WorldWideScience

Sample records for mercury health risks

  1. 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 ...

  2. Mercury in dental amalgam: Are our health care workers at risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahani, M; Sulaiman, N S; Tan, B S; Yahya, N A; Anual, Z F; Mahiyuddin, W R Wan; Khan, M F; Muttalib, K A

    2016-11-01

    Dental amalgam in fillings exposes workers to mercury. The exposure to mercury was investigated among 1871 dental health care workers. The aim of the study was to evaluate the risk of mercury exposure among dental compared to nondental health care workers and to determine other risk factors for mercury exposure. Respondents answered questionnaires to obtain demographic, personal, professional, and workplace information and were examined for their own amalgam fillings. Chronic mercury exposure was assessed through urinary mercury levels. In total, 1409 dental and 462 nondental health care workers participated in the study. Median urine mercury levels for dental and nondental health care workers were 2.75 μg/L (interquartile range [IQR] = 3.0175) and 2.66 μg/L (IQR = 3.04) respectively. For mercury exposure, there were no significant risk factor found among the workers involved within the dental care. The Mann-Whitney test showed that urine mercury levels were significantly different between respondents who eat seafood more than 5 times per week compared to those who eat it less frequently or not at all (p = 0.003). The urinary mercury levels indicated significant difference between dental workers in their practice using squeeze cloths (Mann-Whitney test, p = 0.03). Multiple logistic regression showed that only the usage of cosmetic products that might contain mercury was found to be significantly associated with the urinary mercury levels (odds ratio [OR] = 15.237; CI: 3.612-64.276). Therefore, mean urinary mercury levels of health care workers were low. Exposure to dental amalgam is not associated with high mercury exposure. However, usage of cosmetic products containing mercury and high seafood consumption may lead to the increase of exposure to mercury. Exposure to the high levels of mercury from dental amalgam can lead to serious health effects among the dental health care workers. Nationwide chronic mercury exposure among dental personnel was assessed through

  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. Health risks following ingestion of mercury and zinc air batteries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, M; Tucker, I

    1981-01-01

    This paper reports on a study set up to assess the corrosive behaviour of mercury and zinc air batteries in the gastric juice environment of the stomach. The results show a relatively rapid rate of corrosion for charged mercury batteries. In contrast, the zinc air battery showed no visible corrosion under the same conditions. In view of the toxic dangers from leakage of mercury batteries, it is recommended that steps be taken to ensure that such batteries do not remain in the acidic environment of the stomach, should ingestion occur.

  6. Analysis of the health risk of exposure to breast milk mercury in infants in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Ling-Chu; Han, Bor-Cheng; Hsu, Chun-Sen; Jiang, Cheun-Bin; You, Hung-Jiun; Shieh, Ming-Jer; Yeh, Ching-Ying

    2006-06-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the total concentration and health risk to infants of breast milk mercury in urban mothers and mothers married to fishermen in relation to fish intake in Taiwan. A total of sixty-eight healthy mothers were recruited for the study. The breast milk mercury geometric mean concentration was 2.02 microgl(-1) (n=56, range: 0.24-9.45 microgl(-1)) for the city group and 2.04 microgl(-1) (n=12, range: 0.26-8.62 microgl(-1)) for the fishermen's group. Of the three sources of mercury exposure (i.e., ingestion (breast milk), inhalation (ambient air), and dermal exposure (shower)), breast-feeding was found to be the largest (96.3-99.6% of the total). From a Monte Carlo simulation, in which methyl mercury accounted for about 50% of total mercury, the hazard quotient (exposure estimate/oral minimal risk level or target organ toxicity dose) exceeded 1.0 for 12.9% of urban babies and 18.8% of fishermen's babies (chronic oral minimal risk level and target organ toxicity dose: 3 x 10(-4)mgkg(-1)d(-1)). The calculated mercury exposure was 3.02 x 10(-1) microgkg(-1)d(-1) for a 3.49 kg urban baby boy and 3.06 x 10(-1) microgkg(-1)d(-1) for a 3.44 kg urban baby girl. These results suggest the life style of mothers (eating raw fish and shellfish such as used in "Sashimi" and "Sushi," and vitamin supplementation) may influence the mercury concentration in breast milk.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fthenakis, V.M.; Lipfert, F.; Moskowitz, P. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States). Analytical Sciences Div.

    1994-12-01

    Title 3 of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA) mandated that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate the need to regulate mercury emissions from electric utilities. In support of this forthcoming regulatory analysis the U.S. DOE, sponsored a risk assessment project at Brookhaven (BNL) to evaluate methylmercury (MeHg) hazards independently. In the US MeHg is the predominant way of exposure to mercury originated in the atmosphere. In the BNL study, health risks to adults resulting from Hg emissions from a hypothetical 1,000 MW coal-fired power plant were estimated using probabilistic risk assessment techniques. This 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. Even at these more elevated exposure levels, the attributable incidence in mild neurological symptoms was estimated to be quite small, especially when compared with the estimated background incidence in the population. The current paper summarizes the basic conclusions of this assessment and highlights issues dealing with emissions control and environmental transport.

  10. Mercury Quick Facts: Health Effects of Mercury Exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. 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

  12. Evaluation of lead and mercury neurotoxic health risk by resident children in the Obuasi municipality, Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obiri, S; Dodoo, D K; Armah, F A; Essumang, D K; Cobbina, S J

    2010-05-01

    This study assesses neurotoxic effects associated with exposure to lead and mercury in borehole, tap and surface water by resident children in the Obuasi municipality in accordance with USEPA risk assessment guidelines. From the results of the study, the hazard quotient for oral ingestion of mercury in tap water in Obuasi is 7.4 and 15 respectively via both central tendency exposure (CTE) and reasonable maximum exposure (RME) parameters, respectively. This means that approximately 7 and 15 (by both CTE and RME parameters, respectively) resident children in Obuasi are likely to show neurologic effects associated with exposure to mercury and lead such as increased nervousness, loss of memory and/or decrease in concentration, impaired writing ability and tremor. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Spatial health risk assessment and hierarchical risk management for mercury in soils from a typical contaminated site, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Fei; Zhang, Jingdong; Jiang, Wei; Liu, Chaoyang; Zhang, Zhongmin; Zhang, Chengde; Zeng, Guangming

    2017-08-01

    Due to rapid urbanization and the implementation of ecological civilization construction in China, many industrial factories have been closed or relocated. Therefore, numbers of contaminated sites were generated with contaminated soils which may pose a risk to receptors living nearby. This study presented a spatial health risk assessment and hierarchical risk management policy making for mercury (Hg) in soils from a typical contaminated site in the Hunan Province, central China. Compared with the second class value (0.3 mg/kg) of the Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soils, the mean concentrations of Hg in the three soil depths exceeded the second class value. The non-carcinogenic risk of Hg probably posed adverse health effects in 41, 30 and 36 % of the surface soil, the moderate soil and subsoil, respectively, under a sensitive land scenario. The non-carcinogenic risk temporarily posed no adverse health effects in most areas under an insensitive land scenario except for the area around sampling site S29. Spatially, the central, southwest and northeast parts of the contaminated land under a sensitive land scenario should be regarded as the priority regions. For non-carcinogenic effects, the exposure pathways that resulted in the higher levels of exposure risk were ingestion and inhalation of vapors, followed by dermal contact and inhalation of particles. A risk-based integrated risk management policy including the hierarchical risk control values for different soil depths and the calculated remediation earthwork was proposed with consideration of the cost-benefit effect for the related decision-makers.

  14. 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 < 0.001). All samples from the two 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.

  15. 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

  16. Environmental contamination and risk assessment of mercury from a historic mercury mine located in southwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yonghua

    2013-02-01

    A field survey of mercury pollution in environmental media and human hair samples obtained from residents living in the area surrounding the Chatian mercury mine (CMM) of southwestern China was conducted to evaluate the health risks of mercury to local residents. The results showed that mine waste, and tailings in particular, contained high levels of mercury and that the maximum mercury concentration was 88.50 μg g(-1). Elevated mercury levels were also found in local surface water, paddy soil, and paddy grain, which may cause severe health problems. The mercury concentration of hair samples from the inhabitants of the CMM exceeded 1.0 μg g(-1), which is the limit recommended by the US EPA. Mercury concentrations in paddy soil were positively correlated with mercury concentrations in paddy roots, stalks, and paddy grains, which suggested that paddy soil was the major source of mercury in paddy plant tissue. The average daily dose (ADD) of mercury for local adults and preschool children via oral exposure reached 0.241 and 0.624 μg kg(-1) body weight per day, respectively, which is approaching or exceeds the provisional tolerable daily intake. Among the three oral exposure routes, the greatest contributor to the ADD of mercury was the ingestion of rice grain. Open-stacked mine tailings have resulted in heavy mercury contamination in the surrounding soil, and the depth of appreciable soil mercury concentrations exceeded 100 cm.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Oral bioaccessibility of arsenic, mercury and methylmercury in marine species commercialized in Catalonia (Spain) and health risks for the consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cano-Sancho, German; Perelló, Gemma; Maulvault, Ana Luísa; Marques, António; Nadal, Martí; Domingo, José L

    2015-12-01

    This study was aimed at characterizing the bioaccessibility of arsenic (As), mercury (Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) in commercial fish and seafood species widely consumed by the population of Catalonia (Spain). An accurate evaluation on how bioaccessibility estimations may affect the outcomes of exposure assessment studies was also conducted. The concentrations of As, Hg, and MeHg in samples of fish and seafood incubated in a 3-compartmental (mouth, stomach, and small intestine) in vitro gastrointestinal model, were quantified and compared with the levels of these elements in cooked samples. Arsenic showed a high bioaccessibility in all the fish and seafood species, ranging from 72% (mackerel) to 89% (sardine). In contrast, the bioaccessibility of Hg was rather lower, being health risks to consumers, when the effects of bioaccessibility and cooking procedures are not taken into account in the risk assessment. Unlike As, whose risk is not generally overestimated, Hg and MeHg showed a lower and variable bioaccessibility in marine species, meaning an overestimation of health risks for the adult population. Further studies should assess the bioaccessibility of mercurial species for children. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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 < 0.05), and the concentrations in hair from 45 respondents exceeded the Human Biomonitoring I (HBM I) threshold limit. Mercury concentrations were also elevated in the hair from the indirectly exposed group (median 7.64 μg/g hair, p < 0.05), and concentrations in hair from 24 respondents exceeded the HBM I threshold limits. Exposure to mercury during ASGM presents health risks and is harmful for the miners; mercury is also at hazardous levels for people who live in the mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basri; Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sera, Koichiro

    2017-01-01

    The rapid expansion of the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) industry in developing countries has marginalized the local communities in poverty, and resulted in occupational exposure to mercury via the gold extraction process. We investigated the mercury exposure of the mining workers lived inside and outside the mining area. Based on the occupations of the contributors, the hair samples were divided into three subgroups: directly exposed, indirectly exposed, and a control. A total of 81 hair samples were analyzed by particle-induced X-ray emission spectrometry. The median mercury concentration was highest in the hair from the directly exposed group (12.82 μg/g hair) (control group median: 4.8 μg/g hair, p < 0.05), and the concentrations in hair from 45 respondents exceeded the Human Biomonitoring I (HBM I) threshold limit. Mercury concentrations were also elevated in the hair from the indirectly exposed group (median 7.64 μg/g hair, p < 0.05), and concentrations in hair from 24 respondents exceeded the HBM I threshold limits. Exposure to mercury during ASGM presents health risks and is harmful for the miners; mercury is also at hazardous levels for people who live in the mining area but who are not engaged in mercury-based gold extraction. PMID:29051439

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diawara, Moussa M; Litt, Jill S; Unis, Dave; Alfonso, Nicholas; Martinez, Leeanne; Crock, James G; Smith, David B; Carsella, James

    2006-08-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Distribution and health risk assessment of mercury in urban street dust from coal energy dominant Huainan City, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Liugen; Tang, Quan; Fan, Jiamin; Huang, Xiaoyu; Jiang, Chunlu; Cheng, Hua

    2015-06-01

    High levels of mercury contamination in urban street dust pose a great threat to human health. In this study, representative urban street dust samples in different urban zones were collected from industrial Huainan City, Eastern China. The distribution and human health risk of Hg in urban street dusts were investigated. In comparison with the soil background Hg values of Huainan and China, the average Hg concentration (0.16 ± 0.14 mg kg(-1), n = 50) was significantly elevated, with a variation ranging from 0.02 to 0.56 mg kg(-1). Among the seven different urban zones, the industrial district had the highest levels of Hg, potentially deriving predominantly from the dust emissions of the nearby Pingwei coal-fired power plant. In addition, Hg concentrations in dust samples appear to increase with the decrease of particle size. The result of health risk assessment on Hg in these urban street dusts indicated that there was no significant risk of carcinogenesis for the adults living in Huainan city.

  8. Risk estimation to human health caused by the mercury content of Sushi and Sashimi sold in Japanese restaurants in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Jeanne Clécia; Lima de Paiva, Esther; Milani, Raquel Fernanda; Bearzoti, Eduardo; Morgano, Marcelo Antonio; Diego Quintaes, Késia

    2017-06-03

    Although fish is a healthy alternative for meat, it can be a vehicle for mercury (Hg), including in its most toxic organic form, methylmercury (MeHg). The objective of the present study was to estimate the risk to human health caused by the consumption of sushi and sashimi as commercialized by Japanese food restaurants in the city of Campinas (SP, Brazil). The total Hg content was determined by atomic absorption spectrometry with thermal decomposition and amalgamation, and the MeHg content calculated considering that 90% of the total Hg is in the organic form. The health risk was estimated from the values for the provisional tolerable weekly ingestion (PTWI) by both adults and children. The mean concentrations for total Hg were: 147.99, 6.13, and 3.42 µg kg -1 in the tuna, kani, and salmon sushi samples, respectively, and 589.09, 85.09, and 11.38 µg kg -1 in the tuna, octopus and salmon sashimi samples, respectively. The tuna samples showed the highest Hg concentrations. One portion of tuna sashimi exceeded the PTWI value for MeHg established for children and adults. The estimate of risk for human health indicated that the level of toxicity depended on the type of fish and size of the portion consumed.

  9. Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Mercury in Your Environment Contact Us Share Health Effects of Exposures to Mercury Related Health Information for ... About PDF ; discussion starts on page 20) Methylmercury Effects Effects on People of All Ages Exposure to ...

  10. Mercury Levels in Fish for Human Consumption from the Southeast Gulf of California: Tissue Distribution and Health Risk Assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Salcido, A I; Ruelas-Inzunza, J; Gil-Manrique, B; Nateras-Ramírez, O; Amezcua, F

    2018-02-01

    We assessed human health risk due to mercury (Hg) concentrations in fish from three coastal lagoons (Urías, Huizache, and Teacapán) in the SE Gulf of California. We also determined Hg distribution in muscle and liver of analyzed ichthyofauna and compared the results among studied areas according to tissue, season, and lagoon system by using multivariate analyses. Levels of Hg in most of the analyzed fish followed the sequence liver > muscle. The highest Hg levels in muscle (2.80 µg g -1  dw) and liver (9.51 µg g -1  dw) were measured in Cynoscion reticulatus and Pomadasys macracanthus, respectively, although according to the multivariate analyses, statistical differences of Hg concentrations were not found according to the season and the tissue but were found according to the system. It seems that the higher concentrations were associated with areas where the hydrological regime is lower. With respect to health risk assessment, the highest hazard quotients were estimated for Cynoscion reticulatus (0.45) and Stellifer furthii (0.29) from Urías and Pomadasys macracanthus (0.35) from Huizache. None of the studied fish represent a risk for consumers in terms of Hg levels in the edible portion.

  11. Mercury use in artisanal small-scale gold mining threatens human health: measures to describe and reduce the health risk

    OpenAIRE

    Steckling, Nadine

    2016-01-01

    **Background:** Mercury is used in more than 70 countries to extract gold in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM). The application of mercury is simple and plays a key role in the livelihood for more than 16 million gold miners. Mercury is added to the crushed ore and builds an amalgam with the gold it contains. The amalgam is then smelted, the mercury evaporates, and gold remains. The amalgam smelting is the main source of mercury exposure in ASGM. ASGM is the largest anthropogenic sourc...

  12. Mercury contamination in selected foodstuffs and potential health risk assessment along the artisanal gold mining, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riaz, Arjumand; Khan, Sardar; Muhammad, Said; Liu, Caihong; Shah, Mohammad Tahir; Tariq, Mohsin

    2018-04-01

    This study investigates the mercury (Hg) contaminations in soil and foodstuffs along the artisanal gold mining areas, Gilgit-Baltistan Province, Pakistan. For this purpose, soils were analyzed for Hg concentrations and evaluated for the enrichment/contamination using enrichment factor or contamination factors (CF). The CF values ranged from 18.9 to 153 showed multifold higher levels of Hg contamination as compared to background or reference site. Foodstuffs including vegetables, seeds or grains and fish muscles showed Hg accumulation. Results revealed that Hg concentrations in foodstuffs were higher than the critical human health value set by European Union. The Hg in foodstuffs was consumed and, therefore, evaluated for the risk assessment indices using the daily intake (DI) and health risk index (HRI) for the exposed human population both children and adults. Results of this study revealed that cumulative HRI values through foodstuffs consumption were <1 (within safe limit), but if the current practices continued, then the Hg contamination could pose potential threat to exposed population in near future.

  13. 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, p<0.05). An individual's occupation category was associated with level of knowledge (x²=22.82, p=<0.001). Individuals involved in mining (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

  14. Bioaccessibility and health risk assessment of mercury in cinnabar containing Traditional Chinese Medicines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Yuting; Yang, Danyi; Song, Xiaoni; Wang, Sheng; Song, Min; Hang, Taijun

    2017-12-01

    Cinnabar (α-HgS), has been formulated in Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCMs) for thousands of years. Since the total Hg content was accepted widely as the toxicity criteria, the safety alerts have been issued about the cinnabar containing TCMs for exceeding Hg limits. However, cinnabar is almost insoluble in water, the oral absorption is extremely low. Hence, it is not suitable to use the total Hg content alone to evaluate the toxicity of cinnabar containing TCMs. In instead, the bioaccessible Hg is a much reasonable safety indicator. In this study, bioaccessible Hg contents of 29 cinnabar containing TCMs were determined by cold vapor-atomic fluorescence spectrometry after in vitro extractions with the simulated gastrointestinal fluids, while the total Hg contents were determined after acid digestion. According to the daily dosages, the bioaccessible Hg exposures of these TCMs were evaluated, and most of them were within the permitted daily exposure set by the International Council for Harmonisation, demonstrating that these TCMs are safe when administrated following the instructions. However, the obtained results also suggested that the Hg exposure could also be influenced by the herbal ingredients in TCMs and the bioactivities in gastrointestinal tract, indicating the possible health risks after excessive or long-term medication of cinnabar containing TCMs. Considering the influencing factors of the Hg intakes after oral administration of cinnabar containing TCMs, the bioaccessible Hg exposure should be considered as a more rational criterion for evaluating the health risks than the total Hg content. Furthermore, precautions should also be taken to ensure safe usages of cinnabar containing TCMs from both the cinnabar contents and the processing procedures points of view, as well as the daily dosage regimen, for all of them are directly related with the bioaccessible Hg exposures. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. Unsafe occupational health behaviours: Understanding mercury-related environmental health risks to artisanal gold miners in Ghana

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederick Ato Armah

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between environmental exposure and health outcomes is complex, multidirectional and dynamic. Therefore, we need an understanding of these linkages for effective health risk communication. Despite the severe health hazards, artisanal gold mining is widespread globally, with an estimated 30 million people engaged in it. In this study, the relationships between artisanal gold miners’ knowledge of environmental and health effects of Hg and compositional, contextual and occupational factors were assessed using generalized linear models (negative log-log regression. A cross-sectional survey in three urban gold mining hubs in Ghana (Prestea, Tarkwa and Damang, was carried out among 588 (482 male and 106 female artisanal gold miners. The results showed that 89% of artisanal gold miners had very low to low levels of knowledge whereas 11% had moderate to very high levels of knowledge of deleterious health effects of Hg. Also, individuals who perceived their health-related work conditions to be excellent had very low to low levels of knowledge of environmental and health effects of Hg. Interestingly, artisanal gold miners who were still working were less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their counterparts who were currently unemployed. Similarly, artisanal gold miners who had attained either primary or secondary education were less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their counterparts who had no formal education. This finding, although counterintuitive, can be understood within the fact that artisanal gold miners in Ghana without formal education tend to have considerably higher number of years of practical experience compared with their counterparts with formal education. Female artisanal gold miners were 68% less likely to know the environmental and health effects of Hg compared with their male counterparts (OR=0.32, p<0.05. Artisanal gold miners who had

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Mercury (Environmental Health Student Portal)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Water Waterborne Diseases & Illnesses Water Cycle Water Treatment Mercury The Basics Mercury — sometimes called quicksilver — is a natural metal. It’s ... to breathe it in without knowing it. When mercury combines with other chemical elements, it creates compounds, ...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Low dose mercury toxicity and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zahir, Farhana; Rizwi, Shamim J; Haq, Soghra K; Khan, Rizwan H

    2005-09-01

    Post Minamata incident there has been awareness about mercury toxicity even among the general public. Previous researches contributed a vast amount of data regarding acute mercury exposure, but gradually information about the low dose [Ninomiya, T., Ohmori, H., Hashimoto, K., Tsuruta, K., Ekino, S., 1995. Expansion of methylmercury poisoning outside minamata: an epidemiological study on chronic methylmercury poisoninig outside of Minamata. Environ. Res. 70 (1) 47-50; Lebel, J., Mergler, D., Lucotte, M., Amorim, M., Dolbec, J., Miranda, D., Arantes, G., Rheault, I., Pichet, P., 1996. Evidence of early nervous system dysfunction in Amazonian populations exposed to low-levels of methylmercury. Neurotoxicology 17 (1) 157-167] of mercury toxicity has been trickling in. With mercury contaminating rain-, ground- and sea-water no one is safe. Polluted water leads to mercury laced fish, meat and vegetable. In aquatic environments, inorganic mercury is microbiologically transformed into lipophilic organic compound 'methylmercury'. This transformation makes mercury more prone to biomagnification in food chains. Consequently, populations with traditionally high dietary intake of food originating from fresh or marine environment have highest dietary exposure to mercury. Extensive research done on locals across the globe have already established this, persons who routinely consume fish or a particular species of fish are at an increased risk of methylmercury poisoning. The easy access of the toxicant to man through multiple pathways air, water, food, cosmetic products and even vaccines increase the exposure. Foetus and children are more susceptible towards mercury toxicity. Mothers consuming diet containing mercury pass the toxicant to foetus and to infants through breast milk. Decreased performance in areas of motor function and memory has been reported among children exposed to presumably safe mercury levels. Similarly, disruption of attention, fine motor function and verbal

  3. 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...

