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Individual mercury exposure of chloralkali workers and its relation to blood and urinary mercury levels

GÖSTA LINDSTEDT, INGEMAR GOTTBERG, BERIT HOLMGREN, TORBJÖRN JONSSON and GUNNAR KARLSSON
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Vol. 5, No. 1 (March 1979), pp. 59-69
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40964759
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Individual mercury exposure of chloralkali workers and its relation to blood and urinary mercury levels
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Abstract

On two occasions, chloralkali workers were investigated with regard to personal air mercury exposure, blood mercury and urinary mercury. The first investigation (13 workers, 2 weeks) was made at an exposure above the threshold limit value (64 μg/m³, range 36— 112), the second (16 workers, 8 weeks) at a lower exposure (23 μ/g/m³, range 15— 43). At the higher level of exposure, good correlations were found between air exposure and blood or urinary mercury for the group, but not for individuals. At the lower level, the correlations were less pronounced for the group. For individuals, the best correlation was found between mean air exposure during one week and blood mercury about half a week later. Other individuals, mainly the least exposed, showed no such correlation. Corresponding correlations were not found for urinary mercury. The urinary excretion rate was determined only for the last few hours of the workday, but the results agree with earlier investigations of 24-h excretion on a group basis. The threshold limit value for mercury in air (50 μ/m³) corresponds to 150— 175 nmol Hg/1 blood (= 30— 35μg/1) for the group, with large individual variation.

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