the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries SAREC (Sida/SAREC). The above studies revealed the presence of elevated mercury concentrations in gold-ore tailings and river sediment in several gold mining areas. Studies to evaluate environmental transformation, partition and bioaccumulation of mercury in different environmental matrices and the long-term impact of mercury pollution have not been done. The present research project was initiated to provide scientific database necessary to better understand the environmental behaviour and cycling of mercury in the southwest Lake Victoria goldfields. Such data are necessary in the evaluation of environmental impacts of mercury pollution and in the mitigation of adverse impacts on the ecosystems and human health

  3. Evaluation of mercury contamination in Smilax myosotiflora herbal preparations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ang, Hooi-Hoon; Lee, Kheng-Leng

    2007-01-01

    The DCA (Drug Control Authority) of Malaysia implemented phase 3 registration of traditional medicines in January 1992 with special emphasis on the quality, efficacy, and safety of all dosage forms of these medicines. For this reason, a total of 100 herbal products containing Smilax myosotiflora were purchased in the Malaysian market and analyzed for mercury content, as mercury is a recognized reproductive toxicant. The products were analyzed using cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. It was found that 89% of the above products do not exceed 0.5 ppm of mercury. Heavy metal poisoning such as mercury has been associated with traditional medicines. Therefore, it is important that doctors and health care practitioners are aware of these risks and finding ways to minimize them, including questions pertaining to the use of these remedies during the routine taking of a patient's history.

  4. Got Mercury?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyers, Valerie E.; McCoy, J. Torin; Garcia, Hector D.; James, John T.

    2009-01-01

    Many of the operational and payload lighting units used in various spacecraft contain elemental mercury. If these devices were damaged on-orbit, elemental mercury could be released into the cabin. Although there are plans to replace operational units with alternate light sources, such as LEDs, that do not contain mercury, mercury-containing lamps efficiently produce high quality illumination and may never be completely replaced on orbit. Therefore, exposure to elemental mercury during spaceflight will remain possible and represents a toxicological hazard. Elemental mercury is a liquid metal that vaporizes slowly at room temperature. However, it may be completely vaporized at the elevated operating temperatures of lamps. Although liquid mercury is not readily absorbed through the skin or digestive tract, mercury vapors are efficiently absorbed through the respiratory tract. Therefore, the amount of mercury in the vapor form must be estimated. For mercury releases from lamps that are not being operated, we utilized a study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Quality to calculate the amount of mercury vapor expected to form over a 2-week period. For longer missions and for mercury releases occurring when lamps are operating, we conservatively assumed complete volatilization of the available mercury. Because current spacecraft environmental control systems are unable to remove mercury vapors, both short-term and long-term exposures to mercury vapors are possible. Acute exposure to high concentrations of mercury vapors can cause irritation of the respiratory tract and behavioral symptoms, such as irritability and hyperactivity. Chronic exposure can result in damage to the nervous system (tremors, memory loss, insomnia, etc.) and kidneys (proteinurea). Therefore, the JSC Toxicology Group recommends that stringent safety controls and verifications (vibrational testing, etc.) be applied to any hardware that contains elemental mercury that could yield

  5. 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.

  6. Mercury removal from solution by superconducting magnetic separation with nanostructured magnetic adsorbents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okamoto, T., E-mail: okamoto-takayuki@ed.tmu.ac.jp [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397 (Japan); Tachibana, S.; Miura, O. [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Tokyo Metropolitan University, 1-1 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0397 (Japan); Takeuchi, M. [Komazawa Jin Clinic, 1-19-8 Komazawa, Setagayaku, Tokyo 154-0012 (Japan)

    2011-11-15

    Recently, mercury Hg concentration in human blood increases due to expanding the global mercury contamination. Excess mercury bioaccumulation poses a significant health risk. In order to decrease mercury concentration in the environment and human blood, we have developed two different kinds of nanostructured magnetic adsorbents for mercury to apply them to superconducting magnetic separation instead of conventional filtration. One is magnetic beads (MBs) which have nanosize magnetite particles in the core and a lot of SH radicals on the surface to adsorb Hg ions effectively. MBs were developed mainly to remove mercury from human blood. The maximum amount of the adsorption for MBs is 6.3 mg/g in the solution in less than a minute. Dithiothreitol can easily remove mercury adsorbed to MBs, hence MBs can be reusable. The other is nanostructured magnetic activated carbon (MAC) which is activated carbon with mesopores and nanosize magnetite. The maximum amount of the adsorption for MAC is 38.3 mg/g in the solution. By heat-treatment mercury can be easily removed from MAC. We have studied superconducting magnetic separation using each adsorbent for mercury removal from solution.

  7. Within-person reproducibility of red blood cell mercury over a 10- to 15-year period among women in the Nurses' Health Study II

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Roberts, Andrea L; Nielsen, Flemming

    2016-01-01

    Most epidemiologic studies of methylmercury (MeHg) health effects rely on a single measurement of a MeHg biomarker to assess long-term exposures. Long-term reproducibility data are, therefore, needed to assess the reliability of a single measure to reflect long-term exposures. In this study, we...... assessed within-person reproducibility of red blood cell (RBC) mercury (Hg), a marker of methyl-mercury, over 10-15 years in a sample of 57 women. Fifty-seven women from the Nurses' Health Study II provided two blood samples 10-15-years apart (median: 12 years), which were analyzed for mercury levels...... in the red blood cells (B-Hg*). To characterize within-person reproducibility, we estimated correlation and intraclass correlation coefficients (r and ICC) across the two samples. Further, we compared different prediction models, including variables on fish and seafood consumption, for B-Hg* at the first...

  8. Rapid changes in small fish mercury concentrations in estuarine wetlands: Implications for wildlife risk and monitoring programs

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

    Small fish are commonly used to assess mercury (Hg) risk to wildlife and monitor Hg in wetlands. However, limited research has evaluated short-term Hg variability in small fish, which can have important implications for monitoring programs and risk assessment. We conducted a time-series study of Hg concentrations in two small fish species representing benthic (longjaw mudsuckers [Gillichthys mirabilis]) and pelagic (threespine sticklebacks [Gasterosteus aculeatus]) food-webs within three wetland habitats in San Francisco Bay Estuary. We simultaneously monitored prey deliveries, nest initiation, and chick hatching dates of breeding Forster's terns (Sterna forsteri), the most abundant nesting piscivore in the region. Mudsuckers and sticklebacks were the predominant prey fish, comprising 36% and 25% of tern diet, and Hg concentrations averaged (geometric mean ?? SE, ??g/g dw) 0.44 ?? 0.01 and 0.68 ?? 0.03, respectively. Fish Hg concentrations varied substantially over time following a quadratic form in both species, increasing 40% between March and May then decreasing 40% between May and July. Importantly, Forster's terns initiated 68% of nests and 31% of chicks hatched during the period of peak Hg concentrations in prey fish. These results illustrate the importance of short-term temporal variation in small fish Hg concentrations for both Hg monitoring programs and assessing wildlife risk.

  9. Chemical Risk Assessment: Traditional vs Public Health ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preventing adverse health impacts from exposures to environmental chemicals is fundamental to protecting individual and public health. When done efficiently and properly, chemical risk assessment enables risk management actions that minimize the incidence and impacts of environmentally-induced diseases related to chemical exposure. However, traditional chemical risk assessment is faced with multiple challenges with respect to predicting and preventing disease in human populations, and epidemiological studies increasingly report observations of adverse health effects at exposure levels predicted from animal studies to be safe for humans. This discordance reinforces concerns about the adequacy of contemporary risk assessment practices (Birnbaum, Burke, & Jones, 2016) for protecting public health. It is becoming clear that to protect public health more effectively, future risk assessments will need to use the full range of available data, draw on innovative methods to integrate diverse data streams, and consider health endpoints that also reflect the range of subtle effects and morbidities observed in human populations. Given these factors, there is a need to reframe chemical risk assessment to be more clearly aligned with the public health goal of minimizing environmental exposures associated with disease. Preventing adverse health impacts from exposures to environmental chemicals is fundamental to protecting individual and public health. Chemical risk assessments

  10. Environmental health risk assessment: Energy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krewski, D.; Somers, E.; Winthrop, S.O.

    1984-01-01

    Most industrialized nations have come to rely on a variety of systems for energy production, both of a conventional and non-conventional nature. In the paper, the spectrum of energy systems currently in use in Canada is outlined along with their potential health risks. Several examples of environmental health studies involving both outdoor and indoor air pollution related to energy production in Canada are reported. The limitations of current technologies for assessing health risks are discussed and possible approaches to managing energy related health risks are indicated. (author)

  11. Health risk in nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bliznakov, V.

    1997-01-01

    Worked out are the health risk indices for NPP personnel that could be used in normal operation and in case of accident. These indices concern temporary incapacity for work, invalidity, lethality, cancer, etc. Risk estimation is based on produced energy in NPP or on the collective dose of personnel exposure. Assessed are the specific risk values for NPP ''Kozloduy'', which show that the risk in normal operation is significantly low (of the order of 2.3 ./. 7.2 x 10 -4 for invalidity, lethality and cancer). Health risk indices can be used when comparing various alternative energy sources, as well as for determination of the power strategy of a country. (author)

  12. Mercury use and exposure among Santeria practitioners: religious versus folk practice in Northern New Jersey, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alison Newby, C; Riley, Donna M; Leal-Almeraz, Tomás O

    2006-08-01

    To understand and characterize exposure to and use of elemental mercury among practitioners of Afro-Cuban religions in Hudson County, New Jersey, USA. Participant observation and open-ended interviews with 22 religious supply store employees and practitioners of Santeria, Espiritismo or Palo Mayombe probed respondents' knowledge and use of mercury, as well as their beliefs about its benefits and risks. Including a cultural and religious insider as part of the research team was crucial in working with this relatively closed community. Seventeen of the 21 practitioners reported using mercury or mercury compounds in various forms of practice and in services that they provide to clients. The contained nature of these uses suggests that accidental spills, as opposed to the practices themselves, emerge as the greatest exposure concern for this population. Mercury was never recommended to clients for individual use. This restriction appears to be rooted in the way the religion is practiced and in the way santeros receive compensation, not in a perception of mercury as hazardous. Most practitioners were aware that mercury can be hazardous, but were not familiar with the most significant exposure pathway, inhalation of mercury vapor. A climate of fear surrounds the use of mercury in this community, so that health concerns pale in comparison to fear of reprisal from authorities. Among those who sell or formerly sold mercury, several shared the erroneous belief that it was illegal to sell mercury in New Jersey. Despite widespread reported use, there were no reports of practices believed to result in the highest exposures. To reduce exposure in the community, interventions presenting general information on mercury hazards and instructions for cleaning up spills are recommended. To address insider-outsider dynamics and the climate of fear, educational materials should be accessible to the community and avoid any mention of religious practice.

  13. Mercury in tunas and blue marlin in the North Pacific Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drevnick, Paul E; Brooks, Barbara A

    2017-05-01

    Models and data from the North Pacific Ocean indicate that mercury concentrations in water and biota are increasing in response to (global or hemispheric) anthropogenic mercury releases. In the present study, we provide an updated record of mercury in yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) caught near Hawaii that confirms an earlier conclusion that mercury concentrations in these fish are increasing at a rate similar to that observed in waters shallower than 1000 m. We also compiled and reanalyzed data from bigeye tuna (Thunnus obesus) and blue marlin (Makaira nigricans) caught near Hawaii in the 1970s and 2000s. Increases in mercury concentrations in bigeye tuna are consistent with the trend found in yellowfin tuna, in both timing and magnitude. The data available for blue marlin do not allow for a fair comparison among years, because mercury concentrations differ between sexes for this species, and sex was identified (or reported) in only 3 of 7 studies. Also, mercury concentrations in blue marlin may be insensitive to modest changes in mercury exposure, because this species appears to have the ability to detoxify mercury. The North Pacific Ocean is a region of both relatively high rates of atmospheric mercury deposition and capture fisheries production. Other data sets that allow temporal comparisons in mercury concentrations, such as pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus) in Alaskan waters and albacore tuna (Thunnus alalunga) off the US Pacific coast, should be explored further, to aid in understanding human health and ecological risks and to develop additional baseline knowledge for assessing changes in a region expected to respond strongly to reductions in anthropogenic mercury emissions. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1365-1374. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  14. 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.

  15. An assessment of adult risks of paresthesia due to mercury from coal combustion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipfert, F.W.; Moskowitz, P.D.; Fthenakis, V.; Dephillips, M.; Viren, J.; Saroff, L. [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY (United States). Dept. of Applied Science

    1995-02-01

    This paper presents a probabilistic assessment of the risks of transient adult paresthesia (tingling of the extremities) resulting from ingestion of methylmercury (MeHg) in fish and shellfish. Two scenarios are evaluated: the baseline, in which the MeHg dose results from the combined effects of eating canned tuna fish, various marine seafood, and freshwater sportfish, and an impact scenario in which the Hg content of the freshwater sportfish is increased due to local deposition from a hypothetical 1000 Mw{sub e} coal-fired power plant. Measurements from the literature are used to establish the parameters of the baseline, including atmospheric rates of Hg deposition and the distributions of MeHg in fish. The Hg intake for the impact scenario is then based on linear scaling of the additional annual Hg deposition as estimated from a Guassian plume dispersion model. Human health responses are based on a logistic fit to the frequencies of paresthesia observed during a grain poisoning incident in Iraq 1971-2. Based on a background prevalence rate of 2.2% for adult paresthesia, the assessment predicts a 5% chance that the increase in paresthesia prevalence due to either baseline or incremental MeHg doses might approach about 1% of the background prevalence rate. 15 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  16. Risk tradeoffs and public health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charnley, G.

    1998-01-01

    Full text of publication follows: over the last 25 years, the traditional command-and-control, chemical-by-chemical environmental medium-by-environmental medium, risk-by-risk approach to protecting public health from environmental risks has worked well to greatly improve the quality of our food, air, water, and workplaces, but we are now left with the more complex problems, like urban air pollution or personal dietary behavior, that a chemical-by-chemical approach is not going to solve. Because current environmental regulatory programs have curbed the 'low-hanging fruit' and because of today's emphasis on achieving risk reductions cost-effectively, new and creative public health-based approaches to risk management are needed. Since public concern about pollution-related disease become serious in the 1960's and 1970's and regulatory agencies and laws began to proliferate, the public health goals of environmental protection have been obscured. As a society, we have made a tradeoff between environmental health and public health. The public health foundation of environmental health protection has been obscured by legalistic, technical, centralized decision-making processes that have often mistaken hazard for risk. A greater focus on public health would help us to assess aggregate risks and to target risk management resources by focusing on a problem and then identifying what is causing the problem as a guide to determining how best to solve it. Most of our current approaches start with a cause and then try to eliminate it without determining the extent to which it actually may contribute to a problem, making it difficult to set priorities among risks or to evaluate the impact of risk management actions on public health. (author)

  17. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28085104

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Selenium and mercury interactions wtih emphasis on fish tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    This review addresses the effects of mercury (Hg) in fish as it relates to the health of the fish themselves as well as potential risks of toxicity in wildlife and humans that consume fish. In particular, it addresses selenium (Se) as a bioindicator of susceptibility to harmful e...

  1. Evaluating a Health Risk Reduction Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagelberg, Daniel B.

    1981-01-01

    A health risk reduction program at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) tested the efficacy of peer education against the efficacy of returning (by mail) health questionnaire results. A peer health education program did not appear to be effective in changing student attitudes or lifestyles; however, the research methodology may not have been…

  2. Crowdfunding our health: Economic risks and benefits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renwick, Matthew J; Mossialos, Elias

    2017-10-01

    Crowdfunding is an expanding form of alternative financing that is gaining traction in the health sector. This article presents a typology for crowdfunded health projects and a review of the main economic benefits and risks of crowdfunding in the health market. We use evidence from a literature review, complimented by expert interviews, to extend the fundamental principles and established theories of crowdfunding to a health market context. Crowdfunded health projects can be classified into four types according to the venture's purpose and funding method. These are projects covering health expenses, fundraising health initiatives, supporting health research, or financing commercial health innovation. Crowdfunding could economically benefit the health sector by expanding market participation, drawing money and awareness to neglected health issues, improving access to funding, and fostering project accountability and social engagement. However, the economic risks of health-related crowdfunding include inefficient priority setting, heightened financial risk, inconsistent regulatory policies, intellectual property rights concerns, and fraud. Theorized crowdfunding behaviours such as signalling and herding can be observed in the market for health-related crowdfunding. Broader threats of market failure stemming from adverse selection and moral hazard also apply. Many of the discussed economic benefits and risks of crowdfunding health campaigns are shared more broadly with those of crowdfunding projects in other sectors. Where crowdfunding health care appears to diverge from theory is the negative externality inefficient priority setting may have towards achieving broader public health goals. Therefore, the market for crowdfunding health care must be economically stable, as well as designed to optimally and equitably improve public health. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Integrating Mercury Science and Policy in the Marine Context: Challenges and Opportunities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, Kathleen F.; Evers, David C.; Warner, Kimberly A.; King, Susannah L.; Selin, Noelle E.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant and presents policy challenges at local, regional, and global scales. Mercury poses risks to the health of people, fish, and wildlife exposed to elevated levels of mercury, most commonly from the consumption of methylmercury in marine and estuarine fish. The patchwork of current mercury abatement efforts limits the effectiveness of national and multi-national policies. This paper provides an overview of the major policy challenges and opportunities related to mercury in coastal and marine environments, and highlights science and policy linkages of the past several decades. The U.S. policy examples explored here point to the need for a full life cycle approach to mercury policy with a focus on source reduction and increased attention to: (1) the transboundary movement of mercury in air, water, and biota; (2) the coordination of policy efforts across multiple environmental media; (3) the cross-cutting issues related to pollutant interactions, mitigation of legacy sources, and adaptation to elevated mercury via improved communication efforts; and (4) the integration of recent research on human and ecological health effects into benefits analyses for regulatory purposes. Stronger science and policy integration will benefit national and international efforts to prevent, control, and minimize exposure to methylmercury. PMID:22901766

  4. Bioaccumulation of mercury and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans in salty water organisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Pei-Yu; Liu, Chen-Wuing; Liu, Wen-Yao

    2016-01-01

    Mercury and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) accumulate in organisms through food webs and exert potentially toxic effects on aquatic organisms and humans. This study examined the levels of mercury and PCDD/Fs in organisms and sediment samples collected from a saltwater pond at the An-Shun site, a chloralkali factory that shut down in Tainan City, Taiwan. It was also a pentachlorophenol production plant. After the factories were shut down in the 1980s, mercury and PCDD/Fs contamination remained, posing severe health hazards. The correlation between PCDD/Fs congener accumulation patterns in distinct fish organs and the sediment was evaluated. Mercury and PCDD/Fs levels in all the fish samples exceeded food safety limits, and the concentrations of mercury and PCDD/Fs in each species were closely correlated (n = 12, Spearman's rank correlation [R] = 0.811, p mercury concentrations were positively but non-significantly correlated with the weight (n = 11, R = 0.741, p mercury concentration was correlated with organism weight and length, whereas the PCDD/Fs concentration was associated with organ lipid content. The study results are valuable for assessing the health risks associated with ingesting mercury- and PCFF/F-contaminated seafood from the study site.

  5. [Concentrations of mercury in ambient air in wastewater irrigated area of Tianjin City and its accumulation in leafy vegetables].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Shun-An; Han, Yun-Lei; Zheng, Xiang-Qun

    2014-11-01

    Gaseous Hg can evaporate and enter the plants through the stomata of plat leaves, which will cause a serious threat to local food safety and human health. For the risk assessment, this study aimed to characterize atmospheric mercury (Hg) as well as its accumulation in 5 leafy vegetables (spinach, edible amaranth, rape, lettuce, allium tuberosum) from sewage-irrigated area of Tianjin City. Bio-monitoring sites were located in paddy (wastewater irrigation for 30 a), vegetables (wastewater irrigation for 15 a) and grass (control) fields. Results showed that after long-term wastewater irrigation, the mean values of mercury content in paddy and vegetation fields were significantly higher than the local background value and the national soil environment quality standard value for mercury in grade I, but were still lower than grade II. Soil mercury contents in the studied control grass field were between the local background value and the national soil environment quality standard grade I . Besides, the atmospheric environment of paddy and vegetation fields was subjected to serious mercury pollution. The mean values of mercury content in the atmosphere of paddy and vegetation fields were 71.3 ng x m(-3) and 39.2 ng x m(-3), respectively, which were markedly higher than the reference gaseous mercury value on the north sphere of the earth (1.5-2.0 ng x m(-3)). The mean value of ambient mercury in the control grass fields was 9.4 ng x m(-3). In addition, it was found that the mercury content in leafy vegetables had a good linear correlation with the ambient total gaseous mercury (the data was transformed into logarithms as the dataset did not show a normal distribution). The comparison among 5 vegetables showed that the accumulations of mercury in vegetables followed this order: spinach > edible amaranth > allium tuberosum > rape > lettuce. Median and mean values of mercury contents in spinach and edible amaranth were greater than the hygienic standard for the allowable

  6. JV Task 96 - Phase 2 - Investigating the Importance of the Mercury-Selenium Interaction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nicholas Ralston; Laura Raymond

    2008-03-01

    In order to improve the understanding of the mercury issue, it is vital to study mercury's effects on selenium physiology. While mercury present in the environment or food sources may pose health risks, the protective effects of selenium have not been adequately considered in establishing regulatory policy. Numerous studies report that vulnerability to mercury toxicity is inversely proportional to selenium status or level. However, selenium status has not been considered in the development of the reference dosage levels for mercury exposure. Experimental animals fed low-selenium diets are far more vulnerable to mercury toxicity than animals fed normal selenium, and animals fed selenium-rich diets are even more resistant. Selenium-dependent enzymes in brain and endocrine tissues can be impaired by excessive mercury exposure, apparently because mercury has an extremely high binding affinity for selenium. When selenium becomes bound to mercury, it is unable to participate in the metabolic cycling of selenoprotein synthesis. Because of mercury-dependent impairments of selenoprotein synthesis, various antioxidant and regulatory functions in brain biochemistry are compromised. This report details a 2-year multiclient-funded research program designed to examine the interactions between mercury and selenium in animal models. The studies explored the effects of dietary intakes of toxic amounts of methylmercury and the protective effects of the normal dietary range of selenium in counteracting mercury toxicity. This study finds that the amounts of selenium present in ocean fish are sufficient to protect against far larger quantities of methylmercury than those present in typical seafoods. Toxic effects of methylmercury exposure were not directly proportional to mercury concentrations in blood, brain, or any other tissues. Instead, mercury toxicity was proportional to molar ratios of mercury relative to selenium. In order to accurately assess risk associated with

  7. New approaches in human health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abass, Khaled; Carlsen, Anders; Rautio, Arja

    2016-01-01

    Studies on the precise impact of environmental pollutants on human health are difficult to undertake and interpret, because many genetic and environmental factors influence health at the same time and to varying degrees. Our chapter in the AMAP report was based on new approaches to describe risks and future needs. In this paper, we will introduce the issues associated with risk assessment of single chemicals, and present suggestions for future studies as well as a summary of lessons learned during the health-related parts of the European Union-funded FP7 project ArcRisk (Arctic Health Risks: Impacts on health in the Arctic and Europe owing to climate-induced changes in contaminant cycling, 2009-2014; www.arcrisk.eu).

  8. Work stress and health risk behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siegrist, Johannes; Rödel, Andreas

    2006-12-01

    This contribution discusses current knowledge of associations between psychosocial stress at work and health risk behavior, in particular cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and overweight, by reviewing findings from major studies in the field published between 1989 and 2006. Psychosocial stress at work is measured by the demand-control model and the effort-reward imbalance model. Health risk behavior was analyzed in the broader context of a health-related Western lifestyle with socially and economically patterned practices of consumption. Overall, the review, based on 46 studies, only modestly supports the hypothesis of a consistent association between work stress and health risk behavior. The relatively strongest relationships have been found with regard to heavy alcohol consumption among men, overweight, and the co-manifestation of several risks. Suggestions for further research are given, and the need to reduce stressful experience in the framework of worksite health promotion programs is emphasized.

  9. New approaches in human health risk assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khaled Abass

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Studies on the precise impact of environmental pollutants on human health are difficult to undertake and interpret, because many genetic and environmental factors influence health at the same time and to varying degrees. Our chapter in the AMAP report was based on new approaches to describe risks and future needs. In this paper, we will introduce the issues associated with risk assessment of single chemicals, and present suggestions for future studies as well as a summary of lessons learned during the health-related parts of the European Union-funded FP7 project ArcRisk (Arctic Health Risks: Impacts on health in the Arctic and Europe owing to climate-induced changes in contaminant cycling, 2009–2014; www.arcrisk.eu.

  10. Assessment of chronic neuropsychological effects of mercury vapour poisoning in chloral-alkali plant workers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pranjić, Nurka; Sinanović, Osman; Karamehić, Jasenko; Jakubović, Rusid

    2002-12-01

    A prospective case study was conducted in the Department of Occupational Medicine, Tuzla. The purpose of this study was to indicate negative effects from occupational exposure to mercury on behavioural and mental health, memory and psychomotor function that was tested in 46 chloral-alkali plant workers (mean age was 38. 8+/- 5. 7 years; mean age of occupational history 16. 5+/- 6. 0 years). Data on toxicological monitoring on atomic absorption spectrometer, and data on mental health were collected, psychiatric and other subjective symptoms, and behavioural, psychomotor and memory function tested. The data were compared to control group, 32 healthy non exposed workers. The study was designed to assess blood and urine mercury levels and length of occupational exposure and investigate its relationships to effects on the mental health. The mean air mercury levels were 0.23 mg/m3, the mean blood mercury concentrations was 3. 6 mg/ dl and the mean urine mercury concentrations were 151.7 +/- 180.4 mg/l. In 25 (53%) workers exposed to mercury vapour was identified Depression-Hypochondrias Syndrome (p trend 2. 9 mg/ dl, or urine mercury levels > 87 mg/l workers exposed to mercury vapour knew that toxic effects in body resulted in loosing some of intellectual abilities, and that people who handle chemicals had an increased health risk (ESW questionnaire). The occupational mercury exposed workers had introvert behaviour (EPQ). Aggressiveness was found in 71.7% workers. The cognitive disturbances: short-term memory loss, difficult to concentrate on tasks which require attention and thinking, were significantly differed compared to those of controls (p trend < 0. 001). In 24 (52%) exposed to mercury workers we have determined ego strength loss and regressive defensive mechanisms (LB). Handwriting disturbances-micrography we have identified in 27 (58.7%) workers.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Heavy metal contamination and health risk assessment in three commercial fish species in the Persian Gulf.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keshavarzi, Behnam; Hassanaghaei, Mina; Moore, Farid; Rastegari Mehr, Meisam; Soltanian, Siyavash; Lahijanzadeh, Ahmad Reza; Sorooshian, Armin

    2018-04-01

    Five heavy metals/metalloids and related potential health risks were investigated in three commercially important fish species (Anodontostoma chacunda, Belangerii, and Cynoglossurs arel) in Musa Estuary and Mahshahr Harbour of the Persian Gulf. A total of 116 fish samples were collected, and their liver and muscle organs were separately analyzed using ICP-MS. Results revealed that studied metals concentrations (with some exceptions) varied among sampling stations, fish species and their organs. Human health risk is evaluated using different indices. The results indicated that arsenic and mercury are the most hazardous elements. Estimated daily intake (EDI) for the metals exceeded the provisional tolerable daily intake (PTDI) for all studied fish species. Also, target risk (TR) of arsenic indicated that consumption over a long period of time may result in a carcinogenic effect. The results are expected to create awareness among the public on the safety of consuming food products grown in particular areas. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. An approach for balancing health and ecological risks at hazardous waste sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, G.W. II; Hull, R.N.; Stack, M.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.; Zafran, F.A.

    1995-01-01

    Human health and ecological risks must be balanced at hazardous waste sites in order to ensure that remedial actions prevent unacceptable risks of either type. Actions that are designed to protect humans may fail to protect nonhuman populations and ecosystems or may damage ecosystems. However, there is no common scale of health and ecological risk that would allow comparisons to be performed. This paper presents an approach to addressing this problem based on classifying all risks (i.e., health and ecological risks due contaminants and remediation) as insignificant (de minimis), highly significant (de manifestis), or intermediate. For health risks the classification is based on standard criteria. However, in the absence of national guidance concerning the acceptability of ecological risks, new ecological criteria are proposed based on an analysis of regulatory precedents. Matrices and flow charts are presented to guide the use of these risk categories in remedial decision making. The assessment of mercury contamination of the East Fork Poplar Creek is presented as an example of the implementation of the approach. 15 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs

  15. Health effects of risk-assessment categories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kramer, C.F.; Rybicka, K.; Knutson, A.; Morris, S.C.

