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Title: Levels of mercury in scalp hair of fishermen and their families from Camara de Lobos-Madeira (Portugal): A preliminary study

Abstract

Mercury is probably one of the most investigated natural and anthropogenic contaminants, especially in aquatic environments. Among the inorganic forms, elemental mercury (HgO) presents a marked tendency to reach the air as vapor, and in terrestrial systems to bioaccumulate in plant biomass, whereas other inorganic compounds (e.g., mercury sulphide) are characterized by low mobility and bioavailability. These last compounds once in water (and especially at the water-sediment interface) can undergo a process of methylation. Methylmercury (MeHg) is readily bioaccumulated by aquatic organisms and leads to a phenomenon of enrichment from lower to higher trophic level. The extensive literature on MeHg and human health shows that the consumption of fish and/or shellfish is the main source of exposure, the contribution from air and water being negligible and mainly related to inorganic forms. A human population consuming large amounts of seafood with high MeHg levels can be considered at risk when consumption exceeds a certain amount. This level has been set by the WHO and other agencies, at 300 {mu}g/week of total mercury (totHg) of which there should be no more than 200 {mu}g as MeHg. The nervous system is the principal target of the effects of MeHg in humans. The mostmore » common functions affected are the sensory, visual and auditory functions, together with those of the cerebellum, which is concerned with coordination. As far as prenatal exposure is concerned, the developing central nervous system of humans and animals has been found to be more sensitive to damage from MeHg than the adult nervous system. This preliminary study obtains and examines information about eating habits and general health of a group of fisherman and their families living in a fishing village, at high risk because of the high frequency of seafood in their normal diet. 17 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Universita di Siena (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
458675
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 56; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: PBD: 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; MERCURY; BIOLOGICAL ACCUMULATION; HUMAN POPULATIONS; HAIR; FISHING INDUSTRY; PERSONNEL; PORTUGAL; SEAFOOD; CONTAMINATION

Citation Formats

Gaggi, C, Zino, F, Duccini, M, and Renzoni, A. Levels of mercury in scalp hair of fishermen and their families from Camara de Lobos-Madeira (Portugal): A preliminary study. United States: N. p., 1996. Web. doi:10.1007/s001289900125.
Gaggi, C, Zino, F, Duccini, M, & Renzoni, A. Levels of mercury in scalp hair of fishermen and their families from Camara de Lobos-Madeira (Portugal): A preliminary study. United States. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001289900125
Gaggi, C, Zino, F, Duccini, M, and Renzoni, A. 1996. "Levels of mercury in scalp hair of fishermen and their families from Camara de Lobos-Madeira (Portugal): A preliminary study". United States. https://doi.org/10.1007/s001289900125.
@article{osti_458675,
title = {Levels of mercury in scalp hair of fishermen and their families from Camara de Lobos-Madeira (Portugal): A preliminary study},
author = {Gaggi, C and Zino, F and Duccini, M and Renzoni, A},
abstractNote = {Mercury is probably one of the most investigated natural and anthropogenic contaminants, especially in aquatic environments. Among the inorganic forms, elemental mercury (HgO) presents a marked tendency to reach the air as vapor, and in terrestrial systems to bioaccumulate in plant biomass, whereas other inorganic compounds (e.g., mercury sulphide) are characterized by low mobility and bioavailability. These last compounds once in water (and especially at the water-sediment interface) can undergo a process of methylation. Methylmercury (MeHg) is readily bioaccumulated by aquatic organisms and leads to a phenomenon of enrichment from lower to higher trophic level. The extensive literature on MeHg and human health shows that the consumption of fish and/or shellfish is the main source of exposure, the contribution from air and water being negligible and mainly related to inorganic forms. A human population consuming large amounts of seafood with high MeHg levels can be considered at risk when consumption exceeds a certain amount. This level has been set by the WHO and other agencies, at 300 {mu}g/week of total mercury (totHg) of which there should be no more than 200 {mu}g as MeHg. The nervous system is the principal target of the effects of MeHg in humans. The most common functions affected are the sensory, visual and auditory functions, together with those of the cerebellum, which is concerned with coordination. As far as prenatal exposure is concerned, the developing central nervous system of humans and animals has been found to be more sensitive to damage from MeHg than the adult nervous system. This preliminary study obtains and examines information about eating habits and general health of a group of fisherman and their families living in a fishing village, at high risk because of the high frequency of seafood in their normal diet. 17 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab.},
doi = {10.1007/s001289900125},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/458675}, journal = {Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology},
number = 6,
volume = 56,
place = {United States},
year = {1996},
month = {12}
}