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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


SANTOS, Elisabeth C. Oliveira et al. Mercury exposure among Pakaanóva Indians, Amazon Region, Brazil. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.1, pp.199-206. ISSN 1678-4464.

A cross-sectional study was conducted to evaluate mercury (Hg) exposure among 910 Pakaanóva Indians from the counties of Guajará Mirim and Nova Marmoré, Rondônia State, Brazil. Individual hair samples were taken from the occipital region, and Hg was measured by atomic absorption spectrometry with cold vapor generation. Mean Hg in hair samples was 8.37 µg/g (range 0.52-83.89), indicating high exposure. Young children (< 2 years old) showed a mean Hg of 10.54 µg/g, and children from 3 to 5 years old had a mean Hg of 9.34µg/g. Mercury levels in women (8,91µg/g) were higher than in men (7.55µg/g), and this difference was significant (t = 3.26; p < 0.01). These results indicate the need for surveillance programs and complementary studies including the Pakaanóva Indians in Rondônia State.

Keywords : Mercury Poisoning; Mercury; Mining; South American Indians.

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