    1983-10-01

    Environmental and occupational health effects associated with exposures to various chemicals are a subject of increasing concern. One recently developed methodology for assessing the health impacts of various chemical compounds involves the classification of similar chemicals into risk-assessment categories (RACs). This report reviews documented human health effects for a broad range of pollutants, classified by RACs. It complements other studies that have estimated human health effects by RAC based on analysis and extrapolation of data from animal research

  16. Health effects of risk-assessment categories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kramer, C.F.; Rybicka, K.; Knutson, A.; Morris, S.C.

    1983-10-01

    Environmental and occupational health effects associated with exposures to various chemicals are a subject of increasing concern. One recently developed methodology for assessing the health impacts of various chemical compounds involves the classification of similar chemicals into risk-assessment categories (RACs). This report reviews documented human health effects for a broad range of pollutants, classified by RACs. It complements other studies that have estimated human health effects by RAC based on analysis and extrapolation of data from animal research.

  17. Health risks associated with obesity

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    annaline

    by three factors: first is the amount of fat, second is the distribution of fat ... The negative effects of obesity on health and cardiovascular ..... second and tenth leading causes of death in South Africa, respectively. ... Slow glucose removal rate.

  18. Health risks of alcohol use

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... depressed and have problems with anxiety and low self-esteem. Have marriages that end in divorce. Drinking too ... the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A. ...

  19. Revised Human Health Risk Assessment on Chlorpyrifos

    Science.gov (United States)

    We have revised our human health risk assessment and drinking water exposure assessment for chlorpyrifos that supported our October 2015 proposal to revoke all food residue tolerances for chlorpyrifos. Learn about the revised analysis.

  20. Procedures for health risk assessment in Europe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Seeley, M.R.; Tonner-Navarro, L.E.; Beck, B.D.; Deskin, R.; Feron, V.J.; Johanson, G.; Bolt, H.M.

    2001-01-01

    This report compares cancer classification systems, health risk assessment approaches, and procedures used for establishing occupational exposure limits (OELs), in various European countries and scientific organizations. The objectives were to highlight and compare key aspects of these processes and

  1. Health risks associated with inhaled nasal toxicants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Feron, VJ; Arts, JHE; Kuper, CF; Slootweg, PJ; Woutersen, RA

    2001-01-01

    Health risks of inhaled nasal toxicants were reviewed with emphasis on chemically induced nasal lesions in humans, sensory irritation, olfactory and trigeminal nerve toxicity, nasal immunopathology and carcinogenesis, nasal responses to chemical mixtures, in vitro models, and nasal dosimetry- and

  2. Risk assessment in support of plant health

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jeger, Michael; Schans, Jan; Lövei, Gabor L.

    2012-01-01

    environmental risk assessment and the evaluation of risk reducing options. Quantitative approaches have become increasingly important during this time. The Panel has developed such methods in climatic mapping (in association with the Joint Research Councils), application of spatial spread models, re......With the establishment of the Plant Health Panel in 2006, EFSA became the body responsible for risk assessment in the plant health area for the European Union (EU). Since then more than 70 outputs have been produced dealing with the full range of organisms harmful to plant health across all crop...... types and plants in the environment. There has been an increasing trend towards producing scientific opinions which are full pest risk assessments for the whole EU territory. In its work, and as a contribution to the wider development of risk assessment methodology, the Panel has developed a series...

  3. Health Risks of Diagnostic Radiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Al-Oraby, M.N.A.

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to ionizing radiation during diagnostic radiologic procedures carries small but real risks. Children, young adults and pregnant women are especially vulnerable. Exposure of patients to diagnostic energy levels of ionizing radiation should be kept to the minimum necessary to provide useful clinical information and allay patients concerns about radiation-related risks. Computerized Tomography (CT) accounts for two thirds of the cumulative patient dose from diagnostic radiological procedures and the cumulative dose from CT is rising as technological advances increase the number of indications and the capabilities of CT. Carcinogenesis and teratogenesis are the main concerns with ionizing radiation. The risk increases as the radiation dose increases. There is no minimum threshold and the risk is cumulative: a dose of 1 mSv once a year for 10 years is equivalent to a single dose of 10 mSv. Whenever practical, choose an imaging test that uses less radiation or no radiation and lengthen the periods between follow-up imaging tests. Some patients may avoid screening mammography because of fear of radiation-induced cancer, yet this test uses a very small radiation dose (0.6 mSv, much less than the annual dose from background radiation, 3.6 mSv). (author)

  4. Radiation. Your health at risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This public information pamphlet gives a simple account of the nature of ionizing radiations and their effects on human health. Sources of radiation, both natural and man-made, to which the population may be exposed and the setting of exposure limits are discussed. The need is stressed for more research into the effects of low levels of exposure over long periods of time. The aims of the Radiation and Health Information Service and a list of organizers in European countries are given. A reading list is included. (UK)

  5. Low-frequency fields - health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernhardt, J.

    1993-01-01

    The author briefly reviews the biological actions and effects of low-frequency fields, epidemiological studies and discusses health risks in detail. He describes the assessment principles of the International Commission on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), medical principles for risk assessment, determination of limits and thesholds, and aspects of prevention. This is supplemented to by several fables and literature list. (Uhe) [de

  6. Spatial Distribution of Mercury (Hg Concentration in Agricultural Soil and Its Risk Assessment on Food Safety in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanqian Wang

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Soil mercury (Hg pollution in some areas of China is a serious problem and has aroused a lot of attention on a local scale. However, there are few studies on Hg pollution on a national scale. This study collected 444 published papers during 2005–2015 on Hg concentrations in agricultural soil throughout China, under seven land uses, namely: dry land, paddy field, vegetable field, tea garden, orchard, traditional Chinese medicine field and tobacco field, to assess the spatial distribution of Hg concentration and evaluate its influence on food safety. The averaged Hg concentration (0.108 mg/kg was higher than its background (0.065 mg/kg, but much lower than the guidelines (GB15618-1995 II for crop production. The spatial distribution of Hg throughout China showed great variability, with some hotspots due to Hg related mining and smelting activities. According to the Environment Quality Standard for soil in China (GB15618-1995 II, 4.2% of agricultural soil should be abandoned due to Hg pollution, and 2.0% faced a high risk of Hg pollution.

  7. Risk segmentation in Chilean social health insurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo, Hector; Chipulu, Maxwell; Ojiako, Udechukwu

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study is to identify how risk and social variables are likely to be impacted by an increase in private sector participation in health insurance provision. The study focuses on the Chilean health insurance industry, traditionally dominated by the public sector. Predictive risk modelling is conducted using a database containing over 250,000 health insurance policy records provided by the Superintendence of Health of Chile. Although perceived with suspicion in some circles, risk segmentation serves as a rational approach to risk management from a resource perspective. The variables that have considerable impact on insurance claims include the number of dependents, gender, wages and the duration a claimant has been a customer. As shown in the case study, to ensure that social benefits are realised, increased private sector participation in health insurance must be augmented by regulatory oversight and vigilance. As it is clear that a "community-rated" health insurance provision philosophy impacts on insurance firm's ability to charge "market" prices for insurance provision, the authors explore whether risk segmentation is a feasible means of predicting insurance claim behaviour in Chile's private health insurance industry.

  8. Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methyl Mercury Pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2005-06-01

    Phytoremediation is defined as the use of plants to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic environmental pollutants. The long-term goal of the proposed research is to develop and test highly productive, field-adapted plant species that have been engineered for the phytoremediation of mercury. A variety of different genes, which should enable plants to clean mercury polluted sites are being tested as tools for mercury phytoremediation, first in model laboratory plants and then in potential field species. Several of these genes have already been shown to enhance mercury phytoremediation. Mercury pollution is a serious, world-wide problem affecting the health of human and wildlife populations. Environmentally, the most serious mercury threat is the production of methylmercury (CH3Hg+) by native bacteria at mercury contaminated wetland sites. Methylmercury is inherently more toxic than metallic (Hg(0)) or ionic (Hg(II)) mercury, and because methylmercury is prolifically biomagnified up the food chain, it poses the most immediate danger to animal populations. We have successfully engineered two model plants, Arabidopsis and tobacco, to use the bacterial merB gene to convert methylmercury to less toxic ionic mercury and to use the bacterial merA gene to further detoxify ionic mercury to the least toxic form of mercury, metallic mercury. Plants expressing both MerA and MerB proteins detoxify methylmercury in two steps to the metallic form. These plants germinate, grow, and set seed at normal growth rates on levels of methylmercury or ionic mercury that are lethal to normal plants. Our newest efforts involve engineering plants with several additional bacterial and plant genes that allow for higher levels of mercury resistance and mercury hyperaccumulation. The potential for these plants to hyperaccumulate mercury was further advanced by developing constitutive, aboveground, and root-specific gene expression systems. Our current strategy is to engineer plants to

  9. Mercury emission and distribution: Potential environmental risks at a small-scale gold mining operation, Phichit Province, Thailand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataranawat, Poranee; Parkpian, Preeda; Polprasert, Chongrak; Delaune, R D; Jugsujinda, A

    2007-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination was assessed in environment near an amalgamation gold recovery operation located at a small scale mining operation (Phanom Pha) in Phichit Province, Thailand. Total mercury (THg) concentrations was determined in water, sediment, bivalves in the aquatic environment and as dry deposition or atmospheric fallout on surface soil and leaves of Neem tree (Azadirachta indica Juss. var. siamensis Valeton) near the mining operation. THg in surface soil, Neem flowers (edible part) and rice grain in surrounding terrestrial habitat and with distance from the mining area were also evaluated for possible contamination. Potential environmental risks were evaluated using the hazard quotient equation. Hg analyses conducted in the aquatic habitat showed that THg in water, sediment and bivalves (Scabies cripata Gould) ranged from 0.4 to 4 microg L(-1), 96 to 402 microg kg(-1)dry weight (dw) and 15 to 584 microg kg(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively. High concentrations of THg in water, sediment and bivalves were observed in the receiving stream near the mining operation which was located near the Khao Chet Luk Reservoir. Whereas the THg concentration in water, sediment and bivalves from monitoring stations outside the gold mining operation (upstream and downstream), were considerably lower with the values of 0.4-0.8 microg L(-1), 96-140 microg kg(-1) dw and 88-658 microg kg(-1) dw, respectively. The elevated concentration of Hg found in the sediment near the mining operation was consistent with Hg accumulation measured in bivalves. The elevated Hg levels found in living bivalves collected from highly contaminated sites suggested that the sediment bound Hg was bioavailable. THg in surface soils, brown rice grain (Jasmine rice #105) and Neem flowers of terrestrial habitats were in the range of 16 to 180 microg kg(-1) dw, 190 to 300 microg kg(-1) dw, and 622 to 2150 microg kg(-1) dw, respectively. Elevated concentrations of mercury were found in Neem flowers

  10. Health and environmental risks of energy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.D.

    1984-01-01

    The paper gives four examples of health risk assessments of energy systems: (1) Comparative risk assessment of the health effects of the coal and nuclear fuel cycles. Estimates differ from previous values chiefly by inclusion of ranges of uncertainty, but some coal-cycle numbers were re-estimated. Upper-boundary public disease risks of air pollution from coal-fired plants dominate. Reactors probably account for most of the potential effect of major nuclear accidents. Accidental death rates in electricity generation are low for reactors and higher for coal. (2) Upper-boundary air pollution health risks of existing fossil-fuel-based energy technologies in the United States of America. Preliminary mortality estimates were obtained combining potential impacts of three index pollutants - SO 4 , NO 2 , and CO - as independent measures of risk. Four fuel cycle trajectories leading to three end-uses were analysed. (3) Health risks of acid deposition and other transported air pollutants, carried out as part of an assessment of the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) 'Acid Rain and Transported Air Pollutants. (4) Health effects of uranium mill tailings piles. Mortality risk is estimated to be minuscule (8.7x10 -9 average individual lifetime cancer risk from a model mill, compared with 9.5x10 -4 for background radiation). Methods that sum risks over the indefinite future are shown to be unrealistic. As a final example of risk analysis, the cost-effectiveness analysis for proposed EPA standards for radionuclides is shown to be deficient by an analysis concluding that the cost per potential cancer avoided could range from US $70 million to US $140 billion

  11. Some like it cold: microbial transformations of mercury in polar regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niels Kroer

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The contamination of polar regions with mercury that is transported from lower latitudes as inorganic mercury has resulted in the accumulation of methylmercury (MeHg in food chains, risking the health of humans and wildlife. While production of MeHg has been documented in polar marine and terrestrial environments, little is known about the responsible transformations and transport pathways and the processes that control them. We posit that as in temperate environments, microbial transformations play a key role in mercury geochemical cycling in polar regions by: (1 methylating mercury by one of four proposed pathways, some not previously described; (2 degrading MeHg by activities of mercury resistant and other bacteria; and (3 carrying out redox transformations that control the supply of the mercuric ion, the substrate of methylation reactions. Recent analyses have identified a high potential for mercury-resistant microbes that express the enzyme mercuric reductase to affect the production of gaseous elemental mercury when and where daylight is limited. The integration of microbially mediated processes in the paradigms that describe mercury geochemical cycling is therefore of high priority especially in light of concerns regarding the effect of global warming and permafrost thawing on input of MeHg to polar regions.

  12. Female reproductive health in two lamp factories: effects of exposure to inorganic mercury vapour and stress factors.

    OpenAIRE

    De Rosis, F; Anastasio, S P; Selvaggi, L; Beltrame, A; Moriani, G

    1985-01-01

    To evaluate the possible influence of mercury vapour on female reproduction, 153 women working in a mercury vapour lamp factory have been compared with 193 women employed in another factory of the same company, where mercury was not used. Both groups of subjects were exposed to stress factors (noise, rhythms of production, and shift work). The production process has been analysed by inspection of the plants and by collective discussions with "homogeneous groups" of workers; a retrospective in...

  13. Monitoring of mercury, arsenic, and lead in traditional Asian herbal preparations on the Dutch market and estimation of associated risks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Martena, M.J.; Wielen, van der J.C.A.; Rietjens, I.; Klerx, W.N.M.; Groot, de H.N.; Konings, E.J.M.

    2010-01-01

    Traditional herbal preparations used in Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine, traditional Tibetan medicine, and other Asian traditional medicine systems may contain significant amounts of mercury, arsenic or lead. Though deliberately incorporated in Asian traditional herbal preparations for

  14. Mercury pollution in Malaysia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajeb, Parvaneh; Jinap, S; Ismail, Ahmad; Mahyudin, Nor Ainy

    2012-01-01

    Although several studies have been published on levels of mercury contamination of the environment, and of food and human tissues in Peninsular Malaysia, there is a serious dearth of research that has been performed in East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). Industry is rapidly developing in East Malaysia, and, hence, there is a need for establishing baseline levels of mercury contamination in environmental media in that part of the country by performing monitoring studies. Residues of total mercury and inorganic in food samples have been determined in nearly all previous studies that have been conducted; however, few researchers have analyzed samples for the presence of methlymercury residues. Because methylmercury is the most toxic form of mercury, and because there is a growing public awareness of the risk posed by methylmercury exposure that is associated with fish and seafood consumption, further monitoring studies on methylmercury in food are also essential. From the results of previous studies, it is obvious that the economic development in Malaysia, in recent years, has affected the aquatic environment of the country. Primary areas of environmental concern are centered on the rivers of the west Peninsular Malaysian coast, and the coastal waters of the Straits of Malacca, wherein industrial activities are rapidly expanding. The sources of existing mercury input to both of these areas of Malaysia should be studied and identified. Considering the high levels of mercury that now exists in human tissues, efforts should be continued, and accelerated in the future, if possible, to monitor mercury contamination levels in the coastal states, and particularly along the west Peninsular Malaysian coast. Most studies that have been carried out on mercury residues in environmental samples are dated, having been conducted 20-30 years ago; therefore, the need to collect much more and more current data is urgent. Furthermore, establishing baseline levels of mercury exposure to

  15. Co-ordinated research project on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques. Report on the second research co-ordination meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2002-07-01

    The specific research objective of this coordinated research project is to study and assess the factors influencing the dynamics of Hg cycling and its impact on human health in mercury contaminated ecosystems, especially in tropical environments, using radioisotopes and enriched stable isotope tracers and/or complementary analytical techniques. Areas of research include: Evaluation of the relevant environmental factors influencing mercury transformations, transportation (mass balances), and partitioning in ecosystems; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg methylation and de-methylation rates in various environmental compartments; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg fluxes at natural interfaces such as sediment-water, water-air, land-air, plant-air, and saline-water-fresh-water, etc.; Determination and evaluation of the human exposure to Hg using bio-indicators such as hair, blood, and urine in light of epidemiological requirements; Preparation of an appropriate test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies. Expected research outputs are: Recommended approaches for the determination of mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and flux measurements; A compilation of reliable data on mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and fluxes in contaminated tropical ecosystems for comparison with existing data from temperate regions; Generated knowledge on factors influencing mercury transformations, transport and partitioning in various ecosystems; Test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies; Database of bio-indicator measurements (hair, blood, and urine, etc.) of human Hg exposure in contaminated tropical ecosystems; and Recommended countermeasures for the prevention and/or reduction of mercury contamination in polluted areas. This compilation contains country reports on the Second Research Coordination Meeting, Minamata

  16. Co-ordinated research project on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques. Report on the second research co-ordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

    The specific research objective of this coordinated research project is to study and assess the factors influencing the dynamics of Hg cycling and its impact on human health in mercury contaminated ecosystems, especially in tropical environments, using radioisotopes and enriched stable isotope tracers and/or complementary analytical techniques. Areas of research include: Evaluation of the relevant environmental factors influencing mercury transformations, transportation (mass balances), and partitioning in ecosystems; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg methylation and de-methylation rates in various environmental compartments; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg fluxes at natural interfaces such as sediment-water, water-air, land-air, plant-air, and saline-water-fresh-water, etc.; Determination and evaluation of the human exposure to Hg using bio-indicators such as hair, blood, and urine in light of epidemiological requirements; Preparation of an appropriate test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies. Expected research outputs are: Recommended approaches for the determination of mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and flux measurements; A compilation of reliable data on mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and fluxes in contaminated tropical ecosystems for comparison with existing data from temperate regions; Generated knowledge on factors influencing mercury transformations, transport and partitioning in various ecosystems; Test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies; Database of bio-indicator measurements (hair, blood, and urine, etc.) of human Hg exposure in contaminated tropical ecosystems; and Recommended countermeasures for the prevention and/or reduction of mercury contamination in polluted areas. This compilation contains country reports on the Second Research Coordination Meeting, Minamata

  17. Co-ordinated research project on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques. Report on the first research co-ordination meeting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2001-07-01

    The specific research objective of this coordinated research project is to study and assess the factors influencing the dynamics of Hg cycling and its impact on human health in mercury contaminated ecosystems, especially in tropical environments, using radioisotopes and enriched stable isotope tracers and/or complementary analytical techniques. Areas of research include: Evaluation of the relevant environmental factors influencing mercury transformations, transportation (mass balances), and partitioning in ecosystems; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg methylation and de-methylation rates in various environmental compartments; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg fluxes at natural interfaces such as sediment-water, water-air, land-air, plant-air, and saline-water-fresh-water, etc.; Determination and evaluation of the human exposure to Hg using bio-indicators such as hair, blood, and urine in light of epidemiological requirements; Preparation of an appropriate test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies. Expected research outputs are: Recommended approaches for the determination of mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and flux measurements; A compilation of reliable data on mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and fluxes in contaminated tropical ecosystems for comparison with existing data from temperate regions; Generated knowledge on factors influencing mercury transformations, transport and partitioning in various ecosystems; Test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies; Database of bio-indicator measurements (hair, blood, and urine, etc.) of human Hg exposure in contaminated tropical ecosystems; and Recommended countermeasures for the prevention and/or reduction of mercury contamination in polluted areas.

  18. Co-ordinated research project on health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques. Report on the first research co-ordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2001-01-01

    The specific research objective of this coordinated research project is to study and assess the factors influencing the dynamics of Hg cycling and its impact on human health in mercury contaminated ecosystems, especially in tropical environments, using radioisotopes and enriched stable isotope tracers and/or complementary analytical techniques. Areas of research include: Evaluation of the relevant environmental factors influencing mercury transformations, transportation (mass balances), and partitioning in ecosystems; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg methylation and de-methylation rates in various environmental compartments; Development, validation and application of appropriate methodologies for the measurement of Hg fluxes at natural interfaces such as sediment-water, water-air, land-air, plant-air, and saline-water-fresh-water, etc.; Determination and evaluation of the human exposure to Hg using bio-indicators such as hair, blood, and urine in light of epidemiological requirements; Preparation of an appropriate test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies. Expected research outputs are: Recommended approaches for the determination of mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and flux measurements; A compilation of reliable data on mercury methylation and de-methylation rates and fluxes in contaminated tropical ecosystems for comparison with existing data from temperate regions; Generated knowledge on factors influencing mercury transformations, transport and partitioning in various ecosystems; Test sample of tropical sediment for comparability studies; Database of bio-indicator measurements (hair, blood, and urine, etc.) of human Hg exposure in contaminated tropical ecosystems; and Recommended countermeasures for the prevention and/or reduction of mercury contamination in polluted areas

  19. Contamination features and health risk of soil heavy metals in China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Haiyang; Teng, Yanguo; Lu, Sijin; Wang, Yeyao; Wang, Jinsheng

    2015-01-01

    China faces a big challenge of environmental deterioration amid its rapid economic development. To comprehensively identify the contamination characteristics of heavy metals in Chinese soils on a national scale, data set of the first national soil pollution survey was employed to evaluate the pollution levels using several pollution indicators (pollution index, geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor) and to quantify their exposure risks posed to human health with the risk assessment model recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The results showed that, due to the drastically increased industrial operations and fast urban expansion, Chinese soils were contaminated by heavy metals in varying degrees. As a whole, the exposure risk levels of soil metals in China were tolerable or close to acceptable. Comparatively speaking, children and adult females were the relatively vulnerable populations for the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks, respectively. Cadmium and mercury have been identified as the priority control metals due to their higher concentrations in soils or higher health risks posed to the public, as well as, arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel. Spatial distribution pattern analysis implied that the soil metal pollutions in southern provinces of China were relatively higher than that in other provinces, which would be related to the higher geochemical background in southwest regions and the increasing human activities in southeast areas. Meanwhile, it should be noticed that Beijing, the capital of China, also has been labeled as the priority control province for its higher mercury concentration. These results will provide basic information for the improvement of soil environment management and heavy metal pollution prevention and control in China. - Highlights: • Soil contamination with heavy metals in China was systematically studied. • Spatial distribution patterns of heavy metals in Chinese soils were identified. • Monte

  20. Contamination features and health risk of soil heavy metals in China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Haiyang [Engineering Research Center of Groundwater Pollution Control and Remediation, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Teng, Yanguo, E-mail: Teng1974@163.com [Engineering Research Center of Groundwater Pollution Control and Remediation, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Lu, Sijin; Wang, Yeyao [China National Environmental Monitoring Center, Beijing 100012 (China); Wang, Jinsheng [Engineering Research Center of Groundwater Pollution Control and Remediation, Ministry of Education, Beijing 100875 (China); College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China)

    2015-04-15

    China faces a big challenge of environmental deterioration amid its rapid economic development. To comprehensively identify the contamination characteristics of heavy metals in Chinese soils on a national scale, data set of the first national soil pollution survey was employed to evaluate the pollution levels using several pollution indicators (pollution index, geoaccumulation index and enrichment factor) and to quantify their exposure risks posed to human health with the risk assessment model recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The results showed that, due to the drastically increased industrial operations and fast urban expansion, Chinese soils were contaminated by heavy metals in varying degrees. As a whole, the exposure risk levels of soil metals in China were tolerable or close to acceptable. Comparatively speaking, children and adult females were the relatively vulnerable populations for the non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic risks, respectively. Cadmium and mercury have been identified as the priority control metals due to their higher concentrations in soils or higher health risks posed to the public, as well as, arsenic, lead, chromium and nickel. Spatial distribution pattern analysis implied that the soil metal pollutions in southern provinces of China were relatively higher than that in other provinces, which would be related to the higher geochemical background in southwest regions and the increasing human activities in southeast areas. Meanwhile, it should be noticed that Beijing, the capital of China, also has been labeled as the priority control province for its higher mercury concentration. These results will provide basic information for the improvement of soil environment management and heavy metal pollution prevention and control in China. - Highlights: • Soil contamination with heavy metals in China was systematically studied. • Spatial distribution patterns of heavy metals in Chinese soils were identified. • Monte

  1. 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.......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....

  2. Perception of mercury contamination by Brazilian adolescents in a gold mining community: an ethnographic approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novais, Gabriel; Câmara, Volney de Magalhães

    2009-01-01

    This study used ethnographic methods to examine the perception of mercury contamination by adolescents in the mining community of Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. In Phase I, 53 students aged 13 to 16 years in six schools presented theatrical sketches about community health risks to generate key terms for a pile sorting activity in Phase II. Mercury was reported by four of the 15 groups (26%). In Phase II, researchers conducted semi-structured interviews and pile sorts with 31 students to assess adolescent attitudes about mercury and to generate an ethnomedical model of mercury perception. The lack of consensus evident in the model reveals that while students view mercury as an overall threat, many of them do not understand how its presence can harm human health. Few adolescents felt confident about their knowledge (3%) or could accurately explain how it was used (9%), even though many of them had relatives working as miners (55%). Further analysis of pile sort data suggests that mercury may not belong in a 'typical risks' domain. The authors argue that ethnographic methods are a useful tool for public health research, and hope that these findings can contribute to health education interventions in the field.

  3. Occupational risk involving students of health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Éder Oliveira Rocha

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To analyze the social representations of occupational risks involving students in the area of health. Method: Exploratory research with 160 students from nursing, medicine and dentistry, through interviews. The data were processed in ALCESTE 4.8 and lexical analysis done by descending hierarchical classification. Results: In four semantic classes, namely: occupational risks involving students in the area of health, the work environment and occupational risks, exposure to accidents with sharps and adoption of standard precautions as biosecurity measures. Conclusion: Students healthcare represent occupational risks, such as a concern for the prevention of cross infection in the workplace, should both professionals and students of health, adopt standard precautions and biosecurity measures in the environment work.

  4. Accumulation, transfer, and environmental risk of soil mercury in a rapidly industrializing region of the Yangtze River Delta, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huang, Biao; Yan, Lianxiang; Sun, Weixia; Zhao, Yongcun; Shi, Xuezheng [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing (China). State Key Lab. of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture; Wang, Mei [Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing (China). State Key Lab. of Soil and Sustainable Agriculture; Graduate Univ. of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China); Weindorf, David C. [Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge, LA (United States). AgCenter

    2011-06-15

    Purpose: Mercury (Hg) accumulation and transfer in soil ecosystems has been altered on local, regional, and even global scales, and their environmental risk has increasingly been a concern to the public and the scientific community. Materials and methods: A county level region in Zhangjiagang County, the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region of China and a factory with Hg-contaminated wastewater discharging within the region were selected to study the accumulation, bioavailability, and transfer of Hg from different sources in soils and crops under rapid industrialization, urbanization, and intensive agricultural activities. Regional soil samples close to and away from factories and local soil and crop samples around a typical factory were collected in the YRD region of China. Soil and crop Hg and basic soil properties were examined. Results and discussion: Significant soil Hg accumulation was found in soils away from factories regardless of Cambosols (Entisols) and Anthrosols (Inceptisols), while the mobile HCl-extractable Hg (HCl-Hg) were greater in soils closer to factories due to a decrease and increase in soil pH and organic matter. A high level of soil total Hg (T-Hg) was found around the factory, and soil and crop Hg accumulation in the vicinity of the factory was localized with an exponential decrease as distance away from the wastewater discharge outlet increased. Although Hg accumulated in these soils, the T-Hg levels at only a few sampling sites in acidic Anthrosols area were found to exceed the second most stringent critical value of Chinese Environmental Quality Standards for Soils. Conclusions: Considering the cessation of Hg-containing agrochemicals and limitation of effects of industrial activities on Hg accumulation, more attention should be paid to the changes in soil properties and crop rotations than controlling the pathways of Hg entering soils because the current environmental risk is mobilization of accumulated soil Hg. (orig.)

  5. Human and ecological remediation goals for soil mercury at East Fork Poplar Creek, Oak Ridge, TN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zafran, F.A.; Cornaby, B.W.; Hadden, C.T.

    1995-01-01

    Mercury, used in the past production of enriched lithium by the Department of Energy, is the principal chemical of concern in the 14-mile floodplain of East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC). SAIC has developed risk-based remediation goal options (RGOS) for mercury in EFPC soils to protect the most sensitive human receptors. The existing chronic oral RfD for mercury is based on exposure of laboratory species to mercuric chloride. However, speciation and leaching/availability studies (conducted by EPA EMSL and Oak Ridge National Laboratory) indicated less soluble and less toxic mercury species, principally mercuric sulfide, with measurable quantities of metallic mercury also present, predominate in EFPC floodplain soils. SAIC derived human health RGOs using deterministic and probabilistic methods and incorporated the probability density function for bioavailability of mercury species from leaching/availability data generated by ORNL. Monte Carlo simulation was used in uncertainty analysis and supported the derivation of a protective, but realistic risk-based remediation goal of 400 mg mercury/kg soil. For ecological risk assessment, RGOs were based on risks through food chains from contaminants in soil. The authors describe a terrestrial food-chain model of contaminant transfer to primary producers, first-order consumers, mid-level predators, and top-level predators. The model uses published toxicity data, site-specific contaminant concentrations, and bioaccumulation factors calculated from measured body burdens of floodplain organisms to compute RGOs for various combinations of exposure parameters. Model calculations show that under reasonably conservative conditions, mid-level predators have the highest exposures relative to dietary limits and, therefore, require the lowest soil-mercury RGOs. Mercury concentrations of ∼500 mg/kg are protective of the receptor populations exposed through food chains at this site

  6. Health and environmental risks of energy systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamilton, L.D.

    1984-01-01

    This paper gives four examples of health risk assessments of energy systems: (1) Comparative risk assessment of the health effects of the coal and nuclear fuel cycles. Estimates differ from previous values chiefly by inclusion of ranges of uncertainty, but some coal-cycle numbers were re-estimated. Upper-boundary public disease risks of air pollution from coal-fired plants dominate. Reactors probably account for most of the potential effect of major nuclear accidents. Accidental death rates in electricity generation are low for reactors and higher for coal. (2) Upper boundary air pollution health risks of existing fossil-based energy technologies in the United States. Preliminary mortality estimates were obtained combining potential impacts of three index pollutants - SO 4 , NO 2 , and CO - as independent measures of risk. Four fuel cycle trajectories leading to three end-uses were analyzed. Example results: domestic wood burning has substantial potential impact, with an upper boundary exceeding that of coal; upper-boundary air pollution impacts of gas can exceed those of oil, because of NO 2 . (3) Health risks of acid deposition and other transported air pollutants, carried out as part of an assessment of the US Congress Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) Acid Rain and Transported Air Pollutants - Implications for Public Policy. Three scenarios were examined, leading to estimates of 40,000 to 50,000 annual premature deaths, depending on year (1978 vs 2000) and scenario (holding total emissions constant vs 30% reduction). (4) health effects of uranium mill tailings piles. Mortality risk is estimated to be minuscule (8.7 x 10 -9 average individual lifetime cancer risk from a model mill, compared with 9.5 x 10 -4 for background radiation). Methods that sum risks over the indefinite future are shown to be to be unrealistic. 39 references, 7 figures, 15 tables

  7. Space Radiation and Risks to Human Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huff, Janice L.; Patel, Zarana S.; Simonsen, Lisa C.

    2014-01-01

    The radiation environment in space poses significant challenges to human health and is a major concern for long duration manned space missions. Outside the Earth's protective magnetosphere, astronauts are exposed to higher levels of galactic cosmic rays, whose physical characteristics are distinct from terrestrial sources of radiation such as x-rays and gamma-rays. Galactic cosmic rays consist of high energy and high mass nuclei as well as high energy protons; they impart unique biological damage as they traverse through tissue with impacts on human health that are largely unknown. The major health issues of concern are the risks of radiation carcinogenesis, acute and late decrements to the central nervous system, degenerative tissue effects such as cardiovascular disease, as well as possible acute radiation syndromes due to an unshielded exposure to a large solar particle event. The NASA Human Research Program's Space Radiation Program Element is focused on characterization and mitigation of these space radiation health risks along with understanding these risks in context of the other biological stressors found in the space environment. In this overview, we will provide a description of these health risks and the Element's research strategies to understand and mitigate these risks.

  8. Coal fired flue gas mercury emission controls

    CERN Document Server

    Wu, Jiang; Pan, Weiguo; Pan, Weiping

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic heavy metals, harmful to both the environment and human health. Hg is released into the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources and its emission control has caused much concern. This book introduces readers to Hg pollution from natural and anthropogenic sources and systematically describes coal-fired flue gas mercury emission control in industry, especially from coal-fired power stations. Mercury emission control theory and experimental research are demonstrated, including how elemental mercury is oxidized into oxidized mercury and the effect of

  9. Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methyl Mercury Pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2004-12-01

    Phytoremediation is defined as the use of plants to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic environmental pollutants. The long-term goal of the proposed research is to develop and test highly productive, field-adapted plant species that have been engineered for the phytoremediation of mercury. A variety of different genes, which should enable plants to clean mercury polluted sites are being tested as tools for mercury phytoremediation, first in model laboratory plants and then in potential field species. Several of these genes have already been shown to enhance mercury phytoremediation. Mercury pollution is a serious, world-wide problem affecting the health of human and wildlife populations. Environmentally, the most serious mercury threat is the production of methylmercury (CH3Hg+) by native bacteria at mercury contaminated wetland sites. Methylmercury is inherently more toxic than metallic (Hg(0)) or ionic (Hg(II)) mercury, and because methylmercury is prolifically biomagnified up the food chain, it poses the most immediate danger to animal populations. We have successfully engineered two model plants, Arabidopsis and tobacco, to use the bacterial merB gene to convert methylmercury to less toxic ionic mercury and to use the bacterial merA gene to further detoxify ionic mercury to the least toxic form of mercury, metallic mercury. Plants expressing both MerA and MerB proteins detoxify methylmercury in two steps to the metallic form. These plants germinate, grow, and set seed at normal growth rates on levels of methylmercury or ionic mercury that are lethal to normal plants. Our newest efforts involve engineering plants with several additional bacterial and plant genes that allow for higher levels of mercury resistance and mercury hyperaccumulation. The potential for these plants to hyperaccumulate mercury was further advanced by developing constitutive, aboveground, and root-specific gene expression systems.

  10. Assessment of health risks of policies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ádám, Balázs; Molnár, Ágnes; Ádány, Róza; Bianchi, Fabrizio; Bitenc, Katarina; Chereches, Razvan; Cori, Liliana; Fehr, Rainer; Kobza, Joanna; Kollarova, Jana

    2014-01-01

    The assessment of health risks of policies is an inevitable, although challenging prerequisite for the inclusion of health considerations in political decision making. The aim of our project was to develop a so far missing methodological guide for the assessment of the complex impact structure of policies. The guide was developed in a consensual way based on experiences gathered during the assessment of specific national policies selected by the partners of an EU project. Methodological considerations were discussed and summarized in workshops and pilot tested on the EU Health Strategy for finalization. The combined tool, which includes a textual guidance and a checklist, follows the top-down approach, that is, it guides the analysis of causal chains from the policy through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The tool discusses the most important practical issues of assessment by impact level. It emphasises the transparent identification and prioritisation of factors, the consideration of the feasibility of exposure and outcome assessment with special focus on quantification. The developed guide provides useful methodological instructions for the comprehensive assessment of health risks of policies that can be effectively used in the health impact assessment of policy proposals. - Highlights: • Methodological guide for the assessment of health risks of policies is introduced. • The tool is developed based on the experiences from several case studies. • The combined tool consists of a textual guidance and a checklist. • The top-down approach is followed through the levels of the full impact chain. • The guide provides assistance for the health impact assessment of policy proposals

  11. Assessment of health risks of policies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ádám, Balázs, E-mail: badam@cmss.sdu.dk [Unit for Health Promotion Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Niels Bohrs Vej 9, DK-6700 Esbjerg (Denmark); Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Molnár, Ágnes, E-mail: MolnarAg@smh.ca [Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Centre for Research on Inner City Health, Keenan Research Centre, Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St Michael' s Hospital, Victoria 209, Rm. 3-26.22, M5B 1C6 Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Ádány, Róza, E-mail: adany.roza@sph.unideb.hu [Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Public Health, University of Debrecen, P.O. Box 9, H-4012 Debrecen (Hungary); Bianchi, Fabrizio, E-mail: Fabriepi@ifc.cnr.it [Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Bitenc, Katarina, E-mail: katarina.bitenc@ivz-rs.si [National Institute of Public Health, Trubarjeva 2, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Chereches, Razvan, E-mail: razvan.m.chereches@gmail.com [Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences, Babes-Bolyai University, Strada Mihail Kogalniceanu 1, 3400 Cluj (Romania); Cori, Liliana, E-mail: liliana.cori@ifc.cnr.it [Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Council of Research, Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Fehr, Rainer, E-mail: rainer.fehr@uni-bielefeld.de [NRW Centre for Health, Westerfeldstr. 35-37, 33611 Bielefeld (Germany); Kobza, Joanna, E-mail: koga1@poczta.onet.pl [Public Health Department, Silesian Medical University, 18 Medykow Street, 40-752 Katowice (Poland); Kollarova, Jana, E-mail: janakollarova@yahoo.com [Department of Health Promotion, Regional Public Health Authority, Ipelska 1, 04011 Kosice (Slovakia); and others

    2014-09-15

    The assessment of health risks of policies is an inevitable, although challenging prerequisite for the inclusion of health considerations in political decision making. The aim of our project was to develop a so far missing methodological guide for the assessment of the complex impact structure of policies. The guide was developed in a consensual way based on experiences gathered during the assessment of specific national policies selected by the partners of an EU project. Methodological considerations were discussed and summarized in workshops and pilot tested on the EU Health Strategy for finalization. The combined tool, which includes a textual guidance and a checklist, follows the top-down approach, that is, it guides the analysis of causal chains from the policy through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The tool discusses the most important practical issues of assessment by impact level. It emphasises the transparent identification and prioritisation of factors, the consideration of the feasibility of exposure and outcome assessment with special focus on quantification. The developed guide provides useful methodological instructions for the comprehensive assessment of health risks of policies that can be effectively used in the health impact assessment of policy proposals. - Highlights: • Methodological guide for the assessment of health risks of policies is introduced. • The tool is developed based on the experiences from several case studies. • The combined tool consists of a textual guidance and a checklist. • The top-down approach is followed through the levels of the full impact chain. • The guide provides assistance for the health impact assessment of policy proposals.

  12. Assessment of mercury contamination in African sub-Saharan freshwater reservoirs (Burkina Faso)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ousseni, O.; Marc, A. [Montreal Univ., PQ (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Despite an increase in artisanal gold mining with metallic mercury (Hg) amalgamation in Burkina Faso since 1990, there is no data on the potential impact of Hg contamination on aquatic systems. This presentation reported on a study that evaluated environmental mercury contamination by determining the total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in water and 350 muscle tissues of fish samples from 13 reservoirs in Burkina Faso. Mercury was analyzed by cold vapour atomic fluorescence spectrometry technique using Tekran 2600 mercury analyzer (CV-AFS) after oxidization by BrCl and reduction by SnCl{sub 2}. The range of Hg concentration for THg and MeHg in water was presented along with the Fish THg level range. The study showed that most mercury was in the particulate form as a result of rainfall runoff. Most fish mercury concentrations were below the Health Canada guideline limit. However, the Hg level in one fish species (Bagrus bajad) was above the World Health Organization (WHO) international trade guideline limit. The study showed that in general, most fish species are not highly contaminated by Hg, with the exception of Bagrus bajad. It was concluded that future studies should consider consumption patterns of different subpopulations in order to evaluate risk and develop policy recommendations.

  13. Mercury and nickel contents in fish meat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomas Toth

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The main aim of our work was to identify the content of mercury and nickel in selected fish species. Consumers today are increasingly aware of the association between diet and health, and thus in Europe consume more and more fish. Fish is a valuable source of high quality protein, minerals and vitamins, and fatty fish are also rich in omega-3-polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are normally considered to be beneficial to health. In our work we determined content of mercury and nickel harvested fish in particular were the following species: Common goldfish (Carassius auratus, L., Common roach (Rutilus rutilus, L. and Common bream (Abramis brama, L. Concentrations of mercury and nickel was analyzed and results evaluated according to current standards and compared to the values ​​established by the Codex Alimentarius of the Slovak Republic and the EU Commission Regulation no. 1881/2006, as well as in the EU Commission Regulation no. 420/2011 and no. 269/2008. In our research area we analysed 19 samples of fish muscle. Samples were taken from two water reservoirs – Golianovo and Vráble.  The highest mercury content was in sample Rutilus 1 - 0.052632 mg/kg. Lowest mercury content was in sample Abramis 2  - 0.010431 mg/kg. Largest nickel content was in meat of Abramis  - sample 2  - 0.78 mg/kg. Minimum content of nickel was in sample Carassius 1  - 0.11 mg/kg. We got out of the limit values ​​specified: Codex Alimentarius SR - Mercury 0.5 mg/kg and  Regulation of the EU Commission no. 1881/2006, no. 420/2011 and no. 629/2008. To optimize the protection of the population, it is necessary to continue to monitor the concentration of mercury in fish and fish products. Risk management strategy must focus on reducing potential exposure derived from consumption of fish. In particular, the definition of maximum levels for methylmercury, advising consumers and environmental activities oriented to reduce contamination.

  14. Global versus local causes and health implications of high mercury concentrations in sharks from the east coast of South Africa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKinney, Melissa A., E-mail: melissa.mckinney@uconn.edu [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); Dean, Kylie; Hussey, Nigel E. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada); Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P. [KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Umhlanga Rocks 4320 (South Africa); Biomedical Resource Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4000 (South Africa); Dudley, Sheldon F.J. [KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, Umhlanga Rocks 4320 (South Africa); Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Town 8012 (South Africa); Zungu, M. Philip [Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Town 8012 (South Africa); Fisk, Aaron T. [Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario N9B 3P4 (Canada)

    2016-01-15

    Conservation concern regarding the overharvest of global shark populations for meat and fin consumption largely surrounds documented deleterious ecosystem effects, but may be further supported by improved knowledge of possibly high levels in their edible tissues (particularly meat) of the neurotoxin, methylmercury (CH{sub 3}Hg). For many regions, however, little data exist on shark tissue Hg concentrations, and reasons for Hg variation within and among species or across regions are poorly understood. We quantified total Hg (THg) in 17 shark species (total n = 283) from the east coast of South Africa, a top Hg emitter globally. Concentrations varied from means of around 0.1 mg kg{sup −1} dry weight (dw) THg in hardnose smoothhound (Mustelus mosis) and whale (Rhincodon typus) sharks to means of over 10 mg kg{sup −1} dw in shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), white (Carcharodon carcharias) and ragged-tooth (Carcharias taurus) sharks. These sharks had higher THg levels than conspecifics sampled from coastal waters of the North Atlantic and North, mid-, and South Pacific, and although sampling year and shark size may play a confounding role, this result suggests the potential importance of elevated local emissions. Values of THg showed strong, species-specific correlations with length, and nearly half the remaining variation was explained by trophic position (using nitrogen stable isotopes, δ{sup 15}N), whereas measures of foraging habitat (using carbon stable isotopes, δ{sup 13}C) were not significant. Mercury concentrations were above the regulatory guidelines for fish health effects and safe human consumption for 88% and 70% of species, respectively, suggesting on-going cause for concern for shark health, and human consumers of shark meat. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations in 17 shark species from South Africa's east coast were measured. • Higher values relative to other regions suggested the importance of local

  15. Global versus local causes and health implications of high mercury concentrations in sharks from the east coast of South Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKinney, Melissa A.; Dean, Kylie; Hussey, Nigel E.; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P.; Dudley, Sheldon F.J.; Zungu, M. Philip; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2016-01-01

    Conservation concern regarding the overharvest of global shark populations for meat and fin consumption largely surrounds documented deleterious ecosystem effects, but may be further supported by improved knowledge of possibly high levels in their edible tissues (particularly meat) of the neurotoxin, methylmercury (CH_3Hg). For many regions, however, little data exist on shark tissue Hg concentrations, and reasons for Hg variation within and among species or across regions are poorly understood. We quantified total Hg (THg) in 17 shark species (total n = 283) from the east coast of South Africa, a top Hg emitter globally. Concentrations varied from means of around 0.1 mg kg"−"1 dry weight (dw) THg in hardnose smoothhound (Mustelus mosis) and whale (Rhincodon typus) sharks to means of over 10 mg kg"−"1 dw in shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), white (Carcharodon carcharias) and ragged-tooth (Carcharias taurus) sharks. These sharks had higher THg levels than conspecifics sampled from coastal waters of the North Atlantic and North, mid-, and South Pacific, and although sampling year and shark size may play a confounding role, this result suggests the potential importance of elevated local emissions. Values of THg showed strong, species-specific correlations with length, and nearly half the remaining variation was explained by trophic position (using nitrogen stable isotopes, δ"1"5N), whereas measures of foraging habitat (using carbon stable isotopes, δ"1"3C) were not significant. Mercury concentrations were above the regulatory guidelines for fish health effects and safe human consumption for 88% and 70% of species, respectively, suggesting on-going cause for concern for shark health, and human consumers of shark meat. - Highlights: • Hg concentrations in 17 shark species from South Africa's east coast were measured. • Higher values relative to other regions suggested the importance of local emissions. • Length and

  16. Analysis of genetic susceptibility to mercury contamination evaluated through molecular biomarkers in at-risk Amazon Amerindian populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria de Nazare Klautau-Guimarães

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available We investigated Individual differences in susceptibility to methylmercury (MeHg contamination and its relationship with polymorphisms of the detoxifying enzyme glutathione S-transferase (GST. In Brazil, some Amerindian tribes from the Amazon region have an increased level of mercury in their hair. Samples of hair and blood were taken from inhabitants of two villages in the Kayabi and Munduruku Amerindian communities to investigate mercury levels in association with genetic polymorphism of GSTs. Other molecular biological markers were also studied, such as hemoglobin, haptoglobin and glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PDH. Higher levels of mercury contamination were found in the Kayabi villagers, who had a null genotype (GSTM1 0/0, also denominated GSTM1 null frequency of 26%, than in the Munduruku villagers, for which the null genotype frequency was 0%. Individuals with the GSTM1 null phenotype had higher concentrations of mercury in their hair than individuals with GSTM1+/+ phenotypes (F = 21.51, p < 0.0001. No association with other markers studied was observed. This study suggests that GSTM1 may be involved in the biotransformation of mercury in humans.

  17. ASSESSMENT OF POSSIBLE INDIRECT RISK OF NATURALLY OCCURING MERCURY AND CADMIUM THROUGH Mugil Sp. AND Geloina sp. CONSUMPTION IN SEGARA ANAKAN ESTUARINE ECOSYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sri Noegrohati

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Estuarine ecosystem of Segara Anakan is located in south coast of Central Java, shielded from Indian Ocean by Nusakambangan island. The ecosystem of Segara Anakan estuary, Central Java, Indonesia, is influenced by fresh water inflow from Citanduy river basin and Indian sea water mostly by tidal actions through the western opening. The runoff materials continuously entering Segara Anakan from Citanduy catchment area, which geologically consist of weathering products of quarternary volcanic rocks from Galunggung mountain, West Java. Therefore various natural heavy metal contaminants are bound to the estuarine sediments, redistributed and accumulated within the ecosystem. In the present work, the effects of environmental stresses to mercury and cadmium abiotic distribution, and their availability to biotic ecosystems were studied, and consumers indirect risk assesment was carried out. In the laboratory scale studies on the distribution of mercury and cadmium in an estuarine simulation of water-field sediment, it was observed that the metal distribution coefficient decreases as the salinity and the acidity of the medium increases. Monitoring results confirmed that the highest levels of Hg and Cd in water and sediment samples were obtained in dry season. Consequently, the highest levels of Hg and Cd in biotic ecosystem, represented by Mugil sp. and Geloina sp., also obtained in dry season. The body burden of Hg in people of Segara Anakan villages, as indicated by the levels in hair and mother milk samples, taken at the end of the study (dry season 2004, were relatively low, but the levels of Cd in mother milk samples were significantly higher than that of control samples of Jogyakarta (P = 0.05. Consequently, the risk quotient for babies were exceeding the FAO/WHO PTWI. Based on the risk assessment carried out for babies and adults, at the present time it is advisable to consume Mugil sp. and Geloina sp., taken in wet season only and not in dry

  18. Potential Moderating Effects of Selenium on Mercury Uptake and Selenium:Mercury Molar Ratios in Fish From Oak Ridge and Savannah River Site - 12086

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael; Donio, Mark [Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8082 (United States); Environmental and Occupational Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854 (United States); Jeitner, Christian; Pittfield, Taryn [Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854-8082 (United States); Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP), Rutgers University and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States)

    2012-07-01

    Mercury contamination is an important remediation issue at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge Reservation and to a lesser extent at other DOE sites because of the hazard it presents, potential consequences to humans and eco-receptors, and completed pathways, to offsite receptors. Recent work has emphasized that selenium might ameliorate the toxicity of mercury, and we examine the selenium:mercury (Se:Hg) molar ratios in fish from Oak Ridge, and compare them to Se:Hg molar ratios in fish from the Savannah River. Selenium/mercury molar ratios varied considerably among and within fish species. There was considerable variation in the molar ratios for individual fish (as opposed to mean ratios by species) for freshwater fish from both sites. The inter-individual variation in molar ratios indicates that such that the molar ratios of mean Se and Hg concentrations may not be representative. Even for fish species with relatively low mercury levels, some individual fish have molar ratios less than unity, the value sometime thought to be protective. Selenium levels varied narrowly regardless of fish size, consistent with homeostatic regulation of this essential trace element. The data indicate that considerable attention will need to be directed toward variations and variances, as well as the mechanisms of the interaction of selenium and mercury, before risk assessment and risk management policies can use this information to manage mercury pollution and risk. Even so, if there are high levels of selenium in the fish from Poplar Creek on Oak Ridge, then the potential exists for some amelioration of adverse health effects, on the fish themselves, predators that eat them, and people who consume them. This work will aid DOE because it will allow managers and scientists to understand another aspect that affects fate and transport of mercury, as well as the potential effects of methylmercury in fish for human and ecological receptors. The variability within fish

  19. 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.

  20. Chemical Form Matters: Differential Accumulation of Mercury Following Inorganic and Organic Mercury Exposures in Zebrafish Larvae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korbas, Malgorzata; MacDonald, Tracy C.; Pickering, Ingrid J.; George, Graham N.; Krone, Patrick H. (Saskatchewan)

    2013-04-08

    Mercury, one of the most toxic elements, exists in various chemical forms each with different toxicities and health implications. Some methylated mercury forms, one of which exists in fish and other seafood products, pose a potential threat, especially during embryonic and early postnatal development. Despite global concerns, little is known about the mechanisms underlying transport and toxicity of different mercury species. To investigate the impact of different mercury chemical forms on vertebrate development, we have successfully combined the zebrafish, a well-established developmental biology model system, with synchrotron-based X-ray fluorescence imaging. Our work revealed substantial differences in tissue-specific accumulation patterns of mercury in zebrafish larvae exposed to four different mercury formulations in water. Methylmercury species not only resulted in overall higher mercury burdens but also targeted different cells and tissues than their inorganic counterparts, thus revealing a significant role of speciation in cellular and molecular targeting and mercury sequestration. For methylmercury species, the highest mercury concentrations were in the eye lens epithelial cells, independent of the formulation ligand (chloride versus L-cysteine). For inorganic mercury species, in absence of L-cysteine, the olfactory epithelium and kidney accumulated the greatest amounts of mercury. However, with L-cysteine present in the treatment solution, mercuric bis-L-cysteineate species dominated the treatment, significantly decreasing uptake. Our results clearly demonstrate that the common differentiation between organic and inorganic mercury is not sufficient to determine the toxicity of various mercury species.

  1. [Health risks from pest control products].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pieper, C; Holthenrich, D; Schneider, H

    2014-05-01

    According to European biocide legislation, pest control products require assessment and authorization by the responsible national or European authorities. Biocidal products can only be authorized if they have no unacceptable effects on human health. The health risk assessment performed for authorization comprises (a) the derivation of reference values for the active substances and substances of concern contained in the biocidal product and (b) an exposure assessment. These parameters are required for risk characterization. No unacceptable health risks are expected if the determined exposure is less than the relevant reference value. In addition, the toxicological information is used for classification of the biocidal product. The assessment may, where necessary, result in specific conditions for use or other restrictions aimed at minimizing risk. The risk to human health from pest control products is mainly based on the toxicological properties of their active substances. Commonly, the coformulants used in pest control products are of less concern than the active substances (e.g., food ingredients and animal feed products). For example, most rodenticides belong to the group of anticoagulants, which are also effective in humans. Regarding intoxications through insecticides, the group of pyrethroids is of particular importance. Fumigants containing metal phosphides, hydrogen cyanide, or sulfuryl difluoride are particularly toxic. This toxicity is linked to the high acute inhalation toxicity of the gaseous active substances themselves or, in the case of phosphides, of the released gas phosphane. The aim of health risk assessment for the authorization of biocidal products is to ensure their safe application for users and all other persons involved, assuming an adequate and label-compliant use.

  2. Human Health Risk from Metals in Fish from Saudi Arabia: Consumption Patterns for Some Species Exceed Allowable Limits

    KAUST Repository

    Burger, Joanna

    2014-10-06

    ABSTRACT: Fish are a healthful source of protein, but contaminants in some fish pose a risk. While there are multiple risk assessments from Europe and North America, there are far fewer for other parts of the world. We examined the risks from mercury, arsenic, lead, and other metals in fish consumed by people in Jeddah area, Saudi Arabia, using site-specific data on consumption patterns and metal levels in fish. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency\\'s Hazard Quotient (HQ) and cumulative Hazard Index (HI) for non-cancer endpoints and Carcinogenic Index for cancer were used to determine the health risk based on fish consumption rates. Of the 13 fish species examined, HQ was greater than 1 (indicating elevated risk) in two species for arsenic, and seven species for methylmercury. The cumulative HI for all metals was above 1 for all but three species of fish at the mean consumption rates. Generally, fish species with HI above 1 for one sampling location, had HI above 1 for all sampling locations. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of strategies for reducing risk from fish consumption while encouraging dietary intakes of fish with low mercury and arsenic levels.

  3. Health risks in perspective: Judging health risks of energy technologies. Revision 5/94

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rowe, M.D.

    1992-09-01

    The purpose of this report is to provide perspective on the various risks to which man is routinely exposed. It serves as a basis for understanding the meaning of quantitative risk estimates and for comparing new or newly-discovered risks with other, better-understood risks. Specific emphasis is placed on health risks of energy technologies. This report is not a risk assessment; nor does it contain instructions on how to do a risk assessment. Rather, it provides background information on how most of us think about risks and why it is difficult to do it rationally, it provides a philosophy and data with which to do a better job of judging risks more rationally, and it provides an overview of where risks of energy technologies fit within the spectrum of all risks. Much of the quantitative information provided here is on relative risk of dying of various causes. This is not because risk of dying is seen as the most important kind of risk, but because the statistics on mortality rates by cause are the highest quality data available on health risks in the general population.

