Birth Weight of Mercury Concentrations of Maternal and Umbilical Cord Blood in Pregnant Women

산모혈액 및 태아 제대혈액의 수은 농도에 따른 출생 시 체중에 관한 연구

Kim, Byung-Mi;Kim, Dae-Seon;Lee, Jong-Hwa;Park, Hye-Sook;Kim, Young-Ju;Seo, Ju-Hee;Chang, Moon-Hee;Ha, Eun-Hee

  • Published : 2008.02.28


We evaluated the relationship between birth weight and mercury exposure levels in Seoul, Korea, by following a cohort of pregnant women and the outcomes of their pregnancies between 2001-2005. Eighty-five pregnant women were recruited into this study after obtaining informed consent. Samples were collected at delivery from normal pregnant women who were living in the city of Seoul, Korea. Mercury concentrations in 85 sets of maternal and cord blood samples were measured using a gold-amalgam collection method. We used multiple regression analysis to analyze the effect of mercury exposure on birth weight. The mean levels of total mercury concentrations were 5.41(ppb) in maternal blood of pregnant women and 3.58(ppb) in umbilical cord blood. The mean concentration of umbilical cord blood mercury exposures was higher than the level recommended by WHO. There was a significant correlation between maternal and cord blood mercury concentrations. Mercury concentrations of umbilical cord blood was associated with birth weight. In addition, after adjusting for potential confounding factors, we found that mercury exposure may reduce the birth weight. This study suggests that exposure to mercury concentration during pregnancy contributes to the risk of low birth weight. Therefore, prenatal and environmental education for various and possible sources of mercury exposure might be necessary for the good health of babies. The finding of this study supports the construction of national policy for environmental health management.


mercury;birth weight;pregnant woman


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