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. 2012 Nov;149(2):155-62.
doi: 10.1007/s12011-012-9424-7. Epub 2012 May 17.

Hair Mercury Concentrations of Lactating Mothers and Breastfed Infants in Iran (Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure)

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Hair Mercury Concentrations of Lactating Mothers and Breastfed Infants in Iran (Fish Consumption and Mercury Exposure)

Narjes Okati et al. Biol Trace Elem Res. .

Abstract

Coastal populations with high seafood consumption in the South Caspian Sea (Iran) have a significant exposure to dietary mercury. This study assesses the biomonitoring of mercury in mothers and breastfed infants in the South Caspian Sea. The mean of mercury concentration in the hair of 93 pairs of mothers and infants was obtained and was 3.55 and 1.89 μg g(-1), respectively. A statistically significant correlation (R = 0.850, P = 0.000) was seen between mercury concentration in the hair of mothers and infants. The results of this study indicate that hair mercury concentrations exceeded the USEPA reference dose of 1 μg g(-1) in 82.7 % of mothers and 61.2 % of infants. Also, 31 % of the mothers and 10.7 % of the infants had mercury concentrations more than the WHO "threshold" level (5 μg g(-1)). The age and fish consumption of mothers were the factors that significantly affected the hair mercury concentration of mothers and infants. Number of dental amalgam fillings of mothers was the factor that only affected mercury in the hair of mothers. According to the results, we can conclude that the main determinant of mercury exposure was the intake of mercury through fish consumption of mothers.

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