  4. ALTERNATIVE FIELD METHODS TO TREAT MERCURY IN SOIL

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernest F. Stine Jr; Steven T. Downey

    2002-08-14

    U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) used large quantities of mercury in the uranium separating process from the 1950s until the late 1980s in support of national defense. Some of this mercury, as well as other hazardous metals and radionuclides, found its way into, and under, several buildings, soil and subsurface soils and into some of the surface waters. Several of these areas may pose potential health or environmental risks and must be dealt with under current environmental regulations. DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) awarded a contract ''Alternative Field Methods to Treat Mercury in Soil'' to IT Group, Knoxville TN (IT) and its subcontractor NFS, Erwin, TN to identify remedial methods to clean up mercury-contaminated high-clay content soils using proven treatment chemistries. The sites of interest were the Y-12 National Security Complex located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the David Witherspoon properties located in Knoxville, Tennessee, and at other similarly contaminated sites. The primary laboratory-scale contract objectives were (1) to safely retrieve and test samples of contaminated soil in an approved laboratory and (2) to determine an acceptable treatment method to ensure that the mercury does not leach from the soil above regulatory levels. The leaching requirements were to meet the TC (0.2 mg/l) and UTS (0.025 mg/l) TCLP criteria. In-situ treatments were preferred to control potential mercury vapors emissions and liquid mercury spills associated with ex-situ treatments. All laboratory work was conducted in IT's and NFS laboratories. Mercury contaminated nonradioactive soil from under the Alpha 2 building in the Y-12 complex was used. This soils contained insufficient levels of leachable mercury and resulted in TCLP mercury concentrations that were similar to the applicable LDR limits. The soil was spiked at multiple levels with metallic (up to 6000 mg/l) and soluble mercury compounds (up to 500 mg/kg) to

  5. Is oral health a risk factor for sexual health?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastham, Jane; Seymour, Robin

    2015-03-01

    New evidence suggests that the extent and severity of periodontal disease may be a significant risk factor for erectile dysfunction, sperm motility and time to conception. This paper reviews the evidence and informs members of the dental team when dealing with this sensitive issue. As more research is forthcoming the topic of oral and sexual health is likely to be part of regular routine medical screening. Any issue concerning oral health as a risk factor for sexual health is likely to be a sensitive subject, rarely discussed in the dental setting. However, as new evidence emerges, this topic is likely to get into the public domain. All members of the dental team should be aware of such an association. Clinical Relevance: Furthermore, the information in this paper may provide further incentive for certain patients to improve their oral health.

  6. Selenium: Mercury Molar Ratios in Freshwater Fish in the Columbia River Basin: Potential Applications for Specific Fish Consumption Advisories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Leanne K; Eagles-Smith, Collin; Harding, Anna K; Kile, Molly; Stone, Dave

    2017-07-01

    Fish provide a valuable source of beneficial nutrients and are an excellent source of low fat protein. However, fish are also the primary source of methylmercury exposure in humans. Selenium often co-occurs with mercury and there is some evidence that selenium can protect against mercury toxicity yet States issue fish consumption advisories based solely on the risks that methylmercury pose to human health. Recently, it has been suggested the selenium: mercury molar ratio be considered in risk management. In order for agencies to utilize the ratio to set consumption guidelines, it is important to evaluate the variability in selenium and mercury in different fish species. We examined 10 different freshwater fish species found within the Columbia River Basin in order to determine the inter- and intra-specific variability in the selenium: mercury molar ratios and the selenium health benefit values. We found significant variation in selenium: mercury molar ratios. The mean molar ratios for each species were all above 1:1, ranging from 3.42:1 in Walleye to 27.2:1 in Chinook salmon. There was a positive correlation between both mercury and selenium with length for each fish species apart from yellow perch and rainbow trout. All species had health benefit values greater than 2. We observed considerable variability in selenium: mercury molar ratios within fish species collected in the Columbia River Basin. Although incorporating selenium: mercury molar ratios into fish consumption holds the potential for refining advisories and assessing the risk of methylmercury exposure, the current understanding of how these ratios apply is insufficient, and further understanding of drivers of variability in the ratios is needed.

  7. Selenium: Mercury molar ratios in freshwater fish in the Columbia River Basin: Potential applications for specific fish consumption advisories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cusack, Leanne K.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Harding, Anna K.; Kile, Molly; Stone, Dave

    2017-01-01

    Fish provide a valuable source of beneficial nutrients and are an excellent source of low fat protein. However, fish are also the primary source of methylmercury exposure in humans. Selenium often co-occurs with mercury and there is some evidence that selenium can protect against mercury toxicity yet States issue fish consumption advisories based solely on the risks that methylmercury pose to human health. Recently, it has been suggested the selenium: mercury molar ratio be considered in risk management. In order for agencies to utilize the ratio to set consumption guidelines, it is important to evaluate the variability in selenium and mercury in different fish species. We examined 10 different freshwater fish species found within the Columbia River Basin in order to determine the inter- and intra-specific variability in the selenium: mercury molar ratios and the selenium health benefit values. We found significant variation in selenium: mercury molar ratios. The mean molar ratios for each species were all above 1:1, ranging from 3.42:1 in Walleye to 27.2:1 in Chinook salmon. There was a positive correlation between both mercury and selenium with length for each fish species apart from yellow perch and rainbow trout. All species had health benefit values greater than 2. We observed considerable variability in selenium: mercury molar ratios within fish species collected in the Columbia River Basin. Although incorporating selenium: mercury molar ratios into fish consumption holds the potential for refining advisories and assessing the risk of methylmercury exposure, the current understanding of how these ratios apply is insufficient, and further understanding of drivers of variability in the ratios is needed.

  8. Health at risk in immigration detention facilities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioanna Kotsioni

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Since 2004 Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF has provided medical and psychosocial support for asylum seekers and migrants held in different immigration detention facilities across Europe (in Greece, Malta, Italy and Belgium where the life, health and human dignity of vulnerable people are being put at risk.

  9. Radiation risks : the ethics of health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maxey, M.N.

    1988-01-01

    Since the inception of commercial uses of nuclear technology, radiation protection standards established by regulatory agencies have reflected moral concerns based on two assumptions: (1) that the linear, zero-threshold hypothesis derives from scientific data in radiobiology which are virtually conclusive; (2) it is morally better for public health protection to assume that any radiation exposure, no matter how small, has some harmful effect which can and ought to be prevented. In the past few years these beliefs and related assumptions have received closer scrutiny, revealing hidden reasons for regulatory selection of radiation risks as objects of paramount ethical concern, with the result that greater risks to health have escaped comparison and mitigation. Based on this scrutiny this brief paper explores two questions: Are presupposed assumptions ethically justified on grounds of scientific evidence and ethical consistency? and should moral objections claiming to invalidate comparative risk assessments be accepted or rejected?

  10. Risk assessment of integrated electronic health records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjornsson, Bjarni Thor; Sigurdardottir, Gudlaug; Stefansson, Stefan Orri

    2010-01-01

    The paper describes the security concerns related to Electronic Health Records (EHR) both in registration of data and integration of systems. A description of the current state of EHR systems in Iceland is provided, along with the Ministry of Health's future vision and plans. New legislation provides the opportunity for increased integration of EHRs and further collaboration between institutions. Integration of systems, along with greater availability and access to EHR data, requires increased security awareness since additional risks are introduced. The paper describes the core principles of information security as it applies to EHR systems and data. The concepts of confidentiality, integrity, availability, accountability and traceability are introduced and described. The paper discusses the legal requirements and importance of performing risk assessment for EHR data. Risk assessment methodology according to the ISO/IEC 27001 information security standard is described with examples on how it is applied to EHR systems.

  11. Critical soil concentrations of cadmium, lead and mercury in view of health effects on humans and animals

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vries, de W.; Romkens, P.F.A.M.; Schutze, G.

    2007-01-01

    To assess the impact of elevated concentrations of metals in terrestrial ecosystems, a major distinction should be made in risks/effects of heavy metals related to (i) the soil ecosystem (soil organisms/processes and plants) and (ii) human health or animal health resulting from bioaccumulation. The

  12. Emerging Radiation Health-Risk Mitigation Technologies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, J.W.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Schimmerling, W.

    2004-01-01

    Past space missions beyond the confines of the Earth's protective magnetic field have been of short duration and protection from the effects of solar particle events was of primary concern. The extension of operational infrastructure beyond low-Earth orbit to enable routine access to more interesting regions of space will require protection from the hazards of the accumulated exposures of Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR). There are significant challenges in providing protection from the long-duration exposure to GCR: the human risks to the exposures are highly uncertain and safety requirements places unreasonable demands in supplying sufficient shielding materials in the design. A vigorous approach to future radiation health-risk mitigation requires a triage of techniques (using biological and technical factors) and reduction of the uncertainty in radiation risk models. The present paper discusses the triage of factors for risk mitigation with associated materials issues and engineering design methods

  13. Prevalence of health risk factors among fishermen

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frantzeskou, Elpida; Jensen, Olaf; Linos, Athena

    2014-01-01

    Background Studies have shown that fishermen have a higher mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer and accidents. The majority of cardiovascular disease is caused by external risk factors such as the diet, tobacco, alcohol and lack of physical activity. The purpose of this paper...... was to review the available information on the prevalence of these preventable risk factors in order to strengthen the preventive strategies. Methods A search for the last decade was done via Medline, Google and Google Scholar with the keywords "diet, tobacco, alcohol, physical exercise, overweight....... Of the Danish fishermen 25%-, 34% and 37% were obese in the 18-24, 25-44 and 45-64 years age groups. Conclusion Health risk factors among fishermen need to be highlighted and further investigated as they represent occupational risks of major impact to chronic diseases prevalence with projections to quality...

  14. Seafood Consumption and Blood Mercury Concentrations in Jamaican Children With and Without Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samms-Vaughan, Maureen; Loveland, Katherine A.; Ardjomand-Hessabi, Manouchehr; Chen, Zhongxue; Bressler, Jan; Shakespeare-Pellington, Sydonnie; Grove, Megan L.; Bloom, Kari; Pearson, Deborah A.; Lalor, Gerald C.; Boerwinkle, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Mercury is a toxic metal shown to have harmful effects on human health. Several studies have reported high blood mercury concentrations as a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), while other studies have reported no such association. The goal of this study was to investigate the association between blood mercury concentrations in children and ASDs. Moreover, we investigated the role of seafood consumption in relation to blood mercury concentrations in Jamaican children. Based on data for 65 sex- and age-matched pairs (2–8 years), we used a General Linear Model to test whether there is an association between blood mercury concentrations and ASDs. After controlling for the child’s frequency of seafood consumption, maternal age, and parental education, we did not find a significant difference (P = 0.61) between blood mercury concentrations and ASDs. However, in both cases and control groups, children who ate certain types of seafood (i.e., salt water fish, sardine, or mackerel fish) had significantly higher (all P mercury concentration which were about 3.5 times that of children living in the US or Canada. Our findings also indicate that Jamaican children with parents who both had education up to high school are at a higher risk of exposure to mercury compared to children with at least one parent who had education beyond high school. Based on our findings, we recommend additional education to Jamaican parents regarding potential hazards of elevated blood mercury concentrations, and its association with seafood consumption and type of seafood. PMID:22488160

  15. Blood mercury concentration, fish consumption and anthropometry in Chinese children: A national study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Zhen-Yan; Li, Min-Ming; Wang, Ju; Yan, Jin; Zhou, Can-Can; Yan, Chong-Huai

    2018-01-01

    This study sought to obtain national cross-sectional data for blood mercury levels and risk factors for mercury exposure in Chinese children aged 0 to 6years to provide evidence to support preventive measures for reducing childhood blood mercury levels. A multi-stage, stratified, clustered random sampling survey was conducted May 2013-Mar 2015. Shanghai, Jilin, Shanxi, Guangdong, Qinghai, Yunnan and Hubei, which are located in seven different geographical regions in China, were selected as the study field. A total of 14,202 children aged 0-6years participated in the study. Whole-blood venous samples (3ml) were collected from the subjects for mercury exposure assessment. The DMA-80 was applied for mercury detection, and a health questionnaire gathering information on related confounders was completed by the subjects' parents of the subjects after they received guidance from the investigators. A general linear model was used for the primary descriptive statistical analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95%CIs for the risk factors were estimated using unconditional logistic regression. A total of 14,202 eligible samples were collected. The mean mercury level was 1.39μg/L. Other results were as follows: median 1.23μg/L, p25 0.86μg/L, p75 1.73μg/L, and GM 1.10μg/L. Of the seven geographical regions, Qinghai, in northwestern China, had a median mercury level of 0.37μg/L, which was significantly lower than the mercury level in Guangdong, in southeastern China (2.01μg/L). The median blood mercury level of children in suburban areas was 1.34μg/L, which was remarkably higher than that of children in rural areas (1.09μg/L). Dichotomous subgroups were generated using the median mercury concentration. Unconditional logistic regression analysis revealed that fish consumption may contribute to increased blood mercury levels (pmercury concentrations and the children's anthropometric characteristics (BMI; pmercury concentrations among Chinese children aged 0-6years were

  16. Air Contamination by Mercury, Emissions and Transformations-a Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gworek, Barbara; Dmuchowski, Wojciech; Baczewska, Aneta H; Brągoszewska, Paulina; Bemowska-Kałabun, Olga; Wrzosek-Jakubowska, Justyna

    2017-01-01

    The present and future air contamination by mercury is and will continue to be a serious risk for human health. This publication presents a review of the literature dealing with the issues related to air contamination by mercury and its transformations as well as its natural and anthropogenic emissions. The assessment of mercury emissions into the air poses serious methodological problems. It is particularly difficult to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic emissions and re-emissions from lands and oceans, including past emissions. At present, the largest emission sources include fuel combustion, mainly that of coal, and "artisanal and small-scale gold mining" (ASGM). The distinctly highest emissions can be found in South and South-East Asia, accounting for 45% of the global emissions. The emissions of natural origin and re-emissions are estimated at 45-66% of the global emissions, with the largest part of emissions originating in the oceans. Forecasts on the future emission levels are not unambiguous; however, most forecasts do not provide for reductions in emissions. Ninety-five percent of mercury occurring in the air is Hg 0 -GEM, and its residence time in the air is estimated at 6 to 18 months. The residence times of its Hg II -GOM and that in Hg p -TPM are estimated at hours and days. The highest mercury concentrations in the air can be found in the areas of mercury mines and those of ASGM. Since 1980 when it reached its maximum, the global background mercury concentration in the air has remained at a relatively constant level.

  17. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25837201

  18. Comparative observations on levels of mercury in scalp hair of humans from different Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renzoni, Aristeo

    1992-09-01

    Following the Minamata events, an extraordinary number of studies concerning mercury toxicity and human health have been undertaken. Particular attention has been given to the evaluation of the dose-response relationship, i.e., the body burden at which (evaluated through the mercury analyses in blood or hair) the risk of poisoning begins. The results of a comparative study concerning levels of mercury in the hair of fishermen living in small islands who eat seafood more than four times per week show that in two areas only, and only in a few cases in these areas, the mercury in the hair exceeds the limit at which a possible risk could exist. In fact, the limit of 50 mg/g of total mercury in the hair (indicated as the lower limit above which a possible risk could occur) is surpassed by nine fishermen out of a total of 39 at station 1 and by four fishermen out of a total of 26 at station 3. The average value at station 1 is 36.38 mg/g and that at station 3 is 30.31 mg. Many countries have set legal limits of mercury for seafood, but evidently the system does not offer a true protection for man. Only the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI), as repeatedly suggested by WHO, should be considered the best guideline to prevent possibly harmful consequences.

  19. 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.

  20. Frequency and prioritization of patient health risks from a structured health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Siobhan M; Glasgow, Russell E; Bello, Ghalib; Ory, Marcia G; Glenn, Beth A; Sheinfeld-Gorin, Sherri N; Sabo, Roy T; Heurtin-Roberts, Suzanne; Johnson, Sallie Beth; Krist, Alex H

    2014-01-01

    To describe the frequency and patient-reported readiness to change, desire to discuss, and perceived importance of 13 health risk factors in a diverse range of primary care practices. Patients (n = 1,707) in 9 primary care practices in the My Own Health Report (MOHR) trial reported general, behavioral, and psychosocial risk factors (body mass index [BMI], health status, diet, physical activity, sleep, drug use, stress, anxiety or worry, and depression). We classified responses as "at risk" or "healthy" for each factor, and patients indicated their readiness to change and/or desire to discuss identified risk factors with providers. Patients also selected 1 of the factors they were ready to change as most important. We then calculated frequencies within and across these factors and examined variation by patient characteristics and across practices. On average, patients had 5.8 (SD = 2.12; range, 0-13) unhealthy behaviors and mental health risk factors. About 55% of patients had more than 6 risk factors. On average, patients wanted to change 1.2 and discuss 0.7 risks. The most common risks were inadequate fruit/vegetable consumption (84.5%) and overweight/obesity (79.6%). Patients were most ready to change BMI (33.3%) and depression (30.7%), and most wanted to discuss depression (41.9%) and anxiety or worry (35.2%). Overall, patients rated health status as most important. Implementing routine comprehensive health risk assessments in primary care will likely identify a high number of behavioral and psychosocial health risks. By soliciting patient priorities, providers and patients can better manage counseling and behavior change. © 2014 Annals of Family Medicine, Inc.

  1. Mercury health effects among the workers extracting gold from carpets and dusted clays through amalgamation and roasting processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gul, Nayab; Khan, Sardar; Khan, Abbas; Ahmad, Sheikh Saeed

    2015-11-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic metal which can cause serious health effects. The aim of this research was to determine the concentrations of total Hg (T-Hg), methyl Hg (Me-Hg), and inorganic Hg (I-Hg) in the biological samples (plasma, red blood cells (RBCs), urine, hair, and nails) of the exposed goldsmith workers. This is the first study that determines the detailed Hg concentrations in the biological samples (plasma, RBCs, urine, hair, and nails) of the exposed goldsmith workers and correlates them with the diseases noted among the workers in a single paper. Biological samples were collected from goldsmith workers (n = 40) and analyzed for T-Hg, Me-Hg, and I-Hg using atomic absorption spectrometer equipped with mercury hydride system. The mean T-Hg concentration in RBCs (33 μg L(-1)), plasma (11.8 μg L(-1)), urine (167 μg L(-1)), hair (4.21 μg g(-1)), and nails (5.91 μg g(-1)) were higher than the control RBCs (1.64 μg L(-1)), plasma (0.55 μg L(-1)), urine (2.72 μg L(-1)), hair (0.35 μg g(-1)), and nails (0.51 μg g(-1)). All workers participated in this study were suffering from physical and mental diseases. The concentration of Hg was found higher among the workers suffering from mental diseases as compared to those suffering from physical diseases. Among the physical diseases, the most serious diseases were sexual dysfunction, skin diseases, and fatigue because the workers suffering from these diseases had higher concentration of Hg than the workers with other diseases. The occurrence of physical diseases (88%) was greater than the mental diseases (53%) among the workers. The correlations of physical and mental diseases with experience (years of work) and exposure time were significant (p  0.05) correlation was observed between demographic parameters and Hg concentrations in the biological samples of the workers. The burning process of amalgamated gold is a significant source of Hg exposure to goldsmith workers; therefore, awareness and

  2. 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 (χ 2 =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.

  3. Human mercury exposure associated with small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomicic, Catherine; Vernez, David; Belem, Tounaba; Berode, Michèle

    2011-06-01

    In Burkina Faso, gold ore is one of the main sources of income for an important part of the active population. Artisan gold miners use mercury in the extraction, a toxic metal whose human health risks are well known. The aim of the present study was to assess mercury exposure as well as to understand the exposure determinants of gold miners in Burkinabe small-scale mines. The examined gold miners' population on the different selected gold mining sites was composed by persons who were directly and indirectly related to gold mining activities. But measurement of urinary mercury was performed on workers most susceptible to be exposed to mercury. Thus, occupational exposure to mercury was evaluated among ninety-three workers belonging to eight different gold mining sites spread in six regions of Burkina Faso. Among others, work-related exposure determinants were taken into account for each person during urine sampling as for example amalgamating or heating mercury. All participants were medically examined by a local medical team in order to identify possible symptoms related to the toxic effect of mercury. Mercury levels were high, showing that 69% of the measurements exceeded the ACGIH (American Conference of Industrial Hygienists) biological exposure indice (BEI) of 35 μg per g of creatinine (μg/g-Cr) (prior to shift) while 16% even exceeded 350 μg/g-Cr. Basically, unspecific but also specific symptoms related to mercury toxicity could be underlined among the persons who were directly related to gold mining activities. Only one-third among the studied subpopulation reported about less than three symptoms possibly associated to mercury exposure and nearly half of them suffered from at least five of these symptoms. Ore washers were more involved in the direct handling of mercury while gold dealers in the final gold recovery activities. These differences may explain the overexposure observed in gold dealers and indicate that the refining process is the major source

  4. Health risks maps. Modelling of air quality as a tool to map health risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Doorn, R.; Hegger, C.

    2000-01-01

    Environmental departments consider geographical maps with information on air quality as the final product of a complicated process of measuring, modelling and presentation. Municipal health departments consider such maps a useful starting point to solve the problem whether air pollution causes health risks for citizens. The answer to this question cannot be reduced to checking if threshold limit values are exceeded. Based on the results of measurements and modelling of concentrations of nitrogen dioxide in air, the health significance of air pollution caused by nitrogen dioxide is illuminated. A proposal is presented to map health risks of air pollution by using the results of measurements and modelling of air pollution. 7 refs

  5. Mercury content in Chilean fish and estimated intake levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cortes, Sandra; Fortt, Antonia

    2007-09-01

    The intake of fish products is a major public health concern due to possible methyl mercury exposure, which is especially toxic to the human nervous system. This pilot study (n = 46) was designed to determine mercury concentrations in fish products for national consumption (Chilean jack mackerel, hake, Chilean mussel, tuna) and for export (salmon, Patagonian toothfish, swordfish, southern hake), and to estimate the exposure of the general population. The fish products were collected from markets in Talcahuano, Puerto Montt and Santiago. Samples were analyzed at the National Environmental Center by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Mercury levels in swordfish and one canned tuna sample exceeded levels prescribed by national and international standards. The remaining two export products (Patagonian toothfish, also known as Chilean sea bass, and salmon) complied with international limits, which are more demanding than Chilean regulations. Theoretical estimates of mercury intake varied from 0.08 to 3.8 microg kg(-1) bw day(-1) for high fish consumers, exceeding the provisional tolerable intake for tuna, Chilean seabass, Chilean jack mackerel and swordfish. This group appears to be at the greatest risk from mercury contamination among the Chilean population.

  6. The risks of innovation in health care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enzmann, Dieter R

    2015-04-01

    Innovation in health care creates risks that are unevenly distributed. An evolutionary analogy using species to represent business models helps categorize innovation experiments and their risks. This classification reveals two qualitative categories: early and late diversification experiments. Early diversification has prolific innovations with high risk because they encounter a "decimation" stage, during which most experiments disappear. Participants face high risk. The few decimation survivors can be sustaining or disruptive according to Christensen's criteria. Survivors enter late diversification, during which they again expand, but within a design range limited to variations of the previous surviving designs. Late diversifications carry lower risk. The exception is when disruptive survivors "diversify," which amplifies their disruption. Health care and radiology will experience both early and late diversifications, often simultaneously. Although oversimplifying Christensen's concepts, early diversifications are likely to deliver disruptive innovation, whereas late diversifications tend to produce sustaining innovations. Current health care consolidation is a manifestation of late diversification. Early diversifications will appear outside traditional care models and physical health care sites, as well as with new science such as molecular diagnostics. They warrant attention because decimation survivors will present both disruptive and sustaining opportunities to radiology. Radiology must participate in late diversification by incorporating sustaining innovations to its value chain. Given the likelihood of disruptive survivors, radiology should seriously consider disrupting itself rather than waiting for others to do so. Disruption entails significant modifications of its value chain, hence, its business model, for which lessons may become available from the pharmaceutical industry's current simultaneous experience with early and late diversifications. Copyright

  7. Risk Analysis for Environmental Health Triage

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bogen, K T

    2005-01-01

    The Homeland Security Act mandates development of a national, risk-based system to support planning for, response to and recovery from emergency situations involving large-scale toxic exposures. To prepare for and manage consequences effectively, planners and responders need not only to identify zones of potentially elevated individual risk, but also to predict expected casualties. Emergency response support systems now define ''consequences'' by mapping areas in which toxic chemical concentrations do or may exceed Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs) or similar guidelines. However, because AEGLs do not estimate expected risks, current unqualified claims that such maps support consequence management are misleading. Intentionally protective, AEGLs incorporate various safety/uncertainty factors depending on scope and quality of chemical-specific toxicity data. Some of these factors are irrelevant, and others need to be modified, whenever resource constraints or exposure-scenario complexities require responders to make critical trade-off (triage) decisions in order to minimize expected casualties. AEGL-exceedance zones cannot consistently be aggregated, compared, or used to calculate expected casualties, and so may seriously misguide emergency response triage decisions. Methods and tools well established and readily available to support environmental health protection are not yet developed for chemically related environmental health triage. Effective triage decisions involving chemical risks require a new assessment approach that focuses on best estimates of likely casualties, rather than on upper plausible bounds of individual risk. If risk-based consequence management is to become a reality, federal agencies tasked with supporting emergency response must actively coordinate to foster new methods that can support effective environmental health triage

  8. Mercury content in electrum from artisanal mining site of Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murao, Satoshi; Naito, Kazuki; Dejidmaa, Gunchin; Sie, Soey H.

    2006-01-01

    In Mongolia, artisanal gold mining, modern gold rush, in which people use mercury to extract gold, is being proliferated rapidly and the mercury contamination of mining site is becoming a serious social issue. For the risk assessment of mercury, it is necessary to understand how much mercury is introduced to the environment from what kind of materials during mining activity. It is already known that major contribution of the contamination comes from mercury that was bought at shops and brought to mining sites by miners. However, no information is available on how much mercury is removed from electrum (natural gold grain) to the environment. Since gold deposit is always accompanied by mercury anomaly, it is anticipated that electrum grains contain some amount of mercury of natural origin, and this mercury (primary mercury) contributes to some extent to the contamination. In order to clarify how much mercury is incorporated in electrum grains, micro-PIXE at CSIRO was used for grain-by-grain analysis. The result showed that electrum from study area contains mercury up to 8260 ppm. It is concluded that for the risk management of mercury contamination, release of natural mercury from electrum grains during smelting must not be ignored

  9. Determination of mercury and methylmercury in Vietnamese pregnant woman head hair

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nguyen Tac Anh; Ho Manh Dung; Le Tat Mua; Vu Tien Ha

    1992-01-01

    As a participant to the Coordinated Research Program (CRP) on the Assessment of Environmental Exposure to Mercury in Selected Human Populations as Studied by Nuclear and Other Techniques since 1 July 1992, the Vietnamese started to carry out work on project ''Determination of Mercury and Methylmercury in Vietnamese Pregnant Women Head Hair''. This study is aimed at making a concrete survey of hair mercury levels in groups of women as monitored continuously from early pregnancy to post-natal period. The obtained data could be of great usefulness for further investigation on potential health risks in pregnant women and their babies as related to degree of mercury pollution in the environment. 2 figs, 7 tabs

  10. Mercury mitigative measures related to hydroelectric reservoirs. The La Grande Complex experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sbeghen, J.; Schetagne, R.

    1995-01-01

    Quebec Hydro's plan for mitigation of mercury contamination in fish and wildlife in the La Grande river basin was presented. The hazard and environmental threat posed by mercury contamination through flooding was described. Implications of mercury contamination for the Cree natives was discussed and provisions of the James Bay mercury agreement were described. Potential 'at source' remedial measures were described, including soil and vegetation removal, controlled burning of soils and vegetation, capping of flooded soils, lime or sulphite salt addition, sediment suspension, genetic manipulation of bacterial populations, selenium addition, nutrient addition, intensive fishing, and reservoir draining. Compensation measures were considered since no practical medium term remedial measures could be found. A case study of the Eastmain-1 Reservoir's $213 000 000 deforestation program was cited as a possible model. It was concluded that realistically, compensation produced the only feasible health risk reduction program, since none of the 'at source' remedial measure were technically or economically feasible. 24 refs

  11. Mercury Spill Responses - Five States, 2012-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wozniak, Ryan J; Hirsch, Anne E; Bush, Christina R; Schmitz, Stuart; Wenzel, Jeff

    2017-03-17

    Despite measures to educate the public about the dangers of elemental mercury, spills continue to occur in homes, schools, health care facilities, and other settings, endangering the public's health and requiring costly cleanup. Mercury is most efficiently absorbed by the lungs, and exposure to high levels of mercury vapor after a release can cause cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, and visual disturbances (1). Children and fetuses are most susceptible to the adverse effects of mercury vapor exposure. Because their organ systems are still developing, children have increased respiratory rates, and they are closer to the ground where mercury vapors are most highly concentrated (2). To summarize key features of recent mercury spills and lessons learned, five state health departments involved in the cleanup (Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, and Wisconsin) compiled data from various sources on nonthermometer mercury spills from 2012 to 2015. The most common sites of contamination were residences, schools and school buses, health care facilities, and commercial and industrial facilities. Children aged mercury exposure. To protect the public's health after a mercury spill, it is important that local, state, and federal agencies communicate and coordinate effectively to ensure a quick response, and to minimize the spread of contamination. To reduce the number of mercury spills that occur in the United States, public health officials should increase awareness about exchange programs for mercury-containing items and educate school and health care workers about sources of mercury and how to dispose of them properly.

  12. Using river distance and existing hydrography data can improve the geostatistical estimation of fish tissue mercury at unsampled locations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Money, Eric S; Sackett, Dana K; Aday, D Derek; Serre, Marc L

    2011-09-15

    Mercury in fish tissue is a major human health concern. Consumption of mercury-contaminated fish poses risks to the general population, including potentially serious developmental defects and neurological damage in young children. Therefore, it is important to accurately identify areas that have the potential for high levels of bioaccumulated mercury. However, due to time and resource constraints, it is difficult to adequately assess fish tissue mercury on a basin wide scale. We hypothesized that, given the nature of fish movement along streams, an analytical approach that takes into account distance traveled along these streams would improve the estimation accuracy for fish tissue mercury in unsampled streams. Therefore, we used a river-based Bayesian Maximum Entropy framework (river-BME) for modern space/time geostatistics to estimate fish tissue mercury at unsampled locations in the Cape Fear and Lumber Basins in eastern North Carolina. We also compared the space/time geostatistical estimation using river-BME to the more traditional Euclidean-based BME approach, with and without the inclusion of a secondary variable. Results showed that this river-based approach reduced the estimation error of fish tissue mercury by more than 13% and that the median estimate of fish tissue mercury exceeded the EPA action level of 0.3 ppm in more than 90% of river miles for the study domain.

  13. Estimating threshold limits for mercury in biological material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berlin, M H

    1963-01-01

    A brief historical review of the study of occupational exposure to mercury is presented. Important factors in the determination of the tolerable body burden of mercury are discussed, notably the body distribution of mercury after exposure, and the risk of accumulation in different organs. In acute exposure the kidney and liver accumulate much mercury and are hence liable to injury, while recent findings indicate that in chronic exposure to moderate levels of mercury the brain and possibly testes are the critical organs because of a pronounced tendency to accumulate. The possibility of obtaining an index of mercury retention is explored; it is concluded that urinary mercury excretion does not reflect the level of body retention although it may indicate very recent exposure. It is suggested that mercury concentration in biopsies of skin, liver, kidney and colonic mucosa may serve as an index of body retention of mercury. 37 references, 7 figures.

  14. [Distribution and risk assessment of mercury species in soil of the water-level-fluctuating zone in the Three Gorges Reservoir].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Cheng; Chen, Hong; Wang, Ding-Yong; Sun, Rong-Guo; Zhang, Jin-Yang

    2014-03-01

    To investigate pollution level and ecological risk of mercury in soils of the water-level-fluctuating zone in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region, 192 surface soil samples from 14 counties (districts) in Chongqing were obtained. Concentrations of THg and Hg species, bioavailable Hg were analyzed and discussed. Geoaccumulation index (I(geo)) and Håkanson potential ecological risk index (E(r)) were applied to assess the pollution status and potential ecological risk of THg and Hg species, respectively. The results showed that significant differences in the concentration of THg were found in soils of water-level-fluctuating zone in the Three Gorges Reservoir. The THg concentration ranged from 22.4 to 393.5 microg x kg(-1), with an average of (84.2 +/- 54.3) microg x kg(-1). 76.6% of the samples' THg content was higher than the soil background value in the Three Gorges Reservoir Region. The percentage of five mercury species (water-soluble Hg, HCl-soluble Hg, KOH-soluble Hg, H2O2-soluble Hg, residue Hg) in soils were 4.1%, 15.5%, 18.3%, 10.9%, 51.3%, respectively. The average concentrations of bioavailable mercury varied between 19.7-36.6 microg x kg(-1), and the percentage of bioavailable Hg was 22.1%-51.6% of THg. According to the geoaccumulation index, the soils were lightly polluted by Hg. Håkanson single potential ecological risk index evaluation showed that Hg species had a low potential ecological risk, moreover, soils of water-level-fluctuating zone in the Three Gorges Reservoir were at low ecological risk levels as evaluated by bioavailable Hg. While, the assessment results based on THg of soils was much higher than that based on the Hg species. Two methods of evaluation showed that the I(geo) and E(r) values calculated based on the Hg species better reflected the actual pollution levels of soils and its hazard to aquatic organisms.

  15. PM Origin or Exposure Duration? Health Hazards from PM-Bound Mercury and PM-Bound PAHs among Students and Lecturers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majewski, Grzegorz; Widziewicz, Kamila; Rogula-Kozłowska, Wioletta; Rogula-Kopiec, Patrycja; Kociszewska, Karolina; Rozbicki, Tomasz; Majder-Łopatka, Małgorzata; Niemczyk, Mariusz

    2018-01-01

    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(a)pyrene (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. PMID:29439524

  16. 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.

  17. Global versus local causes and health implications of high mercury concentrations in sharks from the east coast of South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A; Dean, Kylie; Hussey, Nigel E; Cliff, Geremy; Wintner, Sabine P; Dudley, Sheldon F J; Zungu, M Philip; Fisk, Aaron T

    2016-01-15

    Conservation concern regarding the overharvest of global shark populations for meat and fin consumption largely surrounds documented deleterious ecosystem effects, but may be further supported by improved knowledge of possibly high levels in their edible tissues (particularly meat) of the neurotoxin, methylmercury (CH3Hg). For many regions, however, little data exist on shark tissue Hg concentrations, and reasons for Hg variation within and among species or across regions are poorly understood. We quantified total Hg (THg) in 17 shark species (total n=283) from the east coast of South Africa, a top Hg emitter globally. Concentrations varied from means of around 0.1 mg kg(-1) dry weight (dw) THg in hardnose smoothhound (Mustelus mosis) and whale (Rhincodon typus) sharks to means of over 10 mg kg(-1) dw in shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), white (Carcharodon carcharias) and ragged-tooth (Carcharias taurus) sharks. These sharks had higher THg levels than conspecifics sampled from coastal waters of the North Atlantic and North, mid-, and South Pacific, and although sampling year and shark size may play a confounding role, this result suggests the potential importance of elevated local emissions. Values of THg showed strong, species-specific correlations with length, and nearly half the remaining variation was explained by trophic position (using nitrogen stable isotopes, δ(15)N), whereas measures of foraging habitat (using carbon stable isotopes, δ(13)C) were not significant. Mercury concentrations were above the regulatory guidelines for fish health effects and safe human consumption for 88% and 70% of species, respectively, suggesting on-going cause for concern for shark health, and human consumers of shark meat. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Health risk assessment for program managers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jump, R.A.; Williamson, D.S.

    1994-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of a sensitivity analysis into the independent variables that determine the levels of health risks posed by buried plutonium and americium at a typical contaminated site in an arid region. Environmental Restoration Program Managers often must make decisions concerning cleanup levels, remediation alternatives, schedules, cost estimates, etc. based upon extraordinarily safe assumptions about risk assessment calculation inputs. This study reveals to the Program Manager which variables are major drivers to the calculated levels of risk posed by transuranic radionuclides and which ones have second order effects or less. The findings of this study should indicate which inputs should be the focus of attention during negotiations with regulators and of further empirical investigation

  19. Financial risk protection from social health insurance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Kayleigh; Mukherji, Arnab; Mullen, Patrick; Sood, Neeraj

    2017-09-01

    This paper estimates the impact of social health insurance on financial risk by utilizing data from a natural experiment created by the phased roll-out of a social health insurance program for the poor in India. We estimate the distributional impact of insurance on of out-of-pocket costs and incorporate these results with a stylized expected utility model to compute associated welfare effects. We adjust the standard model, accounting for conditions of developing countries by incorporating consumption floors, informal borrowing, and asset selling which allow us to separate the value of financial risk reduction from consumption smoothing and asset protection. Results show that insurance reduces out-of-pocket costs, particularly in higher quantiles of the distribution. We find reductions in the frequency and amount of money borrowed for health reasons. Finally, we find that the value of financial risk reduction outweighs total per household costs of the insurance program by two to five times. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Mercury in fishes from 21 national parks in the Western United States: inter- and intra-park variation in concentrations and ecological risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Willacker, James J.; Flanagan Pritz, Colleen M.

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a global contaminant and human activities have increased atmospheric Hg concentrations 3- to 5-fold during the past 150 years. This increased release into the atmosphere has resulted in elevated loadings to aquatic habitats where biogeochemical processes promote the microbial conversion of inorganic Hg to methylmercury, the bioavailable form of Hg. The physicochemical properties of Hg and its complex environmental cycle have resulted in some of the most remote and protected areas of the world becoming contaminated with Hg concentrations that threaten ecosystem and human health. The national park network in the United States is comprised of some of the most pristine and sensitive wilderness in North America. There is concern that via global distribution, Hg contamination could threaten the ecological integrity of aquatic communities in the parks and the wildlife that depends on them. In this study, we examined Hg concentrations in non-migratory freshwater fish in 86 sites across 21 national parks in the Western United States. We report Hg concentrations of more than 1,400 fish collected in waters extending over a 4,000 kilometer distance, from Alaska to the arid Southwest. Across all parks, sites, and species, fish total Hg (THg) concentrations ranged from 9.9 to 1,109 nanograms per gram wet weight (ng/g ww) with a mean of 77.7 ng/g ww. We found substantial variation in fish THg concentrations among and within parks, suggesting that patterns of Hg risk are driven by processes occurring at a combination of scales. Additionally, variation (up to 20-fold) in site-specific fish THg concentrations within individual parks suggests that more intensive sampling in some parks will be required to effectively characterize Hg contamination in western national parks. Across all fish sampled, only 5 percent had THg concentrations exceeding a benchmark (200 ng/g ww) associated with toxic responses within the fish themselves. However, Hg concentrations in 35 percent

  1. Microbiological risk assessment and public health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roger Skinner

    1992-01-01

    Despite the advances made in risk assessment i the past twenty years, in areas as diverse as toxicology and offshore engineering, the risk assessment approach has made little impact on those addressing the microbiological aspects of public health. In this paper the advances which have been made are discussed and the difficulties preventing the wider application of microbiological risk assessment (MRA) to public health are considered. The term microbiological risk is used here to mean the probability of contracting a disease caused by a microorganism. I intend to demonstrate that the dynamic nature of microorganisms and the unique nature of the relationship between a pathogen (a microorganism which causes disease) and its host create special challenges for those involved in MRA. Although these problems are difficult they are not intractable. Indeed in some cases partial solutions have already been found and applied. It is hoped that this paper will help stimulate further thought and consideration in a variety of disciplines so that these challenges can be met, thereby allowing MRA to fulfil its potential

  2. Microbiological risk assessment and public health

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skinner, Roger

    1992-07-01

    Despite the advances made in risk assessment i the past twenty years, in areas as diverse as toxicology and offshore engineering, the risk assessment approach has made little impact on those addressing the microbiological aspects of public health. In this paper the advances which have been made are discussed and the difficulties preventing the wider application of microbiological risk assessment (MRA) to public health are considered. The term microbiological risk is used here to mean the probability of contracting a disease caused by a microorganism. I intend to demonstrate that the dynamic nature of microorganisms and the unique nature of the relationship between a pathogen (a microorganism which causes disease) and its host create special challenges for those involved in MRA. Although these problems are difficult they are not intractable. Indeed in some cases partial solutions have already been found and applied. It is hoped that this paper will help stimulate further thought and consideration in a variety of disciplines so that these challenges can be met, thereby allowing MRA to fulfil its potential.

  3. How health risk from radiation is assessed

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahm-Crites, L.

    1994-07-01

    The likelihood that a dose of radiation will result in death from cancer at some future time can be estimated by multiplying the dose equivalent by a risk factor, or dose-to-risk conversion factor. Conversion factors, which are based on studies of atomic bomb survivors and others, provide approximate predictions of the health effects to be expected from a given radiological exposure. Following recommendations of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy currently uses risk conversion factors of 4 x 10 -4 (0.0004 LCFs) per person-rem for workers and 5 x 10 -4 (0.0005 LCFs) per person-rem for the general public (NRC 1991; DOE 1993). The conversion factor for general public is slightly higher than that for workers because the general public includes infants and children, who are more susceptible to cancer. The current overall death rate from cancer in the United States is between 20 and 25 percent, in other words, cancer accounts for one out of nearly every four deaths. An action affecting a population of 20,000 people, with the estimated potential to induce one latent cancer fatality, should therefore be understood as adding one death from cancer to a normally expected total of 4500. Studies dedicated to improving their ability to predict radiation health effects are constantly in progress, nationally and internationally, and risk conversion factors are periodically revised to incorporate new experimental and epidemiological information

  4. Mercury's Messenger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.

    2004-01-01

    Forty years after Mariner 2, planetary exploration has still only just begun, and many more missions are on drawing boards, nearing the launch pad, or even en route across interplanetary space to their targets. One of the most challenging missions that will be conducted this decade is sending the MESSENGER spacecraft to orbit the planet Mercury.…

  5. 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 ...

  6. Health risk profile of prostitutes in Dublin.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    McDonnell, R J

    1998-08-01

    This study examined the health risk profile of prostitutes in Dublin. Clinical records of all 150 new prostitutes who attended a drop-in clinic for prostitutes in Dublin city during the period 1991-1997 were reviewed. Variables examined included: age, use of injectable drugs, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status, hepatitis B and C status, presence of sexually transmitted disease (STD), cervical cytology. Results showed the mean age of the women was 32 years. Among those tested, 2.5% were HIV positive, 5% were hepatitis B positive, 8% were hepatitis C positive and 25% had an STD. Almost 8% were injecting drug users (IDU) with higher prevalences of HIV, hepatitis B and C compared with non-IDU (P < 0.001). The clinic has been successful in providing a health-care facility for the specific health needs of this patient cohort.

  7. Co-ordinated research project on health impact of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques. Report on the final research co-ordination meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2004-01-01

    Mercury is a global pollutant because of its ability to undergo long distance transport into the atmosphere. In view of these global concerns the IAEA has organised a CRP to elucidate the biological, chemical, and physical factors, which influence the transformations of Hg and its compounds in the ecosystem and the dynamics of the mercury recycling. Under the title 'Health impacts of mercury cycling in contaminated environments studied by nuclear techniques' the CRP was started in October 1999 and concluded in February 2004. This report provides an overview of the various activities performed under the CRP by the various participants. The overall achievements are summarized and those aspects that require a further deeper look are also pointed out. The individual country reports are also given which detail on the progress made by the respective participants, during the CRP period. It is hoped that the results would encourage further research activities on these and related issues in the respective countries with the CRP participant as a catalyst to further these studies

  8. Effects of mercury on health and first-year survival of free-ranging great egrets (Ardea albus) from southern Florida.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sepúlveda, M S; Williams, G E; Frederick, P C; Spalding, M G

    1999-10-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine whether elevated mercury (Hg) concentrations have a negative impact on the health and survival of nestling and juvenile free-ranging great egrets (Ardea albus) from southern Florida. During 1994, when health and survival was monitored in a cohort of young birds with naturally variable concentrations of Hg, packed cell volume was positively correlated with blood Hg concentrations, and high Hg concentration in blood was not related to the probability of surviving during the first 10.5 months of life. During 1995, 70 first-hatched great egret chicks were included in a Hg field-dosing experiment to compare the effects of elevated Hg on health and survival. Birds were dosed while in the nest orally every 2.5 days for 15 days with 0.5 mg of methyl mercury chloride (MeHgCl) for an estimated intake of 1.54 mg MeHgCl/kg food intake. These birds were compared with controls, which received an estimated 0.41 mg MeHgCl/kg food. No differences were observed in health parameters or in the probability of surviving during the first 8 months of age between egrets that were dosed with Hg and those that were not. A likely explanation for the lack of any effects on health and survival between both groups could be that chicks at this age were eliminating most of the dietary Hg through the production of new feathers.

  9. Mercury Information Clearinghouse

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chad A. Wocken; Michael J. Holmes; Dennis L. Laudal; Debra F. Pflughoeft-Hassett; Greg F. Weber; Nicholas V. C. Ralston; Stanley J. Miller; Grant E. Dunham; Edwin S. Olson; Laura J. Raymond; John H. Pavlish; Everett A. Sondreal; Steven A. Benson

    2006-03-31

    The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) identified a need and contracted the Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to create and maintain an information clearinghouse on global research and development activities related to mercury emissions from coal-fired electric utilities. With the support of CEA, the Center for Air Toxic Metals{reg_sign} (CATM{reg_sign}) Affiliates, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the EERC developed comprehensive quarterly information updates that provide a detailed assessment of developments in the various areas of mercury monitoring, control, policy, and research. A total of eight topical reports were completed and are summarized and updated in this final CEA quarterly report. The original quarterly reports can be viewed at the CEA Web site (www.ceamercuryprogram.ca). In addition to a comprehensive update of previous mercury-related topics, a review of results from the CEA Mercury Program is provided. Members of Canada's coal-fired electricity generation sector (ATCO Power, EPCOR, Manitoba Hydro, New Brunswick Power, Nova Scotia Power Inc., Ontario Power Generation, SaskPower, and TransAlta) and CEA, have compiled an extensive database of information from stack-, coal-, and ash-sampling activities. Data from this effort are also available at the CEA Web site and have provided critical information for establishing and reviewing a mercury standard for Canada that is protective of environment and public health and is cost-effective. Specific goals outlined for the CEA mercury program included the following: (1) Improve emission inventories and develop management options through an intensive 2-year coal-, ash-, and stack-sampling program; (2) Promote effective stack testing through the development of guidance material and the support of on-site training on the Ontario Hydro method for employees, government representatives, and contractors on an as-needed basis; (3) Strengthen laboratory analytical capabilities through

  10. From Risk factors to health resources in medical practice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hollnagel, Hanne; Malterud, Kirsti

    2000-01-01

    autonomy, communication, empowerment, epidemiology, general practice, healing, health resources, informed consent, preventive medicine, risk factors, salutogenesis......autonomy, communication, empowerment, epidemiology, general practice, healing, health resources, informed consent, preventive medicine, risk factors, salutogenesis...

  11. Behavioural risk factors for sexually transmitted infections and health ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Behavioural risk factors for sexually transmitted infections and health ... sharing of personal effects, malnourishment and sexual harassment. ... Development of risk reduction and appropriate sexual health interventions targeted at prevention ...

  12. Age and gender differences in health risk perception.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, YoungHo; Park, InKyoung; Kang, SooJin

    2018-03-01

    The current study investigated how adolescents perceive their own health risks and compare their own likelihood of health risks with that of others of the same age. Moreover, the study identified the differences in health risk perceptions between males and females. A total of 625 adolescents (314 males and 311 females) from the Nowon district, geographically located in northern Seoul, voluntarily participated. In order to measure health risk perceptions a Korean version of self-other risk judgments profile was used. The findings indicated that study participants, regardless of gender and age, tend to underestimate their vulnerability to majority of health risk events. Furthermore, there were significant gender and age differences in health risk perception and perception bias in all health risk domains. The present study suggests that further research is needed to identify realistic and unrealistic perception mechanism for a large number of people from different demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Copyright© by the National Institute of Public Health, Prague 2018.

  13. Assessment of occupational exposure of dental professionals to mercury in dental offices of a public primary health care in Maringá, Paraná State, Brazil - 10.4025/actascihealthsci.v34ispec.13428

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    André Gasparetto

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In order to evaluate the occupational exposure of dental professionals to metallic mercury in dental offices of a public primary health care in the city of Maringá, Brazil, samples of blood and urine were collected from 149 dental professionals (group exposed, and 51 healthy adults similar for age and gender of the exposed group (control group in September and October, 2008. Urinary mercury was determined using atomic absorption spectrophotometry, urea and creatinine in blood and urine by UV/VIS spectrophotometry and analysis of physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics of the urine by reactive bands. The program ‘Statistic’ version 7.1 and the software R version 2.6.2 were used for the statistical calculations. Urinary mercury was 2.08 ± 2.11 µg g-1 creatinine in workers exposed to mercury and 0.36 ± 0.62 µg g-1 creatinine in the control group (p -1 creatinine; 11% of these professionals (n = 16 had mercury levels above the reference value (5.0 µg g-1 creatinine, whereas the maximum value found was 13 µg g-1 creatinine. The dental professionals of public primary health care in the city of Maringa was exposed to metallic mercury at levels 5.8 times higher than the non-exposed subjects.  

  14. Nanomedicine and epigenome. Possible health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolkova, Bozena; Dusinska, Maria; Gabelova, Alena

    2017-11-01

    Nanomedicine is an emerging field that combines knowledge of nanotechnology and material science with pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences, aiming to develop nanodrugs with increased efficacy and safety. Compared to conventional therapeutics, nanodrugs manifest higher stability and circulation time, reduced toxicity and improved targeted delivery. Despite the obvious benefit, the accumulation of imaging agents and nanocarriers in the body following their therapeutic or diagnostic application generates concerns about their safety for human health. Numerous toxicology studies have demonstrated that exposure to nanomaterials (NMs) might pose serious risks to humans. Epigenetic modifications, representing a non-genotoxic mechanism of toxicant-induced health effects, are becoming recognized as playing a potential causative role in the aetiology of many diseases including cancer. This review i) provides an overview of recent advances in medical applications of NMs and ii) summarizes current evidence on their possible epigenetic toxicity. To discern potential health risks of NMs, since current data are mostly based upon in vitro and animal models, a better understanding of functional relationships between NM exposure, epigenetic deregulation and phenotype is required. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Bioavailability and stability of mercury sulfide in Armuchee (USA) soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Han, Fengxiang; Shiyab, Safwan; Su, Yi; Monts, David L.; Waggoner, Charles A.; Matta, Frank B.

    2007-01-01

    Because of the adverse effects of elemental mercury and mercury compounds upon human health, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is engaged in an on-going effort to monitor and remediate mercury-contaminated DOE sites. In order to more cost effectively implement those extensive remediation efforts, it is necessary to obtain an improved understanding of the role that mercury and mercury compounds play in the ecosystem. We have conducted pilot scale experiments to study the bioavailability of mercury sulfide in an Armuchee (eastern US ) soil. The effects of plants and incubation time on chemical stability and bioavailability of HgS under simulated conditions of the ecosystem have been examined, as has the dynamics of the dissolution of mercury sulfide by various extractants. The results show that mercury sulfide in contaminated Armuchee soil was still to some extent bioavailable to plants. After planting, soil mercury sulfide is more easily dissolved by both 4 M and 12 M nitric acid than pure mercury sulfide reagent. Dissolution kinetics of soil mercury sulfide and pure chemical reagent by nitric acid are different. Mercury release by EDTA from HgS-contaminated soil increased with time of reaction and soil mercury level. Chelating chemicals increase the solubility and bioavailability of mercury in HgS-contaminated soil. (authors)

  16. Effective use of risk assessments and the public comment process to achieve acceptable remediation goals for mercury-contaminated sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miller, J.Q.; Barnett, M.

    1996-01-01

    As a result of recalculating risk levels using new information, the remediation goals and cleanup strategy for the Lower East Fork Poplar Creek floodplains have been significantly changed to reflect an important reduction in cleanup costs while ensuring protectionof human health and the environment. This project and its stakeholders have made the risk assessment more effective by better defining the contaminant and adjusting assessment parameters. As a result, the remediation goal initially set at 50 ppM Hg has been changed to 400 ppM, resulting in significant reductions in both the destruction of the floodplain landscape and project costs. Volume of soils to be excavated has been decreased from 1 million cubic yards to 25,000 cubic yards, and the cost has been reduced from about $1 billion to less than $20 million. The Record of Decision for Lower East Fork Poplar Creek was approved in August 1995

  17. Mercury on a landscape scale—Balancing regional export with wildlife health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvin-DiPasquale, Mark C.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Fleck, Jacob A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; McQuillen, Harry

    2018-06-26

    the mass removed, with the remaining 6 percent apparent MeHg loss unexplained.Benthic MeHg degradation did not appear to be a major MeHg removal process in the deep cells, as changes in the ambient MeHg pool over 7-day bottle incubations showed that the surface sediment exhibited net MeHg production in the majority (87 percent) of incubation experiments. In only 13 percent of the incubations (3 out of 24) was net MeHg degradation observed.Estimates of benthic diffusive flux of MeHg across the sediment/water interface were small relative to particulate flux and variable (positive or negative), suggesting this is likely a minor term in the overall MeHg budget within the deep cells.Although the deep cells served as net MeHg sink overall, MeHg export from the flow-through treatment wetlands (shallow and deep combined) exceeded export from the fill-and-maintain managed control wetlands, because of the differences in hydrologic management between the two wetland types.Shallow wetlands under flow-through conditions generated a net export of MeHg.Most of the annual MeHg export from the treatment wetlands occurred within the first 3 months of flood up (September to November), shortly after hydrologic management began.Despite the effectiveness of the deep cell in lowering MeHg export concentrations, total mercury (THg) concentration did not decrease in biosentinel fish (Gambusia affinis, Mosquitofish) between the deep cell inlet and outlet.Mosquitofish THg concentrations were higher in treatment wetlands than in control wetlands during the first year of study, likely because of an associated increase in MeHg availability immediately following wetland construction activities. Mosquitofish THg concentrations declined in the treatment wetlands during the second year of study, and fish THg concentrations in treatment wetlands were no different from those in the control.Similarly, the increased hydrologic flow rates in the treatment wetlands did not lower fish THg concentrations nor

  18. Mercury-induced hepatotoxicity in zebrafish: in vivo mechanistic insights from transcriptome analysis, phenotype anchoring and targeted gene expression validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathavan Sinnakaruppan

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Mercury is a prominent environmental contaminant that causes detrimental effects to human health. Although the liver has been known to be a main target organ, there is limited information on in vivo molecular mechanism of mercury-induced toxicity in the liver. By using transcriptome analysis, phenotypic anchoring and validation of targeted gene expression in zebrafish, mercury-induced hepatotoxicity was investigated and a number of perturbed cellular processes were identified and compared with those captured in the in vitro human cell line studies. Results Hepato-transcriptome analysis of mercury-exposed zebrafish revealed that the earliest deregulated genes were associated with electron transport chain, mitochondrial fatty acid beta-oxidation, nuclear receptor signaling and apoptotic pathway, followed by complement system and proteasome pathway, and thereafter DNA damage, hypoxia, Wnt signaling, fatty acid synthesis, gluconeogenesis, cell cycle and motility. Comparative meta-analysis of microarray data between zebrafish liver and human HepG2 cells exposed to mercury identified some common toxicological effects of mercury-induced hepatotoxicity in both models. Histological analyses of liver from mercury-exposed fish revealed morphological changes of liver parenchyma, decreased nucleated cell count, increased lipid vesicles, glycogen and apoptotic bodies, thus providing phenotypic evidence for anchoring of the transcriptome analysis. Validation of targeted gene expression confirmed deregulated gene-pathways from enrichment analysis. Some of these genes responding to low concentrations of mercury may serve as toxicogenomic-based markers for detection and health risk assessment of environmental mercury contaminations. Conclusion Mercury-induced hepatotoxicity was triggered by oxidative stresses, intrinsic apoptotic pathway, deregulation of nuclear receptor and kinase activities including Gsk3 that deregulates Wnt signaling

  19. Methodology of nanotechnogy's risks analysis for health and environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merkulova, I.P.

    2014-01-01

    Risk assessment is a multidisciplinary field, and an important tool for understanding and managing the potential risks from nanotechnologies. As new technologies develop, a crucial task is to understand the health and environmental impacts and to identify potential risks. (authors)

  20. [Health risks in the biotechnological industry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombi, A; Maroni, M; Foà, V

    1989-01-01

    Biotechnology has been defined as the application of biological organisms, systems or processes to manufacturing and service industries. In considering health aspects of biotechnological development it must be underlined that the use of microorganisms in traditional industries, such as the production of food, bread, beer and dairy products, has not added significantly to the more usual industrial hazards. The risk factors encountered in the biotechnology industry can be defined as general, i.e., common to other industrial activities, and specific, i.e., depending on the presence of microorganisms and/or their metabolic products. The specific health risks vary according to the type of process, but can be grouped into three main categories: immunological diseases, toxic effects; pathological effects of microorganisms. Allergic immunological diseases such as bronchial asthma, contact dermatitis, oculo-rhinitis and extrinsic allergic alveolitis are by far the most frequent and well known diseases occurring among workers employed on biotechnological production. Toxic effects were observed among workers employed on the production of antibiotics and hormones or single cell proteins, where absorption of endotoxins has been described. Infectious diseases may arise from uncontrolled dissemination of pathogenic microorganisms through aerosols, dusts, aqueous and semisolid sludge effluents from biotechnological plants. The greatest risks occur in the production of antiviral vaccines, in research laboratories and in waste-water treatment plants. Risk of pathogenic effects has also been speculated from exposure to engineered microorganisms in laboratory and environmental or agricultural applications. Safety precautions consisting of protective measures, and effective barriers of containment (both physical and biological) have to be advised according to the hazardous characteristics of the organisms.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  1. Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Soils from Witwatersrand Gold Mining Basin, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caspah Kamunda

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluates the health risk caused by heavy metals to the inhabitants of a gold mining area. In this study, 56 soil samples from five mine tailings and 17 from two mine villages were collected and analyzed for Asernic (As, Lead (Pb, Mercury (Hg, Cadmium (Cd, Chromium (Cr, Cobalt (Co, Nickel (Ni, Copper (Cu and Zinc (Zn using ICP-MS. Measured concentrations of these heavy metals were then used to calculate the health risk for adults and children. Their concentrations were such that Cr > Ni > As > Zn > Cu > Co > Pb > Hg > Cd, with As, Cr and Ni higher than permissible levels. For the adult population, the Hazard Index value for all pathways was found to be 2.13, making non-carcinogenic effects significant to the adult population. For children, the Hazard Index value was 43.80, a value >>1, which poses serious non-carcinogenic effect to children living in the gold mining area. The carcinogenic risk was found to be 1.7 × 10−4 implying that 1 person in every 5882 adults may be affected. In addition, for children, in every 2725 individuals, 1 child may be affected (3.67 × 10−4. These carcinogenic risk values were both higher than acceptable values.

  2. Examining unpriced risk heterogeneity in the Dutch health insurance market

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Withagen-Koster, A.A. (A. A.); R.C. van Kleef (Richard); F. Eijkenaar (Frank)

    2018-01-01

    textabstractA major challenge in regulated health insurance markets is to mitigate risk selection potential. Risk selection can occur in the presence of unpriced risk heterogeneity, which refers to predictable variation in health care spending not reflected in either premiums by insurers or risk

  3. Integrated criteria document mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sloof, W.; Beelan, P. van; Annema, J.A.; Janus, J.A.

    1995-01-01

    The document contains a systematic review and a critical evaluation of the most relevant data on the priority substance mercury for the purpose of effect-oriented environmental policy. Chapter headings are: properties and existing standards; production, application, sources and emissions (natural sources, industry, energy, households, agriculture, dental use, waste); distribution and transformation (cinnabar; Hg 2+ , Hg 2 2+ , elemental mercury, methylmercury, behavior in soil, water, air, biota); concentrations and fluxes in the environment and exposure levels (sampling and measuring methods, occurrence in soil, water, air etc.); effects (toxicity to humans and aquatic and terrestrial systems); emissions reduction (from industrial sources, energy, waste processing etc.); and evaluation (risks, standards, emission reduction objectives, measuring strategies). 395 refs

  4. Health risk evaluation of nitrogen oxides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berglund, M; Ewetz, L; Gustafsson, L; Moldeus, P; Pershagen, G; Victorin, K [Karolinska Inst., Stockholm (Sweden). Inst. of Environmental Medicine

    1996-12-31

    At the request of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency a criteria document on nitrogen oxides has been prepared, and is intended to serve as a basis for revised air quality standards in Sweden. The criteria document is based on a thorough literature survey, and the health risk assessment is summarized in this presentation. The present standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO{sub 2}) is 110 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 1-hour mean (98th percentile); 75 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 24- hour mean (98th percentile); and 50 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 6-month mean (arithmetic eman during winter half-year). (author)

  5. Health risk evaluation of nitrogen oxides

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berglund, M.; Ewetz, L.; Gustafsson, L.; Moldeus, P.; Pershagen, G.; Victorin, K. [Karolinska Inst., Stockholm (Sweden). Inst. of Environmental Medicine

    1995-12-31

    At the request of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency a criteria document on nitrogen oxides has been prepared, and is intended to serve as a basis for revised air quality standards in Sweden. The criteria document is based on a thorough literature survey, and the health risk assessment is summarized in this presentation. The present standard for nitrogen dioxide (NO{sub 2}) is 110 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 1-hour mean (98th percentile); 75 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 24- hour mean (98th percentile); and 50 {mu}g/m{sup 3} as 6-month mean (arithmetic eman during winter half-year). (author)

  6. Uncertainties of nanotechnology: environmental and health risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Delgado Ramos, Giancarlo

    2007-01-01

    The nanotechnology, as any leading edge technology, develops in the border of the unknown thing and, as such, it provokes a degree of uncertainty. On having manipulated the matter to a nanometric scale (thousand millionth of a meter), the potential risks suggest to be not only relatively unpredictable, but also imperceptible to our senses. In such a tenor, evaluating the eventual implications of the nanotechnological progress is a very complex task. And even more if we take into consideration all ethic, legal, socioeconomic, environmental and health issues. The present article evaluates studies and discourses related to promises about the use of nanostructures and their environmental impact. It also treats health impact by evaluating nanotechnology to medicine application, nano make-up and new cancer treatment.

  7. Review of health risks in acrylonitrile industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guirguis, S S; Cohen, M B; Rajhans, G S

    1984-05-01

    The Occupational Health Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Labour began a study in 1978 for the evaluation of health risks associated with acrylonitrile (AN) exposure. Detailed hygiene and medical investigations were conducted in fourteen plants for evaluating AN exposure in various industrial processes. For companies were also studied in relation to mixed chemical exposure representing acrylic fibres, nitrile rubber, ABS-resin, and acrylic emulsions production. The possible interaction between AN and other coexisting chemical exposures was reviewed since dimethyl formamide, styrene, and butadiene have similar pharmacokinetics and possible synergistic effects. Exposure in acrylic fibre production may be synergistic and carcinogenic. Results of air monitoring indicated exposure levels to AN below 2 ppm (TWA) in most cases. Exposure to other co-existing chemicals was evaluated. Results of medical tests indicated no significant abnormalities in chest x-rays or liver function tests in currently exposed workers.

  8. Miniature Biosensor with Health Risk Assessment Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanson, Andrea; Downs, Meghan; Kalogera, Kent; Buxton, Roxanne; Cooper, Tommy; Cooper, Alan; Cooper, Ross

    2016-01-01

    Heart rate (HR) monitoring is a medical requirement during exercise on the International Space Station (ISS), fitness tests, and extravehicular activity (EVA); however, NASA does not currently have the technology to consistently and accurately monitor HR and other physiological data during these activities. Performance of currently available HR monitor technologies is dependent on uninterrupted contact with the torso and are prone to data drop-out and motion artifact. Here, we seek an alternative to the chest strap and electrode based sensors currently in use on ISS today. This project aims to develop a high performance, robust earbud based biosensor with focused efforts on improved HR data quality during exercise or EVA. A health risk assessment algorithm will further advance the goals of autonomous crew health care for exploration missions.

  9. Managing risk: clinical decision-making in mental health services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muir-Cochrane, Eimear; Gerace, Adam; Mosel, Krista; O'Kane, Debra; Barkway, Patricia; Curren, David; Oster, Candice

    2011-01-01

    Risk assessment and management is a major component of contemporary mental health practice. Risk assessment in health care exists within contemporary perspectives of management and risk aversive practices in health care. This has led to much discussion about the best approach to assessing possible risks posed by people with mental health problems. In addition, researchers and commentators have expressed concern that clinical practice is being dominated by managerial models of risk management at the expense of meeting the patient's health and social care needs. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the risk assessment practices of a multidisciplinary mental health service. Findings indicate that mental health professionals draw on both managerial and therapeutic approaches to risk management, integrating these approaches into their clinical practice. Rather than being dominated by managerial concerns regarding risk, the participants demonstrate professional autonomy and concern for the needs of their clients.

  10. Mercury emissions from flooded soils and sediments in Germany are an underestimated problem: challenges for reliable risk assessments and management strategies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinklebe J.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Environmental pollution by mercury is a world-wide problem. Particularly floodplain ecosystems are frequently affected. One example is the Elbe River in Germany and its catchment areas; large amounts of Hg from a range of anthropogenic and geogenic sources have been accumulated in the soils of these floodplains. They serve as sink for Hg originating from the surface water of adjacent river. Today, the vastly elevated Hg contents of the floodplain soils at the Elbe River often exceed even the action values of the German Soil Conservation Law. This is especially important as Hg polluted areas at the Elbe River achieve several hundred square kilometres. Thus, authorities are coerced by law to conduct an appropriate risk assessment and to implement practical actions to eliminate or reduce environmental problems. A reliable risk assessment particularly with view to organisms (vegetation as green fodder and hay production, grazing and wild animals to avoid the transfer of Hg into the human food chain, requires an authentic determination of Hg fluxes and their dynamics since gaseous emissions from soil to atmosphere are an important pathway of Hg. However, reliable estimates of Hg fluxes from the highly polluted floodplain soils at the Elbe River and its tributaries, and its influencing factors are scarce. For this purpose, we have developed a new method to determine mercury emissions from soils at various sites. Our objectives were i to quantify seasonal variations of total gaseous mercury (TGM fluxes for floodplain soils at the Elbe River, ii to provide insights into physico-chemical processes regulating these TGM fluxes, and iii to quantify the impacts of the controlling factors soil temperature and soil water content on Hg volatilization from a typical contaminated floodplain soil within soil microcosm experiments under various controlled temperature and moisture conditions. Our study provides insight into TGM emissions from highly Hg

  11. 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...

  12. EURISOL MERCURY TARGET EXPERIMENT: CERN SAFETY REPORT

    CERN Document Server

    J. Gulley (CERN SC/GS)

    Report on a visit to the mercury-handling lab at IPUL. The aim was to provide recommendations to IPUL on general health and safety issues relatring to the handling of mercury, the objective being to reduce exposure to acceptable levels, so far as is reasonably practical.

  13. [Perception of health risks: psychological and social factors].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurzenhäuser, S; Epp, A

    2009-12-01

    This article reviews central findings and current developments of psychological and sociological research on the perception of health risks. Risk perception is influenced by numerous psychological, social, political, and cultural factors. These factors can be categorized into (a) risk characteristics, (b) characteristics of the risk perceiving person and his/her situation, and (c) characteristics of risk communication. Thus, besides individual cognitive and affective processing of risk information, social processes of risk amplification (e.g., media effects) are also involved in the construction of individual risk perceptions. We discuss the recommendations for health risk communication that follow from these findings with regard to different communication goals.

  14. Cyanobacterial toxins: risk management for health protection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Codd, Geoffrey A.; Morrison, Louise F.; Metcalf, James S.

    2005-01-01

    This paper reviews the occurrence and properties of cyanobacterial toxins, with reference to the recognition and management of the human health risks which they may present. Mass populations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria in natural and controlled waterbodies include blooms and scums of planktonic species, and mats and biofilms of benthic species. Toxic cyanobacterial populations have been reported in freshwaters in over 45 countries, and in numerous brackish, coastal, and marine environments. The principal toxigenic genera are listed. Known sources of the families of cyanobacterial toxins (hepato-, neuro-, and cytotoxins, irritants, and gastrointestinal toxins) are briefly discussed. Key procedures in the risk management of cyanobacterial toxins and cells are reviewed, including derivations (where sufficient data are available) of tolerable daily intakes (TDIs) and guideline values (GVs) with reference to the toxins in drinking water, and guideline levels for toxigenic cyanobacteria in bathing waters. Uncertainties and some gaps in knowledge are also discussed, including the importance of exposure media (animal and plant foods), in addition to potable and recreational waters. Finally, we present an outline of steps to develop and implement risk management strategies for cyanobacterial cells and toxins in waterbodies, with recent applications and the integration of Hazard Assessment Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles

  15. National Profile of Mercury Use in Costa Rica in light of the Entry into Force of the Minamata Convention

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adriana Fernández-Villalobos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is a metal whose inadequate management can put health and the environment at risk; but in Costa Rica there is no a complete policy that allows the country to establish the controls for its management. Therefore, in 2014, a profile of mercury use was elaborated in Costa Rica in order to identify existing anthropogenic sources, when evaluating the existing capabilities in the country for the management of such metal, in accordance with the implementation of the Minamata Agreement. For its development, extensive bibliographical research and field visits were conducted to all economic activities related to mercury management. According to the analysis, the artisanal mining is considered the riskiest sector since the miners are in constant contact with the metal and manipulate it inadequately. Health facilities, hospitals and dental clinics have limitations due to the lack of legislation and, therefore, weaknesses—such as the lack of training of staff in relation to the risks of mercury and the storage of their wastes in inappropriate places—are identified. On the other hand, cosmetics, biocides, pesticides, and paints are duly regulated with respect to best practices and standards at the international level. Likewise, a vacuum was identified at all stages, including the management of mercury waste at the national level. It is recommended that national plans and strategies be implemented to address the major challenges of mercury management, such as the lack of storage and disposal options.

  16. Assessment of levels of mercury in human breast milk in Obuasi Municipality

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asamoah-Antwi, Dinah

    2016-07-01

    This study was conducted to assess the levels of mercury in breast milk and its potential health risk to the breastfed infants in Obuasi Municipality. Forty eight (48) individual breast milk samples were collected from mothers in selected health facilities in Obuasi town and it’s environ. Total mercury concentrations were determined in the breast milk samples using advanced mercury analyser (AMA254 Altec s.r.o, in the Czech Republic). Methylmercury levels were determined using high performance liquid chromatography linked to inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry (HPLC-ICP-MS) with isotope dilution. The mean concentrations of Total Hg and Methyl Hg in the breast milk were 0.4043 and 0.1829 μg/L respectively. Total mercury and methylmercury concentrations ranged from 0.080 to 2.320 μg/L and 0.008 to 0.734 μg/L respectively. The estimated intake obtained in this study was lower than the reference dose established by the US EPA (0.3μg/kg/day). However the hazard quotients evaluated showed that the one month old infants had hazard quotient above the 0.2, therefore indicating that there is a potential risk for such infants and need to be managed. It was also found that (65.3%) of the mothers had no knowledge of the exposure route to mercury and it toxicity to humans. (au)

  17. Use of quantitative uncertainty analysis for human health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duncan, F.L.W.; Gordon, J.W.; Kelly, M.

    1994-01-01

    Current human health risk assessment method for environmental risks typically use point estimates of risk accompanied by qualitative discussions of uncertainty. Alternatively, Monte Carlo simulations may be used with distributions for input parameters to estimate the resulting risk distribution and descriptive risk percentiles. These two techniques are applied for the ingestion of 1,1=dichloroethene in ground water. The results indicate that Monte Carlo simulations provide significantly more information for risk assessment and risk management than do point estimates

  18. Coal fired flue gas mercury emission controls

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wu, Jiang; Pan, Weiguo; Cao, Yan; Pan, Weiping

    2015-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic heavy metals, harmful to both the environment and human health. Hg is released into the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources and its emission control has caused much concern. This book introduces readers to Hg pollution from natural and anthropogenic sources and systematically describes coal-fired flue gas mercury emission control in industry, especially from coal-fired power stations. Mercury emission control theory and experimental research are demonstrated, including how elemental mercury is oxidized into oxidized mercury and the effect of flue gas contents on the mercury speciation transformation process. Mercury emission control methods, such as existing APCDs (air pollution control devices) at power stations, sorbent injection, additives in coal combustion and photo-catalytic methods are introduced in detail. Lab-scale, pilot-scale and full-scale experimental studies of sorbent injection conducted by the authors are presented systematically, helping researchers and engineers to understand how this approach reduces the mercury emissions in flue gas and to apply the methods in mercury emission control at coal-fired power stations.

  19. Coal fired flue gas mercury emission controls

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Jiang; Pan, Weiguo [Shanghai Univ. of Electric Power (China); Cao, Yan; Pan, Weiping [Western Kentucky Univ., Bowling Green, KY (United States)

    2015-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is one of the most toxic heavy metals, harmful to both the environment and human health. Hg is released into the atmosphere from natural and anthropogenic sources and its emission control has caused much concern. This book introduces readers to Hg pollution from natural and anthropogenic sources and systematically describes coal-fired flue gas mercury emission control in industry, especially from coal-fired power stations. Mercury emission control theory and experimental research are demonstrated, including how elemental mercury is oxidized into oxidized mercury and the effect of flue gas contents on the mercury speciation transformation process. Mercury emission control methods, such as existing APCDs (air pollution control devices) at power stations, sorbent injection, additives in coal combustion and photo-catalytic methods are introduced in detail. Lab-scale, pilot-scale and full-scale experimental studies of sorbent injection conducted by the authors are presented systematically, helping researchers and engineers to understand how this approach reduces the mercury emissions in flue gas and to apply the methods in mercury emission control at coal-fired power stations.

  20. Mercury and selenium in European catfish (Silurus glanis) from Northern Italian Rivers: can molar ratio be a predictive factor for mercury toxicity in a top predator?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squadrone, S; Benedetto, A; Brizio, P; Prearo, M; Abete, M C

    2015-01-01

    The study of mercury and selenium bioaccumulation in fish is crucially important for evaluating the extent of contamination in freshwater environments, and the possible health risk posed for humans when the antagonistic interactions of these two elements are considered. Several factors affect the risk of mercury intake from fish consumption, including mercury levels, human consumption patterns, and sensitive populations (e.g., pregnant women, foetuses, young children and unknown genetic factors). The protective effects of selenium on mercury toxicity have been extensively publicised in recent years, particularly targeting fish consumers. In this study, mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) concentrations were determined in the muscle of European catfish (Silurus glanis) collected from North Italian Rivers. Differences in mercury and selenium levels, as a function of size, gender and location were investigated. Hg was strongly related to length, gender and location, while Se levels are not dependent on fish size or location. The mean Se/Hg molar ratio was strongly affected by location, and significantly related to length and age. Selenium was in molar excess of mercury in all sites, with a rank order of mean Se/Hg molar ratio of the Parma River (2.55)>Po River (1.71)>Tanaro River (1.66)>Bormida River (1.36). However, in 37% of analyzed samples, Hg exceeded the maximum level set by 1881/2006/EC and 629/2008/EC in fish muscle. The molar ratio of Se/Hg was 0.5mg/kg), and therefore the mean molar ratio cannot be considered as a safety criterion in top predator fish. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Contamination of mercury in the biological and physical environment of northwest Quebec

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Delisle, C E

    1977-10-01

    Mercury and its compounds are present in the environment of northwest Quebec and present serious risks to human health. This study shows that all bodies of water investigated yield fish with mercury concentrations in excess of the Canadian safe limit (0.5 ppm) for human consumption. Data are reported for total mercury in 902 fishes from 58 bodies of water sampled between 1972 and 1976. Out of these, 158 were Coregonus clupeaformis with an average concentration of 0.27 ppm of mercury, 82 were Catostomus commersoni with 0.38 ppm, 287 were Stizostedion vitreum vitreum with 0.79 ppm, 364 were Esox lucius with 0.84 ppm, and 11 were Acipenser fulvescens with 0.36 ppm. It is concluded that walleye and pike are rarely safe to eat in northwest Quebec. Data on limited numbers of molluscs, benthic organisms, plankton, aquatic birds and aquatic mammals from this area are also reported and show only a few in excess of the safe level. Exceptions are found in ducks, grebes, mergansers and otters, mink and marten. Mercury in sediments varied from 50 ppb (background level) to more than 1000 ppb, depending on the body of water and its proximity to zones of influence of human activity. Surface waters rarely exceed 0.20 ppb mercury even in areas where sediment contamination is high. Ground water reached 48 ppb in some areas, however, suggesting contamination from natural sources.

  2. Microbiological stimulation of phytoremediation process using Salvinia natans to mercury contamined water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filyarovskaya, Viktoriya; Sitarska, Magdalena; Traczewska, Teodora; Wolf, Mirela

    2017-11-01

    An alternative to traditional cleaning methods of heavy metals in the water environment is phytoremediation. They efficiency depends on used technological process conditions as well as plant species. One of the most dangerous metallic elements mercury plays a particular role, which is a trace element and a physiologically foreign in living organisms. Mercury has a high degree of toxicity with strong affinity to thiol groups. This may cause an adverse effect on the enzymatic processes and consequently inhibiting the physiological functions. Because of high risk for human health, water environment treatment from mercury is essential proecological action. Mercury removal studies were conducted using Salvinia natans pleustofit, sampled from its natural water environment. In the first step, epiphytic bacteria, which was resistant to high concentrations of mercury (0,6 mgHg/l), was isolated from the plant and than selected by the tiles gradient mthod. In the next step, the identification using molecular biology methods was made. In the following step plant Salvinia natans was exposure to high levels of mercury in the presence of the three isolated Pseudomonas strains with exceptional resistance characteristics to environmental factors. Has been found a positive bacteria effect on the plant condition because the selected strains belong to Pseudomonas species producing materials supporting plant growth. The use of microbial stimulation to phytoremediation by hyperaccumulator Salvinia natans can multiply the effectiveness of the process.

  3. Microbiological stimulation of phytoremediation process using Salvinia natans to mercury contamined water

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filyarovskaya Viktoriya

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available An alternative to traditional cleaning methods of heavy metals in the water environment is phytoremediation. They efficiency depends on used technological process conditions as well as plant species. One of the most dangerous metallic elements mercury plays a particular role, which is a trace element and a physiologically foreign in living organisms. Mercury has a high degree of toxicity with strong affinity to thiol groups. This may cause an adverse effect on the enzymatic processes and consequently inhibiting the physiological functions. Because of high risk for human health, water environment treatment from mercury is essential proecological action. Mercury removal studies were conducted using Salvinia natans pleustofit, sampled from its natural water environment. In the first step, epiphytic bacteria, which was resistant to high concentrations of mercury (0,6 mgHg/l, was isolated from the plant and than selected by the tiles gradient mthod. In the next step, the identification using molecular biology methods was made. In the following step plant Salvinia natans was exposure to high levels of mercury in the presence of the three isolated Pseudomonas strains with exceptional resistance characteristics to environmental factors. Has been found a positive bacteria effect on the plant condition because the selected strains belong to Pseudomonas species producing materials supporting plant growth. The use of microbial stimulation to phytoremediation by hyperaccumulator Salvinia natans can multiply the effectiveness of the process.

  4. Mercury contamination extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuhrmann, Mark [Silver Spring, MD; Heiser, John [Bayport, NY; Kalb, Paul [Wading River, NY

    2009-09-15

    Mercury is removed from contaminated waste by firstly applying a sulfur reagent to the waste. Mercury in the waste is then permitted to migrate to the reagent and is stabilized in a mercury sulfide compound. The stable compound may then be removed from the waste which itself remains in situ following mercury removal therefrom.

  5. Risk policies and risk perceptions: a comparative study of environmental health risk policy and perception in six European countries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bröer, C.; Moerman, G.; Spruijt, P.; van Poll, R.

    2014-01-01

    This paper explores the influence that health risk policies have on the citizens’ perceptions of those health risks. Previously, detailed mixed methods research revealed that noise annoyance policies shaped noise perception. This idea is now applied to nine different environmental health risks in

  6. Editorial: Lead Risk Assessment and Health Effects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard W. Mielke

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In 1980, Clair C. Patterson stated: “Sometime in the near future it probably will be shown that the older urban areas of the United States have been rendered more or less uninhabitable by the millions of tons of poisonous industrial lead residues that have accumulated in cities during the past century”. We live in the near future about which this quote expressed concern. This special volume of 19 papers explores the status of scientific evidence regarding Dr. Patterson’s statement on the habitability of the environments of communities. Authors from 10 countries describe a variety of lead issues in the context of large and small communities, smelter sites, lead industries, lead-based painted houses, and vehicle fuel treated with lead additives dispersed by traffic. These articles represent the microcosm of the larger health issues associated with lead. The challenges of lead risk require a concerted global action for primary prevention.

  7. Poor periodontal health: A cancer risk?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K S Rajesh

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Evidence indicates that chronic infections and inflammation are associated with increased risk of cancer development. There has also been considerable evidence that proves the interrelationship between bacterial and viral infections and carcinogenesis. Periodontitis is a chronic oral infection thought to be caused by gram-negative anaerobic bacteria in the dental biofilm. Periodontal bacteria and viruses may act synergistically to cause periodontitis. Many studies have shown that periodontal pockets may act as reservoirs for human papilloma virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus, and suspected agents associated with oral cancer. Periodontitis, characterized by epithelial proliferation and migration, results in a chronic release of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, prostaglandins, and enzymes, all of which are associated with cancer development. This review article intends to shed light on the association between periodontal health and carcinogenesis.

  8. Poor periodontal health: A cancer risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajesh, K S; Thomas, Deepak; Hegde, Shashikanth; Kumar, M S Arun

    2013-11-01

    Evidence indicates that chronic infections and inflammation are associated with increased risk of cancer development. There has also been considerable evidence that proves the interrelationship between bacterial and viral infections and carcinogenesis. Periodontitis is a chronic oral infection thought to be caused by gram-negative anaerobic bacteria in the dental biofilm. Periodontal bacteria and viruses may act synergistically to cause periodontitis. Many studies have shown that periodontal pockets may act as reservoirs for human papilloma virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein Barr virus, and suspected agents associated with oral cancer. Periodontitis, characterized by epithelial proliferation and migration, results in a chronic release of inflammatory cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, prostaglandins, and enzymes, all of which are associated with cancer development. This review article intends to shed light on the association between periodontal health and carcinogenesis.

  9. Assessment of chronic neuropsychological effects of mercury vapour poisoning in chloral-alkali plant workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurka Pranjić

    2002-02-01

    Full Text Available A prospective case study was conducted in the Department of Occupational Medicine, Tuzla. The purpose of this study was to indicate negative effects from occupational exposure to mercury on behavioural and mental health, memory and psychomotor function that was tested in 46 chloral-alkali plant workers (mean age was 38. 8+/- 5. 7 years; mean age of occupational history 16. 5+/- 6. 0 years. Data on toxicological monitoring on atomic absorption spectrometer, and data on mental health were collected, psychiatric and other subjective symptoms, and behavioural, psychomotor and memory function tested. The data were compared to control group, 32 healthy non exposed workers. The study was designed to assess blood and urine mercurylevels and length of occupational exposure and investigate its relationships to effects on the mental health. The mean air mercury levels were 0.23 mg/m3, the mean blood mercury concentrations was 3. 6 mg/ dl and the mean urine mercuryconcentrations were 151.7 +/- 180.4 mg/l. In 25 (53% workers exposed to mercury vapour was identified Depression-Hypochondrias Syndrome (p trend < 0. 001 with higher scores for scales: Hysteria (p trend <0. 001, Schizoid and Psychoastenia (MMPI. All psychological parameters were in highly significantly correlations with mercury levels and length of occupational exposure. Pathological parameters were possible general identified if the concentration of blood mercury levels are >2. 9 mg/ dl, or urine mercury levels > 87 mg/l workers exposed to mercury vapour knew that toxic effects in body resulted in loosing some of intellectual abilities, and that people who handle chemicals had an increased health risk (ESW questionnaire. The occupational mercury exposed workers had introvert behaviour (EPQ. Aggressiveness was found in 71.7% workers. The cognitive disturbances: short-term memory loss, difficult to concentrate on tasks which require attention and thinking

  10. The relation of risk assessment and health impact assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ádám, Balázs; Gulis, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    than assessing a present situation. As part of this process, however, methods applied in risk assessment are used. Risk assessment typically characterises relation of a well-defined risk factor to a well-defined health outcome. Within HIA usually several individual risk assessments are needed...... of the causal chain from the proposal through related health determinants and risk factors to health outcomes. The stepwise analysis, systematic prioritization and consideration of horizontal interactions between the causal pathways make it feasible to use widely recognized risk assessment methods in the HIA......The level and distribution of health risks in a society is substantially influenced by measures of various policies, programmes or projects. Risk assessment can evaluate the nature, likelihood and severity of an adverse effect. Health impact assessment (HIA) provides similar function when used...

  11. The relationship between health risks and health and productivity costs among employees at Pepsi Bottling Group.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henke, Rachel M; Carls, Ginger S; Short, Meghan E; Pei, Xiaofei; Wang, Shaohung; Moley, Susan; Sullivan, Mark; Goetzel, Ron Z

    2010-05-01

    To evaluate relationships between modifiable health risks and costs and measure potential cost savings from risk reduction programs. Health risk information from active Pepsi Bottling Group employees who completed health risk assessments between 2004 and 2006 (N = 11,217) were linked to medical care, workers' compensation, and short-term disability cost data. Ten health risks were examined. Multivariate analyses were performed to estimate costs associated with having high risk, holding demographics, and other risks constant. Potential savings from risk reduction were estimated. High risk for weight, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol had the greatest impact on total costs. A one-percentage point annual reduction in the health risks assessed would yield annual per capita savings of $83.02 to $103.39. Targeted programs that address modifiable health risks are expected to produce substantial cost reductions in multiple benefit categories.