  4. Recent mercury contamination from artisanal gold mining on Buru Island, Indonesia--potential future risks to environmental health and food safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-15

    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. Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. 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

  6. Mercury, fish oils and the risk of myocardial infarction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guallar, E.; Sanz-Gallardo, M.I.; Veer, van 't P.; Bode, P.; Aro, A.; Gomez-Aracena, J.; Kark, J.D.; Riemersma, R.A.; Martin-Moreno, J.M.; Kok, F.J.

    2002-01-01

    Background: It has been suggested that mercury, a highly reactive heavy metal with no known physiologic activity, increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Because fish intake is a major source of exposure to mercury, the mercury content of fish may counteract the beneficial effects of its n-3

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Spatial distribution and human health risk assessment of mercury in street dust resulting from various land-use in Ahvaz, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazarpour, Ahad; Ghanavati, Navid; Watts, Michael J

    2018-04-01

    Mercury as a toxic element and its associated health hazard has been an important topic of research for urban pollution for many years. In this paper, the spatial distribution, pollution assessment, and health risk associated with Hg in roadside dust 96 street dust samples, representing differing land-uses, have been investigated. Land-uses included residential areas (RA), industrial areas (IA), public gardens (PG), roadside areas (RS), and suburban areas (SA) in the city of Ahvaz, Iran were investigated. Compared with other cities, the concentration of Hg in Ahvaz was considerably higher with a mean value of 2.53 mg kg -1 , ranging from 0.02 to 8.75 mg kg -1 . Residential areas exhibited higher Hg in street dust than other areas, as demonstrated by spatial mapping illustrating hot spots associated with old urban areas with high residential density, high volume traffic of roadside areas, and industrial districts: including oil-drilling activities, steel smelting-related industries, and small industrial towns around Ahvaz. However, Hg concentrations in street dust near to the public gardens (PG) and suburban areas (SA) were not at elevated levels compared other land-uses investigated in this study. A health risk assessment model of non-carcinogenic effects was evaluated for both children and adults. The HQ values also revealed that the main exposures route for children and adults decreased as follows: vapour > ingestion > dermal contact > inhalation. The hazard index (HI) in each area is less than the safe level (HI ≤ 1) for children and adults, but higher for children. The HI value decreases as the following order: RS > IA > RA > SA > PG, which indicates potentially serious health hazards for children in the study areas.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. The potential risk of environmental contamination by mercury contained in Polish coal mining waste

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomasz Antoszczyszyn

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper contains reference literature analysis concerning mercury content in Polish bituminous coal and post-mining waste as well as the impact of mercury content on the environment. The aim of the paper was to determine the occurrence of the risk of contamination of the environment with mercury compounds found in demolition bituminous coal landfills. Mercury, due to its toxic properties has been classified among the most dangerous substances to human health. There are three groups of sources of mercury release into the environment: natural, anthropogenic and remission. Coal mining, its processing and use in the energy sector has the greatest relevance regarding the pollution of the environment with mercury compounds in Poland. A review of reference literature shows that the average content of mercury in Polish bituminous coal varies within a wide range of 41–399 ppb, which is conditional on the origin, age and type of coal. The production of coal has led to a number of facilities in the form of structurally and age-varied landfills, heaps and mining waste dumps. The content of mercury in post-mining waste is in the range from approximately 55 to 380 ppb. The problem of environmental contamination with mercury has attracted considerable interest due to the effects that its concentration have in the biosphere. On the basis of the existing data it has been found that the content of mercury in soils in areas degraded by mining and processing of coal is even 10–16 times higher, compared to the geochemical background. It is necessary to conduct research in this area due to the limited results of research on mercury content in deposited waste from the preparation and flotation of Polish bituminous coals and the potential harmful effect of mercury on the environment. The paper is dedicated to the mercury content in waste from the extraction and processing of bituminous coal.

  14. [Mercury in fish and its importance in health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raimann, Ximena; Rodríguez O, Lorena; Chávez, Paulina; Torrejón, Claudia

    2014-09-01

    The contamination of fish with methylmercury (MeHg) could hamper the health promoting properties of fish. Currently, there is strong evidence about the health benefits of seafood consumption. When consumed by the mother before and during pregnancy it improves neurodevelopment of infants and toddlers. Thereafter it reduces the risk of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. The benefits of fish are mainly due to its content of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Other constituents, such as high biological value proteins, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals and trace elements contribute to the benefits. On the other hand, there is also convincing evidence about the adverse effects of MeHg on neurodevelopment both during gestation and in early childhood. We herein review the effects of mercury on health. Based on international evidence and new data on the mercury content in Chilean fish, we also propose a recommendation for fish consumption for our population.

  15. 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.

  16. Longitudinal analysis of the association between removal of dental amalgam, urine mercury and 14 self-reported health symptoms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zwicker, Jennifer D; Dutton, Daniel J; Emery, John Charles Herbert

    2014-11-18

    Mercury vapor poses a known health risk with no clearly established safe level of exposure. Consequently there is debate over whether the level of prolonged exposure to mercury vapor from dental amalgam fillings, combining approximately 50% mercury with other metals, is sufficiently high to represent a risk to health. The objective of our study is to determine if mercury exposure from amalgam fillings is associated with risk of adverse health effects. In a large longitudinal non-blind sample of participants from a preventative health program in Calgary, Canada we compared number of amalgam fillings, urine mercury measures and changes in 14 self-reported health symptoms, proposed to be mercury dependent sub-clinical measures of mental and physical health. The likelihood of change over one year in a sample of persons who had their fillings removed was compared to a sample of persons who had not had their fillings removed. We use non-parametric statistical tests to determine if differences in urine mercury were statistically significant between sample groups. Logistic regression models were used to estimate the likelihood of observing symptom improvement or worsening in the sample groups. At baseline, individuals with dental amalgam fillings have double the measured urine mercury compared to a control group of persons who have never had amalgam fillings. Removal of amalgam fillings decreases measured urine mercury to levels in persons without amalgam fillings. Although urine mercury levels in our sample are considered by Health Canada to be too low to pose health risks, removal of amalgam fillings reduced the likelihood of self-reported symptom deterioration and increased the likelihood of symptom improvement in comparison to people who retained their amalgam fillings. Our findings suggest that mercury exposure from amalgam fillings adversely impact health and therefore are a health risk. The use of safer alternative materials for dental fillings should be encouraged

  17. 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.

  18. Mercury Mining in Mexico: I. Community Engagement to Improve Health Outcomes from Artisanal Mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho, Andrea; Van Brussel, Evelyn; Carrizales, Leticia; Flores-Ramírez, Rogelio; Verduzco, Beatriz; Huerta, Selene Ruvalcaba-Aranda; Leon, Mauricio; Díaz-Barriga, Fernando

    2016-01-01

    Mercury is an element that cannot be destroyed and is a global threat to human and environmental health. In Latin America and the Caribbean, artisanal and small-scale gold mining represents the main source of mercury emissions, releases, and consumption. However, another source of concern is the primary production of mercury. In the case of Mexico, in the past 2 years the informal production of mercury mining has increased 10-fold. Considering this scenario, an intervention program was initiated to reduce health risks in the mining communities. The program's final goal is to introduce different alternatives in line to stop the mining of mercury, but introducing at the same time, a community-based development program. The aim of this study was to present results from a preliminary study in the community of Plazuela, located in the municipality of Peñamiller in the State of Queretaro, Mexico. Total mercury was measured in urine and environmental samples using atomic absorption spectrometry by cold vapor technique. Urine samples were collected from children aged 6-14 years and who had lived in the selected area from birth. Urine samples were also collected from miners who were currently working in the mine. To confirm the presence of mercury in the community, mining waste, water, soil, and sediment samples were collected from those high-risk areas identified by members of the community. Children, women, and miners were heavily exposed to mercury (urine samples); and in agreement, we registered high concentrations of mercury in soils and sediments. Considering these results and taking into account that the risk perception toward mercury toxicity is very low in the community (mining is the only economic activity), an integral intervention program has started. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Mercury contamination in human hair and some marine species from Sfax coasts of Tunisia: levels and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezghani-Chaari, Sawssan; Hamza, A; Hamza-Chaffai, A

    2011-09-01

    The aim of this study was to measure the mercury (Hg) contents of three marine fish and common seafood species (Diplodus annularis, Sarpa salpa and Sepia officinalis) at two sampling sites in the gulf of Gabes, i.e. Sidi Mansour (polluted site) and Kerkennah (control site). These species are frequently consumed by the population living at the Sfax coasts of Tunisia, particularly by the families of fisherman. Additionally, the hair mercury levels of 55 volunteers (28 women, 27 men) were analysed and the daily total mercury intake through the fish and seafood diet was estimated. The key findings were: (1) the mercury contents of the examined fish and seafood species frequently exceeded the regulatory guideline value of 0.5 mg/kg, (2) no site-specific differences in hair mercury contents were found, (3) fish and seafood consumption is probably the major contributor of mercury exposure in this population, (4) the daily mercury intake through frequent consumption of D. annularis exceeds the US EPA reference dose. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the health risks associated with such high mercury exposure levels in order to allow optimal counseling and therapy of the concerned population and to avoid future impairment of human health, particularly children's health.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... build up in fish, shellfish, and animals that eat fish. The nervous system is sensitive to all forms of mercury. Exposure to high levels can damage the brain and kidneys. Pregnant women can pass the mercury in their bodies to their babies. It is important to protect your family from ...

  12. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... has set a limit of 2 parts of mercury per billion parts of drinking water (2 ppb). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a maximum permissible level of 1 part of methylmercury in a million ... of 0.1 milligram of organic mercury per cubic meter of workplace air (0.1 ...

  13. Health and environmental impact of mercury: Past and present experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivera, A. T. F.; Cortes-Maramba, N. P.; Akagi, H.

    2003-05-01

    Mercury exists in various forms including metallic mercury, inorganie and organic mercury compounds. Research studies show that contamination brought about by natural and man-made activities is clearly a growing problem today. In 1956, the first recognized poisoning outbreaks occurred. Minamata Disease is a disorder of the central nervous system caused by the consumption of fish and shellfish contaminated with methylmercury. Clinical manifestation differs from inorganic mercury poisoning in which the kidneys and the renal system are damaged. The toxidrome consists of sensory disorders in the distal portion of the four extremities, cerebral ataxia, bilateral concentric constriction of the visual field. central disorder of ocular movement, central hearing impairment and disequilibrium. Fetal type Minamata Disease bom of mothers being exposed to methylmercury during pregnancy resulted in conditions similar to those associated with “infantile cerebral palsy" were also documented. Measures to control environmental pollution were implemented such as the environmental restoration project, compensation and relief of victims as part of the health and environmental management undertaken by the government. At present, global research studies are focusing on long-term and low-dose inorganic and methyl mercury exposure; and developmental neurobehavioral toxicity including relevant environmental factors influencing mercury transformations, mass balances and partitioning in ecosystems.

  14. 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

  15. 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.).

  16. 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...

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Mercury as a serious health hazard for children in gold mining areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bose-O'Reilly, Stephan; Lettmeier, Beate; Gothe, Raffaella Matteucci; Beinhoff, Christian; Siebert, Uwe; Drasch, Gustav

    2008-05-01

    In many developing countries, mercury is used to extract gold from ore in small-scale mining areas. Exposure through mercury in these small-scale mining communities is a serious health hazard, especially to the children living and working there. Many children begin working with immediate contact to mercury from the very early age of seven. In Indonesia and Zimbabwe, 166 children were clinically examined for mercury. The mercury concentration in the blood, urine, and hair was analyzed. Compared to the control groups, the exposed children showed typical symptoms of mercury intoxication, such as ataxia. The children working with mercury had high levels of this substance in the various biomonitors. The exposure derives mainly from the liquid mercury used to bind gold, forming an amalgam. The amalgam is heated and the smelting amalgam releases mercury vapor plus the wanted gold. Mercury vapor in contrast to liquid mercury is highly toxic. This elemental, vaporized mercury is the main form of exposure. Since in over 50 countries children live in small-scale gold mining areas and are exposed in a similar way to mercury, immediate action is needed to reduce this severe chemical health hazard for children. Child labor with hazardous substances such as mercury must be stopped.

  1. PATHOLOIGCAL EFFECTS OF DIETARY METHYL MERCURY IN AMERICAN KESTRELS ( FALCO SPARVERIUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methyl mercury in aquatic food webs poses significant health risks to both wildlife and humans. One primary source of mercury contamination for both aquatic and terrestrial systems is atmospheric deposition of inorganic mercury from industrial emissions. Once in the environment, ...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. International mercury conference

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Leaner, J

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg) affects human health and the environment, it calls for immediate action. Action is needed at local, regional and international level to reduce the risk associated with mercury, which is a global international problem, as it is a...

  8. The risk of occupational exposure to mercury vapor in some public dental clinics of Baghdad city, Iraq.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Zubaidi, Enas Sultan; Rabee, Adel Mashaan

    2017-08-01

    Dental workers are exposed to elevated levels of elemental mercury vapor substantially above the occupational exposure standards when placing or removing mercury/silver tooth restorations and disposing of mercury waste. This results in a significant increase in occupational exposure and risk of mercury intoxication. To evaluate the occupational exposure of dental workers to amalgam in four dental clinics in Baghdad city, the concentrations of mercury vapor were measured seasonally from February to November 2016. Samples of blood and urine were collected from 30 dental workers (exposed individuals) and five non-occupationally exposed individuals. Biochemical parameters such as cholesterol, liver enzymes (alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase), renal enzymes (urea and creatinine), total protein and reduced glutathione (GSH) were observed. The results indicated that mercury vapor levels varied from 84.7 ± 18.67 to 609.3 ± 238.90 µg/m 3 and most concentrations were above the occupational exposure standards. The results of the biochemical parameters showed a significant increase in levels of cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and no significant increase in blood urea and creatinine in dental workers in comparison with unexposed persons (control). Although the results showed a significant reduction in the levels of glutathione and total protein, there was no significant decrease in the levels of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in exposed dental workers when compared with non-occupationally exposed individuals. It is concluded that mercury vapor concentrations in the indoor air of some dental clinics in Baghdad city are high and exceed the OSHA STEL(Occupational Safety and Health Administration Short Term Exposure Limit). The present data showed that altered biochemical parameters can be used as efficient bioindicators for mercury toxicity.

  9. 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.

  10. 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)

  11. 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

    2018-03-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

    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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... people never recover, but there has been some success in people who receive chelation treatment. References Sue ... ADAM Health Solutions. About MedlinePlus Site Map FAQs Customer Support Get email updates Subscribe to RSS Follow ...

  3. 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.

  4. Children's exposure to mercury-contaminated soils: exposure assessment and risk characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guney, Mert; Welfringer, Bruno; de Repentigny, Carl; Zagury, Gerald J

    2013-08-01

    Exposure to mercury (Hg)-contaminated soils may pose a health risk to children by way of oral, dermal, and inhalatory pathways. However, risk characterization studies, including contaminant bioaccessibility with child-specific exposure parameters and scenarios, are lacking. The objectives of this study were (1) to assess children's Hg exposure using characterization and oral bioaccessibility data from Hg-contaminated soils characterized in previous studies (n = 8); and (2) to characterize probabilistic risk in terms of hazard index (HI) considering ingestion, dermal, and inhalation pathways. Total Hg concentrations in soils ranged from 2.61 to 1.15 × 10(4) mg kg(-1). For moderately contaminated soils (S1-S5: Hg ≤ 12.15 mg kg(-1)), low oral bioaccessibility values (1.5-7.5 %) lead to HI exposure to highly contaminated soils (S6-S8) may pose serious risks to children under normal exposure (HI 0.89-66.5) and soil-pica behaviour scenarios (HI up to 131). All three pathways significantly contributed to the risk. Using total Hg concentrations in calculations (assuming 100 % bioavailability) instead of considering Hg bioavailability leads to risk overestimation. Further research on oral, inhalatory, and dermal bioavailability of Hg, as well as child play behaviour, is recommended to obtain more accurate risk estimates.

  5. Metallic mercury use by South African traditional health practitioners: perceptions and practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Street, Renée A; Kabera, Gaëtan M; Connolly, Catherine

    2015-08-15

    Mercury is a toxic metal however its use in traditional healthcare systems remains widespread. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of mercury use by South African Traditional Health Practitioners (THP) and to document reasons for use and administration methods. A cross-sectional study design was employed. A total of 201 THPs were enrolled from two main metropolitan areas of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), and 198 were included in the final analysis. Information on demographic characteristics, reasons for using or not using mercury as well as mercury administration methods were collected. Of the 198 THPs, 78 (39%) used mercury for healing purposes and 74 (95%) of the mercury users stated that they were taught to use it by another THP. The two main routes of administration were oral and sub-cutaneous implantations (ukugcaba) at 85% (n = 66) and 59% (n = 46), respectively. The most common responses for mercury administration were for child birth (n = 70; 90%) and protection against guns (n = 39; 50%). This is the first study to describe the prevalence and practice of mercury use in South African traditional medicine. Socio-cultural mercury use is a potential source of exposure to both THPs and their patients. In light of such findings, public education messages and regulatory measures need to be effected.

  6. 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

  7. Mercury content and their risk assessment in farmed shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei from NW Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Alvarez, C G; Ruelas-Inzunza, J; Osuna-López, J I; Voltolina, D; Frías-Espericueta, M G

    2015-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to evaluate the total mercury content in hepatopancreas and edible muscle of the whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei cultured along the NW coast of Mexico, and to evaluate the potential human health risk due to their consumption. Samples were obtained between May and June 2010 in 26 shrimp farms from the three most important shrimp-producing states of NW Mexico, and total Hg was analyzed after reduction with SnCl2 in a mercury analyzer. The ranges of Hg concentrations of the hepatopancreas were 0.101±0.03-0.184±0.13 μg g(-1) in Sonora, 0.077±0.055-0.813±0.363 μg g(-1) in Sinaloa and 0.139±0.037-0.791±0.33 μg g(-1) in Nayarit. In the muscle, values were from 0.078±0.02 to 0.539±0.09 μg g(-1) in Sonora, 0.154±0.03-0.861±0.423 μg g(-1) in Sinaloa and 0.121±0.041-1.48±0.44 μg g(-1) in Nayarit. Considering the concentrations of Hg in the muscle and the national consumption rate, shrimp farmed in NW Mexico does not represent a risk for human health (HQ<1). Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. 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

  9. Mercury production and use in colonial Andean silver production: emissions and health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robins, Nicholas A; Hagan, Nicole A

    2012-05-01

    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. 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). 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. 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.

  10. Risk Analysis of Heavy Metal Weight Mercury in Sea Sediment in the Coastal Areas of Makassar City

    OpenAIRE

    Ishak, Nuning Irnawulan

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring of marine sediments as an indicator of heavy metal mercury pollution in waters has been conducted. This study used an observational design with an Environmental Risk Analysis approach with the objective of knowing the concentration of mercury (Hg) heavy metals and the risk of metal contamination in marine sediments. Sediment sampling was conducted at 10 points in 5 (five) urban villages of Makassar City. The results showed that the highest mercury concentration was in Cambayya Vill...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sundseth, Kyrre; Pacyna, Jozef M.; Pacyna, Elisabeth G.; Pirrone, Nicola; Thorne, Rebecca J.

