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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(11), 1107; doi:10.3390/ijerph13111107

Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang 550081, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3
Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008, China
4
Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Laboratoire Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, IRD-CNRS-Université Toulouse, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, Toulouse 31400, France
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: José G. Dórea
Received: 12 August 2016 / Revised: 19 October 2016 / Accepted: 2 November 2016 / Published: 8 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mercury and Health: Current Perspectives and Future Directions)
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Abstract

To evaluate the mercury (Hg) exposure level of children located in a Hg mining area, total Hg concentrations and speciation were determined in hair and urine samples of children in the Wanshan Hg mining area, Guizhou Province, China. Rice samples consumed by these same children were also collected for total mercury (THg) and methyl-mercury (MeHg) analysis. The geometric mean concentrations of THg and MeHg in the hair samples were 1.4 (range 0.50–6.0) μg/g and 1.1 (range 0.35–4.2) μg/g, respectively, while the geometric mean concentration of urine Hg (UHg) was 1.4 (range 0.09–26) μg/g Creatinine (Cr). The average of the probable daily intake (PDI) of MeHg via rice consumption was 0.052 (0.0033–0.39) µg/kg/day, which significantly correlated with the hair MeHg concentrations (r = 0.55, p < 0.01), indicating that ingestion of rice is the main pathway of MeHg exposure for children in this area. Furthermore, 18% (26/141) of the PDIs of MeHg exceeded the USEPA Reference Dose (RfD) of 0.10 µg/kg/day, indicating that children in this area are at a high MeHg exposure level. This paper for the first time evaluates the co-exposure levels of IHg and MeHg of children living in Wanshan mining area, and revealed the difference in exposure patterns between children and adults in this area. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury exposure; Methyl Hg; total Hg; probable daily intake (PDI); children; mercury mining; Wanshan; China mercury exposure; Methyl Hg; total Hg; probable daily intake (PDI); children; mercury mining; Wanshan; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Du, B.; Li, P.; Feng, X.; Qiu, G.; Zhou, J.; Maurice, L. Mercury Exposure in Children of the Wanshan Mercury Mining Area, Guizhou, China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 1107.

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