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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 692; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070692

Assessing a New Method for Measuring Fetal Exposure to Mercury: Newborn Bloodspots

1
Environmental Tracking and Biomonitoring Program, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN 55164, USA
2
Public Health Laboratory, Minnesota Department of Health, St. Paul, MN 55164, USA
3
Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55454, USA
4
Department of Preventive Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Katherine P. Theall and Carolyn C. Johnson
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 4 July 2016 / Published: 9 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Influences on Maternal and Child Health)
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Abstract

Background: Measuring mercury in newborn bloodspots to determine fetal exposures is a novel methodology with many advantages. Questions remain, however, about its reliability as an estimate of newborn exposure to mercury. Methods: We studied mercury concentrations in paired bloodspots and cord blood from a convenience sample of 48 Minnesota women and infants. Results: The limit of detection for bloodspots was higher than for cord blood (0.7 and 0.3 μg/L in bloodspots and cord blood, respectively) with the result that mercury was detected in only 38% of newborn bloodspots compared to 62% of cord blood samples. The geometric mean mercury concentration in cord blood was 0.6 μg/L. Mercury concentrations were almost uniformly lower in bloodspots than in cord blood (mean ratio (±SD) = 0.85 ± 0.4), their mean value was significantly less than that for the cord blood (p = 0.02), and the two methods were highly correlated (r = 0.82). Conclusion: These preliminary findings indicate that newborn bloodspot mercury measurements have utility; however, until bloodspot analyses are more sensitive, they are likely to underestimate in utero exposure. View Full-Text
Keywords: mercury; biomonitoring; newborn bloodspots; cord blood; fetal exposure mercury; biomonitoring; newborn bloodspots; cord blood; fetal exposure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nelson, J.W.; Edhlund, B.L.; Johnson, J.; Rosebush, C.E.; Holmquist, Z.S.; Swan, S.H.; Nguyen, R.H.N. Assessing a New Method for Measuring Fetal Exposure to Mercury: Newborn Bloodspots. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 692.

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