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Fish consumption patterns and mercury exposure levels among women of childbearing age in Duval County, Florida.

Traynor S, et al. J Environ Health. 2013 Jan-Feb.


Consumption of fish containing methylmercury can pose serious health concerns including neurotoxic effects in adults and toxicity to the fetuses of mothers exposed during pregnancy. In the study described in this article, the authors examined fish consumption patterns and measured hair mercury levels of women of childbearing age in a coastal county in Florida. Women from the community participated in a risk factor assessment survey (N = 703). Hair samples (n = 698) were collected and analyzed for mercury. The authors identified 74.8% below detection limit; 25.2% had detectable limits of mercury, while 7% exceeded 1 pg/g. Hair mercury levels increased with fish consumption and age. Race, income, and education levels were also associated with increased hair mercury levels. Women of Asian/Pacific Islander origin had the highest levels. Although reported fish consumption exceeded the recommendations for women of childbearing age, the study population had lower mercury levels than other comparative studies in Florida and at national levels.


23397644 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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