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Título

Mercury speciation in the hair of pre-school children living near a chlor-alkali plant

AutorMontuori, Paolo; Jover Comas, Eric; Díez Salvador, Sergi; Ribas-Fitó, Núria; Sunyer, Jordi; Triassi, Maria; Bayona Termens, Josep María
Palabras claveMercury exposure
Mercury speciation
Methylmercury
Children's hair
Routes of mercury intake
Sex effect
Fecha de publicación12-jun-2006
EditorElsevier
CitaciónScience of the Total Environment 369(1-3): 51-58 (2006)
ResumenExposure to mercury species was assessed in the hair of 130 Spanish children (age 4) from the general population in two areas. Both areas are exposed to different sources of mercury: a point source in Ribera d'Ebre (northeastern Spain) and a diffuse source on the island of Menorca (northwestern Mediterranean). The median MeHg values in the hair of children from Ribera d'Ebre (RE) were nearly twice (0.631 μg/g vs. 0.370 μg/g) those of children from Menorca (MC) (p < 0.05). Total Hg showed a similar trend (RE-median: 0.720 μg/g vs. MC-median: 0.476 μg/g). Nevertheless, inorganic mercury levels were similar in the two groups of children (RE-median: 0.186 μg/g vs. MC-median: 0.210 μg/g). Two subgroups of the Ribera d'Ebre group were defined: children living in Flix (a village near a chlor-alkali plant) (RE1) and children living on the outskirts of Flix with no clear, direct influence of the plant (RE2). The mercury concentrations in RE1 were also significantly higher than those in Menorca, but no significant differences were found between Menorca and the RE2 subgroup. We evaluated the fish consumption of RE1, RE2 and MC and found that the Menorcan children consumed significantly less fish (p < 0.05) than the other two subgroups. Children who consumed fish more than three times a week had higher MeHg concentrations (β(SE) = 0.991(0.279) than those who ate it less than once a week. Nevertheless, the differences in MeHg levels between children from Ribera d'Ebre and Menorca remained statistically significant after adjustment for fish intake and other variables (β(SE) = 0.779(0.203) for children from RE1). In conclusion, local sources other than seafood contribute significantly to MeHg content in hair in the two Ribera d'Ebre subgroups.
Descripción8 pages, 1 figure, 3 tables.-- PMID: 16766021 [PubMed].-- Printed version published Oct 1, 2006.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.04.003
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/11932
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2006.04.003
ISSN0048-9697
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