Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Bull World Health Organ. 2014 Apr 1;92(4):254-269F. doi: 10.2471/BLT.12.116152. Epub 2014 Jan 10.

Global methylmercury exposure from seafood consumption and risk of developmental neurotoxicity: a systematic review.

Author information

  • 1Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, United States of America (USA).
  • 2Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA .
  • 3Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA .
  • 4Department of Biostatistics, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, USA .

Abstract

in English, Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish

OBJECTIVE:

To examine biomarkers of methylmercury (MeHg) intake in women and infants from seafood-consuming populations globally and characterize the comparative risk of fetal developmental neurotoxicity.

METHODS:

A search was conducted of the published literature reporting total mercury (Hg) in hair and blood in women and infants. These biomarkers are validated proxy measures of MeHg, a neurotoxin found primarily in seafood. Average and high-end biomarkers were extracted, stratified by seafood consumption context, and pooled by category. Medians for average and high-end pooled distributions were compared with the reference level established by a joint expert committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

FINDINGS:

Selection criteria were met by 164 studies of women and infants from 43 countries. Pooled average biomarkers suggest an intake of MeHg several times over the FAO/WHO reference in fish-consuming riparians living near small-scale gold mining and well over the reference in consumers of marine mammals in Arctic regions. In coastal regions of south-eastern Asia, the western Pacific and the Mediterranean, average biomarkers approach the reference. Although the two former groups have a higher risk of neurotoxicity than the latter, coastal regions are home to the largest number at risk. High-end biomarkers across all categories indicate MeHg intake is in excess of the reference value.

CONCLUSION:

There is a need for policies to reduce Hg exposure among women and infants and for surveillance in high-risk populations, the majority of which live in low-and middle-income countries.

PMID:
24700993
[PubMed - in process]
PMCID:
PMC3967569
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk