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      The mercury burden of the Czech population: An integrated approach

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          In this paper an integrated approach in assessment of the population exposure from various sources of total mercury (THg) oral intake in the Czech Republic is presented. The information on total mercury levels in diet, drinking water, surface urban soil and body fluids and tissues stem from the Czech national Environmental Health Monitoring System (EHMS) operated since 1994. The THg concentration was determined by the special atomic absorption spectrophotometer AMA 254. The data on THg content in food from the sales network were collected in 12 cities. The estimated average dietary intake representing more than 95% of weight of usual diet composition ranged 1-2% of the JECFA/FAO WHO provisional tolerable weekly intake (PTWI) value for total mercury (5 microg/kg b.w./week). Data on drinking water quality stem from the nationwide monitoring database. The content of THg in drinking water is generally low; only 0.2% of the Czech population supplied with drinking water from the distribution networks (total of 92% of the population) has a mercury intake from drinking water higher than 1% PTWI and not exceeding 5% PTWI. The estimation of potential mercury intake by unintentional consumption of soil in small children was based on THg content in surface soil of a total of 324 nursery schools in 24 cities and towns. Median value was 0.16 mg/kg. Human biomonitoring was performed in 9 Czech cities. In 2007, the mercury median values in blood of adults (N=412) were 0.85 and 0.89 microg/l in males and in females, respectively; urine median value in adults was 1.10 microg/g creatinine. In 2008, the blood median value in children (N=324) amounted to 0.35 microg/l; urine median value is 0.16 microg/g creatinine. In children's hair the median THg value was 0.18 microg/g. The correlation between fish consumption and blood THg levels was observed in both adults and children. Also the biomonitoring outputs did not reveal a substantial burden of the population.

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          International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
          International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health
          Elsevier BV
          July 2010
          July 2010
          : 213
          : 4
          : 243-251
          © 2010




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