• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of envhperEnvironmental Health PerspectivesBrowse ArticlesAbout EHPGeneral InformationAuthorsMediaProgramsPartnerships
Environ Health Perspect. Oct 1983; 52: 303–316.
PMCID: PMC1569325
Research Article

Mercury in human hair due to environment and diet: a review.

Abstract

Hair mercury levels increase with the amount of fish in the diet and the amount of mercury in the fish species consumed. If hair mercury levels in people throughout the world were monitored by a standard analytical procedure, the results would indicate locations where people's body burden of mercury is high enough to be subclinically unhealthy and where controls on environmental emissions might be beneficial. The relationship of hair mercury concentration to the method of sampling and analysis of hair, the analysis of the results, the amount of fish consumed, the country and location from which samples were taken and the age, sex and occupation of the donor is discussed.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (2.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Bakir F, Damluji SF, Amin-Zaki L, Murtadha M, Khalidi A, al-Rawi NY, Tikriti S, Dahahir HI, Clarkson TW, Smith JC, et al. Methylmercury poisoning in Iraq. Science. 1973 Jul 20;181(4096):230–241. [PubMed]
  • Barnes RA. The long range transport of air pollution: a review of European experience. J Air Pollut Control Assoc. 1979 Dec;29(12):1219–1235. [PubMed]
  • Van Hook RI. Potential health and environmental effects of trace elements and radionuclides from increased coal utilization. Environ Health Perspect. 1979 Dec;33:227–247. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Aston SR, Bruty D, Chester R, Padgham RC. Mercury in lake sediments: a possible indicator of technological growth. Nature. 1973 Feb 16;241(5390):450–451. [PubMed]
  • Smart NA. Use and residues of mercury compounds in agriculture. Residue Rev. 1968;23:1–36. [PubMed]
  • Gardner D. Mercury in fish and waters of the Irish Sea and other United Kingdom fishing grounds. Nature. 1978 Mar 2;272(5648):49–51. [PubMed]
  • Helsby CA. Determination of mercury in finger nails and body hair. Anal Chim Acta. 1976 Apr;82(2):427–430. [PubMed]
  • Phelps RW, Clarkson TW, Kershaw TG, Wheatley B. Interrelationships of blood and hair mercury concentrations in a North American population exposed to methylmercury. Arch Environ Health. 1980 May-Jun;35(3):161–168. [PubMed]
  • Giovanoli-Jakubczak T, Berg GG. Measurement of mercury in human hair. Arch Environ Health. 1974 Mar;28(3):139–144. [PubMed]
  • Suzuki T, Matsubara-Khan J, Matsuda A. Mercury content of hair of Japanese after emigration to Burma or East Pakistan. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol. 1972 Jan;7(1):26–32. [PubMed]
  • Barr RD, Smith H, Cameron HM. Tissue mercury levels in the mercury-induced nephrotic syndrome. Am J Clin Pathol. 1973 Apr;59(4):515–517. [PubMed]
  • Lovejoy HB, Bell ZG, Jr, Vizena TR. Mercury exposure evaluations and their correlation with urine mercury excretions. 4. Elimination of mercury by sweating. J Occup Med. 1973 Jul;15(7):590–591. [PubMed]
  • Benson WW, Gabica J. Total mercury in hair from 1,000 Idaho residents--1971. Pestic Monit J. 1972 Sep;6(2):80–83. [PubMed]
  • Pallotti G, Bencivenga B, Simonetti T. Total mercury levels in whole blood, hair and fingernails for a population group from Rome and its surroundings. Sci Total Environ. 1979 Jan;11(1):69–72. [PubMed]
  • Shishido S, Suzuki T. Mercury in human hair: a comparative study by using two different methods of atomic absorption and neutron activation analysis. Tohoku J Exp Med. 1974 Aug;113(4):351–356. [PubMed]
  • Nord PJ, Kadaba MP, Sorenson JR. Mercury in human hair. A study of the residents of Los Alamos, NM, and Pasadena, Calif, by cold vapor atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Arch Environ Health. 1973 Jul;27(1):40–44. [PubMed]
