Benchmark dose calculations of methylmercury-associated neurobehavioural deficits

Toxicol Lett. 2000 Mar 15:112-113:193-9. doi: 10.1016/s0378-4274(99)00283-0.


Prenatal methylmercury exposure is associated with neuropsychological deficits in Faroese children at age 7 years. Lower confidence bounds of benchmark doses (BMDLs) have now been calculated. With the cord-blood mercury concentration as the dose parameter, a logarithmic dose-response model tended to show a better fit than a linear dose model for the attention, language and verbal memory tests. The lowest BMDLs averaged approximately 5 microgram/l cord blood, which corresponds to a maternal hair concentration of approximately 1 microgram/g. However, most BMDLs for hair mercury concentrations were higher. Thus, the results of the benchmark calculations depend on the assumed dose-response model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers
  • Child
  • Denmark
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hair / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Methylmercury Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Methylmercury Compounds / adverse effects*
  • Methylmercury Compounds / analysis*
  • Methylmercury Compounds / blood
  • Nervous System Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis
  • No-Observed-Adverse-Effect Level
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Risk Assessment


  • Biomarkers
  • Methylmercury Compounds