    2017-01-01

    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. PMID:28117743

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Metallic mercury use by South African traditional health practitioners: perceptions and practices

    OpenAIRE

    Street, Ren?e A.; Kabera, Ga?tan M.; Connolly, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Background Mercury is a toxic metal however its use in traditional healthcare systems remains widespread. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of mercury use by South African Traditional Health Practitioners (THP) and to document reasons for use and administration methods. Methods A cross-sectional study design was employed. A total of 201 THPs were enrolled from two main metropolitan areas of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa), and 198 were included in the final analysis. Informat...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Risk characterization for mercury, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and polychlorinated biphenyls associated with fish consumption in Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonijevic, B; Jankovic, S; Curcic, M; Durgo, K; Stokic, E; Srdic, B; Tomic-Naglic, D

    2011-10-01

    The aim of this work was to assess the risk due to mercury (Hg), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and non-dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (ndl PCBs) intake via fish consumption in Serbia. We have developed 24 scenarios using four concentration levels (mean, maximum, 50th and 95th percentile) of contaminants, determined in 521 samples of fish products available on Serbian market; two consumption levels (Food and Agriculture Organization/World Health Organization data and recommendation of American Heart Association); and three body weights (5th, 50th and 95th percentile). All the values concerning the intake of DDT are below the corresponding health based guidance value. Calculated weekly intake of Hg using maximal concentration, intake of 340g/week and 5th percentile of body weight exceeded the provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI). When maximal and 95th percentile concentration of ndl PCBs was used, weekly intakes exceeded a "guidance value" with one exception i.e., when 95th percentile of concentration along with 95th percentile of body weight were used. Concerning Hg and ndl PCBs, when extreme concentrations were used, HIs exceeded the value of 1, indicating that fish and fishery products may pose a threat to consumer's health. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-18

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Murakami, Michio; 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 reg...

  7. Pregnancy - health risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... provider before trying to get pregnant. Seeing a prenatal provider before trying to get pregnant or early in the pregnancy can help prevent, or detect and control health risks to the mother and unborn baby ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Mercury concentration in bivalve molluscs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szkoda Józef

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available A total of 85 mussel samples of eight species were examined. Analysis of mercury in the freeze-dried samples was carried out by atomic absorption spectrometry method using direct mercury analyser AMA 254. The analytical procedure for determination of mercury was covered by the quality assurance programme of research and participation in national and international proficiency tests. Concentrations of total mercury in all investigated samples were found to be generally low, in the range of 0.033-0.577 mg/kg of dry weight and of 0.003-0.045 mg/kg of wet weight. The results indicate that obtained levels of mercury in bivalve molluscs are not likely to pose a risk to the health of consumers.

  10. 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

  11. Mercury exposure from dental amalgam fillings: absorbed dose and the potential for adverse health effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mackert, J R; Berglund, A

    1997-01-01

    This review examines the question of whether adverse health effects are attributable to amalgam-derived mercury. The issue of absorbed dose of mercury from amalgam is addressed first. The use of intra-oral Hg vapor measurements to estimate daily uptake must take into account the differences between the collection volume and flow rate of the measuring instrument and the inspiratory volume and flow rate of air through the mouth during inhalation of a single breath. Failure to account for these differences will result in substantial overestimation of the absorbed dose. Other factors that must be considered when making estimates of Hg uptake from amalgam include the accurate measurement of baseline (unstimulated) mercury release rates and the greater stimulation of Hg release afforded by chewing gum relative to ordinary food. The measured levels of amalgam-derived mercury in brain, blood, and urine are shown to be consistent with low absorbed doses (1-3 micrograms/day). Published relationships between the number of amalgam surfaces and urine levels are used to estimate the number of amalgam surfaces that would be required to produce the 30 micrograms/g creatinine urine mercury level stated by WHO to be associated with the most subtle, pre-clinical effects in the most sensitive individuals. From 450 to 530 amalgam surfaces would be required to produce the 30 micrograms/g creatinine urine mercury level for people without any excessive gum-chewing habits. The potential for adverse health effects and for improvement in health following amalgam removal is also addressed. Finally, the issue of whether any material can ever be completely exonerated of claims of producing adverse health effects is considered.

  12. Environmental mercury problem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D' Itri, F.M.

    1972-01-01

    The urgent need to eliminate or greatly reduce the discharge of mercury into the environment is paramount to the health and well being of man. That all forms of mercury are hazardous is widely recognized, but what is more devastating to our society is that all forms of mercury appear to have the potential to be converted in to highly toxic monomethylmercury, or dimethylmercury. This paper examined the historical uses of mercury, the background concentrations of mercury, the analytical methods for the determination of mercury, the contamination of the food chain by mercury, the biological methylation of mercury, the decontamination and restoration of mercury polluted areas, the epidemiology and toxicology of mercury, and the chronology of the world's mercury poisoning problem.

  13. Spectrometric analysis of mercury content in 549 skin-lightening products: is mercury toxicity a hidden global health hazard?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, Carsten R; Boonchai, Waranya; Wen, Liping; Sakanashi, Emi Nishijima; Chu, Chia-Yu; Hamann, Kylin; Hamann, Curtis P; Sinniah, Kumar; Hamann, Dathan

    2014-02-01

    Cosmetic skin lightening is practiced worldwide. Mercury is a well-documented melanotoxin added to some lightening products. However, mercury can cause many dermatologic, renal, and neurologic problems. The Food and Drug Administration limits the amount of mercury in cosmetic products to trace amounts, 1 ppm. The objective of this study was to quantitatively evaluate a large international sample of lightening products for mercury content, focusing on products available to US consumers either online or in stores. A total of 549 skin-lightening products, manufactured in 32 countries, were purchased online in the United States, Taiwan, and Japan and in stores in the United States, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan, and Sri Lanka. Cosmetics were screened for mercury content above 200 ppm using a low-cost portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer. Of the 549 tested products, 6.0% (n = 33) contained mercury above 1000 ppm. In all, 45% of mercury-containing samples contained mercury in excess of 10,000 ppm. Of lightening products purchased in the United States, 3.3% were found to contain mercury in excess of 1000 ppm. Our study did not evaluate creams for other melanosuppressive ingredients. Only 1 sample of each product was tested. Our study confirms the national and global presence of mercury in skin-lightening products. Copyright © 2013 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. [Responsible management of dental amalgam mercury: a review of its impact on health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Méndez-Visag, Christhian

    2014-01-01

    This review discusses the implications of dental amalgam used in dentistry. We first focus on the status of the fetus, which is the most vulnerable to mercury exposure from maternal dental amalgams because of the chronic form and potential magnitude of exposure. And second, our work covers the awareness of environmental repercussions involved with continued use of this restorative material, a persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic chemical, when best management practices (BMPs) of mercury from the WHO and the American Dental Association are not followed. Although the use of dental amalgam is in decline in the public and private sectors, it is necessary that the measures disseminated by the WHO on BMPs are implemented by professional dentists and taught by academic institutions that may continue to teach its use. It is also essential to promote from the undergraduate level the ethical values and responsibility to health and the environment, considering that the poor handling of mercury contributes to the global burden of environmental mercury. Finally, the findings support important modifications in the clinical field, the principle of precaution, and logistical aspects of the profession in the process of reducing and eventually eliminating the use of mercury.

  15. Health Risks of Being Overweight?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... in the Right Direction Health Risks of Being Overweight Overweight and obesity may increase the risk of ... What kinds of health problems are linked to overweight and obesity? Excess weight may increase the risk ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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)

  20. 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

    higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency reference dose. Participants were followed prospectively (mean±SD follow-up, 14.9±7.9 years) for a new self-report of physician-diagnosed hypertension (3540 cases), shown to be >95% sensitive and specific for diagnosing hypertension in these cohorts......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...

  1. Side effects of mercury in dental amalgam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Titiek Berniyanti

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Dental amalgam is an alloy composed of mixture of approximately equal parts of elemental liquid mercury and an alloy powder. The popularity of amalgam arises from excellent long term performance, ease of use and low cost. Despite the popularity of dental amalgam as restorative material, there have been concerns regarding the potential adverse health and environmental effects arising from exposure to mercury in amalgam. They have long been believed to be of little significance as contributors to the overall body burden of mercury, because the elemental form of mercury is rapidly consumed in the setting reaction of the restoration. In 1997, 80% of dentist in Indonesia still using amalgam as an alternative material, and 60% of them treat the rest of unused amalgam carelessly. In recent years, the possible environmental and health impact caused by certain routines in dental practice has attracted attention among regulators. As part of point source reduction strategies, the discharge of mercury/amalgam-contaminated wastes has been regulated in a number of countries, even though it has been documented that by adopting appropriate mercury hygiene measures, the impact of amalgam use in dentistry is minimal. The purpose of this paper is to examine on studies that relate mercury levels in human to the presence of dental amalgams. It is concluded that even though mercury used in filling is hazardous, if normal occupational recommendations for proper mercury hygiene routines and source of reduction strategies are followed, no occupational health risk can be assumed.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    AIMS: To evaluate whether a public health intervention using focused dietary advice combined with a hair-mercury analysis can lower neurotoxic methylmercury exposure among pregnant women without decreasing their overall intake of seafood. METHODS: A total of 146 pregnant women were consecutively......% 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......-mercury concentrations associated with dietary advice corresponds to a substantial public health benefit that probably makes such an intervention highly profitable....

  3. PATHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF DIETARY METHYL MERCURY IN AMERICAN KESTRELS (FALCO SPARVERIIUS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Methyl mercury in the aquatic food web poses significant health risks to both wildlife and humans. One primary source of mercury contamination for both the aquatic and terrestrial systems is atmospheric deposition of inorganic mercury from industrial emissions. Once in the enviro...

  4. 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...

  5. Mercury distribution in organs of fish species and the associated risk in traditional subsistence villagers of the Pantanal wetland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceccatto, Ana P S; Testoni, Magalei C; Ignácio, Aurea R A; Santos-Filho, Manoel; Malm, Olaf; Díez, Sergi

    2016-06-01

    This study evaluated the risk to human health from mercury (Hg) exposure through fish consumption in the Pantanal, Brazil. In order to address these risks, Hg concentrations and accumulation patterns were determined in target organs of predatory fish (Crenicichla lepidota and Pygocentrus nattereri). Levels of Hg were analysed during the two phases of the flood pulse (flood and drought) in fish from different local ecosystems, such as the Bento Gomes and Paraguay rivers. Although the former study area is directly affected by gold mining, a higher, but not significantly different, Hg concentration in fish was found compared with fish at the Paraguay River, which is regarded as pristine area. Moreover, no seasonal variability was found in either river. Although total mercury levels in fish did not exceed the maximum FAO/WHO threshold (0.5 μg g(-1)), according to dietary habits in riverine communities of the Pantanal (up to 6 oz of fish per day), there is reason for concern over the potential for deleterious health effects that could be caused by high Hg intake. In fact, the estimated daily intake in the present study ranged from 0.49 to 1.08 μg Hg kg(-1) day(-1), for adults (including women of childbearing age) and children, respectively. Because of high Hg intakes in riverine groups, which exceed the recommended reference dose value, these communities could be considered at risk. Therefore, it is necessary to consider regulatory measures and public education regarding fish consumption, particularly in vulnerable groups (i.e. children, pregnant women and women of childbearing age).

  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. 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

  9. 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.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michio Murakami

    Full Text Available 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 < 0.05. However, presentation of regulation values showed a weak but significantly positive correlation with excessive intake of tuna-type fish (odds ratio: 2.95 (0.93-9.32, p < 0.10. Presenting the information on regulation values increases sense of safety; however, it may also lead to excessive intake.

  10. 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)

    Murakami, Michio; 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 < 0.05). However, presentation of regulation values showed a weak but significantly positive correlation with excessive intake of tuna-type fish (odds ratio: 2.95 (0.93-9.32), p < 0.10). Presenting the information on regulation values increases sense of safety; however, it may also lead to excessive intake.

  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. Comment on Giuseppe Genchi et al. Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 74

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. M. J. Mortazavi

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Cenchi et al. [1] have recently published an article entitled “Mercury Exposure and Heart Diseases” that is published in Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 74; doi:10.3390/ijerph14010074.[...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sunderland, Elsie M.

    2006-01-01

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

  15. 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

  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. 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

  18. Dental health in workers previously exposed to mercury vapour at a chloralkali plant.

    OpenAIRE

    Holland, R I; Ellingsen, D G; Olstad, M L; Kjuus, H

    1994-01-01

    OBJECTIVES--The dental health of 73 workers previously exposed to mercury vapour at a chloralkali plant was studied and compared with that of 51 non-exposed referents. METHODS--A record of oral, periodontal, gingival and mucosal conditions, including teeth, restorations, prostheses, and oral hygiene, was established during a 30 min examination. The participants' periodontal conditions were assessed according to the community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN). The results with the C...

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Mercury and Selenium in Muscle and Target Organs of Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks Sphyrna lewini of the SE Gulf of California: Dietary Intake, Molar Ratios, Loads, and Human Health Risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergés-Tiznado, Magdalena E; Márquez-Farías, Fernando; Lara-Mendoza, Raúl E; Torres-Rojas, Yassir E; Galván-Magaña, Felipe; Bojórquez-Leyva, Humberto; Páez-Osuna, Federico

    2015-11-01

    Selenium and mercury were evaluated in muscle, liver, kidney, brain, and the stomach contents of juvenile scalloped hammerhead shark Sphyrna lewini. Se:Hg molar ratios were calculated. The average Hg levels in muscle ranged from 0.12 to 1.17 μg/g (wet weight); Hg was 1. Correlations were found for Hg in muscle with size, age, and weight, and also for Hg in liver with size, age, and weight. Hg in muscle was significantly positive correlated to Hg in brain as well as Hg in liver was correlated to Hg in kidney. The highest Hg in preys was for carangid fishes; scombrid and carangid fishes contributed with the highest Se levels. Results suggest that more than 98 % of the total Hg and 62 % of Se end up in muscle and might be affected by factors, such as geographical area, age, size, and feeding habits. The muscle of S. lewini should be consumed by people cautiously so as not to exceed the recommended intake per week.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Measuring Respiratory Pressures with Mercury Manometer in Low Economic Health Care Settings- An Analytical Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balaguru, Prem; Hariharan, Vishnupriya; Manivel, Rajajeyakumar; Trakroo, Madanmohan

    2016-01-01

    Health care economics restricts many health centers from using hi-tech diagnostics equipment. Mercury manometers are used for calibration of pressure transducers. If standardized it would be a cost effective, simple alternative to transducers in low economic settings. To analyse the feasibility of mercury manometer usage in respiratory pressure measurement. The experimental study was conducted with 30 healthy volunteers of age group 17-19 yrs. They were recruited by using simple random sampling method. The volunteers were made familiarized to lab environment, instrument and techniques of maximum inspiratory (Pimax) and expiratory pressures (Pemax). Then parameters were recorded using mercury manometer connected to different syringes as mouth piece (2.5 ml, 10 ml, and 20 ml) and with sphygmomanometer. Statistical analysis was done by using IBM SPSS statistics version 21. The Pimax was 111.07 ± 6.53 with a 2.5 ml syringe as mouth piece. With 20 ml syringe it was 61.47 ± 9.98. PEmax with 2.5 ml syringe was 70.33 ± 8.19 with a confidence limit of 2.93 and with sphygmomanometer was 99.33 ± 8.16 with a confidence limit of 2.92. There was a change in recorded pressure and the correlation analysis result showed a significant difference from both above and below 10 ml mouth piece range. Mercury manometers could be used for recording respiratory pressures in low economic facilities once standardized. Size of syringe to be used as mouth piece needs further more works although this study finds 10 ml syringe as suitable.

  5. 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.

  6. Mercury in tropical and subtropical coastal environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Monica F.; Landing, William M.; Kehrig, Helena A.; Barletta, Mário; Holmes, Christopher D.; Barrocas, Paulo R. G.; Evers, David C.; Buck, David G.; Vasconcellos, Ana Claudia; Hacon, Sandra S.; Moreira, Josino C.; Malm, Olaf

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities influence the biogeochemical cycles of mercury, both qualitatively and quantitatively, on a global scale from sources to sinks. Anthropogenic processes that alter the temporal and spatial patterns of sources and cycling processes are changing the impacts of mercury contamination on aquatic biota and humans. Human exposure to mercury is dominated by the consumption of fish and products from aquaculture operations. The risk to society and to ecosystems from mercury contamination is growing, and it is important to monitor these expanding risks. However, the extent and manner to which anthropogenic activities will alter mercury sources and biogeochemical cycling in tropical and sub-tropical coastal environments is poorly understood. Factors as (1) lack of reliable local/regional data; (2) rapidly changing environmental conditions; (3) governmental priorities and; (4) technical actions from supra-national institutions, are some of the obstacles to overcome in mercury cycling research and policy formulation. In the tropics and sub-tropics, research on mercury in the environment is moving from an exploratory “inventory” phase towards more process-oriented studies. Addressing biodiversity conservation and human health issues related to mercury contamination of river basins and tropical coastal environments are an integral part of paragraph 221 paragraph of the United Nations document “The Future We Want” issued in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. PMID:22901765

  7. 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. 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

  9. Urban artisanal gold shops and mercury emissions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cordy, P.; Veiga, M.; Carrasco, V.H.G. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver, BC (Canada). Dept. of Mining and Mineral Process Engineering

    2008-07-01

    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.

  10. 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.

  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. Sensing Mercury for Biomedical and Environmental Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julia Xiaojun Zhao

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Mercury is a very toxic element that is widely spread in the atmosphere, lithosphere, and surface water. Concentrated mercury poses serious problems to human health, as bioaccumulation of mercury within the brain and kidneys ultimately leads to neurological diseases. To control mercury pollution and reduce mercury damage to human health, sensitive determination of mercury is important. This article summarizes some current sensors for the determination of both abiotic and biotic mercury. A wide array of sensors for monitoring mercury is described, including biosensors and chemical sensors, while piezoelectric and microcantilever sensors are also described. Additionally, newly developed nanomaterials offer great potential for fabricating novel mercury sensors. Some of the functional fluorescent nanosensors for the determination of mercury are covered. Afterwards, the in vivo determination of mercury and the characterization of different forms of mercury are discussed. Finally, the future direction for mercury detection is outlined, suggesting that nanomaterials may provide revolutionary tools in biomedical and environmental monitoring of mercury.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Mercury exposure from domestic and imported estuarine and marine fish in the U.S. seafood market.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sunderland, Elsie M

    2007-02-01

    Methylmercury exposure causes a variety of adverse effects on human health. Per capita estimates of mercury exposure are critical for risk assessments and for developing effective risk management strategies. This study investigated the impact of natural stochasticity in mercury concentrations among fish and shellfish harvested from the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and foreign shores on estimated mercury exposures. Mercury concentrations and seafood consumption are grouped by supply region (Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and foreign shores). Distributions of intakes from this study are compared with values obtained using national FDA (Food and Drug Administration) mercury survey data to assess the significance of geographic variability in mercury concentrations on exposure estimates. Per capita mercury intake rates calculated using FDA mercury data differ significantly from those based on mercury concentration data for each supply area and intakes calculated for the 90th percentile of mercury concentrations. Differences in reported mercury concentrations can significantly affect per capita mercury intake estimates, pointing to the importance of spatially refined mercury concentration data. This analysis shows that national exposure estimates are most influenced by reported concentrations in imported tuna, swordfish, and shrimp; Pacific pollock; and Atlantic crabs. Collecting additional mercury concentration data for these seafood categories would improve the accuracy of national exposure estimates.

  17. 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.

  18. Menopause and blood mercury levels: the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuk, Jin-Sung; Lee, Jung Hun; Jeon, Jin-Dong; Kim, Tai June; Lee, Myung-Hwa; Park, Won I

    2014-12-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the association between menopause and blood mercury concentrations in South Korean women. Women aged ≥20 years who participated in the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2008-2011 were included in this study. Primary and secondary analyses included women aged ≥20 years (n = 1,642) and 45-55 years (i.e., perimenopausal; n = 325), respectively. For all analyses, the mercury levels were log-transformed. The linear regression model for mercury levels was adjusted for age, body mass index, household income, menopausal status, hormone replacement therapy, use of oral contraceptives, smoking history, alcohol intake, physical activity, number of pregnancies, serum ferritin levels, and fish consumption. After adjusting for covariates, log-transformed blood mercury levels were significantly lower in women who were menopausal [β-coefficient -0.1488; 95 % confidence interval -0.2586, -0.0389; P = 0.01) than in those who were premenopausal. A similar relationship was identified in perimenopausal women (β-coefficient -0.1753; 95 % confidence interval -0.3357, -0.015; P = 0.03). The blood mercury concentration was lower in postmenopausal women than in premenopausal women. There was a significant positive correlation between blood mercury concentrations and both the frequency of alcohol intake and serum ferritin levels.

  19. Hazards of mercury: Special report to the secretary's pesticide advisory committee, department of health, education, and welfare, November 1970

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Norton; Byerly, Theodore C.; Kolbye, Albert C.; Kurland, Leonard T.; Shapiro, Raymond E.; Shibko, Samuel L.; Stickel, William H.; Thompson, Jack E.; Van Den Berg, Lowell A.; Weissler, Alfred

    1971-01-01

    Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations: The levels of mercury contamination found in freshwater fish in Sweden and Finland are similar to those found in such fish in the United States. On the other hand, fish consumption in this country is regarded as generally somewhat less than in the region of Scandinavia. Medical examinations of heavy eaters of contaminated fish have not revealed conclusive evidence of mercury-related disease in either Sweden or Finland. Nevertheless, the body burdens of mercury of some of those having the heaviest intake of fish in both of those countries were as high as the lower levels reported in persons with methylmercury poisoning in Japan. The major conclusion derived from these and other findings was that it seems unlikely that we will find overt mercury poisoning from the consumption of fish or other food products, as normally marketed, in this country. This is not to say that there may not be a few individuals, who because of high consumption of contaminated fish may have signs of mercury poisoning or suffer possible subclinical effects, including delayed neurologic or intellectual damage. Also, possibly infants or children may have impaired development. As yet, no systematic studies have been undertaken, even in the known areas of human exposure in Sweden and Japan, to identify such subclinical effects. Although we appear to be on safe ground, it is urgent (1) to determine whether subtle health effects are present and (2) to use all possible means to reduce exposure to mercury immediately.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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)

  3. 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. ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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 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...

