Cadernos de Saúde Pública
versão impressa ISSN 0102-311X
CAMARA, Volney de M. et al. Study of exposure to and health effects of atmospheric metallic mercury pollution in an urban population of Poconé, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1996, vol.12, n.1, pp. 69-77. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1996000100018.
This paper evaluates the levels of exposure to and health effects of metallic mercury emissions into the atmosphere by gold dealers in the town of Poconé, Mato Grosso State, Brazil. The project was based on the comparison of referred morbidity, clinical examination, and metallic mercury urinary concentrations in three population groups. The first group consisted of downtown residents who were exposed to metallic mercury emissions. The second group resided on the outskirts of the town and the third in an agricultural area. Urinary concentrations of metallic mercury showed highly significant differences between groups from downtown and the outskirts as compared to the control group. Investigation of individuals with high concentrations showed that exposure in the downtown area might have come from gold dealers' establishments. In the group from the town outskirts, exposure might have been from amalgam-smelting done inside homes. Referred morbidity data showed an increased proportion of complaints and alterations in clinical examinations by downtown residents as compared to the other groups.It was concluded that there was a possibility of exposure and health effects caused by metallic mercury for residents from the first two groups.
Palavras-chave : Mercury; Environmental Health; Occupational Health; Human Ecology.