  12. Technical report: mercury in the environment: implications for pediatricians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldman, L R; Shannon, M W

    2001-07-01

    Mercury is a ubiquitous environmental toxin that causes a wide range of adverse health effects in humans. Three forms of mercury (elemental, inorganic, and organic) exist, and each has its own profile of toxicity. Exposure to mercury typically occurs by inhalation or ingestion. Readily absorbed after its inhalation, mercury can be an indoor air pollutant, for example, after spills of elemental mercury in the home; however, industry emissions with resulting ambient air pollution remain the most important source of inhaled mercury. Because fresh-water and ocean fish may contain large amounts of mercury, children and pregnant women can have significant exposure if they consume excessive amounts of fish. The developing fetus and young children are thought to be disproportionately affected by mercury exposure, because many aspects of development, particularly brain maturation, can be disturbed by the presence of mercury. Minimizing mercury exposure is, therefore, essential to optimal child health. This review provides pediatricians with current information on mercury, including environmental sources, toxicity, and treatment and prevention of mercury exposure.

  13. Perceptions of health risk and smoking decisions of young people

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerking, S.D.; Khaddaria, R.

    2012-01-01

    Using the Annenberg Perception of Tobacco Risk Survey 2, this paper finds that perceived risk deters smoking among persons aged 14–22 years who think that it is relatively difficult to quit smoking and that onset of deleterious health effects occurs relatively quickly. Perceived health risk,

  14. Environmental health research in Japan - management of environmental risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nakamura, Masahisa [Lake Biwa Research Institute (Japan)

    1997-12-31

    Briefly discussed the topics on emerging environmental health risks, their assessment and management, with special emphasis on groundwater management , environmental contamination, source protection, new drinking water and ambient water quality standards; and sophistication in instrumentation in environmental quality measurements, hazards and risk assessment and control, technology development in environmental health risk management.

  15. Potential human health risk assessment of heavy metals intake via ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Potential human health risk assessment of heavy metals intake via consumption of some leafy vegetables obtained from four market in Lagos Metropolis, Nigeria. ... This result reflected the risk associated with exposure for the period of life expectancy considered, and the inhabitants are highly exposed to health risks ...

  16. Environmental health research in Japan - management of environmental risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Masahisa Nakamura

    1996-01-01

    Briefly discussed the topics on emerging environmental health risks, their assessment and management, with special emphasis on groundwater management , environmental contamination, source protection, new drinking water and ambient water quality standards; and sophistication in instrumentation in environmental quality measurements, hazards and risk assessment and control, technology development in environmental health risk management

  17. Methodology for the assessment of human health risks associated ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Studies have shown that the aquatic environment can be polluted by contaminates that are accumulated by freshwater fish and this may pose a health risk to the ... bioaccumulation potential and health risks of analytes, sound sampling design, risk assessment procedures and performing monitoring at different scales and ...

  18. Mercury recycling in the United States in 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, William E.; Matos, Grecia R.

    2005-01-01

    Reclamation and recycling of mercury from used mercury- containing products and treatment of byproduct mercury from gold mining is vital to the continued, though declining, use of this metal. Mercury is reclaimed from mercury-containing waste by treatment in multistep high-temperature retorts-the mercury is volatized and then condensed for purification and sale. Some mercury-containing waste, however, may be landfilled, and landfilled material represents loss of a recyclable resource and a threat to the environment. Related issues include mercury disposal and waste management, toxicity and human health, and regulation of mercury releases in the environment. End-users of mercury-containing products may face fines and prosecution if these products are improperly recycled or not recycled. Local and State environmental regulations require adherence to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act to regulate generation, treatment, and disposal of mercury-containing products. In the United States, several large companies and a number of smaller companies collect these products from a variety of sources and then reclaim and recycle the mercury. Because mercury has not been mined as a principal product in the United States since 1992, mercury reclamation from fabricated products has become the main source of mercury. Principal product mercury and byproduct mercury from mining operations are considered to be primary materials. Mercury may also be obtained as a byproduct from domestic or foreign gold-processing operations. In the early 1990s, U.S. manufacturers used an annual average that ranged from 500 to 600 metric tons of recycled and imported mercury for fabrication of automobile convenience switches, dental amalgam, fluorescent lamps, medical uses and thermometers, and thermostats. The amount now used for fabrication is estimated to be 200 metric tons per year or less. Much of the data on

  19. Cadmium exposure and health risks: Recent findings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elinder, C.G. [Huddinge Hospital (Sweden). Dept. of Renal Medicine; Jaerup, L. [Stockholm City Council (Sweden). Dept. of Environmental Health

    1996-08-01

    Environmental and/or occupational exposure to cadmium give rise to a tubular kidney dysfunction which may proceed to more generalized renal damage and bone disease if exposure has been high and prolonged. Recent scientific work shows that early renal effects develop at lower levels of exposure than previously anticipated. Previous risk assessments for cadmium were mainly based on studies on healthy male workers. The general population, however, also include particularly susceptible groups such as elderly and individuals with illnesses (e.g. diabetes) that may predispose to cadmium-induced health effects. A significant proportion of the general population displays early signs of toxicity already at urinary cadmium concentrations around 3 nmol mmol{sup -1} creatinine. In addition to early tubular effects, cadmium may exert direct or indirect effects on mineral metabolism and the mineralization of the skeleton at relatively low levels of exposure. This may have important health implications, as poor and easily fractured bone is a major problem among the elderly in all industrialized countries. 41 refs, 4 figs

  20. Mercury Bioaccumulation in the Brazilian Amazonian Tucunares (Cichla sp., Cichlidae, Perciformes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Josefina Reyna Kurtz

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available There are emissions of mercury to the atmosphere, soil and rivers of the Brazilian Amazon stem from many sources. Once in the atmosphere, the metal is oxidized and immediately deposited. In the water, the transformation to methylmercury takes place mostly by the action of microorganisms. The formation of methylmercury increases the dispersion and bioavailability of the element in the aquatic environment. Methylmercury can be assimilated by plankton and enters the food chain. The concentration of mercury increases further up in the trophic levels of the chain and reaches the highest values in carnivorous fishes like tucunare. Therefore, mercury emissions cause the contamination of natural resources and increase risks to the health of regular fish consumers. The objective of this work was to study the bioaccumulation of mercury in tucunares (Cichla sp., top predators of the food chain. The fishes were collected at two locations representative of the Amazonian fluvial ecosystem, in the state of Pará, Brazil, in 1992 and 2001. One location is near a former informal gold mining area. The other is far from the mining area and is considered pristine. Average values of total mercury concentration and accumulation rates for four different collection groups were compared and discussed. Tucunares collected in 2001 presented higher mercury contents and accumulated mercury faster than tucunares collected in 1992 notwithstanding the decline of mining activities in this period. The aggravation of the mercury contamination with time not only in an area where informal gold mining was practiced but also far from this area is confirmed.

  1. Evaluation of heavy metals level (arsenic, nickel, mercury and lead effecting on health in drinking water resource of Kohgiluyeh county using geographic information system (GIS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdolazim Alinejad

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to determine the amount of heavy metals (Arsenic, Nickel, Mercury, and Lead in drinking water resource of Kohgiluyeh County using Geographic Information System (GIS. This cross-sectional study was conducted on drinking water resource of Kohgiluyeh County (33 water supplies and 4 heavy metals in 2013. 264 samples were analyzed in this study. The experiments were performed at the laboratory of Water and Wastewater Company based on Standard Method. The Atomic Adsorption was used to evaluate the amount of heavy metals. The results were mapping by Geographic Information System software (GIS 9.3 after processing of parameters. Finally, the data were analyzed by SPSS 16 and Excel 2007. The maximum amount of each heavy metal and its resource were shown as follow: Nickel or Ni (Source of w12, 124ppb, Arsenic or As (w33, 42 ppb, Mercury or Hg (w22 and w30, 96ppb, Lead or Pb (w21, 1553ppb. Also, the GIS maps showed that Lead in the central region was very high, Mercury and Arsenic in the northern region were high and Nickel in the eastern and western regions was high. The Kriging method and Gauss model were introduced as best method for interpolation of these metals. Since the concentration of these heavy metals was higher than standard levels in most drinking water supplies in Kohgiluyeh County and these high levels of heavy metals can cause the adverse effects on human health; therefore, the environmental and geological studies are necessary to identify the pollution resource and elimination and removal of heavy metals

  2. Comparison of Indoor Mercury Vapor in Common Areas of Residential Buildings with Outdoor Levels in a Community Where Mercury Is Used for Cultural Purposes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garetano, Gary; Gochfeld, Michael; Stern, Alan H.

    2006-01-01

    Elemental mercury has been imbued with magical properties for millennia, and various cultures use elemental mercury in a variety of superstitious and cultural practices, raising health concerns for users and residents in buildings where it is used. As a first step in assessing this phenomenon, we compared mercury vapor concentration in common areas of residential buildings versus outdoor air, in two New Jersey cities where mercury is available and is used in cultural practices. We measured mercury using a portable atomic absorption spectrometer capable of quantitative measurement from 2 ng/m3 mercury vapor. We evaluated the interior hallways in 34 multifamily buildings and the vestibule in an additional 33 buildings. Outdoor mercury vapor averaged 5 ng/m3; indoor mercury was significantly higher (mean 25 ng/m3; p < 0.001); 21% of buildings had mean mercury vapor concentration in hallways that exceeded the 95th percentile of outdoor mercury vapor concentration (17 ng/m3), whereas 35% of buildings had a maximum mercury vapor concentration that exceeded the 95th percentile of outdoor mercury concentration. The highest indoor average mercury vapor concentration was 299 ng/m3, and the maximum point concentration was 2,022 ng/m3. In some instances, we were able to locate the source, but we could not specifically attribute the elevated levels of mercury vapor to cultural use or other specific mercury releases. However, these findings provide sufficient evidence of indoor mercury source(s) to warrant further investigation. PMID:16393659

  3. Estimation of health risks from radiation exposures

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Randolph, M.L.

    1983-08-01

    An informal presentation is given of the cancer and genetic risks from exposures to ionizing radiations. The risks from plausible radiation exposures are shown to be comparable to other commonly encountered risks.

  4. Estimation of health risks from radiation exposures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Randolph, M.L.

    1983-08-01

    An informal presentation is given of the cancer and genetic risks from exposures to ionizing radiations. The risks from plausible radiation exposures are shown to be comparable to other commonly encountered risks

  5. Benefits of mercury controls for the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giang, Amanda; Selin, Noelle E

    2016-01-12

    Mercury pollution poses risks for both human and ecosystem health. As a consequence, controlling mercury pollution has become a policy goal on both global and national scales. We developed an assessment method linking global-scale atmospheric chemical transport modeling to regional-scale economic modeling to consistently evaluate the potential benefits to the United States of global (UN Minamata Convention on Mercury) and domestic [Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS)] policies, framed as economic gains from avoiding mercury-related adverse health endpoints. This method attempts to trace the policies-to-impacts path while taking into account uncertainties and knowledge gaps with policy-appropriate bounding assumptions. We project that cumulative lifetime benefits from the Minamata Convention for individuals affected by 2050 are $339 billion (2005 USD), with a range from $1.4 billion to $575 billion in our sensitivity scenarios. Cumulative economy-wide benefits to the United States, realized by 2050, are $104 billion, with a range from $6 million to $171 billion. Projected Minamata benefits are more than twice those projected from the domestic policy. This relative benefit is robust to several uncertainties and variabilities, with the ratio of benefits (Minamata/MATS) ranging from ≈1.4 to 3. However, we find that for those consuming locally caught freshwater fish from the United States, rather than marine and estuarine fish from the global market, benefits are larger from US than global action, suggesting domestic policies are important for protecting these populations. Per megagram of prevented emissions, our domestic policy scenario results in US benefits about an order of magnitude higher than from our global scenario, further highlighting the importance of domestic action.

  6. Phytoremediation of Ionic and Methyl Mercury Pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meagher, Richard B.

    2005-06-01

    Phytoremediation is defined as the use of plants to extract, resist, detoxify, and/or sequester toxic environmental pollutants. The long-term goal of the proposed research is to develop and test highly productive, field-adapted plant species that have been engineered for the phytoremediation of mercury. A variety of different genes, which should enable plants to clean mercury polluted sites are being tested as tools for mercury phytoremediation, first in model laboratory plants and then in potential field species. Several of these genes have already been shown to enhance mercury phytoremediation. Mercury pollution is a serious, world-wide problem affecting the health of human and wildlife populations. Environmentally, the most serious mercury threat is the production of methylmercury (CH3Hg+) by native bacteria at mercury contaminated wetland sites. Methylmercury is inherently more toxic than metallic (Hg(0)) or ionic (Hg(II)) mercury, and because methylmercury is prolifically biomagnified up the food chain, it poses the most immediate danger to animal populations. We have successfully engineered two model plants, Arabidopsis and tobacco, to use the bacterial merB gene to convert methylmercury to less toxic ionic mercury and to use the bacterial merA gene to further detoxify ionic mercury to the least toxic form of mercury, metallic mercury. Plants expressing both MerA and MerB proteins detoxify methylmercury in two steps to the metallic form. These plants germinate, grow, and set seed at normal growth rates on levels of methylmercury or ionic mercury that are lethal to normal plants. Our newest efforts involve engineering plants with several additional bacterial and plant genes that allow for higher levels of mercury resistance and mercury hyperaccumulation. The potential for these plants to hyperaccumulate mercury was further advanced by developing constitutive, aboveground, and root-specific gene expression systems. Our current strategy is to engineer plants to

  7. A preliminary study on health effects in villagers exposed to mercury in a small-scale artisanal gold mining area in Indonesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Schierl, Rudolf; Nowak, Dennis; Siebert, Uwe; William, Jossep Frederick; Owi, Fradico Teorgi; Ir, Yuyun Ismawati

    2016-08-01

    Cisitu is a small-scale gold mining village in Indonesia. Mercury (Hg) is used to extract gold from ore, heavily polluting air, soil, fish and rice paddy fields with Hg. Rice in Cisitu is burdened with mercury. The main staple food of the inhabitants of Cisitu is this polluted rice. Villagers were concerned that the severe diseases they observed in the community might be related to their mining activities, including high mercury exposure. Case report of the medical examinations and the mercury levels in urine and hair of 18 people with neurological symptoms. Typical signs and symptoms of chronic mercury intoxication were found (excessive salivation, sleep disturbances, tremor, ataxia, dysdiadochokinesia, pathological coordination tests, gray to bluish discoloration of the oral cavity and proteinuria). Mercury levels in urine were increased in eight patients (>7µg Hg/L urine). All 18 people had increased hair levels (>1µg Hg/g hair). 15 patients exhibited several, and sometimes numerous, symptoms in addition to having moderately to highly elevated levels of mercury in their specimens. These patients were classified as intoxicated. The situation in Cisitu is special, with rice paddy fields being irrigated with mercury-contaminated water and villagers consuming only local food, especially mercury-contaminated rice. Severe neurological symptoms and increased levels of mercury in urine and hair support are possibly caused by exposure to inorganic mercury in air, and the consumption of mercury-contaminated fish and rice. The mercury exposure needs to be reduced and treatment provided. Further research is needed to test the hypothesis that mercury-contaminated rice from small-scale gold mining areas might cause mercury intoxication. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Associations of blood lead, cadmium, and mercury with estimated glomerular filtration rate in the Korean general population: Analysis of 2008–2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Yangho; Lee, Byung-Kook

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between blood lead, cadmium, and mercury levels with estimated glomerular filtration rate in a general population of South Korean adults. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study based on data obtained in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) (2008–2010). The final analytical sample consisted of 5924 participants. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the MDRD Study equation as an indicator of glomerular function. Results: In multiple linear regression analysis of log2-transformed blood lead as a continuous variable on eGFR, after adjusting for covariates including cadmium and mercury, the difference in eGFR levels associated with doubling of blood lead were −2.624 mL/min per 1.73 m² (95% CI: −3.803 to −1.445). In multiple linear regression analysis using quartiles of blood lead as the independent variable, the difference in eGFR levels comparing participants in the highest versus the lowest quartiles of blood lead was −3.835 mL/min per 1.73 m² (95% CI: −5.730 to −1.939). In a multiple linear regression analysis using blood cadmium and mercury, as continuous or categorical variables, as independent variables, neither metal was a significant predictor of eGFR. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI values for reduced eGFR calculated for log2-transformed blood metals and quartiles of the three metals showed similar trends after adjustment for covariates. Discussion: In this large, representative sample of South Korean adults, elevated blood lead level was consistently associated with lower eGFR levels and with the prevalence of reduced eGFR even in blood lead levels below 10 μg/dL. In conclusion, elevated blood lead level was associated with lower eGFR in a Korean general population, supporting the role of lead as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease.

  9. Associations of blood lead, cadmium, and mercury with estimated glomerular filtration rate in the Korean general population: Analysis of 2008-2010 Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kim, Yangho [Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan (Korea, Republic of); Lee, Byung-Kook, E-mail: bklee@sch.ac.kr [Institute of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Soonchunhyang University 646 Eupnae-ri, Shinchang-myun, Asan-si, Choongnam 336-745 (Korea, Republic of)

    2012-10-15

    Introduction: The objective of this study was to evaluate associations between blood lead, cadmium, and mercury levels with estimated glomerular filtration rate in a general population of South Korean adults. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study based on data obtained in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) (2008-2010). The final analytical sample consisted of 5924 participants. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated using the MDRD Study equation as an indicator of glomerular function. Results: In multiple linear regression analysis of log2-transformed blood lead as a continuous variable on eGFR, after adjusting for covariates including cadmium and mercury, the difference in eGFR levels associated with doubling of blood lead were -2.624 mL/min per 1.73 m Superscript-Two (95% CI: -3.803 to -1.445). In multiple linear regression analysis using quartiles of blood lead as the independent variable, the difference in eGFR levels comparing participants in the highest versus the lowest quartiles of blood lead was -3.835 mL/min per 1.73 m Superscript-Two (95% CI: -5.730 to -1.939). In a multiple linear regression analysis using blood cadmium and mercury, as continuous or categorical variables, as independent variables, neither metal was a significant predictor of eGFR. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% CI values for reduced eGFR calculated for log2-transformed blood metals and quartiles of the three metals showed similar trends after adjustment for covariates. Discussion: In this large, representative sample of South Korean adults, elevated blood lead level was consistently associated with lower eGFR levels and with the prevalence of reduced eGFR even in blood lead levels below 10 {mu}g/dL. In conclusion, elevated blood lead level was associated with lower eGFR in a Korean general population, supporting the role of lead as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease.

  10. Mercury and selenium levels in 19 species of saltwater fish from New Jersey as a function of species, size, and season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burger, Joanna; Gochfeld, Michael

    2014-01-01

    There are few data on risks to biota and humans from mercury levels in saltwater fish. This paper examines mercury and selenium levels in muscle of 19 species of fish caught by recreational fisherfolk off the New Jersey shore, as a function of species of fish, size, and season, and risk of mercury to consumers. Average mercury levels ranged from 0.01 ppm (wet weight) (Menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus) to 1.83 ppm (Mako Shark Isurus oxyrinchus). There were four categories of mercury levels: very high (only Mako), high (averaging 0.3–0.5 ppm, 3 species), medium (0.14–0.20 ppm, 10 species), and low (below 0.13 ppm, 5 species). Average selenium levels for the fish species ranged from 0.18 ppm to 0.58 ppm, and had lower variability than mercury (coefficient of variation=38.3 vs 69.1%), consistent with homeostatic regulation of this essential element. The correlation between mercury and selenium was significantly positive for five and negative for two species. Mercury levels showed significant positive correlations with fish size for ten species. Size was the best predictor of mercury levels. Selenium showed no consistent relationship to fish length. Over half of the fish species had some individual fish with mercury levels over 0.3 ppm, and a third had fish with levels over 0.5 ppm, levels that pose a human health risk for high end consumers. Conversely several fish species had no individuals above 0.5 ppm, and few above 0.3 ppm, suggesting that people who eat fish frequently, can reduce their risk from mercury by selecting which species (and which size) to consume. Overall, with the exception of shark, Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus), Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) and Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis), the species sampled are generally medium to low in mercury concentration. Selenium:mercury molar ratios were generally above 1:1, except for the Mako shark. PMID:21292311

  11. Proximity systems: Analysis of health risks; Varchi magneticianalysis of health risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barbaro, V.; Bartolini, P.; Donato, A. [Istituto Superiore di Sanita`, Rome (Italy). Lab. di Ingegneria Biomedica; Militello, C.; Polichetti, A.; Vecchia, P. [Istituto Superiore di Sanita`, Rome (Italy). Lab. di Fisica

    1996-03-01

    The results of a study on the magnetic fields generated by proximity systems for the controlled access of personnel are reported. Besides data from experimental measurements, the results are presented of theoretical calculations of induced currents inside the body. Health risks are also evaluated based on a comparison with the most advanced international standards. Finally, possible effects of interference with implanted pacemakers are analyzed in detail.

  12. Worldwide trend of atmospheric mercury since 1995

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Slemr

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Concern about the adverse effects of mercury on human health and ecosystems has led to tightening emission controls since the mid 1980s. But the resulting mercury emissions reductions in many parts of the world are believed to be offset or even surpassed by the increasing emissions in rapidly industrializing countries. Consequently, concentrations of atmospheric mercury are expected to remain roughly constant. Here we show that the worldwide atmospheric mercury concentrations have decreased by about 20 to 38 % since 1996 as indicated by long-term monitoring at stations in the Southern and Northern Hemispheres combined with intermittent measurements of latitudinal distribution over the Atlantic Ocean. The total reduction of the atmospheric mercury burden of this magnitude within 14 years is unusually large among most atmospheric trace gases and is at odds with the current mercury emission inventories with nearly constant anthropogenic emissions over this period. This suggests a major shift in the biogeochemical cycle of mercury including oceans and soil reservoirs. Decreasing reemissions from the legacy of historical mercury emissions are the most likely explanation for this decline since the hypothesis of an accelerated oxidation rate of elemental mercury in the atmosphere is not supported by the observed trends of other trace gases. Acidification of oceans, climate change, excess nutrient input and pollution may also contribute by their impact on the biogeochemistry of ocean and soils. Consequently, models of the atmospheric mercury cycle have to include soil and ocean mercury pools and their dynamics to be able to make projections of future trends.

  13. Mercury uptake and distribution in Lavandula stoechas plants grown in soil from Almadén mining district (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sierra, M J; Millán, R; Esteban, E

    2009-11-01

    This work studies mercury root uptake by Lavandula stoechas var. Kew Red (lavender) and the distribution of this metal through the plant under greenhouse conditions along three consecutive seasons. Mercury concentration in plant tissues and in the different products obtained from lavender plants (essential oil, toilet water and in lavender tea) was assessed in order to evaluate the possible cultivation of lavender as a profitable alternative land use to mercury mining in the Almadén area once the mine had been closed down. Mercury concentration in useful parts of the plant was low (0.03-0.55 mg kg(-1)). Likewise, the essential oil, toilet water and tea obtained from these plants presented very low mercury levels, below the detection limit of the used equipment (<0.5 microg kg(-1)). In the case of the obtained tea, according to the recommendations given by the World Health Organization, the maximum daily intake of it without intoxication risk would be 85.2l. So, although other sources of mercury intake should also be considered in order to elaborate a complete toxicological risk assessment. Lavender data, obtained under this greenhouse working conditions, shows that lavender cultivation could be an alternative crop in the Almadén area.

  14. Methods to Quantify Uncertainty in Human Health Risk Assessment

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Aurelius, Lea

    1998-01-01

    ...) and other health professionals, such as the Bioenviroumental Engineer, to identify the appropriate use of probabilistic techniques for a site, and the methods by which probabilistic risk assessment...

  15. University of Washington Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The theme of the University of Washington based Center for Child Environmental Health Risks Research (CHC) is understanding the biochemical, molecular and exposure...

  16. Removal of mercury by adsorption: a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Jin-Gang; Yue, Bao-Yu; Wu, Xiong-Wei; Liu, Qi; Jiao, Fei-Peng; Jiang, Xin-Yu; Chen, Xiao-Qing

    2016-03-01

    Due to natural and production activities, mercury contamination has become one of the major environmental problems over the world. Mercury contamination is a serious threat to human health. Among the existing technologies available for mercury pollution control, the adsorption process can get excellent separation effects and has been further studied. This review is attempted to cover a wide range of adsorbents that were developed for the removal of mercury from the year 2011. Various adsorbents, including the latest adsorbents, are presented along with highlighting and discussing the key advancements on their preparation, modification technologies, and strategies. By comparing their adsorption capacities, it is evident from the literature survey that some adsorbents have shown excellent potential for the removal of mercury. However, there is still a need to develop novel, efficient adsorbents with low cost, high stability, and easy production and manufacture for practical utility.

  17. The Relation between Adolescent Self Assessment of Health and Risk Behaviours: Could a Global Measure of Health Provide Indications of Health Risk Exposures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkansah-Amankra, Stephen; Walker, Ashley Dawn

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Self-rated health (SRH) has become a key organizing construct for assessing multiple dimensions of populations' physical and psychosocial health functioning. However, it is unclear how adolescents' subjective self assessment of health reflects health risk exposures, co-occurring health risks (problem behaviours) and other pre-existing…

  18. Measuring compliance of conducting an occupational health risk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... health risk assessment in the occupational health nurse's practice. ... A quantitative, descriptive design was used in this study. ... A self-developed questionnaire was distributed by mail and e-mail, and authors sent respondents reminders.

  19. Cumulative Risk Assessment (CRA): transforming the way we assess health risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Pamela R D; Dotson, G Scott; Maier, Andrew

    2012-10-16

    Human health risk assessments continue to evolve and now focus on the need for cumulative risk assessment (CRA). CRA involves assessing the combined risk from coexposure to multiple chemical and nonchemical stressors for varying health effects. CRAs are broader in scope than traditional chemical risk assessments because they allow for a more comprehensive evaluation of the interaction between different stressors and their combined impact on human health. Future directions of CRA include greater emphasis on local-level community-based assessments; integrating environmental, occupational, community, and individual risk factors; and identifying and implementing common frameworks and risk metrics for incorporating multiple stressors.

  20. Assessment of mercury contamination of the Svitava and Svratka rivers and muscle of chub (Leuciscus cephalus L. in the urban agglomeration of Brno in the Czech Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamila Kružíková

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This study focused on the total mercury and methylmercury content in the muscle of chub (Leuciscus cephalus L., the total mercury in the river sediments and the evaluation of health risks associated with fish contamination. Chub were caught at seven localities on the Svratka and Svitava rivers in the agglomeration of Brno in 2008. The results were compared to those obtained from the same sites in 2007. Total mercury was determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometry using an AMA 245 analyzer, and methylmercury was determined by gas chromatography (using an electron-capture detector after acid digestion and toluene extraction in chub muscle. The highest concentrations of total mercury and methylmercury (0.12 ± 0.14 and 0.07 ± 0.02 mg·kg-1 fresh weight, respectively were found in Svratka before junction (south of Brno, whereas the lowest concentration of mercury and methylmercury in chub (0.06 ± 0.01 and 0.04 ± 0.01 mg·kg-1 was detected in Svitava before junction with the Svratka River. Total mercury in sediments ranged from 0.01 to 1.05 mg·kg-1 dry weight, the highest value was detected in the sediment from Rajhradice. The lowest content (0.01 mg·kg-1 was at Kníničky. Hazard indices calculated for the selected localities showed no health risk for either a standard consumer or a fishing family. Fish from the Svitava and Svratka rivers show very low mercury concentration and hazard index and their consumption poses no health risk from total mercury and methylmercury contamination.

  1. 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.

  2. Cold - an underrated risk factor for health

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mercer, James B.

