Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia
Print version ISSN 1415-790X
SANTOS, Elisabeth C. de Oliveira et al. Exposure to mercury and arsenic in Amazon States: a summary of studies by the Evandro Chagas Institute/FUNASA. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2003, vol.6, n.2, pp. 171-185. ISSN 1415-790X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1415-790X2003000200010.
This article is a review of the studies carried out by Environmental Section of the Evandro Chagas Institute/FUNASA on mercury (Hg) exposure in the Tapajós river basin, and arsenic exposure (As) due to residues of the manganese (Mn) exploration, performed by ICOMI and left at the port of Santana-AP. Regarding mercury exposure, the populations under respiratory or ingestion risk have been studied. In the first case, gold shop workers have been showing higher Hg levels in urine than gold miners. In the second case, riverine populations have been showing differentiated exposure levels (Hg in hair). Riverine communities from areas not affected by gold mining mercury and with similar dietary habits to those of a risk area are studied seeking to establish what the normal parameters for the region area. Levels of Hg in environmental materials and in the aquatic biota were also studied. The studies of human and environmental health in the city of Santana-AP were carried out to evaluate sources and possible exposure routes of the Elesbão community to Arsenic. The existence of a risk source for As was verified through Mn wastes, although the As levels in the water consumed by the population were within normal standards. The averages found in blood and hair match normal averages found in the literature in non-exposed population, and the statistical associations between epidemiological variables, clinical evaluation, laboratorial results and arsenic levels were not significant.
Keywords : Mercury; Arsenic; Riverine population; Amazon.