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Toxicology. 1976 Aug-Sep;6(2):155-9.

Normal and lethal mercury levels in human beings.


Ethyl mercury in the form of Granosan M was used as a fungicide in dressing grains in Iraq. Disregarding warnings and precautions by the authorities, some villagers used this grain in making their bread. Tissue specimens of poisoned people were analysed for total mercury contents using the flameless atomic absorption spectroscopic technique. The analytical method used is highly sensitive (1 ppb/1% absorbance), and the precision in terms of relative standard deviation (RSD) was about 1.5%. The ranges of mercury content in ppm units in the two cases of poisoning were 8-9 for the kidneys, 6-7 for livers, 3-5 for the cerebella, and about 15 for the blood. The analyses included some other tissues as well. Control values were also present. These were obtained from human beings who died by accident and showed no signs of mercury poisoning.

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