  6. Day care health risks

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... as head lice and scabies are other common health problems that occur in day care centers. You can do a number of ... for the child How to contact your child's health care provider ... sure your child's day care staff knows how to follow that plan.

  7. 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....

  8. Oxidation and methylation of dissolved elemental mercury by anaerobic bacteria

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Haiyan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Lin, Hui [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Zheng, Wang [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Tomanicek, Stephen J [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Johs, Alexander [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Feng, Xinbin [Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing (China); Elias, Dwayne A [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Liang, Liyuan [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Gu, Baohua [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2013-08-04

    Methylmercury is a neurotoxin that poses significant health risks to humans. Some anaerobic sulphate- and iron-reducing bacteria can methylate oxidized forms of mercury, generating methylmercury1-4. One strain of sulphate-reducing bacteria (Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132) can also methylate elemental mercury5. The prevalence of this trait among different bacterial strains and species remains unclear, however. Here, we compare the ability of two strains of the sulphate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio and one strain of the iron-reducing bacterium Geobacter to oxidise and methylate elemental mercury in a series of laboratory incubations. Experiments were carried out under dark, anaerobic conditions, in the presence of environmentally-relevant concentrations of elemental mercury. We report differences in the ability of these organisms to oxidise and methylate elemental mercury. In line with recent findings5, we show that Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ND132 can both oxidise and methylate elemental mercury. However, the rate of methylation of elemental mercury is only about one third the rate of methylation of oxidized mercury. We also show that Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20 can oxidise, but not methylate, elemental mercury. Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA is able to oxidise and methylate elemental mercury in the presence of cysteine. We suggest that the activity of methylating and non-methylating bacteria may together enhance the formation of methylmercury in anaerobic environments.

  9. Health Risk of Radon

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... related lung cancer in women. Top of Page Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI Report: "The ... Living Health Land, Waste, and Cleanup Lead Mold Pesticides Radon Science Water A-Z Index Laws & Regulations ...

  10. Adolescents: Health Risks and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... fever » Home / News / Fact sheets / Detail Nik Naubauer Adolescents: health risks and solutions 5 February 2018 ","datePublished":" ... adolescents in some high-income countries. Rights of adolescents The rights of children (people under 18 years ...

  11. Municipal actions to reduce mercury

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2005-03-15

    This paper presented proper management practices for products containing mercury. The measures can help reduce mercury releases, occupational exposure and mercury spills, thereby preventing impacts on human health and the environment. Despite mercury's toxic nature, many common products that contain mercury are commercially available. These include thermostats, thermometers, fluorescent lamps, pressure measuring devices, electrical switches and relays, and dental amalgam. Mercury emissions are also associated with base metal smelting, waste incineration and coal-fired power generation. Mercury in the environment is a global issue, because it can travel in the atmosphere on wind currents. The actions taken by municipalities to address the issue include reducing or eliminating mercury releases from internal municipal operations and sources within the community. This document provided guidance on how to develop a Municipal Mercury Elimination Policy and Plan that will help reduce mercury releases. It presented information and case studies that will help municipalities manage mercury-containing products found in municipal buildings and street lighting. Information on sources of mercury from within the community was presented along with case studies that can help municipalities determine where community action is needed to reduce mercury releases. The 5 modules of this document were intended to help municipalities identify priorities, timelines and budget requirements for mercury initiatives. It was emphasized that municipalities that adopt a Municipal Mercury Elimination Policy and Plan formally commit to reducing and eliminating mercury from the environment. tabs., figs.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Associations between blood mercury levels and subclinical changes in liver enzymes among South Korean general adults: analysis of 2008-2012 Korean national health and nutrition examination survey data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Heun; Kim, Yangho; Sim, Chang-Sun; Ham, Jung-O; Kim, Nam-Soo; Lee, Byung-Kook

    2014-04-01

    We herein used data from the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (KNHANES) 2008-2012 to examine the associations between blood mercury levels and subclinical changes of liver function in a representative sample of the adult Korean population. This study was based on data obtained from KNHANES, in which a rolling sampling design was used to perform a complex, stratified, multistage probability cluster survey of a representative sample of the non-institutionalized civilian population in South Korea. The associations between subclinical hepatic changes and blood mercury levels were assessed after adjustment for various demographic and lifestyle factors. Multivariate linear regression analyses revealed that each doubling of blood mercury increased serum aspartate transaminase (AST) by 0.676U/L and serum alanine transaminase (ALT) by 1.067U/L. The mean differences (95% CI) in serum AST and ALT between the lowest and highest quartiles were statistically significant at 1.249 (0.263-2.235)U/L and 2.248 (0.648-3.848), respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odd ratios for having serum AST and ALT levels above the median were statistically significant in both the models according to the increase of blood mercury. The risks of having serum AST and ALT levels higher than the median among subjects in 4th quartile of blood mercury were 1.524 and 1.947, respectively. The present findings show that subclinical changes of liver function are associated with blood mercury levels. This is the first study to show an association between blood mercury levels and mild liver dysfunction, as a possible proxy measure of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), in Asian population. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Ecotoxicity of mercury to Folsomia candida and Proisotoma minuta (Collembola: Isotomidae) in tropical soils: Baseline for ecological risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buch, Andressa Cristhy; Niemeyer, Júlia Carina; Fernandes Correia, Maria Elizabeth; Silva-Filho, Emmanoel Vieira

    2016-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a highly toxic nonessential trace metal. Despite its natural occurrence in the Earth's Crust, its concentrations have been steadily increasing in the environment due to anthropogenic sources. Recent studies have showed great concern about soil fauna, once the potential adverse effects of mercury concentrations in the environment of these invertebrates are still poorly understood, especially when linked to forest soils and tropical biota. Different collembolan species can show distinct toxicity effects to the contaminants, impairing its developing lifelong and affecting its diversity and abundance in the environment. Laboratory studies were performed to evaluate the ecotoxicity of Hg(II) to collembolan species collected in Brazil, Proisotoma minuta (autochthonous) and Folsomia candida (allochthonous), as a tool to predict effects in ecological risk assessment of tropical regions. Behavioral, acute and chronic tests were carried under temperatures of 20°C and 24°C using two test soils, natural and artificial, spiked with increasing mercury concentrations. F. candida was more sensitive to mercury contamination than P. minuta, presenting the most restrictive values of EC50 and LC50. Reproduction was a considerably more sensitive endpoint than avoidance and mortality. The 28-day lower EC50 values were found in chronic tests for F. candida in natural soil to 24°C (3.32mgHgkg(-1)), while for P. minuta was in tropical artificial soil to 20°C (4.43mgHgkg(-1)). There were similarity for each collembolan species to respond at the Hg(II) effects when exposed at 20°C and 24°C. F. candida can be suitable as a bioindicator species to mercury ecotoxicity tests in tropical forest soils. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. Mercury in the National Parks: Current Status and Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, C.; Blett, T. F.; Morris, K.

    2012-12-01

    Mercury is a globally distributed contaminant that can harm human and wildlife health, and threaten resources the National Park Service (NPS) is charged with protecting. Due in part to emissions and long-range transport from coal burning power plants, even remote national park environments receive mercury deposition from the atmosphere. Given the concern regarding mercury, there are and have been many mercury monitoring initiatives in national parks to determine the risk from mercury contamination. This includes the study of litter fall at Acadia National Park (Maine), snow at Mount Rainier National Park (Washington), heron eggs at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana), bat hair at Mammoth Cave National Park (Kentucky), and panthers at Everglades National Park (Florida). Wet deposition is also measured at 16 national parks as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Network / Mercury Deposition Network. Results from these studies indicate that mercury deposition is increasing or is elevated in many national parks, and fish and other biota have been found to contain levels of mercury above toxicity thresholds for impacts to both humans and wildlife. Current research coordinated by the NPS Air Resources Division (ARD) in Denver, Colorado, on the effects of mercury includes broad-scale assessments of mercury in fish, dragonfly larvae, and songbirds across 30+ national parks. Fish provide the trophic link to human and wildlife health, dragonfly larvae can describe fine-scale differences in mercury levels, and songbirds shed light on the risk to terrestrial ecosystems. External project partners include the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Maine, and the Biodiversity Research Institute. In addition, the dragonfly project engages citizen scientists in the collection of dragonfly larvae, supporting the NPS Centennial Initiative by connecting people to parks and advancing the educational mission, and increasing public awareness about mercury impacts. Much of

  1. 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

    OpenAIRE

    Peter W. U. Appel; Astrid Andersen; Leoncio D. Na-Oy; Rudy Onos

    2015-01-01

    Background. Artisanal and small-scale miners in Bolivia release on the order of 120 tons of mercury annually. The mercury finds its way to the Amazon with catastrophic consequences for the biosphere. A project aimed at reducing the release of mercury was carried out in 2013 and 2014. Objectives. The project had two objectives: to test whether the mercury-free gold extraction method could be an alternative to whole ore amalgamation in medium-scale mining in Bolivia and to teach mercury toxi...

  2. 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

  3. Mercury pollution in vegetables, grains and soils from areas surrounding coal-fired power plants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Rui; Wu, Han; Ding, Jing; Fu, Weimin; Gan, Lijun; Li, Yi

    2017-05-01

    Mercury contamination in food can pose serious health risks to consumers and coal-fired power plants have been identified as the major source of mercury emissions. To assess the current state of mercury pollution in food crops grown near coal-fired power plants, we measured the total mercury concentration in vegetables and grain crops collected from farms located near two coal-fired power plants. We found that 79% of vegetable samples and 67% of grain samples exceeded the PTWI's food safety standards. The mercury concentrations of soil samples were negatively correlated with distances from the studied coal-fired power plants, and the mercury contents in lettuce, amaranth, water spinach, cowpea and rice samples were correlated with the mercury contents in soil samples, respectively. Also, the mercury concentrations in vegetable leaves were much higher than those in roots and the mercury content of vegetable leaves decreased significantly after water rinses. Our calculation suggests that probable weekly intake of mercury for local residents, assuming all of their vegetables and grains are from their own farmland, may exceed the toxicologically tolerable values allowed, and therefore long-term consumptions of these contaminated vegetables and grains may pose serious health risks.

  4. Mercury exposure and periodontitis among a Korean population: the Shiwha-Banwol environmental health study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Dong-Hun; Lim, Sin-Ye; Sun, Bo-Cheng; Janket, Sok-Ja; Kim, Jin-Bom; Paik, Dai-Il; Paek, Domyung; Kim, Hyun-Duck

    2009-12-01

    The oral effect of chronic low-level mercury exposure is not completely understood. This study examined whether mercury exposure is associated with periodontitis. This study cross-sectionally surveyed 1,328 residents (598 males and 730 females) from the prospective Shiwha and Banwol cohort in Korea from July 2005 to August 2006 at baseline. Two dentists assessed periodontitis, an outcome, using the Community Periodontal Index (CPI): CPI 3 or 4 and CPI 0 to 2 were classified as periodontitis and non-periodontitis, respectively. The hair mercury level, the predictor, was analyzed. The mercury level was categorized according to the reference dose of the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States: normal = or =1 ppm. Age, gender, economic status, smoking, frequency of daily toothbrushing, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obesity were assessed as confounders. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the adjusted association. Subgroup analyses for gender were also performed. Mercury exposure was independently associated with periodontitis (odds ratio = 3.17). Males with high mercury levels had a 50.0% higher probability of having periodontitis than females with normal mercury levels. Of them, the interaction effect between the body burden of mercury and gender was 39.0%. The odds ratio between periodontitis and high mercury levels was higher for males than females (95% confidence interval: 0.99 to 2.23 versus 0.59 to 1.26, respectively). These results suggest that mercury exposure had an independent association with periodontitis. High body-burden mercury in males might be a contributory factor linked with periodontitis.

  5. sorption of inorganic mercury on soils from ankobra basin in the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    dmosman.admin

    ganic matter (Lamar, 1968). Given the high levels of mercury in the soils of the artisanal gold mining areas and the health risks associ- ated with the element, an insight into the sorp- tion of mercury in this matrix is extremely im- portant. Data on the sorption of inorganic Hg. (II) on soils are available in literature (Schnoor,.

  6. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Mercury and selenium intake by seafood from the Ionian Sea: A risk evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Copat, Chiara; Vinceti, Marco; D'Agati, Maria Grazia; Arena, Giovanni; Mauceri, Valeria; Grasso, Alfina; Fallico, Roberto; Sciacca, Salvatore; Ferrante, Margherita

    2014-02-01

    The subject of the present study is the evaluation of the concentrations of mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) in fish and shellfish from the Gulf of Catania (Ionian Sea) and the assessment of related risk-based consumption limits per single contaminant in adults and children. In contrast to the potential harm from Hg, Se is an essential element that is normally found in high levels in seafood. If the amount of Hg is high enough, it could bind Se and irreversibly inhibit selenium-dependent enzymes. Thus, adequate levels of Se need to be available to replace the amount of Se lost to Hg sequestration, thereby maintaining normal selenoprotein synthesis. Hg analysis was conducted using a flow injection analysis system coupled with an atomic adsorption spectrometer, and Se analysis was conducted using an inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Of the trace elements investigated, only Hg has a limit set by the European Community for human consumption, and this was never exceeded. Nevertheless, based on Target Hazard Quotient (THQ) over 1, and on the Estimated Daily Intake per meal (EDIm) higher than the Provisional Tolerable Intake (PTI) suggested by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additive (JECFA), Hg oral exposure derived from consumption of the benthonic fish and of the bigger pelagic fish species analyzed, could follow the occurrence of systemic effects. Se was found always in molar excess respect to Hg in all pelagic fish and in the shellfish, nearly equimolar in the benthonic fish. Determining the evidence that foods, such as pelagic fish, with high molar excess of Se, could contribute to replace the amount of Se bound to Hg and thereby maintaining normal selenoprotein synthesis, is useful for a better understanding of the seafood safety. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Exposure to mercury among dental health workers in Turkey: correlation with amalgam work and own fillings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yılmaz, Hınç; Tutkun, Engin; Demiralp, Kemal Ö; Yılmaz, Fatma M; Aliyev, Vugar; Söylemezoğlu, Tülin

    2015-10-01

    To investigate the current status of exposure to mercury (Hg) among dental health workers in Turkey. A total of 115 persons working in the same hospital were included in the study and were divided into three groups. Group 1 consisted of 67 dentists; group 2 consisted of 21 dental personnel who work with amalgam, and group 3 consisted of 27 control subjects who work in the same hospital but are non-dental personnel. The number of amalgam fillings that have been made by the dentists and the number of own fillings of the subjects were recorded. Plasma Hg levels were found to be 3.76 ± 1.84, 3.54 ± 1.83, and 2.69 ± 0.97 µg/L in groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Hg concentrations in group 1 were significantly higher than the control group. There was no significant difference between groups 1 and 2. The number of amalgam fillings made by the dentists in the previous year correlated significantly with plasma Hg levels (r = 0.378, p amalgam fillings in the teeth of the subjects and Hg levels. Preventive measures for protection from exposure to Hg are necessary for occupational health in dentistry and proper industrial hygiene rules should be emphasized to avoid contamination during work. © The Author(s) 2013.

  14. 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.

  15. Organic mercury compounds: human exposure and its relevance to public health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risher, John F; Murray, H Edward; Prince, George R

    2002-04-01

    Humans may be exposed to organic forms of mercury by either inhalation, oral, or dermal routes, and the effects of such exposure depend upon both the type of mercury to which exposed and the magnitude of the exposure. In general, the effects of exposure to organic mercury are primarily neurologic, while a host of other organ systems may also be involved, including gastrointestinal, respiratory, hepatic, immune, dermal, and renal. While the primary source of exposure to organic mercury for most populations is the consumption of methylmercury-contaminated fish and shellfish, there are a number of other organomercurials to which humans might be exposed. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of organomercurials have resulted in their long use as topical disinfectants (thimerosal and merbromin) and preservatives in medical preparations (thimerosal) and grain products (both methyl and ethyl mercurials). Phenylmercury has been used in the past in paints, and dialkyl mercurials are still used in some industrial processes and in the calibration of certain analytical laboratory equipment. The effects of exposure to different organic mercurials by different routes of exposure are summarized in this article.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. A community-based approach to disseminate health information on the hazards of prenatal mercury exposure in Brooklyn, NY.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callejo, Fay P; Geer, Laura A

    2012-08-01

    Exposure to mercury (Hg) in utero can have neurotoxic effects on the developing fetus. Mercury exposure in women of childbearing age has been associated with frequent fish consumption, coastal proximity, foreign birth, and exposure during ritualistic practices. The aim of this study was to identify culturally-appropriate strategies to disseminate messages on the hazards of in utero Hg exposure in fertile and pregnant women in a predominantly urban immigrant community in Flatbush, Brooklyn, following findings from a recent study on mercury exposure in this community. Nineteen key informant interviews were conducted in Flatbush, Brooklyn with community members, medical professionals, fishmongers, and a religious practitioner to solicit feedback on culturally sensitive methods to educate the community on Hg hazards. The main themes identified include clinical integration, where providers integrate the message in routine care; community integration, whereby influential organizations and community members foster message delivery; media usage; and message reinforcement via continuous exposure. It is vital for healthcare providers and public health practitioners to be culturally sensitive in educating their patients on fish selection during pregnancy and safety of handling Hg. Instead of a single approach, a combination of media and educational strategies would help to reinforce the message. These findings form a basis for public health campaigns to apprise other urban immigrant communities of the hazards of in utero Hg exposure.

  3. Health Risks of an Inactive Lifestyle

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... may develop a hormonal imbalance What are the health risks of an inactive lifestyle? Having an inactive ... the more sedentary you are, the higher your health risks are. How can I get started with ...

  4. Residential metal contamination and potential health risks of ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potosí, Bolivia, is the site of centuries of historic and present-day mining of the Cerro Rico Mountain, known for its rich polymetallic deposits, and was the site of large-scale Colonial era silver refining operations, both of which have left a legacy of pollution. In this study, trace elements were quantified in adobe brick, dirt floor, and surface dust samples from 49 houses. Mean concentrations of total mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), and arsenic (As) were statistically significantly greater than concentrations measured in Sucre, Bolivia, a non-mining town used as a reference site, and exceeded US-based soil screening levels that are designed to be protective of human health. Adobe brick samples were analyzed for bioaccessible concentrations of elements using a simulated gastric fluid (GF) extraction. Mean GF extractable concentrations of Hg, As, and Pb were 0.841, 14.9, and 30.2 percent of the total concentration, respectively. Total and GF extractable concentrations of these elements were used to estimate exposure and potential health risks to children following incidental ingestion of adobe brick particles. Risks were assessed using a range of potential ingestion rates (50-1000 mg/day). Although the majority of households have total Hg, As, and Pb concentrations that represent a potential health risk, fewer are of concern when GF extractable concentrations are considered at lower ingestion rates. For Hg, only a small percentage of the sampled houses have GF ex

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esdaile, Louisa J; Chalker, Justin M

    2018-01-03

    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

  6. 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...

  7. Blood levels of lead and mercury and celiac disease seropositivity: the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamycheva, Elena; Goto, Tadahiro; Camargo, Carlos A

    2017-03-01

    Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease with increasing prevalence in the USA. CD leads to decreased absorption of many nutrients including certain divalent metals. On the other hand, recent cross-sectional studies suggest the associations between trace heavy metal exposure and autoimmunity. We aimed to determine if there is an association between CD autoimmunity and blood levels of heavy metals in the general US population. We used nationally representative data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2012. Our study comprised 3643 children (ages 6-17 years) and 11,040 adults (age ≥18 years). Children with CD seropositivity had significantly lower blood lead (0.56 versus 0.80 μg/dL, P = 0.001) and mercury levels (0.47 versus 0.64 μg/L, P = 0.001). In the linear regression model, CD seropositivity was associated with lower levels of blood lead and mercury in children (β = -0.14, P = 0.03 for lead and β = -0.22, P = 0.008 for mercury), but not in adults. These findings of CD-heavy metals association are, to our knowledge, novel, and we conclude that decreased levels of heavy metals in blood are most likely a consequence of CD in the US children.

  8. Mercury biogeochemistry: Paradigm shifts, outstanding issues and research needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonke, Jeroen E.; Heimbürger, Lars-Eric; Dommergue, Aurélien

    2013-05-01

    Half a century of mercury research has provided scientists and policy makers with a detailed understanding of mercury toxicology, biogeochemical cycling and past and future impacts on human exposure. The complexity of the global biogeochemical mercury cycle has led to repeated and ongoing paradigm shifts in numerous mercury-related disciplines and outstanding questions remain. In this review, we highlight some of the paradigm shifts and questions on mercury toxicity, the risks and benefits of seafood consumption, the source of mercury in seafood, and the Arctic mercury cycle. We see a continued need for research on mercury toxicology and epidemiology, for marine mercury dynamics and ecology, and for a closer collaboration between observational mercury science and mercury modeling in general. As anthropogenic mercury emissions are closely tied to the energy cycle (in particular coal combustion), mercury exposure to humans and wildlife are likely to persist unless drastic emission reductions are put in place.

