- Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
- National Food Agency
Kippler, Maria; Gyllenhammar, Irina; Glynn, Anders; Levi, Michael; Lignell, Sanna; Berglund, Marika
Exposure to methylmercury (MeHg) through fish is a global public health problem. Exposure monitoring is essential for health risk assessment, especially in pregnant women and children due to the documented neurotoxicity. Herein, we evaluate a time series of MeHg exposure via fish in primiparous Swedish women, covering a time period of 23 years (1996-2019). The 655 included mothers were part of the POPUP study (Persistent Organic Pollutants in Uppsala Primiparas) conducted by the Swedish Food Agency (SFA). MeHg exposure was assessed via measurements of total mercury (Hg) in hair using either cold vapor atomic fluorescence spectrophotometry or inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, showing very good linear agreement (R-2 = 0.97). Maternal characteristics and fish consumption were obtained via questionnaires. The median concentration of total Hg in hair was 0.38 mg/kg (range 0.17 -1.5) in 1996 and 0.25 mg/kg (range 0.03-1.1) in 2019. On average the women consumed 11 8.2 meals of fish per month, and fish consumption was positively correlated with total Hg in hair (Spearman correlation: 0.39; p < 0.001). In multiple regression analyses, the geometric mean annual decrease of total Hg in hair was -2.5% (95% CI: -3.2, -1.8%). Total fish consumption increased up to 2011 (B: 0.32 times/month per year; 95% CI 0.17, 0.46) after which it started to decline (B: -0.66 times/month per year; 95% CI -0.92, -0.40). Moreover, both total Hg in hair and fish consumption was positively associated with maternal age and education, and inversely associated with pre-pregnancy BMI. In conclusion, the exposure to MeHg via fish appears to be slowly declining among Swedish pregnant women. (C) 2020 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Methylmercury; Hair; Exposure assessment; Biomarker; ICPMS; Temporal trend
2021, Volume: 268, number: Part A, article number: 115712
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCI LTD