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Med Pr. 2009;60(4):303-14.

[Mercury in hair--an indicator of environmental exposure].

[Article in Polish]

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Instytut Medycyny Pracy im. prof. J. Nofera, Zakład Zagrozeń Chemicznych, Lódź.


Mercury concentration in human hair is used as an indicator of long-term environmental exposure to mercury. Over 90% of mercury in hair occur in the metylmercury form. Exposure to mercury almost entirely results from the consumption of seafood and meat of big sea mammals. This paper presents a review of toxic effects of mercury, biological monitoring of exposure to mercury and biological levels of mercury in hair and blood of people consuming a variety of fish diets. It also describes the methods most often used for preliminary sample preparation and applied to determining mercury hair levels. Validation parameters of the method for the determination of mercury in hair, developed and applied by the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, is also presented.

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