  9. Mercury in waste in the European Union: sources, disposal methods and risks

    OpenAIRE

    Mukherjee, A.; Zevenhoven, R.; Brodersen, J.; Hylander, L.D.; Bhattacharya, P.

    2004-01-01

    http://www.elsevier.com/locate/issn/09213449 Over the recent decades, there has been widespread concern regarding the toxic impact of mercury (Hg) in the ecosystem due to its mobility, volatility and potential for bioaccumulation. Hg in fish and the aquatic environment is also a great problem in the Nordic region of the EU1 (European Union). Hg is classified as a dangerous chemical in the countries of the EU. Hg in the regulation of waste is regarded as a dangerous substance wh...

  10. 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.

  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. Inorganic: the other mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risher, John F; De Rosa, Christopher T

    2007-11-01

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

  13. Health risks of alcohol use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alcoholism - risks; Alcohol abuse - risks; Alcohol dependence - risks; Risky drinking ... Beer, wine, and liquor all contain alcohol. If you are drinking any of these, you are using alcohol. Your drinking patterns may vary, depending on who you are with ...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

    2014-08-01

    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 (Leucoraja 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 (δ(15)N) isotope analysis (mean δ(15)N = 13.2 ± 0.7‰), and the consumption of high Hg prey, most notably cancer crabs (0.10 ppm). Spiny dogfish had depleted δ(15)N 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 (δ(15)N = 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 δ(15)N and carbon (δ(13)C) 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

  18. Optimizing the procedure for mercury recovery from dental amalgam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iano, Flávia Godoy; Santos Sobrinho, Ovídio dos; Silva, Thelma Lopes da; Pereira, Marlus Alves; Figueiredo, Paulo Jorge Moraes; Alberguini, Leny Borghesan Albertini; Granjeiro, José Mauro

    2008-01-01

    Mercury, as any other heavy metal, may cause environmental damages due to its accumulation and biotransformation. Dental offices, whether private or institutional, use dental amalgam as a restorative material on a daily basis. Dental amalgam is composed of mercury (50%), silver (30%) and other metals. Approximately 30% of the amalgam prepared in dental offices (0.6 g per capsule) are wasted and inadequately discarded without any treatment. Methods for mercury recovery have been proposed previously, using high temperatures through exposure to direct flame (650 degrees C), long processing time, and hazardous reagents as potassium cyanide. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to replace the direct flame by an electrical mantle in the process of mercury recovery. Results showed an average mercury recovery of 90% from 2 kg of amalgam after 30 minutes of processing time, thus optimizing the procedure. The proposed modifications allowed a significant reduction in processing time and a mercury recovery with high purity. The modified process also provided minimization of operator exposure to physical, chemical and ergonomic hazards, representing a technological advance compared to the risks inherent to the original method. It also provided environmental health and economy of energy resources by replacing a finite energy source (fossil and organic) by a more environmentally appropriate electric source, resulting in significant improvement of the procedure for mercury recovery from dental amalgam.

  19. Optimizing the procedure for mercury recovery from dental amalgam

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flávia Godoy Iano

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Mercury, as any other heavy metal, may cause environmental damages due to its accumulation and biotransformation. Dental offices, whether private or institutional, use dental amalgam as a restorative material on a daily basis. Dental amalgam is composed of mercury (50%, silver (30% and other metals. Approximately 30% of the amalgam prepared in dental offices (0.6 g per capsule are wasted and inadequately discarded without any treatment. Methods for mercury recovery have been proposed previously, using high temperatures through exposure to direct flame (650°C, long processing time, and hazardous reagents as potassium cyanide. The purpose of this study was to develop a method to replace the direct flame by an electrical mantle in the process of mercury recovery. Results showed an average mercury recovery of 90% from 2 kg of amalgam after 30 minutes of processing time, thus optimizing the procedure. The proposed modifications allowed a significant reduction in processing time and a mercury recovery with high purity. The modified process also provided minimization of operator exposure to physical, chemical and ergonomic hazards, representing a technological advance compared to the risks inherent to the original method. It also provided environmental health and economy of energy resources by replacing a finite energy source (fossil and organic by a more environmentally appropriate electric source, resulting in significant improvement of the procedure for mercury recovery from dental amalgam.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. [Psychosocial risks at work and occupational health].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil-Monte, Pedro R

    2012-06-01

    The changes on work processes and job design in recent decades are focused in the demographic, economic, political, and technological aspects. These changes have created new psychosocial risks at work that affect the health and quality of workplace, increasing stress levels among workers. The aim of this study is to present such risks, their consequences, and some recommendations to promote health at the workplace as a strategy to improve public health of the population. The study is divided into five points in which: (1) introduces the concept of risk factors and psychosocial work, (2) describes the main emerging psychosocial risks labor, (3) provides some information on the prevalence of psychosocial risks at work in Europe and its consequences, (4) recommendations for health promotion in the workplace, and (5) describes the objective of Occupational Health Psychology and concludes with the recommendations to promote psychosocial health in the workplace as a strategy to improve public health of the population.

  3. 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.

  4. Health risk calculators for Pakistan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalra, Sanjay

    2016-12-01

    This brief article describes risk calculators that are based on populations of Pakistani ethnicity, and can be used for risk stratification in Pakistani and other South Asian clinics. Covering the QRISK, QKidney, QThrombosis, QFracture and QCancer risk calculators, it uses examples to explain how these can be utilized for risk stratification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; de la Cruz, S.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.

  6. Mercury vapour exposure during dental student training in amalgam removal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warwick, Robin; O'Connor, Andrea; Lamey, Brianne

    2013-10-03

    Amalgam that is used for dental fillings contains approximately 50% elemental mercury. During dental student training, amalgam is often removed by drilling without the use of water spray and suction, which are protective measures in preventing mercury aerosol. In this study we measured mercury vapor levels in ambient air during amalgam removal as is typically performed in dental training. Mercury vapor levels in ambient air were measured in a dental school laboratory during removal of amalgam fillings from artificial teeth set into a dental jaw simulator. Mercury vapor was measured under three conditions (25 measurements each): with the simultaneous use of water spray and suction, with the use of suction only, and with the use of neither suction nor water spray. These three conditions are all used during dental student training. Results were compared to Alberta occupational exposure limits for mercury vapor in order to assess potential occupational risk to students. Analysis of variance testing was used to compare data obtained under the three conditions. When water spray and suction were used, mercury vapor levels ranged from 4.0 to 19.0 μg/m3 (arithmetic mean = 8.0 μg/m3); when suction only was used, mercury vapor levels ranged from 14.0 to 999.0 (999.0 μg/m3 represents the high limit detection of the Jerome analyzer) (arithmetic mean = 141.0 μg/m3); when neither suction nor water was used, the vapor levels ranged from 34.0 to 796.0 μg/m3 (arithmetic mean = 214.0 μg/m3). The Alberta Occupational Health and Safety threshold limit value for mercury vapor over an eight-hour time-weighted period is 25.0 μg/m3. The absolute ceiling for mercury vapor, not to be exceeded at any time, is 125.0 μg/m3. When both water spray and suction were used, mercury vapor levels were consistently below this threshold. When suction without water spray was used, mercury vapor levels exceeded the safety threshold 8% of the time. When neither water spray nor

  7. Basic Information about Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Your Environment Contact Us Share Basic Information about Mercury On this page: What is mercury? Emissions of ... Consumer products that traditionally contain mercury What is Mercury? Mercury is a naturally-occurring chemical element found ...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

    Exposure to mercury, a toxic metal, occurs primarily from inhaling mercury vapors or consuming methylmercury-contaminated fish. One third of all anthropogenic mercury emissions worldwide are from artisanal gold mining, which uses mercury to extract gold. Although recent reports suggest that the Madre de Dios region in Peru (with >30,000 artisanal miners) has extensive mercury contamination, residents had never been assessed for mercury exposure. Thus, our objective was to quantify mercury exposure among residents of an artisanal mining town in Madre de Dios and to assess risk factors for exposure. We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of 103 residents of an artisanal gold mining town in July 2010. Each participant provided a urine and blood sample and completed a questionnaire assessing potential exposures and health outcomes. We calculated geometric mean (GM) urine total mercury and blood methylmercury concentrations and compared log-transformed concentrations between subgroups using linear regression. One third (34.0 %) of participants were gold miners. All participants had detectable urine total mercury (GM, 5.5 μg/g creatinine; range, 0.7-151 μg/g creatinine) and 91 % had detectable blood methylmercury (GM, 2.7 μg/L; range, 0.6-10 μg/L); 13 participants (13 %) reported having kidney dysfunction or a neurological disorder. Urine total mercury concentrations were higher among people who heated gold-mercury amalgams compared with people who never heated amalgams (p < 0.05); methylmercury concentrations were higher among fish consumers compared with nonfish consumers (p < 0.05). Our findings suggest that mercury exposure may be widespread in Huaypetue.

  12. 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.

  13. Dental amalgam and urinary mercury concentrations: a descriptive study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicolae, Alexandra; Ames, Harry; Quiñonez, Carlos

    2013-09-09

    Dental amalgam is a source of elemental and inorganic mercury. The safety of dental amalgam in individuals remains a controversial issue. Urinary mercury concentrations are used to assess chronic exposure to elemental mercury. At present, there are no indications of mercury-associated adverse effects at levels below 5 μg Hg/g creatinine (Cr) or 7 μg Hg/L (urine). The purpose of the present study is to determine the overall urinary mercury level in the Canadian general population in relation to the number of dental amalgam surfaces. Data come from the 2007/09 Canadian Health Measures Survey, which measured urinary mercury concentrations in a nationally representative sample of 5,418 Canadians aged 6-79 years. Urinary mercury concentrations were stratified by sex, age, and number of dental amalgam surfaces. The overall mean urinary mercury concentration varied between 0.12 μg Hg/L and 0.31 μg Hg/L or 0.13 μg Hg/g Cr and 0.40 μg Hg/g Cr. In general, females showed slightly higher mean urinary mercury levels than men. The overall 95th percentile was 2.95 μg Hg/L, the 99th percentile was 7.34E μg Hg/L, and the 99.9th percentile was 17.45 μg Hg/L. Expressed as μg Hg/g Cr, the overall 95th percentile was 2.57 μg Hg/g Cr, the 99th percentile was 5.65 μg Hg/g Cr, and the 99.9th percentiles was 12.14 μg Hg/g Cr. Overall, 98.2% of participants had urinary mercury levels below 7 μg Hg/L and 97.7% had urinary mercury levels below 5 μg Hg/g Cr. All data are estimates for the Canadian population. The estimates followed by the letter "E" should be interpreted with caution due to high sampling variability (coefficient of variation 16.6%-33.3%). The mean urinary mercury concentrations in the general Canadian population are significantly lower than the values considered to pose any risks for health.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing Your Weight and Health Risk

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Circumference Measuring waist circumference helps screen for possible health risks that come with overweight and obesity. If most of your fat is ... risk for developing obesity-associated diseases or conditions. Risk Factors for ... with being overweight or obese, the following conditions will put you ...

  17. 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)

  18. Occupational risk involving students of health

    OpenAIRE

    Marques, Amanda Mendonça; Moura, Luana Kelle Batista; Rocha, Eder Oliveira; Sousa, Cristina Maria Miranda de; Alves, Eucário Leite Monteiro; Mesquita, Gerardo Vasconcelos

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

  19. Health risks of gold miners: a synoptic review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisler, R.

    2003-01-01

    Health problems of gold miners who worked underground include decreased life expectancy; increased frequency of cancer of the trachea, bronchus, lung, stomach, and liver; increased frequency of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB), silicosis, and pleural diseases; increased frequency of insect-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever; noise-induced hearing loss; increased prevalence of certain bacterial and viral diseases; and diseases of the blood, skin, and musculoskeletal system. These problems are briefly documented in gold miners from Australia, North America, South America, and Africa. In general, HIV infection or excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption tended to exacerbate existing health problems. Miners who used elemental mercury to amalgamate and extract gold were heavily contaminated with mercury. Among individuals exposed occupationally, concentrations of mercury in their air, fish diet, hair, urine, blood, and other tissues significantly exceeded all criteria proposed by various national and international regulatory agencies for protection of human health. However, large-scale epidemiological evidence of severe mercury-associated health problems in this cohort was not demonstrable.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. [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

  4. 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)

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. [Work and mental health: risk groups].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vézina, M; Gingras, S

    1996-01-01

    Analysis of the Quebec Health survey identified those Quebec industrial sectors and professions in which workers are at risk of higher psychological distress and lower psychological well-being. Risk levels were measured by odds ratio, controlling for: health status, sex, social support and stressful life events. Results show that those at risk are blue collar workers and less qualified workers of traditional sectors. Lower job latitude could explain those results. Results show that risk of mental health problems is significantly higher in the following industrial sectors: leather, chemicals, paint and varnish industries; urban bus transport and taxi; shoe, clothing and textile retail stores; department stores; restaurant services; insurance and public administration (excluding defence). Risk of mental health problems is higher in the following professions road transport (excluding truck drivers); textile, leather, fur manufacturing and repairing; housekeeping and maintenance; painters, tapestry-workers, insulation and waterproofing, food and beverages sector; data processors; editors and university professors.

  10. 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

  11. Adolescents: Health Risks and Solutions

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... remain in good health and prevent transmission. In sub-Saharan Africa only 10% of young men and 15% of young women aged 15 to 24 are aware of their HIV status. One of the specific targets of the health Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 3) is that by 2030 there ...

  12. Why is excessive sitting a health risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesola, Arto J; Pekkonen, Mika; Finni, Taija

    Increased epidemiological evidence over the past few years has shown excessive sitting to be a health risk even if recommendations for physical activity are fulfilled. Sitting is an independent health risk for two reasons: sitting and physical activity exhibit poor correlation, and an increase in physical activity does not contribute to all mechanisms underlying the health risks of sitting. During sitting, muscular passivity increases insulin resistance and influences the transport and oxidation of fatty acids in muscular tissue, and acute exercise is not sufficient to restore all changes. Accordingly, adequate everyday physical activity seems to be important for maintaining the signaling pathways affecting insulin sensitivity.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Women brothel workers and occupational health risks

    OpenAIRE

    Cwikel, J; Ilan, K; Chudakov, B

    2003-01-01

    Study objectives: This study examined working conditions, reported morbidity, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression and their relation to an index of occupational health risk among women working in brothels in Israel.

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Health literacy and health risk behaviors among older adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Michael S; Gazmararian, Julie A; Baker, David W

    2007-01-01

    Limited health literacy is associated with poorer physical and mental health, although the causal pathways are not entirely clear. In this study, the association between health literacy and the prevalence of health risk behaviors was examined among older adults. A cross-sectional survey of 2923 new Medicare, managed-care enrollees was conducted in four U.S. metropolitan areas (Cleveland OH; Houston TX; Tampa FL; Fort Lauderdale-Miami FL). Health literacy was measured using the short form of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults. Behaviors investigated included self-reported cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, body mass index, and seat belt use. Individuals with inadequate health literacy were more likely to have never smoked (46.7% vs. 38.6, p =0.01); to completely abstain from alcohol (75.6% vs. 57.9, p health literacy. No significant differences were noted by mean body mass index or seat belt use. In multinomial logistic regression models that adjusted for relevant covariates, inadequate health literacy was not found to be significantly associated with any of the health risk behaviors investigated. Among community-dwelling elderly, limited health literacy was not independently associated with health risk behaviors after controlling for relevant covariates.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  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. 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

  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. 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....

  9. Confounder selection in environmental epidemiology: Assessment of health effects of prenatal mercury exposure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE: The purpose of the study is to compare different approaches to the identification of confounders needed for analyzing observational data. Whereas standard analysis usually is conducted as if the confounders were known a priori, selection uncertainty also must be taken into account. METHODS......: Confounders were selected by using backward elimination (BE), change in estimate (CIE) method, Akaike information criterion, Bayesian information criterion (BIC), and an empirical approach using a priori information. A modified ridge regression estimator, which shrinks effects of confounders toward zero, also...... of mercury effects on confounder-sensitive neurobehavioral outcomes were calculated for each selection procedure. RESULTS: The full model and the empirical a priori model showed approximately the same precision, and these methods were (slightly) inferior to only modified ridge regression. Lower precisions...

  10. Environmental Risk to Health of the Population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anopchenko, Tatiana Y.; Murzin, Anton D.; Kandrashina, Elena A.; Kosyakova, Inessa V.; Surnina, Olga E.

    2016-01-01

    Researches of the last years in the field of ecological epidemiology and the analysis of risk for health allow to claim with confidence that the polluted environment is one of the important factors defining changes of a state of health of the population. Expert opinions on the scale of this influence differ considerably now. These estimations vary…

  11. 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

  12. 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.)

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Characterization, mapping, and mitigation of mercury vapour emissions from artisanal mining gold shops.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordy, Paul; Veiga, Marcello; Crawford, Ben; Garcia, Oseas; Gonzalez, Victor; Moraga, Daniel; Roeser, Monika; Wip, Dennis

    2013-08-01

    Artisanal miners sell their gold to shops that are usually located in the urban core, where the mercury-gold amalgam is burned to evaporate the mercury that was added during ore processing. People living and working near these gold shops are exposed to intermittent and extreme concentrations of mercury vapour. In the urban centres of Segovia, Colombia, and Andacollo, Chile, the average concentrations measured by mobile mercury vapour analyzer transects taken repeatedly over several weeks were 1.26 and 0.338μgm(-3), respectively. By World Health Organization standards, these towns are exposed to significant health hazard, and globally, the millions of miners, as well as non-miners who live near gold shops, are at serious risk of neurological and renal deficits. Measurements taken in Suriname, Ecuador and Peru reveal this to be a widespread phenomenon with unique regional variations and myriad attempts at remediation. Maps of average mercury concentrations show the spatial distribution of the hazard in relation to residential buildings and schools. Measurements from towers show the temporal variability of mercury concentrations, and suggest that large quantities of mercury are available for long-range atmospheric transport. Mercury mapping in Segovia in 2011 suggest a 10% reduction in airborne mercury concentrations over 2010, despite a 30% increase in gold production. This is attributable to the adoption of retorts by miners and regulations banning new processing centres to the rural periphery. This is the first full description of artisanal mining gold shop practices and of the character, quantity, and remediation of mercury emissions within urban mining centres. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. 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

  18. Mercury and Pregnancy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home > Pregnancy > Is it safe? > Mercury and pregnancy Mercury and pregnancy E-mail to a friend Please ... vision problems. How can you be exposed to mercury? Mercury has several forms: It can be a ...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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 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 −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. - 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in cosmetics in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nduka, John K; Odiba; Orisakwe, Orish E; Ukaebgu, Linda D; Sokaibe, Chinwetuto; Udowelle, Nnaemeka A

    2015-01-01

    Forty two different cosmetics were purchased from supermarkets and cosmetic shops within Unitsha Main Market and Eke-Awka markets in Anambra, Nigeria. Of the cosmetics, 16% were locally manufactured in Nigeria while 83.33% were imported into Nigeria. The cosmetics were ashed before digestion and filtration. The filtrates were assayed for lead, cadmium, manganese, nickel, chromium, mercury, and arsenic with atomic absorption spectrophotometry at 205 Å. The health risk assessment methods developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency were employed to explore the potential human health risk of heavy metals in cosmetics. About 61.91% of the cosmetic samples contained lead with concentration in the range of 0.10-42.12 mg/kg. Cadmium levels of the cosmetics ranged from 0.01 to 1.32 mg/kg, manganese from 0.02 to 67.65 mg/kg, nickel from 0.05 to 17.34 mg/kg, chromium from 0.11 to 9.81 mg/kg, mercury from 0.003 to 0.07 mg/kg, and arsenic from 0.002 to 0.005 mg/kg. Although the target hazard quotients and the hazard indices suggest a measure of safety, cosmetics may add to the body burden of potential toxic metals after chronic exposure.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Chemical form matters: differential accumulation of mercury following inorganic and organic mercury exposures in zebrafish larvae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korbas, Malgorzata; Macdonald, Tracy C; Pickering, Ingrid J; George, Graham N; Krone, Patrick H

    2012-02-17

    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 versusl-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.

  8. 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.

