Document Detail

Human exposure to methylmercury through rice intake in mercury mining areas, Guizhou province, China.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18350916     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The toxicity of methylmercury (Me-Hg) has caused widespread public human concern as a result of several widely publicized disasters. Me-Hg is highly toxic, and the nervous system is its principal target tissue for humans. Although the general population is primarily exposed to Me-Hg through contaminated fish and marine mammals, in Hg mining areas a long history of mining activities can produce serious Hg pollution to the local environment In a study of 98 persons from the Wanshan Hg mining area, hair Me-Hg levels indicated Me-Hg exposure. Rice, the staple food of the local inhabitants also showed high total Hg (T-Hg) and Me-Hg levels. The geometric mean concentration of T-Hg and mean concentration of Me-Hg in rice samples collected from 3 villages in Wanshan Hg mining area were 36.2 (ranging from 4.9 to 214.7), and 8.5 (ranging from 1.9 to 27.6) microg/kg, respectively, which were significantly elevated compared to the rice samples collected from a reference area, where the mean T-Hg and Me-Hg concentrations were 7.0 (3.2-15.1) and 2.5 (0.8-4.3) microg/kg, respectively. Pork meat, vegetable, and drinking water samples collected in Wanshan Hg mining area contained highly elevated T-Hg, but very low levels of Me-Hg. The relationships between the estimated rice Me-Hg intake and hair Me-Hg levels (r = 0.65, p < 0.001) confirmed rice with high Me-Hg levels indeed was the main route of Me-Hg exposure for the local residents in the Wanshan Hg mining area. From our study, we can conclude that the main human exposure to Me-Hg via food consumption is not restricted to fish, but in some cases in mining areas of China to frequent rice meals.
Xinbin Feng; Ping Li; Guangle Qiu; Shaofeng Wang; Guanghui Li; Lihai Shang; Bo Meng; Hongmei Jiang; Weiyang Bai; Zhonggen Li; Xuewu Fu
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental science & technology     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0013-936X     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ. Sci. Technol.     Publication Date:  2008 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-03-20     Completed Date:  2008-07-01     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0213155     Medline TA:  Environ Sci Technol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  326-32     Citation Subset:  IM    
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550002, China.
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MeSH Terms
Brassica / metabolism
Daucus carota / metabolism
Environmental Monitoring
Environmental Pollutants / analysis*,  metabolism*
Food Contamination / analysis*
Hair / chemistry
Meat / analysis
Mercury / analysis,  metabolism
Methylmercury Compounds / analysis*,  metabolism*
Middle Aged
Oryza sativa / metabolism*
Water Supply / analysis
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Environmental Pollutants; 0/Methylmercury Compounds; 7439-97-6/Mercury

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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