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Children's Exposure to Mercury-Contaminated Soils: Exposure Assessment and Risk Characterization.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23546335     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
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 < 1 in all scenarios. However, 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.
Authors:
Mert Guney; Bruno Welfringer; Carl de Repentigny; Gerald J Zagury
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-4-2
Journal Detail:
Title:  Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1432-0703     ISO Abbreviation:  Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol.     Publication Date:  2013 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-4-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0357245     Medline TA:  Arch Environ Contam Toxicol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montreal, QC, H3C 3A7, Canada.
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