  9. Determination of essential elements (copper, manganese, selenium and zinc) in fish and shellfish samples. Risk and nutritional assessment and mercury-selenium balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmedo, P; Hernández, A F; Pla, A; Femia, P; Navas-Acien, A; Gil, F

    2013-12-01

    Fish and shellfish are an important source not only of toxic heavy metals, but also of essential elements in the diet. In this study, levels of Cu, Mn, Se and Zn have been determined in fresh, canned and frozen fish and shellfish products. A total of 485 samples of the 43 most frequently consumed fish and shellfish species in Andalusia (Southern Spain) were analyzed for essential elements content. The potential human health risks for the consumers and the nutritional value of the products analyzed were assessed. Furthermore, the mercury-selenium ratios and the selenium health benefit value (Se-HBVs) were calculated. The highest concentrations of Cu were found in crustaceans species (shrimp and prawn) as they have hemocyanin (a copper-containing protein) that functions as an oxygen-transport molecule. Mn levels were higher in canned bivalve molluscs, such as cockle and clam, and in fresh common sole. Concerning Se, two fresh predatory fish species (tuna and swordfish) presented the most remarkable concentrations of this element. The highest concentration of the essential metals analysed was found for Zn, especially in fresh and canned mussels. All the species analyzed showed beneficial Hg:Se ratios and Se-HBVs, except for the shark species (blue shark and cat shark) and gilt-head bream because of their high Hg levels and low Se content, respectively. Nevertheless, the biomagnification usually observed in hazardous metals such as Hg would not occur for the essential elements measured in predatory species. The estimated daily intakes of the elements studied represented very low percentages of their reference values, ranging from 0.1% (Se) to 3.9% (Cu) for person weighting 60 kg, so the intake of these elements through fish and shellfish would not pose any risk for the average consumer. Moreover, the contribution of fish and shellfish products to the recommended daily allowances and adequate intakes of these mineral elements ranges from 2.5% (Mn) to 25.4% (Se

  10. 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

  11. Essential Indicators Identifying Chronic Inorganic Mercury Intoxication: Pooled Analysis across Multiple Cross-Sectional Studies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefan Doering

    Full Text Available The continuous exposure to inorganic mercury vapour in artisanal small-scale gold mining (ASGM areas leads to chronic health problems. It is therefore essential to have a quick, but reliable risk assessing tool to diagnose chronic inorganic mercury intoxication. This study re-evaluates the state-of-the-art toolkit to diagnose chronic inorganic mercury intoxication by analysing data from multiple pooled cross-sectional studies. The primary research question aims to reduce the currently used set of indicators without affecting essentially the capability to diagnose chronic inorganic mercury intoxication. In addition, a sensitivity analysis is performed on established biomonitoring exposure limits for mercury in blood, hair, urine and urine adjusted by creatinine, where the biomonitoring exposure limits are compared to thresholds most associated with chronic inorganic mercury intoxication in artisanal small-scale gold mining.Health data from miners and community members in Indonesia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe were obtained as part of the Global Mercury Project and pooled into one dataset together with their biomarkers mercury in urine, blood and hair. The individual prognostic impact of the indicators on the diagnosis of mercury intoxication is quantified using logistic regression models. The selection is performed by a stepwise forward/backward selection. Different models are compared based on the Bayesian information criterion (BIC and Cohen`s kappa is used to evaluate the level of agreement between the diagnosis of mercury intoxication based on the currently used set of indicators and the result based on our reduced set of indicators. The sensitivity analysis of biomarker exposure limits of mercury is based on a sequence of chi square tests.The variable selection in logistic regression reduced the number of medical indicators from thirteen to ten in addition to the biomarkers. The estimated level of agreement using ten of thirteen medical indicators

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Health at risk in immigration detention facilities

    OpenAIRE

    Ioanna Kotsioni; Aurélie Ponthieu; Stella Egidi

    2013-01-01

    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.

  17. Time-framing and health risks: editorial

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, P.; Heyman, B.; Alaszewski, A.

    2013-01-01

    This special issue is the last in a four-part series Health Care Through the ‘Lens of Risk’, which focuses on risk categorisation, valuing, expecting and time-framing, respectively, and has been published in 2012-2013. The present editorial introduces the issue of time-framing in relation to an

  18. 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.

  19. Methyl mercury in fish: a toxicologic-epidemiologic evaluation of risks. Report from an expert group

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1971-01-01

    Hg is present in Swedish fish almost entirely as methylmercury. In large parts of the lakes and rivers in southern and central Sweden and along the East coast the level in Pike is about 0.5 mg/kg. In some 60 waters the level exceeds 1 mg/kg and in some 10 waters levels of over 5 mg/kg have been established. Metabolism of MeHg exhibits marked similarities between various animal species. MeHg may be absorbed through the skin, respiratory tract, and the alimentary canal. The uptake of orally administered MeHg exceeds 90%. Because of the accumulation of MeHg in the blood cells, the level of MeHg or Hg in this fraction is the best available index of the degree of exposure; the level in whole blood has been much used also. Symptomatology of prenatal poisoning in man is characterized by grave mental retardation or motor disorders of the type of cerebral palsy. Postnatal poisoning is characterized by sensory disorders, ataxia, concentric constriction of the visual fields, impairment of hearing and symptoms from the autonomic nervous system and the extrapyramidal system. Clinically manifest poisoning of adults sensitive to MeHg may occur at a level in whole blood down to 0.2 ..mu..g Hg/g. Given these levels, the occurrence of MeHg in fish in Sweden is an important health problem. 566 references, 43 figures, 20 tables.

  20. 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.

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    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...... sample, using leave-one-out cross-validation to assess predictive ability. Overall, we observed strong correlations over 10-15 years (r=0.69), as well as a high ICC (0.67; 95% CI: 0.49, 0.79). Fish and seafood consumption reported concurrently with the first B-Hg* sample accounted for 26......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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murao, Satoshi [Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Higashi 1-1-1, No. 7, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan)]. E-mail: s.murao@aist.go.jp; Naito, Kazuki [Geological Survey of Japan, AIST, Higashi 1-1-1, No. 7, Tsukuba 305-8567 (Japan); Dejidmaa, Gunchin [Geological Information Center, Mineral and Petroleum Resources Authority of Mongolia, State Building No. 5, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Sie, Soey H. [CSIRO, P.O. Box 136, North Ryde, NSW 1670 (Australia)

    2006-08-15

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-08-01

    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.

  11. 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

  12. The speciation of metals in mammals influences their toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and therefore human health risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yokel, Robert A; Lasley, Stephen M; Dorman, David C

    2006-01-01

    Chemical form (i.e., species) can influence metal toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics and should be considered to improve human health risk assessment. Factors that influence metal speciation (and examples) include: (1) carrier-mediated processes for specific metal species (arsenic, chromium, lead and manganese), (2) valence state (arsenic, chromium, manganese and mercury), (3) particle size (lead and manganese), (4) the nature of metal binding ligands (aluminum, arsenic, chromium, lead, and manganese), (5) whether the metal is an organic versus inorganic species (arsenic, lead, and mercury), and (6) biotransformation of metal species (aluminum, arsenic, chromium, lead, manganese and mercury). The influence of speciation on metal toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics in mammals, and therefore the adverse effects of metals, is reviewed to illustrate how the physicochemical characteristics of metals and their handling in the body (toxicokinetics) can influence toxicity (toxicodynamics). Generalizing from mercury, arsenic, lead, aluminum, chromium, and manganese, it is clear that metal speciation influences mammalian toxicity. Methods used in aquatic toxicology to predict the interaction among metal speciation, uptake, and toxicity are evaluated. A classification system is presented to show that the chemical nature of the metal can predict metal ion toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Essential metals, such as iron, are considered. These metals produce low oral toxicity under most exposure conditions but become toxic when biological processes that utilize or transport them are overwhelmed, or bypassed. Risk assessments for essential and nonessential metals should consider toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic factors in setting exposure standards. Because speciation can influence a metal's fate and toxicity, different exposure standards should be established for different metal species. Many examples are provided which consider metal essentiality and toxicity and that illustrate

  13. Oral lichenoid contact lesions to mercury and dental amalgam--a review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McParland, Helen; Warnakulasuriya, Saman

    2012-01-01

    Human oral mucosa is subjected to many noxious stimuli. One of these substances, in those who have restorations, is dental amalgam which contains mercury. This paper focuses on the local toxic effects of amalgam and mercury from dental restorations. Components of amalgam may, in rare instances, cause local side effects or allergic reactions referred to as oral lichenoid lesions (OLLs). OLLs to amalgams are recognised as hypersensitivity reactions to low-level mercury exposure. The use of patch testing to identify those susceptible from OLL is explored, and recommendations for removing amalgam fillings, when indicated are outlined. We conclude that evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans, except for an exceedingly small number of hypersensitivity reactions that are discussed.

  14. Oral Lichenoid Contact Lesions to Mercury and Dental Amalgam—A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    McParland, Helen; Warnakulasuriya, Saman

    2012-01-01

    Human oral mucosa is subjected to many noxious stimuli. One of these substances, in those who have restorations, is dental amalgam which contains mercury. This paper focuses on the local toxic effects of amalgam and mercury from dental restorations. Components of amalgam may, in rare instances, cause local side effects or allergic reactions referred to as oral lichenoid lesions (OLLs). OLLs to amalgams are recognised as hypersensitivity reactions to low-level mercury exposure. The use of patch testing to identify those susceptible from OLL is explored, and recommendations for removing amalgam fillings, when indicated are outlined. We conclude that evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans, except for an exceedingly small number of hypersensitivity reactions that are discussed. PMID:22888200

  15. Oral Lichenoid Contact Lesions to Mercury and Dental Amalgam—A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helen McParland

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Human oral mucosa is subjected to many noxious stimuli. One of these substances, in those who have restorations, is dental amalgam which contains mercury. This paper focuses on the local toxic effects of amalgam and mercury from dental restorations. Components of amalgam may, in rare instances, cause local side effects or allergic reactions referred to as oral lichenoid lesions (OLLs. OLLs to amalgams are recognised as hypersensitivity reactions to low-level mercury exposure. The use of patch testing to identify those susceptible from OLL is explored, and recommendations for removing amalgam fillings, when indicated are outlined. We conclude that evidence does not show that exposure to mercury from amalgam restorations poses a serious health risk in humans, except for an exceedingly small number of hypersensitivity reactions that are discussed.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Use of a new enrichment nanosorbent for speciation of mercury by FI-CV-ICP-MS

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez-Trujillo, Irene; Vereda-Alonso, Elisa; Cano-Pavón, José Manuel; García-de-Torres, Amparo

    2015-01-01

    Mercury is one of the most toxic environmental pollutants and its effects on human and ecosystem health are well known. All mercury species are toxic, with organic mercury compounds generally being more toxic than inorganic species. Chromatography techniques (GC, HPLC) coupled to element specific detectors, are able to separate mercury species in order to elucidate mercury transformation and transport processes where the determination of all mercury species is desirable. However, in practice,...

  3. [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.

  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 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

  6. 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 ...

  7. Sleep Characteristics, Mental Health, and Diabetes Risk

    OpenAIRE

    Boyko, Edward J.; Seelig, Amber D.; Jacobson, Isabel G.; Hooper, Tomoko I.; Smith, Besa; Smith, Tyler C.; Crum-Cianflone, Nancy F.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Research has suggested that a higher risk of type 2 diabetes associated with sleep characteristics exists. However, studies have not thoroughly assessed the potential confounding effects of mental health conditions associated with alterations in sleep. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We prospectively assessed the association between sleep characteristics and self-reported incident diabetes among Millennium Cohort Study participants prospectively followed over a 6-year time period. Surve...

  8. ONE FISH, TWO FISH, RED FISH, BLUE FISH: THE FISH QUALITY INDEX AS A RISK COMMUNICATION TOOL

    Science.gov (United States)

    Many people are at high risk for methyl mercury toxicity because of their consumption of contaminated fish. Often health risks of Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxicants (PT) such as methyl mercury, PCBs or Dioxins are underestimated because of their amplification in the food chain ...

  9. Immunotoxicity of mercury: Pathological and toxicological effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maqbool, Faheem; Niaz, Kamal; Hassan, Fatima Ismail; Khan, Fazlullah; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2017-01-02

    Mercury (Hg) is toxic and hazardous metal that causes natural disasters in the earth's crust. Exposure to Hg occurs via various routes; like oral (fish), inhalation, dental amalgams, and skin from cosmetics. In this review, we have discussed the sources of Hg and its potential for causing toxicity in humans. In addition, we also review its bio-chemical cycling in the environment; its systemic, immunotoxic, genotoxic/carcinogenic, and teratogenic health effects; and the dietary influences; as well as the important considerations in risk assessment and management of Hg poisoning have been discussed in detail. Many harmful outcomes have been reported, which will provide more awareness.

  10. Optimal cost reimbursement of health insurers to reduce risk selection

    OpenAIRE

    Kifmann, Mathias; Lorenz, Normann

    2005-01-01

    In the absence of a perfect risk adjustment scheme, reimbursing health insurers' costs can reduce risk selection in community-rated health insurance markets. In this paper, we develop a model in which insurers determine the cost efficiency of health care and have incentives for risk selection. We derive the optimal cost reimbursement function which balances the incentives for cost efficiency and risk selection. For health cost data from a Swiss health insurer, we find that an optimal cost rei...

  11. Levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium in clays for oral use on the Dutch market and estimation of associated risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeuwijk, N M; Klerx, W N M; Kooijman, M; Hoogenboom, L A P; Rietjens, I M C M; Martena, M J

    2013-01-01

    Pregnant women in Africa, Asia and Suriname, and some immigrants in Western societies, traditionally consume clay products known by a variety of names such as mabele, calabash chalk, sikor and pimba. Furthermore, clay is used for health purposes in Western societies. Because certain clays can contain high levels of metals and metalloids, the aim of this study was to determine lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium in clay products for oral use available on the Dutch market. Traditional clays originating from Africa (n = 10) and Suriname (n = 26), and health clays (n = 27) were sampled from 2004 up to and including 2012. Total metal and metalloid contents were measured by ICP-MS and showed maximum levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium of 99.7, 45.1, 2.2 and 0.75 mg kg⁻¹, respectively. In the absence of maximum limits for these type of clays, the potential exposure was estimated from the determined concentration, the estimated daily use level of the clays, and the estimated bioaccessibility of the different metals and arsenic. The intake estimates were compared with existing health-based guidance values. For lead, the use of 34 of the 36 traditional clays and two of the 27 health clays would result in intake levels exceeding the toxicological limit by up to 20-fold. Use of 15 of the 35 traditional clays and 11 of the 27 health clays would result in intake levels exceeding the toxicological limit for inorganic arsenic by up to 19-fold. Although limited bioaccessibility from the clay may limit the exposure and exceedance of the health-based guidance values, it was concluded that lead and arsenic intakes from some clay products could be of concern also because of their use by pregnant women and the potential developmental toxicity. As a result the use of these products, especially by pregnant women, should be discouraged.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. A toolbox for health risk related decisions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Easterly, C.E.; Jones, T.D.

    1996-10-01

    Development efforts since the late 1970s have resulted in a generalized method for ranking health hazards. This method provides the basis for a wide range of applications where decisions are needed for allocating resources on the basis of health risk considerations. It has been used for more than a decade to solve real problems, and it is supported by 23 publications in the open literature. The diversity of this generalized methodology allows us to provide support in a great number of problem areas. we give four examples in this manuscript: the relative toxicities of petroleum mixtures; a method to derive Emergency Response Planning Guides; an estimate of the possible carcinogenic potency of tungsten, an alternative material to depleted uranium for heavy armor penetrators; and an approach to low dose extrapolation. Our experience suggests that many more applications of the original concept and variations on it can be of utility in military situations. Some potentially fruitful areas may be in the: development of a health-risk-ranking system for alternative solutions to manufacturing, waste management, and remediation; provision of a basis for identifying levels of hazardous agents which are below health concerns, or which should be of concern; development of a framework for evaluating chemicals and radioactive materials on the same basis, and in the development of a battery of in vitro bioassays which could take the place of long-term whole animal tests.

  16. 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.

  17. [Mercury in vaccines].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hessel, Luc

    2003-01-01

    Thiomersal, also called thimerosal, is an ethyl mercury derivative used as a preservative to prevent bacterial contamination of multidose vaccine vials after they have been opened. Exposure to low doses of thiomersal has essentially been associated with hypersensitivity reactions. Nevertheless there is no evidence that allergy to thiomersal could be induced by thiomersal-containing vaccines. Allergy to thiomersal is usually of delayed-hypersensitivity type, but its detection through cutaneous tests is not very reliable. Hypersensitivity to thiomersal is not considered as a contraindication to the use of thiomersal-containing vaccines. In 1999 in the USA, thiomersal was present in approximately 30 different childhood vaccines, whereas there were only 2 in France. Although there were no evidence of neurological toxicity in infants related to the use of thiomersal-containing vaccines, the FDA considered that the cumulative dose of mercury received by young infants following vaccination was high enough (although lower than the FDA threshold for methyl mercury) to request vaccine manufacturers to remove thiomersal from vaccine formulations. Since 2002, all childhood vaccines used in Europe and the USA are thiomersal-free or contain only minute amounts of thiomersal. Recently published studies have shown that the mercury levels in the blood, faeces and urine of children who had received thiomersal-containing vaccines were much lower than those accepted by the American Environmental Protection Agency. It has also been demonstrated that the elimination of mercury in children was much faster than what was expected on the basis of studies conducted with methyl mercury originating from food. Recently, the hypothesis that mercury contained in vaccines could be the cause of autism and other neurological developmental disorders created a new debate in the medical community and the general public. To date, none of the epidemiological studies conducted in Europe and elsewhere

  18. 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

  19. Measuring compliance of conducting an occupational health risk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Occupational health nurses (OHNs) are qualified registered nurses with a postgraduate qualification in occupational health nursing. An important activity of OHNs is to identify and assess health risks in the workplace. Health risk assessments (HRAs) are conducted by OHNs to determine all the occupational health stressors, ...

  20. 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)

  1. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, J.Q.; Barnett, M.

    1996-04-01

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Public health risk from avian influenza viruses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perdue, Michael L; Swayne, David E

    2005-09-01

    Since 1997, avian influenza (AI) virus infections in poultry have taken on new significance, with increasing numbers of cases involving bird-to-human transmission and the resulting production of clinically severe and fatal human infections. Such human infections have been sporadic and are caused by H7N7 and H5N1 high-pathogenicity (HP) and H9N2 low-pathogenicity (LP) AI viruses in Europe and Asia. These infections have raised the level of concern by human health agencies for the potential reassortment of influenza virus genes and generation of the next human pandemic influenza A virus. The presence of endemic infections by H5N1 HPAI viruses in poultry in several Asian countries indicates that these viruses will continue to contaminate the environment and be an exposure risk with human transmission and infection. Furthermore, the reports of mammalian infections with H5N1 AI viruses and, in particular, mammal-to-mammal transmission in humans and tigers are unprecedented. However, the subsequent risk for generating a pandemic human strain is unknown. More international funding from both human and animal health agencies for diagnosis or detection and control of AI in Asia is needed. Additional funding for research is needed to understand why and how these AI viruses infect humans and what pandemic risks they pose.

  5. 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

  6. Mercury rising : mercury emissions from Ontario Power Generation's coal-fired plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rang, S.

    2004-09-01

    Ontario Power Generation (OPG) operates 5 coal-fired power plants which are the largest single source of mercury emissions in Ontario. Mercury is a persistent, bioaccumulative neurotoxin which is considered toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. This report examines the health and environmental impacts of mercury, and the trends for mercury emission in Ontario. In 2002, the 5 coal-fired plants emitted 527 kg of mercury into the atmosphere and contributed 39 per cent of the total amount of mercury emitted into the air. While many other sectors have reduced their mercury emissions since 1988, Ontario's coal-fired plants have lagged behind and have actually increased mercury emissions by 16 per cent since 1988. This paper suggests that phasing out OPG coal-fired plants by 2007 could lead to a 39 per cent reduction in airborne mercury emissions. It would also allow Ontario to achieve the Canada Wide Standard for mercury emissions 3 years early, and would help both Ontario and Canada meet air pollution reduction commitments under international agreements. It was noted that phasing out coal-fired power plants by one-third will help Ontario achieve its goal of a 90 per cent reduction in mercury emissions by 2010. It was suggested that alternative power sources can offer a wide range of environmental advantages. 16 refs., 3 tabs., 2 figs

  7. 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.

  8. Biomagnification of mercury and its antagonistic interaction with selenium in yellowfin tuna Thunnus albacares in the trophic web of Baja California Sur, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ordiano-Flores, Alfredo; Rosíles-Martínez, Rene; Galván-Magaña, Felipe

    2012-12-01

    Mercury and selenium concentrations were determined in muscle of 37 yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) captured aboard of Mexican purse-seiners boats off western coast of Baja California Sur, between Punta Eugenia and Cabo Falso, from October to December 2006. Also, its prey (mainly, jumbo squid Dosidicus gigas and pelagic red crab Pleuroncodes planipes) were analyzed from the stomach contents. All the mercury values obtained were lower that mercury content recommended by standard legal limits for seafood adopted by Mexican norms (typically 0.5-1.0μg g(-1)). Mercury concentrations vary between 0.06 and 0.51μg g(-1) in yellowfin tuna, and from 0.01 to 0.20μg g(-1) in its prey, suggesting that mercury can accumulate in prey tissues and that of their predator. Biomagnification factors (BMF) between predator-prey associations were calculated. The BMFs were >1, indicating that mercury biomagnifies along the food web of yellowfin tuna. In all species studied there was a molar excess of selenium over mercury. The rank order of mean selenium/mercury molar ratios was for pufferfish (42.62)> diamond squid (15.09)>yellowfin tuna (10.29)>pelagic red crab (10.05)>panama lightfish (9.54)> jumbo squid (8.91). The selenium health benefit value (Se-HBV) was calculated to have an improved understanding of the health benefits and risk of fish consumption. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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...

