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Blood-Mercury Concentrations and Renal Biomarkers in Amazonian Villagers

Steven E. Aks, Timothy B. Erickson, Fernando J. O. Branches and Daniel O. Hryhorczuk
Ambio
Vol. 24, No. 2 (Mar., 1995), pp. 103-105
Published by: Springer on behalf of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4314304
Page Count: 3
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Abstract

This paper presents a pilot survey of blood-mercury levels and renal biomarkers in 11 Amazonian villagers in the state of Para, Brazil. The village, Ponta de Pedra, is located on the banks of the Tapajos River, a tributary of The Amazon, 800 km downriver from the gold-mining industry where mercury is used in the refining process. Residents of this village are a high fish-eating population and are at risk of environmental mercury poisoning from contamination of the aquatic food chain. While mean mercury concentration in the blood of these villagers (29.1 mg L-1) was higher than recorded means from population samples from many industrialized nations, it was lower than recorded mean whole blood-mercury concentrations from other populations with a high fish consumption. The analyses of urine for biomarkers did not detect subclinical renal damage in these villagers.

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