Send to

Choose Destination
J Expo Sci Environ Epidemiol. 2007 Jan;17(1):25-30. Epub 2006 Aug 16.

Toenail mercury and dietary fish consumption.

Author information

Dartmouth College Center for Environmental Health Sciences, Department of Community and Family Medicine (Biostatistics and Epidemiology) and Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.


New England is one of three areas in the United States with the highest annual deposition of mercury, an established environmental pollutant with a variety of health effects. We measured the mercury content in toenails of 27 individuals in New Hampshire who participated as controls in a health study in 1994-95. The mean total toenail mercury concentration was 0.27 mcg/g (median 0.16; SD 0.27; range 0.04-1.15 mcg/g). The best predictor of toenail mercury levels was the mean combined fish and shellfish consumption measured using four simple questions from a validated food frequency questionnaire. Toenail total mercury content was significantly correlated with the mean average weekly consumption of finfish and shellfish (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.48, P=0.012). Multivariate models confirmed that toenail total mercury concentration was best predicted by total finfish and shellfish consumption.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center