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Research article2019Peer reviewed

Mercury levels in blood, urine and hair in a nation-wide sample of Spanish adults

Castano, A.; Pedraza-Diaz, S.; Canas, A. I.; Perez-Gomez, B.; Ramos, J. J.; Bartolome, M.; Part, P.; Soto, E. P.; Motas, M.; Navarro, C.; Calvo, E.; Esteban, M.; Aleixandre, J. L.; Aragones, N.; Cervantes-Amat, M.; Cortes, M. V.; Gomez, S.; Gonzalez, S.; Huetos, O.; Jimenez, J. A.;
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Abstract

Mercury (Hg) is among the Lop 10 environmental chemicals of major public health concern (WHO). The Minamata Convention on Mercury (United Nations Environment Program, 2017), commits signing countries to control anthropogenic mercury emissions and reduce human exposure. Human biomonitoring (HBM) programs, are the most straight-forward approaches to get information on the actual exposure levels in the population and assess over time. We report here the results of a HBM study in a nationwide cross-section of Spanish adults (18-65y) as baseline values obtained before the Minamata Convention entered into force. Subsequent follow-ups will show if the Convention has been successful. The study includes 1880 blood samples, 1704 urine samples and 577 hair samples from all Spanish regions collected and analysed under a strictly quality controlled and quality assured protocol. The EU-DEMOCOPHES project demonstrated that fish and seafood are the major sources of mercury exposure and that the Spanish as well as the Portuguese populations have higher levels than other European countries. The data from the present study confirms this pattern at national level and that inhabitants in coastal regions have higher values than from inland regions. The geometric mean (GM) for blood is 635 mu g Hg/l, in urine is 1.11 mu g Hg/l and for hair is 1.91 mu g Hg/g. In an international comparison these values are not exceptional. Spanish concentrations fall into the group of Easter Mediterranean populations. Although information on gender, age, occupational sector, geographical area, sampling period and frequency of fish consumption is reported in the tables, the purpose of this paper has not been to analyse the determinants of exposure in detail but to provide baseline data for future assessments and for regional authorities. (C) 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Keywords

Mercury; Human biomonitoring; Minamata convention; Blood; Urine; Hair; Fish consumption; Spain

Published in

Science of the Total Environment
2019, Volume: 670, pages: 262-270 Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG12 Responsible consumption and production

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences

    Publication identifier

    DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.03.174

    Permanent link to this page (URI)

    https://res.slu.se/id/publ/99896