  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. 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)

  12. 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)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Becoming overweight: is there a health risk?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginter, E; Simko, V

    2014-01-01

    Overweight and obesity is becoming widespread enough to generate an acceptable and misleading social status. By 2030, in the USA up to 86 % of adults will be overweight or obese. Some selected statistical data based on the body mass index (BMI) indicated that overweight was not associated with increased mortality, this provoked a conceivable interest. Added to this is the observation that while the prevalence of obesity is dramatically increasing, the cardiovascular mortality and life expectancy in the European Union and USA has improved. When more sensitive indicators of body adiposity and its distribution than the BMI, like the waist-thigh ratio in both sexes and the waist-hip ratio in women are projected on mortality, it becomes obvious that even overweight is associated with an increased health risk. Gaining excessive body fat is a continuous, frequently progressive process. Present obesity epidemic in childhood will manifest with deleterious consequences only in future years when adolescents reach adulthood. Prevention is thus essential even before the overweight sets in. Improved life expectancy observed in large populations despite obesity epidemic, is a favourable medical success in the management of hypertension, of serum lipid disorders and diabetes. While encouraging, when it is observed in large population, it does not take away the potential health risk of a metabolic disorder in an individual who is overweight (Fig. 7, Ref. 25).

  17. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. Monitoring mercury exposure in reproductive aged women inhabiting the Tapajós river basin, Amazon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Oliveira Corvelo, Tereza Cristina; Oliveira, Érika Abdon Fiquene; de Parijós, Amanda Magno; de Oliveira, Claudia Simone Baltazar; do Socorro Pompeu de Loiola, Rosane; de Araújo, Amélia A; da Costa, Carlos Araújo; de Lima Silveira, Luiz Carlos; da Conceição Nascimento Pinheiro, Maria

    2014-07-01

    Among Amazonian communities, exposure to methylmercury is associated mainly with fish consumption that may affect fetal development in pregnant women. Therefore a temporal assessment was performed to assess the exposure of reproductive aged women to mercury who reside in the riparian communities of São Luís do Tapajós and Barreiras located in the Tapajós basin of the Brazilian Amazon from 1999 to 2012. The total mercury concentration in the 519 hair samples was assessed by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. Data analysis showed that the average total mercury concentration decreased from 1.066 to 0.743 μg/g in those years. In 1999 the proportion of volunteers with mercury levels ≥ 10 μg/g was approximately 68 %. In general, exposure to mercury decreased among women of reproductive age, but the potential risks to reproduction and human health is still an issue as 22 % of the woman continued showing high mercury levels (≥ 10 μg/g) in 2012.

  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. The mercury concentration in breast milk resulting from amalgam fillings and dietary habits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drexler, H; Schaller, K H

    1998-05-01

    Health risks from amalgam fillings are a subject of controversy. In Germany it is not advised to use amalgam fillings during breast feeding. Objectives of this study were to examine the concentration of mercury in human breast milk and the confounders which may modify the mercury levels. Women who gave birth between August 1995 and May 1996 in a district hospital were asked to participate in the study. The examination included a standardized anamnesis and an inspection of the teeth by an dentist. Blood and urine samples of 147 women and breast milk samples of 118 women were collected in the first week after birth. After 2 months of breast feeding a second breast milk sample was collected from 85 of women. Mercury was measured by cold-vapor atomic absorption spectrometry. The concentration of mercury in the breast milk collected immediately after birth showed a significant association with the number of amalgam fillings as well as with the frequency of meals. Urine mercury concentrations correlated with the number of amalgam fillings and amalgam surfaces. In the breast milk after 2 months of lactation, the concentrations were lower (mean: consumption but no longer with the number of the amalgam fillings. Accordingly, the additional exposure to mercury of breast-fed babies from maternal amalgam fillings is of minor importance compared to maternal fish consumption. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  5. Mercury in 16 demersal sharks from southeast Australia: Biotic and abiotic sources of variation and consumer health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pethybridge, Heidi; Cossa, Daniel; Butler, Edward C V

    2010-02-01

    Total mercury (THg) and monomethylmercury (MMHg) concentrations were determined in the tissues of demersal shark (Order Squaliformes and the Families: Scyliorhinidae, Hexanchidae) and chimaera species (Families: Chimaeridae and Rhinochimaeridae) from continental shelf and slope waters off southeast Australia, including embryos, juveniles and adults. The distribution of THg in various tissues (muscle, liver, kidney and skin), examined in ten species, shows higher levels in the muscle tissue (1.49+/-0.47mgkg(-1), ww), which accounted for between 59% and 82% of the total body burden of mercury and in the kidney (0.93+/-0.14mgkg(-1), ww) and liver (0.61+/-0.25mgkg(-1), ww) with lower levels observed in the skin (0.12+/-0.06mgkg(-1), ww). Additional THg determinations were performed in the muscle tissue of five other species allowing geographical and inter-specific comparisons. Speciation analysis demonstrated that more than 90% mercury was bound in muscle tissue as MMHg with higher percentages (>95%) observed in sharks species occupying deeper environments. Species differences were observed. Highest THg levels in the muscle tissue (up to 6.64mgkg(-1) wet weight, ww) were recorded in Proscymnodon plunketi and Centrophorus zeehaani (mean values; 4.47+/-1.20 and 3.52+/-0.07mgkg(-1), ww, respectively). Consistent with the ongoing paradigm on mercury bioaccumulation, we systematically observed THg concentrations increasing with animal size from the embryos to the larger sharks. Embryos of Etmopterus baxteri and Centroselachus crepidater had average levels 0.28 and 0.06mgkg(-1) (ww), while adult specimens reached 3.3 and 2.3mgkg(-1) (ww), respectively. THg concentrations in Australian sharks were compared with the same genus collected in other world regions. Levels were closer to data reported for East Atlantic than for the epicontinental Mediterranean margins. At a smaller geographical scale, the habitat effect on mercury concentration in sharks seems less clear. Squalid

  6. Use of mercury-based medical equipment and mercury content in effluents of tertiary care hospitals in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peshin, Sharda Shah; Halder, Nabanita; Jathikarta, Chandrababu; Gupta, Yogendra Kumar

    2015-03-01

    Environmental pollution due to mercury has raised serious concern over the last few decades. Various anthropogenic sources including the health sector play a vital role in increasing the mercury load on the environment. Mercury poses an important health issue because of its indiscriminate disposal into the environment. There are numerous mercury-containing devices being used in the health-care setup. The objective of the study was to obtain information on the procurement and consumption of mercury-containing items in the current year, the methods adopted for disposal and the contamination of the hospital effluents with mercury. A questionnaire-based study was conducted in government and corporate hospitals from different states of India, for the quantitative assessment of use of mercury-based items in tertiary care hospitals in India (n = 113). The results showed that mercury-containing items are still being used in India. The most common method adopted for disposal was collection in plastic bags and labeling them as hazardous waste. The hospital effluents contained mercury below the permissible limits. In view of the environmental pollution due to mercury and its adverse impact on health, efforts by the government are on for phasing out mercury-containing equipment from the health-care setup in India.

  7. OCCUPATIONAL RISKS IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND EMPLOYEE SAFETY CONCEPT

    OpenAIRE

    SOMUNOĞLU İKİNCİ, Sinem

    2015-01-01

     From the perspective of health sector, occupational risks encountered by employees and employee safety concepts are considered to be highly topical matters. This is mainly because health sector involves greater risks compared to many other sectors. Major occupational risk factors are classified as biological, physical, chemical, ergonomic and psycho-social. These risk factors recently have led to an increase in occupational diseases, work accidents, and health problems. As its direct consequ...

  8. Perceptions of Health Risks amongst Tertiary Education Students in Mauritius

    OpenAIRE

    Smita S. D. Goorah; Dilish Jokhoo

    2013-01-01

    A personal estimate of a health risk may not correspond to a scientific assessment of the health risk. Hence, there is a need to investigate perceived health risks in the public. In this study, a young, educated and healthy group of people from a tertiary institute were questioned about their health concerns. Ethics clearance was obtained and data was collected by means of a questionnaire. 362 students participated in the study. Tobacco use, heavy alcohol drinking, illici...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Adolescents' misinterpretation of health risk probability expressions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohn, L D; Schydlower, M; Foley, J; Copeland, R L

    1995-05-01

    To determine if differences exist between adolescents and physicians in their numerical translation of 13 commonly used probability expressions (eg, possibly, might). Cross-sectional. Adolescent medicine and pediatric orthopedic outpatient units. 150 adolescents and 51 pediatricians, pediatric orthopedic surgeons, and nurses. Numerical ratings of the degree of certainty implied by 13 probability expressions (eg, possibly, probably). Adolescents were significantly more likely than physicians to display comprehension errors, reversing or equating the meaning of terms such as probably/possibly and likely/possibly. Numerical expressions of uncertainty (eg, 30% chance) elicited less variability in ratings than lexical expressions of uncertainty (eg, possibly). Physicians should avoid using probability expressions such as probably, possibly, and likely when communicating health risks to children and adolescents. Numerical expressions of uncertainty may be more effective for conveying the likelihood of an illness than lexical expressions of uncertainty (eg, probably).

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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,

  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. 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

  19. [International adoption: children's health risk evolution].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dartiguenave, C

    2012-05-01

    The socioeconomic and sanitary conditions in many countries make it necessary to weigh as precisely as possible the uncertainties which might affect the health of internationally adopted children, which is one of the key drivers to adoption decision. Indeed, health troubles are more and more frequent among children proposed by countries, at a time when there are fewer children to be adopted. Hence the institutions and the actors in the field of international adoption are compelled to frequently update their professional practices, so as to cope both with the declining offer for adoptable children and with the increasing pressure from the birth countries of children to make host countries adopt children with high age or with special needs. It also requires from the administrations the will to provide better initial information and to implement the demand for an agreement. Meanwhile, in spite of those growing constraints, adopting families have been more and more risk adverse during the latest decades, this being a common trend in our developed countries.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Risk assessment of ecotoxicant effect on children's health

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.N. Ivanchenko

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Assessment of health risk level is the major methodological approach for hygienic monitoring planning, for cause-effect basis of interrelation between environmental pollution and health. Pollution with heavy metals (cadmium, nickel of Zavodskoy district in Saratov results in increasing risk and this requires development of health protection ways and approaches

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Mental Health Problems and Cancer Risk Factors Among Young Adults.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Massetti, Greta M; Thomas, Cheryll C; King, Jessica; Ragan, Kathleen; Buchanan Lunsford, Natasha

    2017-09-01

    Chronic mental health problems often emerge in young adulthood, when adults begin to develop lifelong health behaviors and access preventive health services. The associations between mental health problems and modifiable cancer risk factors in young adulthood are not well understood. In 2016, the authors analyzed 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data on demographic characteristics, health service access and use, health status, and cancer risk factors (tobacco use, alcohol use, overweight or obesity, physical activity, and sleep) for 90,821 young adults aged 18-39 years with mental health problems (depressive disorder or frequent mental distress) compared to other young adults. Mental health problems were associated with white race; less than a high school education; lower income; being out of work or unable to work; being uninsured (for men only); poor health; previous diagnosis of asthma, skin cancer, or diabetes; and not having a recent checkup. After controlling for demographic characteristics, health service use, and health status, mental health problems among young adults were associated with smoking, binge drinking, inadequate sleep, having no leisure time physical activity, and being overweight or obese (among women only). Cervical cancer screening was not associated with mental health problems after controlling for demographic characteristics, health service use, and health status. Mental health problems in young adulthood were associated with potentially modifiable factors and behaviors that increase risk for cancer. Efforts to prevent cancer and promote health must attend to mental health disparities to meet the needs of young adults. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  10. 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.

  11. Prevalence of mental health risk factors among students in lithuania

    OpenAIRE

    Pranckevičiūtė, Lina

    2017-01-01

    Prevalence of Mental Health Risk Factors among Students in Lithuania There are a numberof studiesin Lithuania and whole world about depression among young people. However, the prevalence of several risk factors (mental health literacy, sense of coherence, depressiveness, suicidal thoughts, social support) among universities, colleges, vocational studentsin Lithuania has not been studied. Aim of the study – to assess mental health risk factors prevalence among Lithuanian students. Objectives: ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The tropical African mercury anomaly: lower than expected mercury concentrations in fish and human hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Frank J; Bokhutlo, Thethela; Somoxa, Aaron; Maethamako, Mothusi; Modisaemang, Ontlogetse; Kemosedile, Thebe; Cobb-Adams, Cristina; Mosepele, Ketlhatlogile; Chimbari, Moses

    2011-04-15

    Mercury is a neurotoxin and global pollutant, and wetlands and newly flooded areas are known to be sites of enhanced production of monomethylmercury, the form of mercury that is readily biomagnified in aquatic food chains to potentially toxic levels. The Okavango Delta in Botswana, Southern Africa, is the largest inland delta in the world and a wetland ecosystem that experiences dramatic annual flooding of large tracts of seasonal floodplains. The Delta was, therefore, expected to be home to high mercury levels in fish and to be an area where local subsistence fishing communities would be at substantial risk of mercury toxicity from fish consumption. Total mercury concentrations measured in 27 species of fish from the Okavango Delta averaged (mean±s.d., wet weight) 19±19ng g(-1) in non-piscivorous fish, and 59±53ng g(-1) in piscivorous fish. These mercury concentrations are similar to those reported for fish from lakes in other areas of tropical Africa, demonstrating that not all wetlands are sites of elevated mercury concentrations in biota. Even more intriguing is that concentrations of mercury in fish from across tropical Africa are systematically and substantially lower than those typically reported for fish from freshwater ecosystems elsewhere globally. The reasons for this apparent "African mercury anomaly" are unclear, but this finding poses a unique opportunity to improve our understanding of mercury's biogeochemical cycling in the environment. Mercury concentrations measured in human hair collected in subsistence fishing communities in the Okavango Delta were similarly low (0.21±0.22μg g(-1) dry weight) despite high levels of fish consumption, and reflect the low mercury concentrations in the fish here. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Fish consumption and risk of contamination by mercury---considerations on the definition of edible parts based on the case study of European sea bass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieiro, C L; Pacheco, M; Duarte, A C; Pereira, M E

    2011-12-01

    In the present study, the risk to humans by consuming European sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax), captured at three sites along a Hg contamination gradient, was evaluated by comparing muscle and kidney total Hg (T-Hg) levels with the European regulations for marketed fish. Moreover, T-Hg and organic Hg (O-Hg) levels in muscle were compared with the Provisional Tolerable Weekly Intake (PTWI) and the Reference Dose (RfD). Although T-Hg levels in muscle were below the European value allowable for marketed fish, kidney's levels were higher than the set value, stressing the importance of redefining the concept of edible tissue and which tissues should be considered. Mercury weekly ingestion in the contaminated areas was higher than the PTWI, and O-Hg daily ingestion rates were higher than the RfD in all sampling sites. Thus, populations consuming sea bass from the contaminated sites may be at risk, with particular relevance for children and pregnant women. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Human health risks of geothermally derived metals and other contaminants in wild-caught food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Ngaire R; Stewart, Michael; Olsen, Greg; Hickey, Christopher W

    2014-01-01

    Arsenic (As) and mercury (Hg) associated with geothermally influenced lakes and rivers represent a potential health risk to communities where wild-caught food is consumed. The Rotorua Lakes region of New Zealand has extensive natural geothermal activity and a large proportion (35%) of indigenous Māori population, for whom wild food gathering is an important cultural activity. The aim of this study was to measure selected heavy metal and organochlorine (OC) concentrations in important local fish and shellfish species and assess the potential health risk to the local population of consuming these species. Following U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocols, consumption limits were calculated based on both excess lifetime cancer risk and noncancer risk. These were compared with local consumption rates, which were determined by questionnaire (n = 19). Median and 95th percentile contaminant concentrations were calculated to approximate random and most extreme contaminant consumption scenarios. Only Hg concentrations exceeded established Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) guideline values of 0.5 mg/kg, namely, for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss; 62% of the study sites) and koura (freshwater crayfish; Paranephrops planifrons; 25% of sites). The major risk was from consumption of trout, where the local consumption rate (1.5 meals/mo) exceeded the consumption limit of 0.9 meals/mo (median data) and 0.4 meals/mo (95th percentile data). Shellfish--pipi (Paphies australis) and mussel (Perna canaliculus)--collected from the only estuarine site also had local consumption rates (3.5 meals/mo) above calculated consumption limits (2.6 and 2.9 meals/mo, respectively). Our results, while based on a limited sample size and therefore exploratory in nature, nevertheless provide the basis for developing consumption guidelines. This study makes a significant contribution to broadening our understanding of the complexities of managing customary fisheries.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Environment, Safety, and Health Risk Assessment Program (ESHRAP)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eide, Steven Arvid; Thomas Wierman

    2003-12-01

    The Environment, Safety and Health Risk Assessment Program (ESHRAP) models human safety and health risk resulting from waste management and environmental restoration activities. Human safety and health risks include those associated with storing, handling, processing, transporting, and disposing of radionuclides and chemicals. Exposures to these materials, resulting from both accidents and normal, incident-free operation, are modeled. In addition, standard industrial risks (falls, explosions, transportation accidents, etc.) are evaluated. Finally, human safety and health impacts from cleanup of accidental releases of radionuclides and chemicals to the environment are estimated. Unlike environmental impact statements and safety analysis reports, ESHRAP risk predictions are meant to be best estimate, rather than bounding or conservatively high. Typically, ESHRAP studies involve risk predictions covering the entire waste management or environmental restoration program, including such activities as initial storage, handling, processing, interim storage, transportation, and final disposal. ESHRAP can be used to support complex environmental decision-making processes and to track risk reduction as activities progress.

  2. Total Mercury in Carnivorous Fish from Brazilian Southeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferreira, M S; Marques, A N; Ribeiro, R O R; Conte, C A; Carneiro, C S; Santelli, R E; Freire, A S; São Clemente, S C; Mársico, E T

    2015-07-01

    Total mercury concentrations were determined by atomic absorption spectrometry in muscle tissue of two commercially important species of carnivorous fishes croaker (Micropogonias furnieri) and cutlassfish (Trichiurus lepturus) caught in Itaipu estuary, Rio de Janeiro. In this study, whitemouth croaker presented more mercury than Atlantic cutlassfish. Bioaccumulation differences can be explained by the biological behavior of juveniles whitemouth croaker, that remain in the estuary up to maturity, which makes them good indicators of local environmental impacts (0.110 mg Kg(-1) HgT). It also can be explained by differences in nutritional requirements between the different life stages of two species. The analysis showed the presence of low levels of the metal. However, our results suggest a possible risk to human health, depending on the level of fish consumption.

  3. The Distribution and Health Risk Assessment of Metals in Soils in the Vicinity of Industrial Sites in Dongguan, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Lu, Liwen; Huang, Ting; Huang, Yalin; Ding, Lei; Zhao, Weituo

    2016-08-19

    Exponential industrialization and rapid urbanization have resulted in contamination of soil by metals from anthropogenic sources in Dongguan, China. The aims of this research were to determine the concentration and distribution of various metals (arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn)) in soils and identify their potential health risks for local residents. A total of 106 soil samples were collected from the vicinity of industrial sites in Dongguan. Two types of samples were collected from each site: topsoil (0-20 cm, TS) and shallow soil (20-50 cm, SS). Results showed that the soils were contaminated by metals and pollution was mainly focused on TS. The geoaccumulation index (Igeo) and pollution indexes (PI) implied that there was a slight increase in the concentrations of Cd, Cu, Hg, Ni, and Pb, but the metal pollution caused by industrial activities was less severe, and elements of As and Cr exhibited non-pollution level. The risk assessment results suggested that there was a potential health risk associated with As and Cr exposure for residents because the carcinogenic risks of As and Cr via corresponding exposure pathways exceeded the safety limit of 10(-6) (the acceptable level of carcinogenic risk for humans). Furthermore, oral ingestion and inhalation of soil particles are the main exposure pathways for As and Cr to enter the human body. This study may provide basic information of metal pollution control and human health protection in the vicinity of industrial regions.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Assessment of health risks due to hazardous air pollutant emissions from electric utilities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, C; Peters, W; Maxwell, B; Rice, G; Colli, A; Bullock, R; Cole, J; Heath, E; Turner, J; Hetes, B; Brown, D C; Goldin, D; Behling, H; Loomis, D; Nelson, C

    1997-11-01

    Hazardous air pollutant (HAP) emissions from electric utilities were evaluated. Cancer risks, as well as noncancer effects, due to inhalation exposure were assessed for 67 HAPs. Also, cancer risks due to multipathway exposure to radionuclide emissions were assessed. In addition, an assessment of the fate of mercury (Hg) through various environmental media was included. Results suggest arsenic, chromium, and nickel are the HAPs that present the highest cancer risk due to inhalation exposure. For noncancer effects due to inhalation exposure, hydrogen chloride appears to present the greatest potential concern. The risks due to multipathway exposure to radionuclides are estimated to be of similar magnitude to the risks posed by inhalation of arsenic and nickel. Mercury is of potential concern for multipathway exposures because it persists in the environmental and bioaccumulates in the aquatic food web. The study suggests there is a plausible link between Hg emissions from utilities and the Hg found in soil, water, and freshwater fish.

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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 ...