    2003-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are responsible for around 20% of all deaths worldwide (approximately 14 million) and are the principal cause of death in all developed countries, accounting for 50% of all deaths. Variations in the annual per capita death rates in different countries are well documented. Less well known are seasonal variations in death rates, with the highest levels occurring during the colder winter months, which have been described in many countries. This phenomenon is referred to as excess winter mortality. CVD-related deaths account for the majority of excess winter deaths (up to 70% in some countries), while about half of the remaining are due to increases in respiratory diseases. Paradoxically, CVD mortality increases to a greater extent with a given fall in temperature in regions with warm winters. While much of the indirect evidence points to the notion that cold is somehow involved in explaining excess winter deaths, the mechanism by which seemingly mild exposure to cold ambient conditions can increase the risk of death remains unclear. The strong indirect epidemiological evidence coupling cold climate to mortality may be related to indoor rather than outdoor climatic conditions (e.g., cold/damp houses versus arm/dry houses) coupled with a plethora of factors including health status, ageing-related deterioration in physiological and behavioral thermoregulation, toxicology, and socioeconomic factors

  3. A survey of topsoil arsenic and mercury concentrations across France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchant, B P; Saby, N P A; Arrouays, D

    2017-08-01

    Even at low concentrations, the presence of arsenic and mercury in soils can lead to ecological and health impacts. The recent European-wide LUCAS Topsoil Survey found that the arsenic concentration of a large proportion of French soils exceeded a threshold which indicated that further investigation was required. A much smaller proportion of soils exceeded the corresponding threshold for mercury but the impacts of mining and industrial activities on mercury concentrations are not well understood. We use samples from the French national soil monitoring network (RMQS: Réseau de Mesures de la Qualité des Sols) to explore the variation of topsoil arsenic and mercury concentrations across mainland France at a finer spatial resolution than was reported by LUCAS Topsoil. We use geostatistical methods to map the expected concentrations of these elements in the topsoil and the probabilities that the legislative thresholds are exceeded. We find that, with the exception of some areas where the geogenic concentrations and soil adsorption capacities are very low, arsenic concentrations are generally larger than the threshold which indicates that further assessment of the area is required. The lower of two other guideline values indicating risks to ecology or health is exceeded in fewer than 5% of RMQS samples. These exceedances occur in localised hot-spots primarily associated with mining and mineralization. The probabilities of mercury concentrations exceeding the further assessment threshold value are everywhere less than 0.01 and none of the RMQS samples exceed either of the ecological and health risk thresholds. However, there are some regions with elevated concentrations which can be related to volcanic material, natural mineralizations and industrial contamination. These regions are more diffuse than the hot-spots of arsenic reflecting the greater volatility of mercury and therefore the greater ease with which it can be transported and redeposited. The maps provide a

  4. Daily atmospheric radionuclide observations and health impact estimation before and after the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident: Five-year trends by Canadian monitoring stations - Ten-year trends of atmospheric lead-210 and the correlation to atmospheric mercury in the Canadian Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Weihua; Chen, Jing; Ungar, Kurt [Radiation Protection Bureau, Health Canada, 775 Brookfield Rd. Ottawa, K1A 1C1 (Canada)

    2014-07-01

    Mercury is a global threat to human and environmental health. Anthropogenic emissions of mercury have been larger than natural emissions since the start of the industrial age about 200 years ago. In the past decades, many studies have focused on monitoring and controlling anthropogenic emissions of mercury and their transport and transformation in the environment. In October 2013, the Minamata Convention on Mercury was formally adopted as international law. The new treaty aims to further cut mercury emissions and releases; it is the first global convention on environment and health. Coal burning for power generation and industrial use is one of the major sources of anthropogenic mercury emissions to the air. However, coal combustion processes produce significant quantities of dust containing not only mercury but also natural radionuclides that are released into the atmosphere. Like the case of mercury, those radionuclides can be transported over long distances, deposited on soil and oceans and accumulated in Arctic biota. Exposure to elevated levels of radiation is a health concern. This study analyses long-term trends of atmospheric lead-210 from Health Canada's radiological monitoring stations in the Arctic. Results are compared with ten-year records of atmospheric mercury reported by Environment Canada. A discussion is given on the correlation of long-range atmospheric transport of lead-210 and mercury from industrial sources, such as coal burning. It is expected that continuous decline of atmospheric mercury in the Arctic, especially with more and more countries signing the Minamata Convention, will result in a deceasing trend of atmospheric lead-210 from industrial sources as well. (authors)

  5. An integrated framework for health and ecological risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suter, Glenn W.; Vermeire, Theo; Munns, Wayne R.; Sekizawa, Jun

    2005-01-01

    The worldHealth Organization's (WHO's) International Program for Chemical Safety has developed a framework for performing risk assessments that integrate the assessment of risks to human health and risks to nonhuman organisms and ecosystems. The WHO's framework recognizes that stakeholders and risk managers have their own processes that are parallel to the scientific process of risk assessment and may interact with the risk assessment at various points, depending on the context. Integration of health and ecology provides consistent expressions of assessment results, incorporates the interdependence of humans and the environment, uses sentinel organisms, and improves the efficiency and quality of assessments relative to independent human health and ecological risk assessments. The advantage of the framework to toxicologists lies in the opportunity to use understanding of toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics to inform the integrated assessment of all exposed species

  6. Mercury and its toxic effects on fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Morcillo

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg and its derivative compounds have been parts of widespread pollutants of the aquatic environment. Since Hg is absorbed by fish and passed up the food chain to other fish-eating species, it does not only affect aquatic ecosystems but also humans through bioaccumulation. Thus, the knowledge of toxicological effects of Hg on fish has become one of the aims in research applied to fish aquaculture. Moreover, the use of alternative methods to animal testing has gained great interest in the field of Toxicology. This review addresses the systemic pathophysiology of individual organ systems associated with Hg poisoning on fish. Such data are extremely useful to the scientific community and public officials involved in health risk assessment and management of environmental contaminants as a guide to the best course of action to restore ecosystems and, in turn, to preserve human health.

  7. Health risk assessment of exposure to ionizing radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ogata, Hiromitsu

    2011-01-01

    Risk assessment is an essential process for evaluating the human health effects of exposure to ionizing radiation and for determining acceptable levels of exposure. There are two major components of radiation risk assessment: a measure of exposure level and a measure of disease occurrence. For quantitative estimation of health risks, it is important to evaluate the association between exposure and disease occurrence using epidemiological or experimental data. In these approaches, statistical risk models are used particularly for estimating cancer risks related to exposure to low levels of radiation. This paper presents a summary of basic models and methods of risk assessment for studying exposure-risk relationships. Moreover, quantitative risk estimates are subject to several sources of uncertainty due to inherent limitations in risk assessment studies. This paper also discusses the limitations of radiation risk assessment. (author)

  8. Perceived and calculated health risks: do the impacts differ

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, B.A.; Williams, R.G.

    1986-01-01

    In many cases of radioactive and hazardous waste management, some members of the general public perceive that human health risks associated with the wastes are higher than the calculated risks. Calculated risks are projections that have been derived from models, and it is these risks that are usually used as the basis for waste management. However, for various reasons, the calculated risks are often considered by the public as too low or inappropriate. The reasons that calculated risks are not perceived as accurate and the factors that affect these perceptions are explored in this paper. Also discussed are the impacts related to the perceived and calculated health risks: what they are, and if and how they differ. The kinds of potential impacts examined are health effects, land value changes, and social, transportation, and economic effects. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of incorporating these different risk perspectives in decisions on waste management

  9. Clean Slate transportation and human health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-02-01

    Public concern regarding activities involving radioactive material generally focuses on the human health risk associated with exposure to ionizing radiation. This report describes the results of a risk analysis conducted to evaluate risk for excavation, handling, and transport of soil contaminated with transuranics at the Clean Slate sites. Transportation risks were estimated for public transport routes from the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) to the Envirocore disposal facility or to the Area 3 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) for both radiological risk and risk due to traffic accidents. Human health risks were evaluated for occupational and radiation-related health effects to workers. This report was generated to respond to this public concern, to provide an evaluation of the risk, and to assess feasibility of transport of the contaminated soil for disposal

  10. Risks, benefits, health and the food economy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kornelis, M.; Fischer, A.R.H.

    2007-01-01

    This report examines consumer attitudes and purchase behaviour towards risks and benefits of food products. Experimental approaches are used to analyse determinants of consumer risk and benefit perceptions regarding food products. The results suggest that perceptions and behaviour of consumers

  11. Risk factors for fishermen's health and safety in Greece

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Frantzeskou, Elpida; Kastania, Anastasia N; Riza, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Background: This is, to the best of our knowledge, the first occupational health study in Greek fishing. Aim: The aim of the study is to determine the risks for health and safety in Greek fisheries workers by exploring their health status and the health risk factors present in their occupational...... injury, of which half caused more than one day absence, while 14% had a near drowning experience. The health risks factors studied include excessive weight, cardiovascular incidents and dermatological, musculoskeletal, respiratory, hearing, stress, and anxiety problems. The occupational health risk...... factors include alcohol, fatty food consumption, smoking, and lack of physical exercise. Conclusions: The health effects observed are causally related to diet, smoking, and exercise, which in turn relate to the specific working conditions and culture in small-scale fishing that need to be taken...

  12. Mercury nano-trap for effective and efficient removal of mercury(II) from aqueous solution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Baiyan; Zhang, Yiming; Ma, Dingxuan; Shi, Zhan; Ma, Shengqian

    2014-11-01

    Highly effective and highly efficient decontamination of mercury from aqueous media remains a serious task for public health and ecosystem protection. Here we report that this task can be addressed by creating a mercury ‘nano-trap’ as illustrated by functionalizing a high surface area and robust porous organic polymer with a high density of strong mercury chelating groups. The resultant porous organic polymer-based mercury ‘nano-trap’ exhibits a record-high saturation mercury uptake capacity of over 1,000 mg g-1, and can effectively reduce the mercury(II) concentration from 10 p.p.m. to the extremely low level of smaller than 0.4 p.p.b. well below the acceptable limits in drinking water standards (2 p.p.b.), and can also efficiently remove >99.9% mercury(II) within a few minutes. Our work therefore presents a new benchmark for mercury adsorbent materials and provides a new perspective for removing mercury(II) and also other heavy metal ions from contaminated water for environmental remediation.

  13. Human health risks associated with asbestos abatement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrostowski, P C; Foster, S A; Anderson, E L

    1991-09-01

    Upperbound lifetime excess cancer risks were calculated for activities associated with asbestos abatement using a risk assessment framework developed for EPA's Superfund program. It was found that removals were associated with cancer risks to workers which were often greater than the commonly accepted cancer risk of 1 x 10(-6), although lower than occupational exposure limits associated with risks of 1 x 10(-3). Removals had little effect in reducing risk to school populations. Risks to teachers and students in school buildings containing asbestos were approximately the same as risks associated with exposure to ambient asbestos by the general public and were below the levels typically of concern to regulatory agencies. During abatement, however, there were increased risks to both workers and nearby individuals. Careless, everyday building maintenance generated the greatest risk to workers followed by removals and encapsulation. If asbestos abatement was judged by the risk criteria applied to EPA's Superfund program, the no-action alternative would likely be selected in preference to removal in a majority of cases. These conclusions should only be interpreted within the context of an overall asbestos risk management program, which includes consideration of specific fiber types and sizes, sampling and analytical limitations, physical condition of asbestos-containing material, episodic peak exposures, and the number of people potentially exposed.

  14. A new approach to criteria for health risk assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spickett, Jeffery; Katscherian, Dianne; Goh, Yang Miang

    2012-01-01

    Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is a developing component of the overall impact assessment process and as such needs access to procedures that can enable more consistent approaches to the stepwise process that is now generally accepted in both EIA and HIA. The guidelines developed during this project provide a structured process, based on risk assessment procedures which use consequences and likelihood, as a way of ranking risks to adverse health outcomes from activities subjected to HIA or HIA as part of EIA. The aim is to assess the potential for both acute and chronic health outcomes. The consequences component also identifies a series of consequences for the health care system, depicted as expressions of financial expenditure and the capacity of the health system. These more specific health risk assessment characteristics should provide for a broader consideration of health consequences and a more consistent estimation of the adverse health risks of a proposed development at both the scoping and risk assessment stages of the HIA process. - Highlights: ► A more objective approach to health risk assessment is provided. ► An objective set of criteria for the consequences for chronic and acute impacts. ► An objective set of criteria for the consequences on the health care system. ► An objective set of criteria for event frequency that could impact on health. ► The approach presented is currently being trialled in Australia.

  15. Television viewing, psychological positive health, health complaints and health risk behaviors in Spanish children and adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Padilla-Moledo, C; Castro-Piñero, J; Ortega, F B; Pulido-Martos, M; Sjöström, M; Ruiz, J R

    2015-06-01

    The aim of this study was to study the correlation of television viewing with positive and negative health in youth. The present cross-sectional study comprised a total of 680 children and adolescents aged 6-17.9 (46% girls) representative of the province of Cádiz (south Spain). We used the Health Behavior in School-aged Children questionnaire to assess television viewing, positive and negative health. It was found that correlations between television viewing >2 hours and several outcomes were inconsistent. No effects were found for quality of family relationships, quality of peer relationships, perceived academic performance and health risk behaviors in children, or with perceived excellent health status, excellent life satisfaction, quality of peer relationships, perceived academic performance and health risk behaviors in adolescents. However viewing >2 hours of television was correlated with lower quality family relations in adolescents, and lower perceived excellent health status, lower life satisfaction and higher health complaints index in children. Correction for multiple comparisons would render all television relationships as non-significant. Our results suggest that negative television influences on children and adolescents are minimal. However excessive television viewing may be symptomatic of other underlying mental health problems for some children.

  16. Assessment of human health risk associated with methylmercury in the imported fish marketed in the Caribbean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes-Gandara, Fabio; Herrera-Herrera, Claudia; Pinedo-Hernández, José; Marrugo-Negrete, José; Díez, Sergi

    2018-08-01

    The decline in marine and freshwaters catches in recent years in Colombia has led to a change in dietary habits, with an increase in the purchase and consumption of imported fish. This is of particular concern as fish are sometimes caught in mercury-contaminated waters, and are subsequently sold canned or uncanned. In addition, canned tuna has received little attention as it is widely assumed that concentrations are low. In this study, total mercury (THg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations were evaluated in three imported fish species marketed in Colombia, Prochilodus lineatus, Prochilodus reticulatus, and Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, plus four brands of canned tuna and one of sardines. One brand of tuna showed the highest mean concentrations of THg (0.543 ± 0.237 μg/g, wet weight, ww) and MeHg (0.518 ± 0.337 μg/g ww), while concentrations in P. hypophthalmus were approximately 30 times lower (≈0.02 µg/g ww). The estimated weekly intake (EWI) in children was above the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) of MeHg established by the Joint FAO/World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) in 2007, 1.6 μg/kg body weight (bw) per week, for all the canned tuna brands. Values for adults were below PTWI, whereas for women of childbearing age, values were above PTWI only for brand D of canned tuna. The estimate of the potential risk indicated that MeHg levels in canned tuna can generate negative effects in vulnerable groups, while the EWI of fresh fish did not pose a threat to the general population. Therefore, establishing strategies to address the high consumption of canned tuna, and continuous monitoring to control commercial food, are recommended to decrease Hg exposure. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Risk assessment - a research program aimed at health risks from air pollution in the general environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lindahl-Kiessling, K.; Ahlborg, U.; Bylin, G.; Ehrenberg, L.; Hemminki, K.; Lindell, B.; Nilsson, Robert; Bostroem, C.E.; Swarn, U.

    1991-01-01

    The paper presents a new research program for assessment of health risks caused by air pollutants. It is important to develop general methods for quantitative risk assessments and to improve the scientific base materials. (KAE)

  18. Mental health variables and sexual risk behaviour among young ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    It becomes a great concern if mental health status has something to do with high sexual risk behaviour in this population. For a more specific and dynamic intervention in reducing cases of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, the study therefore examines depression, anxiety and stress as mental health variables influencing sexual risk ...

  19. Application of epigenetic data in human health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cote, Ila L; McCullough, Shaun D; Hines, Ronald N; Vandenberg, John J

    2017-11-06

    Despite the many recent advances in the field of epigenetics, application of this knowledge in environmental health risk assessment has been limited. In this paper, we identify opportunities for application of epigenetic data to support health risk assessment. We consider current applications and present a vision for the future.

  20. Health risk behaviours of high school learners and their perceptions ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Adolescence spans nearly a decade in which young people may initiate health risk behaviours such as unsafe sexual practices and the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD use). Most adolescent mortality and morbidity, attributable to such health risk behaviours, are preventable. Managing the ...

  1. Risk Analysis: Risk Communication: Diet, Nutrition, and Health

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleef, van E.; Verkooijen, K.T.; Frewer, L.J.

    2014-01-01

    Nutrition and food safety related diseases such as foodborne illnesses, some cancers, and obesity belong to the most challenging health concerns of our time. As a consequence, the provision of information about diet, health, and nutrition is increasing, spread rapidly by the (mass) media, including

  2. Ergogenic risks elevate health risks in young athletes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giesemer, Bernard A

    2003-11-01

    Young athletes may use many products and techniques in an attempt to increase competitive edge in sports. The doping techniques that were previously seen in elite adult athletes are now being noted in increasingly competitive elementary, middle, and high school male and female athletes. The risk of significant morbidity and mortality associated with the use of these products is substantially increased when other risk factors are present. The risk for heat-related illness and possible heat-related mortality is higher in physiologically immature, overweight, and poorly conditioned young athletes. These are the same athletes who may be more likely to use stimulant or anabolic steroid products in attempts to catch up on training and conditioning regimens, improve their competitive advantage, or improve their physiques. The risk for heat-related incidents is higher in young athletes who are predisposed to these events because of a family trait or a previous heat-related adverse event in their own medical histories. Combinations of these factors (eg, high osmotic dietary supplements, stimulants, pre-existing medical factors, adverse ambient conditions) may significantly increase a young athlete's chances of a serious, potentially fatal event. Similarly, the risk of cardiac-related sudden death in a young athlete is significantly increased by the use of stimulants such as methamphetamine. As is the case with heat-related adverse events, the risk of cardiac-related morbidity and mortality may be significantly increased when other variables are present, such as the presence of other medications and pre-existing medical factors. As athletic competition becomes increasingly intense for younger athletes, pediatricians need to be aware of the possibility that their young patients are using ergogenic aids that may increase the risk for sudden death significantly. Pediatricians should be aware of the products available to these young competitors, and of the co-factors that

  3. Risk distribution across multiple health insurance funds in rural Tanzania

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chomi, Eunice Nahyuha; Mujinja, Phares Gamba; Enemark, Ulrika

    2014-01-01

    cross-subsidisation across the funds. This paper analyses whether the risk distribution varies across the Community Health Fund (CHF) and National Health Insurance Fund (NHIF) in two districts in Tanzania. Specifically we aim to 1) identify risk factors associated with increased utilisation of health...... services and 2) compare the distribution of identified risk factors among the CHF, NHIF and non-member households. METHODS: Data was collected from a survey of 695 households. A multivariate logisitic regression model was used to identify risk factors for increased health care utilisation. Chi-square tests...... were performed to test whether the distribution of identified risk factors varied across the CHF, NHIF and non-member households. RESULTS: There was a higher concentration of identified risk factors among CHF households compared to those of the NHIF. Non-member households have a similar wealth status...

  4. Perceptions of health risk and smoking decisions of young people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerking, Shelby; Khaddaria, Raman

    2012-07-01

    Using the Annenberg Perception of Tobacco Risk Survey 2, this paper finds that perceived risk deters smoking among persons aged 14-22 years who think that it is relatively difficult to quit smoking and that onset of deleterious health effects occurs relatively quickly. Perceived health risk, however, does not affect the smoking status of young people who hold the opposite beliefs. These results are consistent with predictions of rational addiction models and suggest that young people, who view smoking as more addictive and health effects as more immediate, may have greater incentive to consider long-term health effects in their decision to smoke. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  5. Basic Information about Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... or metallic mercury is a shiny, silver-white metal and is liquid at room temperature. It is ... releases can happen naturally. Both volcanoes and forest fires send mercury into the atmosphere. Human activities, however, ...

  6. 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

  7. Occupational safety and health management and risk governance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijkman, A.; Terwoert, J.

    2014-01-01

    The advancement in new technologies, substances and new ways of working make it necessary to look beyond traditional methods of risk management. General drivers to emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) risks are: globalisation; demographic changes; technical innovations; changes in risk

  8. Mental health and HIV sexual risk behaviour among University of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    To determine the association between mental health, substance use and HIV sexual risk behaviour among a sample of university ... analysis, HIV risk behaviour was associated with, among men, hazardous or harmful alcohol use and having screened positive for PTSD, and ..... risk behaviors among U.S. adolescents.

  9. Pathways to Health Risk Exposure in Adult Film Performers

    OpenAIRE

    Grudzen, Corita R.; Ryan, Gery; Margold, William; Torres, Jacqueline; Gelberg, Lillian

    2008-01-01

    Despite being part of a large and legal industry in Los Angeles, little is known about adult film performers’ exposure to health risks and when and how these risks might occur. The objective was to identify exposure to physical, mental, and social health risks and the pathways to such risks among adult film performers and to determine how risks differ between different types of performers, such as men and women. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 18 female and ten male pe...

  10. Mercury Hazard Assessment for Piscivorous Wildlife in Glacier National Park

    KAUST Repository

    Stafford, Craig P.

    2016-12-14

    We examined the mercury hazard posed to selected piscivorous wildlife in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. Logging Lake was our focal site where we estimated the dietary mercury concentrations of wildlife (common loon [Gavia immer], American mink [Neovison vison], river otter [Lontra canadensis], and belted kingfisher [Megaceryle alcyon]) by assuming that fishes were consumed in proportion to their relative abundances. To evaluate if Logging Lake provided a suitable baseline for our study, we made geographic comparisons of fish mercury levels and investigated the distribution and abundance of high mercury fishes within GNP. We complimented our assessment by examining selenium:mercury molar ratios in fishes from Logging Lake and Saint Mary Lake. Our results suggest fish consumption does not imperil wildlife from Logging Lake based on published thresholds for adverse mercury effects, but some hazard may exist particularly if there is strong feeding selectivity for the most contaminated species, northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). The geographic comparisons of fish mercury levels, together with the distribution and abundance of high mercury fishes within GNP, suggest that Logging Lake provided a relatively protective baseline among our study lakes. Risk may be further reduced by the molar excess of selenium relative to mercury, particularly in the smaller fishes typically consumed by GNP wildlife. Our findings contrast with studies from northeastern US and southeastern Canada where greater mercury hazard to wildlife exists. An emergent finding from our research is that waterborne concentrations of methylmercury may provide limited insight into regional differences in fish mercury levels.

  11. Mercury Hazard Assessment for Piscivorous Wildlife in Glacier National Park

    KAUST Repository

    Stafford, Craig P.; Downs, Christopher C.; Langner, Heiko W.

    2016-01-01

    We examined the mercury hazard posed to selected piscivorous wildlife in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. Logging Lake was our focal site where we estimated the dietary mercury concentrations of wildlife (common loon [Gavia immer], American mink [Neovison vison], river otter [Lontra canadensis], and belted kingfisher [Megaceryle alcyon]) by assuming that fishes were consumed in proportion to their relative abundances. To evaluate if Logging Lake provided a suitable baseline for our study, we made geographic comparisons of fish mercury levels and investigated the distribution and abundance of high mercury fishes within GNP. We complimented our assessment by examining selenium:mercury molar ratios in fishes from Logging Lake and Saint Mary Lake. Our results suggest fish consumption does not imperil wildlife from Logging Lake based on published thresholds for adverse mercury effects, but some hazard may exist particularly if there is strong feeding selectivity for the most contaminated species, northern pikeminnow (Ptychocheilus oregonensis). The geographic comparisons of fish mercury levels, together with the distribution and abundance of high mercury fishes within GNP, suggest that Logging Lake provided a relatively protective baseline among our study lakes. Risk may be further reduced by the molar excess of selenium relative to mercury, particularly in the smaller fishes typically consumed by GNP wildlife. Our findings contrast with studies from northeastern US and southeastern Canada where greater mercury hazard to wildlife exists. An emergent finding from our research is that waterborne concentrations of methylmercury may provide limited insight into regional differences in fish mercury levels.

  12. Health effects and risks of radon exposure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cross, F.T.

    1990-01-01

    In view of the current widespread concern about the risks associated with indoor radon exposures, this paper explores the evidence on risk from human epidemiology studies, particularly in reference to EPA's 4-pCi/L action level value and from animal studies. While the EPA 4-pCi/L level has no legal force and is not a standard per se, it is becoming a de facto standard as several states are considering the level in pending legislation. Although risk can also be related to radiation dose from radon exposure, this perspective on risk is not treated in this chapter

  13. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fichte, B.; Assmann, H.; Ritzau, F.

    1984-01-01

    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report of a patient, who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism. (orig.) [de

  14. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichte, B.; Ritzau, F.; Assmann, H.

    1984-02-01

    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report is given of a patient who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism.

  15. Intoxication with metallic mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichte, B.; Assmann, H.; Ritzau, F.

    1984-02-01

    Intoxications by metallic mercury are extremely rare. Report is given of a patient, who tried to commit suicide by subcutaneous injection of 500 g of metallic mercury. He died 16 months later in the course of the intoxication. A short review is given of effects and reactions of metallic mercury in the human organism.

  16. Mercury contamination in the Laurentian Great Lakes region: Introduction and overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiener, James G.; Evers, David C.; Gay, David A.; Morrison, Heather A.; Williams, Kathryn A.

    2012-01-01

    The Laurentian Great Lakes region of North America contains substantial aquatic resources and mercury-contaminated landscapes, fish, and wildlife. This special issue emanated from a bi-national synthesis of data from monitoring programs and case studies of mercury in the region, here defined as including the Great Lakes, the eight U.S. states bordering the Great Lakes, the province of Ontario, and Lake Champlain. We provide a retrospective overview of the regional mercury problem and summarize new findings from the synthesis papers and case studies that follow. Papers in this issue examine the chronology of mercury accumulation in lakes, the importance of wet and dry atmospheric deposition and evasion to regional mercury budgets, the influence of land–water linkages on mercury contamination of surface waters, the bioaccumulation of methylmercury in aquatic foods webs; and ecological and health risks associated with methylmercury in a regionally important prey fish. - Highlights: ► We describe a bi-national synthesis of Hg data from the Great Lakes region. ► Emission controls have reduced Hg inputs to inland lakes about 20% since the 1980s. ► Wet and dry deposition and evasion are regionally important atmospheric Hg fluxes. ► Land use affects Hg inputs to surface waters and bioaccumulation of methylmercury. ► In some waters, Hg levels in yellow perch pose risks to fish, wildlife, and humans. - A synthesis of Hg data from the Great Lakes region reveals the chronology of contamination; the importance of wet and dry deposition and evasion to Hg budgets; the influence of land–water linkages; bioaccumulation in aquatic foods webs; and risks associated with Hg in an important prey fish.

  17. Health-Based Capitation Risk Adjustment in Minnesota Public Health Care Programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gifford, Gregory A.; Edwards, Kevan R.; Knutson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    This article documents the history and implementation of health-based capitation risk adjustment in Minnesota public health care programs, and identifies key implementation issues. Capitation payments in these programs are risk adjusted using an historical, health plan risk score, based on concurrent risk assessment. Phased implementation of capitation risk adjustment for these programs began January 1, 2000. Minnesota's experience with capitation risk adjustment suggests that: (1) implementation can accelerate encounter data submission, (2) administrative decisions made during implementation can create issues that impact payment model performance, and (3) changes in diagnosis data management during implementation may require changes to the payment model. PMID:25372356

  18. Motivators and Barriers to Incorporating Climate Change-Related Health Risks in Environmental Health Impact Assessment

    OpenAIRE

    Turner, Lyle R.; Alderman, Katarzyna; Connell, Des; Tong, Shilu

    2013-01-01

    Climate change presents risks to health that must be addressed by both decision-makers and public health researchers. Within the application of Environmental Health Impact Assessment (EHIA), there have been few attempts to incorporate climate change-related health risks as an input to the framework. This study used a focus group design to examine the perceptions of government, industry and academic specialists about the suitability of assessing the health consequences of climate change within...

  19. Risks and health effects in operating room personnel

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Berg-Dijkmeijer, Marleen L.; Frings-Dresen, Monique H. W.; Sluiter, Judith K.

    2011-01-01

    The objective was to find the factors that pose a possible health risk to OR personnel. Work-related health problems of operating room (OR) personnel were signalled by an occupational physician and preparations for the development of new Worker's Health Surveillance (WHS) were started with a

  20. Mental Health and Health Risk Behaviours of Homeless Adolescents and Youth: A Mixed Methods Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oppong Asante, Kwaku; Meyer-Weitz, Anna; Petersen, Inge

    2016-01-01

    Background: Homeless youth, as a vulnerable population are susceptible to various mental and health risk behaviours. However, less is known of the mental health status of these homeless youth and its role in risky sexual behaviours; neither do we understand the reasons homeless youth give for their engageme