The Relationship between Mercury Exposure Indices and Dietary Intake of Fish and Shellfish in Women of Childbearing Age
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Women of childbearing age who are susceptible to mercury exposure were studied to understand the relation between mercury intake through fish and shellfish consumption and mercury exposure indices from blood, hair, and urine samples. A total of 711 women of childbearing age from coastal areas with a high concentration of mercury exposure in Korea were studied. Data were collected on demographic characteristics, dietary intake of fish and shellfish using the simple Food Frequency Questionnaire.
... ercury concentration was estimated from the collected samples of blood, hair, and urine. The geometric mean of blood methyl mercury concentration of mercury exposure through seafood was 3.06 μg/L for the low tertile, 3.12 μg/L for the middle tertile, and 3.60 μg/L for the high tertile, indicating a clear tendency of blood methyl mercury to increase as the mercury exposure by fish and shellfish intake ascended. For total blood mercury and hair mercury, the middle and high tertiles had higher values than the low. Mercury exposure through fish and shellfish intake is a main factor for an increase of blood methyl mercury concentration in women of childbearing age. More attention needs to be paid to mercury exposure through seafood intake, considering the serious effect mercury concentration has on women of childbearing age.