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Measuring Mecury Levels In Mothers And Newborns

772 words - 3 pages

Our study showed that 203 newborns (13%) and 176 mothers (11.2%) had mercury concentrations greater than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reference dose of 5.8 µg/lL (US EPA, 2007). However, there have arguments that this limit should be lowered to account for pharmacokinetic variability in cord: maternal ratio (Stern and Smith, 2003). The German Federal Environmental Agency set newly revised mercury reference values of 2.0μg/l for women (18-69 years) who at least consume fish ≤ 3 times per month (Wilhelm et al., 2004). Our study these reference values, showed that 48.7% of the women had mercury >2.0µg/l. This means that a substantial proportion of the studied population and their newborns is at risk of deleterious mercury effects during a lifetime. Jedrychowski et al. (2007) found mercury cord blood level above 0.9μg/l was associated with delayed neurocognitive and psychomotor status of children at 12 months of age but it is less visible in the subsequent examinations at 24 and 36 months of age. Our results for cord mercury levels were approximately 4 times higher than Jedrychowski et al.’s (2007). The elevated levels found could in part be mainly explained by the consumption of fish. In this study, 73% of women reported fish consumption. They had higher significantly blood mercury than non-eaters (3.02µg/l versus 2.99µg/l respectively). There is a sufficient literature to support the premise that increased maternal fish intake increases fetal exposure to mercury in particular; methylmercury (Mahaffey et al., 2004, Oken et al., 2005; Fok et al., 2007; Unuvar et al., 2007; Hsu et al., 2006). Other sources of mercury exposure may be dental amalgam and/or skin-lightening creams. Future studies are needed to examine the potential toxicity of mercury particularly in heavy consumers of fish.

We compared the observed cord and maternal blood mercury levels with those from other populations (Table 12). Our mercury cord levels were higher than those found in Canada-Montreal (0.69µg/l), Poland (0.88µg/l), Slovakia (0.8µg/l), South Africa (1.2µg/l), Sweden (organic:1.4µg/l and inorganic:0.34µg/l), Sweden (organic:0.099µg/l and inorganic: 0.09µg/l) and Turkey (0.5µg/l). Similar pattern was observed for mercury maternal levels. Most studies showed strong correlations between cord and maternal mercury levels (Table 12). However, our correlation is comparatively low (r=0.202) suggesting a limited transfer of mercury from mother to fetus through the placenta. In 2002, Yoshida et al....

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