  13. Wastewater Irrigation and Health: Assessing and Mitigating Risk in ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    2009-12-18

    Dec 18, 2009 ... It presents the state-of-the-art on quantitative risk assessment and low-cost options for health risk reduction, from treatment to on-farm and off-farm measures, in support of the multiple barrier approach of the 2006 guidelines for safe wastewater irrigation published by the World Health Organization. The 38 ...

  14. Allostatic load and heart rate variability as health risk indicators ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Background: Uncertainty often exists about the comparability of results obtained by different health risk indicator systems. Objectives: To compare two health risk indicator systems, i.e, allostatic load and heart rate variability (HRV). Additionally, to investigate the feasibility of inclusion of HRV indicators into allostatic load ...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Intentional intravenous mercury injection

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three forms of mercury exist: elemental, inorganic and organic, all of which may be toxic with clinical consequences, depending on the type of exposure. Elemental mercury poisoning usually occurs via vapour inhalation, as mercury is well absorbed through the lungs. The central nervous system is then the major site of ...

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

    OpenAIRE

    S. Bose-O'Reilly; R. Schierl; D. Nowak; U. Siebert; J.F. William; F.T. Owi; Y.I. Ir

    2016-01-01

    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 mercur...

  19. 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

  20. Assessing and controlling health risks from animal husbandry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kimman, T.G.; Hoek, M.; Jong, de M.C.M.

    2013-01-01

    A fierce debate is going on about the risks of animal husbandry for human health and the quality of control measures to reduce such risks. Risks include the occurrence of infectious diseases, in particular zoonoses, and the high antibiotic use in livestock production contributing to emergence of

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Selenium and mercury concentrations in harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from central California: Health implications in an urbanized estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    McHuron, Elizabeth A.; Harvey, James T.; Castellini, J. Margaret; Stricker, Craig A.; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2014-01-01

    We measured total selenium and total mercury concentrations ([TSe] and [THg]) in hair (n = 138) and blood (n = 73) of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) from California to assess variation by geography and sex, and inferred feeding relationships based on carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur stable isotopes. Harbor seals from Hg-contaminated sites had significantly greater [THg], and lesser [TSe] and TSe:THg molar ratios than seals from a relatively uncontaminated site. Males had significantly greater [THg] than females at all locations. Sulfur stable isotope values explained approximately 25% of the variability in [THg], indicating increased Hg exposure for seals with a greater use of estuarine prey species. Decreased [TSe] in harbor seals from Hg-contaminated regions may indicate a relative Se deficiency to mitigate the toxic effects of Hg. Further investigation into the Se status and the potential negative impact of Hg on harbor seals from Hg-contaminated sites is warranted.

  4. Mercury in aquatic forage of large herbivores: impact of environmental conditions, assessment of health threats, and implications for transfer across ecosystem compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bergman, Brenda Gail; Bump, Joseph K

    2014-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a leading contaminant across U.S. water bodies, warranting concern for wildlife species that depend upon food from aquatic systems. The risk of Hg toxicity to large herbivores is little understood, even though some large herbivores consume aquatic vascular plants (macrophytes) that may hyper-accumulate Hg. We investigated whether total Hg and methylmercury (MeHg) in aquatic forage may be of concern to moose (Alces alces) and beaver (Castor canadensis) by measuring total Hg and MeHg concentrations, calculating sediment-water bioconcentration factors for macrophyte species these herbivores consume, and estimating herbivore daily Hg consumption. Abiotic factors impacting macrophyte Hg were assessed, as was the difference in Hg concentrations of macrophytes from glacial lakes and those created or expanded by beaver damming. The amount of aquatic-derived Hg that moose move from aquatic to terrestrial systems was calculated, in order to investigate the potential for movement of Hg across ecosystem compartments by large herbivores. Results indicate that the Hg exposure of generalist herbivores may be affected by macrophyte community composition more so than by many abiotic factors in the aquatic environment. Mercury concentrations varied greatly between macrophyte species, with relatively high concentrations in Utricularia vulgaris (>80 ng g(-1) in some sites), and negligible concentrations in Nuphar variegata (~6 ng g(-1)). Macrophyte total Hg concentration was correlated with water pH in predictable ways, but not with other variables generally associated with aquatic Hg concentrations, such as dissolved organic carbon. Moose estimated daily consumption of MeHg is equivalent to or below human reference levels, and far below wildlife reference levels. However, estimated beaver Hg consumption exceeds reference doses for humans, indicating the potential for sub-lethal nervous impairment. In regions of high moose density, moose may be ecologically important

  5. The Behavior of Mercury in Coal Combustion Residue-Contaminated Sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gofstein, T.; Heyes, A.

    2014-12-01

    Coal combustion residues (CCRs), the products of coal combustion, contain high concentrations of heavy metals such as mercury. Recent structural failures of on-site containment ponds and leaching of CCRs has potentially endangered the health of adjacent water bodies. This study examines the influence of CCR enrichment of river sediments through the study of mercury, an abundant constituent of CCRs, and the concomitant production of methylmercury. We hypothesized that CCR contamination increases the exposure to mercury for aquatic life through leaching and resuspension mechanisms. Resuspension experiments were conducted using CCR-contaminated sediments from the Dan River and uncontaminated sediments enriched with 0%, 10%, and 30% CCRs in the laboratory. Sediments were sieved to obtain the silt-clay fraction, which was then resuspended in solution with a dispersant to obtain the separate silt and clay fractions and then analyzed for total mercury concentrations. We found that CCR particles and the mercury they contain are present primarily in the silt and clay fractions of sediment and there is a direct relationship between CCR concentrations and total mercury concentrations. These findings have implications for both the bioavailability of mercury to methylating bacteria, higher organisms prone to direct ingestion of fine particles, CCR spill event remediation, current industrial waste disposal practices, and further research required in this field. Our seven day incubations of river sediment cores enriched with CCRs did not increase methylmercury in porewater above controls, suggesting that there is no immediate risk of increased methylmercury bioaccumulation, however this does not necessarily reflect the long-term effects of CCRs on river ecology, which requires further research.

  6. Assessment of environmental exposure to mercury in selected human populations as studied by nuclear and other techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    A Co-ordinated Research Programme (CRP) on assessment of environmental exposure to mercury in selected human populations as studied by nuclear and other techniques was initiated by the IAEA in 1990. The purpose of this CRP is to promote national and regional studies to evaluate the exposure of selected population groups to mercury and methylmercury and to estimate potential risks in these groups. The programme is focused on the analysis of human head hair for the determination of mercury and methylmercury. The CRP has two main components: (i) identifying population groups that are at risk, and (ii) studying health effects in the exposed persons, particularly pregnant women and the babies born to them. This document reports the discussions held during the third Research Co-ordination Meeting (RCM) for the CRP which took place at the IAEA, Monaco Laboratory. (author)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aubrey L. Langeland

    2017-03-01

    to human mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-14

    mercury exposure. More research is needed on human health risks associated with ASGM to discern occupational, residential, and nutritional exposure, especially through tracking temporal changes in mercury levels as fish ponds age, and assessing levels in different farmed fish species. Additionally, research is needed to definitively determine that elevated mercury levels in humans and fish result from the elemental mercury from mining, rather than from a different source, such as the mercury released from soil erosion during deforestation events from mining or other activities.

  9. Nanotechnology and human health: Scientific evidence and risk governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    . As complexity and uncertainty are large, risk assessment is challenging, and formulation of evidence-based policies and regulations elusive. Innovative models and frameworks for risk assessment and risk governance are being developed and applied to organize the available evidence on biological and health......Nanotechnology, the science and application of objects smaller that 100 nanometres, is evolving rapidly in many fields. Besides the countless beneficial applications, including in health and medicine, concerns exist on adverse health consequences of unintended human exposure to nanomaterials....... In the 2010 Parma Declaration on Environment and Health, ministers of health and of environment of the 53 Member States of the WHO Regional Office for Europe listed the health implications of nanotechnology and nanoparticles among the key environment and health challenges. The WHO Regional Office for Europe...

  10. Nephrotoxicity, Neurotoxicity, and Mercury Exposure among Children with and without Dental Amalgam Fillings

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

    Purpose A scientific review panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently identified the need for more data on the health risk of mercury exposure from dental amalgam among susceptible populations. We evaluated impacts of low level mercury exposure on renal function and neurobehavioral and neuropsychological performance among children. Methods Dental histories for 403 children aged 7-11 years in five schools from Xuhui, Shanghai were checked by dentists. Of them, 198 with confirmed amalgam fillings were recruited (exposure group). Reference children (N=205) were those who never had dental amalgam treatment. In May 2004, each child provided a urine sample for measurements of total mercury, n-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase activity, microalbumin, and creatinine (Cr). The Child Behavior Checklist, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, and an intelligence screening test were administered. Results The geometric mean urinary mercury concentration was 1.6 μg/g Cr for children with and 1.4 μg/g Cr for children without amalgam fillings. No differences were found between children with and without fillings for either renal function biomarker, or on neurobehavioral, neuropsychological, or intelligence tests. Conclusions Although urinary mercury concentration was slightly elevated among children with amalgam fillings, we found no evidence of adverse effects on the outcomes evaluated. These results agree with those from recent trials in developed countries. PMID:18996050

  11. Evaluation of activated carbon for control of mercury from coal-fired boilers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Miller, S.; Laudal, D.; Dunham, G. [Univ. of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND (United States)

    1995-11-01

    The ability to remove mercury from power plant flue gas may become important because of the Clean Air Act amendments` requirement that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assess the health risks associated with these emissions. One approach for mercury removal, which may be relatively simple to retrofit, is the injection of sorbents, such as activated carbon, upstream of existing particulate control devices. Activated carbon has been reported to capture mercury when injected into flue gas upstream of a spray dryer baghouse system applied to waste incinerators or coal-fired boilers. However, the mercury capture ability of activated carbon injected upstream of an electrostatic precipitator (ESP) or baghouse operated at temperatures between 200{degrees} and 400{degrees}F is not well known. A study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Electric power Research Institute is being conducted at the University of North Dakota Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) to evaluate whether mercury control with sorbents can be a cost-effective approach for large power plants. Initial results from the study were reported last year. This paper presents some of the recent project results. Variables of interest include coal type, sorbent type, sorbent addition rate, collection media, and temperature.

  12. Soil mercury levels in the area surrounding the Cerro Prieto geothermal complex, MEXICO.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pastrana-Corral, M A; Wakida, F T; García-Flores, E; Rodriguez-Mendivil, D D; Quiñonez-Plaza, A; Piñon-Colin, T D J

    2016-08-01

    Even though geothermal energy is a renewable energy source that is seen as cost-effective and environmentally friendly, emissions from geothermal plants can impact air, soil, and water in the vicinity of geothermal power plants. The Cerro Prieto geothermal complex is located 30 km southeast of the city of Mexicali in the Mexican state of Baja California. Its installed electricity generation capacity is 720 MW, being the largest geothermal complex in Mexico. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the emissions generated by the geothermal complex have increased the soil mercury concentration in the surrounding areas. Fifty-four surface soil samples were collected from the perimeter up to an approximate distance of 7660 m from the complex. Additionally, four soil depth profiles were performed in the vicinity of the complex. Mercury concentration in 69 % of the samples was higher than the mercury concentration found at the baseline sites. The mercury concentration ranged from 0.01 to 0.26 mg/kg. Our results show that the activities of the geothermal complex have led to an accumulation of mercury in the soil of the surrounding area. More studies are needed to determine the risk to human health and the ecosystems in the study area.

  13. Dietary advice on Inuit traditional food use needs to balance benefits and risks of mercury, selenium, and n3 fatty acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laird, Brian D; Goncharov, Alexey B; Egeland, Grace M; Chan, Hing Man

    2013-06-01

    Elevated concentrations of mercury (Hg) are commonly found in the traditional foods, including fish and marine mammals, of Inuit living in Canada's Arctic. As a result, Inuit often have higher dietary Hg intake and elevated Hg blood concentrations. However, these same traditional foods are excellent sources of essential nutrients. The goals of this study were 1) to identify the traditional food sources of Hg exposure for Inuit, 2) to estimate the percentage of Inuit who meet specific nutrient Dietary Reference Intakes and/or exceed the Toxicological Reference Values (TRVs), and 3) to evaluate options that maximize nutrient intake while minimizing contaminant exposure. A participatory cross-sectional survey was designed in consultation with Inuit in 3 Canadian Arctic jurisdictions (Nunatsiavut, Nunavut, and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region). Estimated intakes for EPA (20:5n3) and DHA (22:6n3) met suggested dietary targets, and estimated selenium (Se) intake fell within the Acceptable Range of Oral Intake. Estimated intakes of Hg (rs = 0.41, P exposure must emphasize the overall healthfulness of traditional foods and be designed to prevent concomitant harm to the nutrient intakes of Inuit.

  14. Effects of prescribed fire and post-fire rainfall on mercury mobilization and subsequent contamination assessment in a legacy mine site in Victoria, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abraham, Joji; Dowling, Kim; Florentine, Singarayer

    2018-01-01

    Prescribed fire conducted in fire-prone areas is a cost-effective choice for forest management, but it also affects many of the physicochemical and bio-geological properties of the forest soil, in a similar manner to wild fires. The aim of this study is to investigate the nature of the mercury mobilization after a prescribed fire and the subsequent temporal changes in concentration. A prescribed fire was conducted in a legacy mine site in Central Victoria, Australia, in late August 2015 and soil sample collection and analyses were carried out two days before and two days after the fire, followed by collection at the end of each season and after an intense rainfall event in September 2016. Results revealed the occurrence of mercury volatilization (8.3-97%) during the fire, and the mercury concentration displayed a significant difference (p mercury during all the sampling events, and this poses a serious ecological risk due to the health impacts of mercury on human and ecosystems. In times of climate fluctuation with concomitant increase in forest fire (including prescribed fire), and subsequent precipitation and runoff, the potential for an increased amount of mercury being mobilized is of heighted significance. Therefore, it is recommended that prescribed fire should be cautiously considered as a forest management strategy in any mercury affected landscapes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Representative levels of blood lead, mercury, and urinary cadmium in youth: Korean Environmental Health Survey in Children and Adolescents (KorEHS-C), 2012-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burm, Eunae; Song, Inmyung; Ha, Mina; Kim, Yu-Mi; Lee, Kee Jae; Kim, Hwan-Cheol; Lim, Sinye; Kim, Soo-Young; Lee, Chul-Gab; Kim, Su Young; Cheong, Hae-Kwan; Sakong, Joon; Kang, Hee-Tae; Son, Mia; Oh, Gyung-Jae; Kim, Yeni; Yang, Ji-Yeon; Hong, Soo-Jong; Seo, Ju-Hee; Kim, Jeongseon; Oh, Seyong; Yu, Jeesuk; Chang, Seong-Sil; Kwon, Ho-Jang; Choi, Youn-Hee; Choi, Wookhee; Kim, Suejin; Yu, Seung Do

    2016-07-01

    This study examined levels of blood lead and mercury, and urinary cadmium, and associated sociodemographic factors in 3-18 year-old Korean children and adolescents. We used the nationally representative Korean Environmental Health Survey in Children and Adolescents data for 2012-2014 and identified 2388 children and adolescents aged 3-18 years. The median and 95th percentile exposure biomarker levels with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. Multivariate regression analyses were performed on log transformed exposure biomarker levels adjusted for age, sex, area, household income, and father's education level. The median exposure biomarker levels were compared with data from Germany, the US, and Canada, as well as the levels of Korean children measured at different times. The median levels of blood lead and mercury, as well as urinary cadmium were 1.23μg/dL, 1.80μg/L, and 0.40μg/L (95% CIs, 1.21-1.25, 1.77-1.83, and 0.39-0.41, respectively). The blood lead levels were significantly higher in boys and younger children (pchildren with less educated fathers (p=0.004) after adjusting for covariates. Urinary cadmium level increased with age (pchildren and adolescents than those in their peers in Germany, the US, and Canada. Blood lead levels tended to decrease with increasing age and divergence between the sexes, particularly in the early teen years. Median levels of blood lead and urinary cadmium decreased since 2010. Sociodemographic factors, including age, sex, and father's education level were associated with environmental exposure to heavy metals in Korean children and adolescents. These biomonitoring data are valuable for ongoing surveillance of environmental exposure in this vulnerable population. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier GmbH.. All rights reserved.

  16. Health risk assessment of environmental pollutants. Loose-leaf handbook of toxicological reference data and their evaluation. 16. supplement; Gefaehrdungsabschaetzung von Umweltschadstoffen. Ergaenzbares Handbuch toxikologischer Basisdaten und ihre Bewertung. 16. Ergaenzungslieferung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eikmann, Thomas [Giessen Univ. (Germany); Heinrich, Uwe [Fraunhofer-Institut fuer Toxikologie und Experimentelle Medizin ITEM, Hannover (Germany); Heinzow, Birger [Landesamt fuer soziale Dienste - Umweltbezogener Gesundheitsschutz, Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel (Germany); Konietzka, Rainer (eds.) [Umweltbundesamt, Berlin (Germany)

    2012-11-15

    The 16th supplement on health risk assessment of environmental pollutants, a loose-leaf handbook of toxicological reference data and their evaluation, includes supplementary paragraphs on the following issues: human biomonitoring values (HBM), substance monography for lead; 1,2-dichloroethene; human biomonitoring values (HBM), substance monography for nickel: new reference values for nickel in urine of children in Germany; human biomonitoring values (HBM), substance monography for mercury; tetra chloromethane.

  17. 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 engagement in various health risk behaviour.…

  18. Mercury exposure in young children living in New York City.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogers, Helen S; Jeffery, Nancy; Kieszak, Stephanie; Fritz, Pat; Spliethoff, Henry; Palmer, Christopher D; Parsons, Patrick J; Kass, Daniel E; Caldwell, Kathy; Eadon, George; Rubin, Carol

    2008-01-01

    Residential exposure to vapor from current or previous cultural use of mercury could harm children living in rental (apartment) homes. That concern prompted the following agencies to conduct a study to assess pediatric mercury exposure in New York City communities by measuring urine mercury levels: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (NYCDOHMH) Bureau of Environmental Surveillance and Policy, New York State Department of Health/Center for Environmental Health (NYSDOHCEH), Wadsworth Center's Biomonitoring Program/Trace Elements Laboratory (WC-TEL), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A previous study indicated that people could obtain mercury for ritualistic use from botanicas located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx. Working closely with local community partners, we concentrated our recruiting efforts through health clinics located in potentially affected neighborhoods. We developed posters to advertise the study, conducted active outreach through local partners, and, as compensation for participation in the study, we offered a food gift certificate redeemable at a local grocer. We collected 460 urine specimens and analyzed them for total mercury. Overall, geometric mean urine total mercury was 0.31 microg mercury/l urine. One sample was 24 microg mercury/l urine, which exceeded the (20 microg mercury/l urine) NYSDOH Heavy Metal Registry reporting threshold for urine mercury exposure. Geometric mean urine mercury levels were uniformly low and did not differ by neighborhood or with any clinical significance by children's ethnicity. Few parents reported the presence of mercury at home, in a charm, or other item (e.g., skin-lightening creams and soaps), and we found no association between these potential sources of exposure and a child's urinary mercury levels. All pediatric mercury levels measured in this study were well below a level considered to be of medical concern. This study found neither self-reported nor measured

  19. An economic assessment of population health risk in region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nina Vladimirovna Zaytseva

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper proposes a method of economic assessment of population health risk as a tool of life qualitymanagement and qualityof labor resources in the region (as factors of a region’s economic security. The technique is based on the cost of reducing the period of disability in the implementation of population health risk and takes into account the effects of risk prevention on levels of the budgetary system of the Russian Federation. The method intends to support making decisions on planning measures to reduce population health risk at the level of regions, territories and separate objects to assess their cost-performance, optimization of investment and operating costs to reduce the population health risk and sustainable development of the territory

  20. Health risk behavior of youth in foster care.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

    Many adolescent health problems are predominantly caused by risk behavior. Foster adolescents have disproportionately poor health; therefore, identification of risk behavior is critical. Data from a larger study were analyzed to investigate the health risk behavior of 56 youth in foster care using the Child Health and Illness Profile-Adolescent Edition. Data indicated that youth in foster care had some increased risk behavior when compared with a normative adolescent population. Younger adolescents and those in relative placement had less risky behavior. Risk behavior was increased for youth in foster care when they were in group homes, had experienced a parental death, or had a history of physical or emotional abuse or attempted suicide. These results point to areas of strength and vulnerability for youth in foster care and suggest areas for clinicians and caregivers of these adolescents to focus interventions towards harm reduction and enhancement of resiliency.

  1. Health risks of atomic bomb survivors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshimoto, Y.; Soda, M.; Mabuchi, K.

    1992-01-01

    At the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission and its successor organization, the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, mortality and morbidity surveys have been continually carried out on about 1,800 persons exposed in utero to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Although the effect of radiation exposure was marked enough to permit observation of a dose-response relationship in the 30 known cases of severe mental retardation among the in utero-exposed, the association between in utero exposure and cancer risk is still uncertain. Based on data for all cancers from 1950 through 1984 for the in utero-exposed, the excess risk per 10,000 person-year-Gy was 6.57 and the relative risk at 1 Gy was 3.77. For the recent years 1985-89, there was no evident excess of cancer risk. During the remaining lifetime, it seems unlikely that any great excess of leukemia will appear. As for the risk of solid tumors, further follow up is in progress. The 1950-89 findings for cancer risk among the i