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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1976 Oct 1;126(3):390-409.

Mercury toxicity in the pregnant woman, fetus, and newborn infant. A review.


This paper reviews the reported cases of mercury poisoning in pregnancy and the data based on sources of contamination, maternal uptake, and distribution. It analyzes current knowledge of placental transfer of various mercury compounds, fetal uptake, and distribution. It identifies the embryopathic and fetal toxic effects of mercury in general while emphasizing the greater toxicity of methylmercury compounds. Since maternal exposure to methylmercury is primarily through fish consumption, it recommends that women of childbearing age should not consume more than 350 Gm. of fish per week. In addition, they should not be occupationally exposed to air concentrations of mercury vapor greater than 0.01 mg. per cubic meter, of inorganic and phenylmercuric compounds greater than 0.02 mg. per cubic meter, or any detectable concentration of methylmercury.

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