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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

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


DUTRA, Marilene Danieli Simões et al. Longitudinal assessment of mercury exposure in schoolchildren in an urban area of the Brazilian Amazon. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.28, n.8, pp.1539-1545. ISSN 1678-4464.

This study was a longitudinal assessment of mercury exposure in schoolchildren in an urban area of the Brazilian Amazon. The study population consisted of 90 children whose exposure levels were assessed by testing mercury levels in the umbilical cord blood and mothers' blood samples in 2000-2001, and in the children's hair and blood samples. The study also used a questionnaire on demographic and socioeconomic data, fish consumption, and self-reported disease history. Mean mercury level in hair in 2010 was approximately 1µg/g, ranging up to 8.22µg/g, similar to 2004 and 2006. These figures can be explained by low fish consumption. Mean blood mercury levels at birth exceeded 10µg/L, ranging up to nearly 60µg/L, which indicates mercury transfer across the placenta. There was a significant increase in blood mercury from 2004 to 2006 (p < 0.001), suggesting exposure through air pollution. The main exposure to mercury was during pregnancy.

Keywords : Mercury; Poisoning; Environmental Exposure; Child.

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