  • Miettinen JK, Rahola T, Hattula T, Rissanen K, Tillander M. Elimination of 203Hg-methylmercury in man. Ann Clin Res. 1971 Apr;3(2):116–122. [PubMed]
  • Kershaw TG, Clarkson TW, Dhahir PH. The relationship between blood levels and dose of methylmercury in man. Arch Environ Health. 1980 Jan-Feb;35(1):28–36. [PubMed]
  • Ishihara N, Urushiyama K, Suzuki T. Inorganic and organic mercury in blood, urine and hair in low level mercury vapour exposure. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 1977 Dec 22;40(4):249–253. [PubMed]
  • Cross JD, Dale IM, Goolvard L, Lenihan JM, Smith H. Methyl mercury in blood of dentists. Lancet. 1978 Aug 5;2(8084):312–313. [PubMed]
  • Birke G, Johnels AG, Plantin LO, Sjöstrand B, Skerfving S, Westermark T. Studies on humans exposed to methyl mercury through fish consumption. Arch Environ Health. 1972 Aug;25(2):77–91. [PubMed]
  • Haxton J, Lindsay DG, Hislop JS, Salmon L, Dixon EJ, Evans WH, Reid JR, Hewitt CJ, Jeffries DF. Duplicate diet study on fishing communities in the United Kingdom: mercury exposure in a "critical group". Environ Res. 1979 Apr;18(2):351–368. [PubMed]
  • Hursh JB, Cherian MG, Clarkson TW, Vostal JJ, Mallie RV. Clearance of mercury (HG-197, HG-203) vapor inhaled by human subjects. Arch Environ Health. 1976 Nov-Dec;31(6):302–309. [PubMed]
  • Smith RG, Vorwald AJ, Patil LS, Mooney TF., Jr Effects of exposure to mercury in the manufacture of chlorine. Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1970 Nov-Dec;31(6):687–700. [PubMed]
  • al-Shahristani H, Shihab KM. Variation of biological half-life of methylmercury in man. Arch Environ Health. 1974 Jun;28(6):342–344. [PubMed]
  • NIXON GS, SMITH H. HAZARD OF MERCURY POISONING IN THE DENTAL SURGERY. J Oral Ther Pharmacol. 1965 Mar;1:512–514. [PubMed]
  • Sexton DJ, Powell KE, Liddle J, Smrek A, Smith JC, Clarkson TW. A nonoccupational outbreak of inorganic mercury vapor poisoning. Arch Environ Health. 1978 Jul-Aug;33(4):186–191. [PubMed]
  • Gardner D. A rapid method for the determination of mercury in air by flameless atomic absorption spectrometry. Anal Chim Acta. 1976 Apr;82(2):321–327. [PubMed]
  • Galster WA. Mercury in Alaskan Eskimo mothers and infants. Environ Health Perspect. 1976 Jun;15:135–140. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Yamaguchi S, Matsumoto H, Kaku S, Tateishi M, Shiramizu M. Factors affecting the amount of mercury in human scalp hair. Am J Public Health. 1975 May;65(5):484–488. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Suzuki T, Takemoto T, Kashiwazaki H, Togo M, Toyokawa H. Man, fish, and mercury on small islands in Japan. Tohoku J Exp Med. 1976 Feb;118(2):181–198. [PubMed]
  • Yamaguchi S, Matsumoto H, Matsuo S, Kaku S, Hoshide M. Relationship between mercury content of hair and amount of fish consumed. HSMHA Health Rep. 1971 Oct;86(10):904–909. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Aoki H. [Environmental contamination by mercury (Hg series No. 14). 3. Inorganic and organic mercury in human hair and marine fish]. Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 1970 Jan;24(5):556–562. [PubMed]
  • Airey Contributions from coal and industrial materials to mercury in air, rainwater and snow. Sci Total Environ. 1982 Sep;25(1):19–40. [PubMed]
  • Sumino K, Hayakawa K, Shibata T, Kitamura S. Heavy metals in normal Japanese tissues. Amounts of 15 heavy metals in 30 subjects. Arch Environ Health. 1975 Oct;30(10):487–494. [PubMed]
  • Choi-Lao AT, Corte G, Dowd G, Lao RC. Mercury vapor as a contaminant of hospital environment. Sci Total Environ. 1979 Apr;11(3):287–292. [PubMed]
  • Hecker LH, Allen HE, Dinman BD. Heavy metal levels in acculturated and unacculturated populations. Arch Environ Health. 1974 Oct;29(4):181–185. [PubMed]

Articles from Environmental Health Perspectives are provided here courtesy of National Institute of Environmental Health Science

Formats: