• Title, Summary, Keyword: mercury

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Global Trends in Mercury Management

  • Kim, Dae-Seon;Choi, Kyunghee
    • Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
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    • v.45 no.6
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    • pp.364-373
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    • 2012
  • The United Nations Environmental Program Governing Council has regulated mercury as a global pollutant since 2001 and has been preparing the mercury convention, which will have a strongly binding force through Global Mercury Assessment, Global Mercury Partnership Activities, and establishment of the Open-Ended Working Group on Mercury. The European Union maintains an inclusive strategy on risks and contamination of mercury, and has executed the Mercury Export Ban Act since December in 2010. The US Environmental Protection Agency established the Mercury Action Plan (1998) and the Mercury Roadmap (2006) and has proposed systematic mercury management methods to reduce the health risks posed by mercury exposure. Japan, which experienced Minamata disease, aims vigorously at perfection in mercury management in several ways. In Korea, the Ministry of Environment established the Comprehensive Plan and Countermeasures for Mercury Management to prepare for the mercury convention and to reduce risks of mercury to protect public health.

Human Exposure and Health Effects of Inorganic and Elemental Mercury

  • Park, Jung-Duck;Zheng, Wei
    • Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
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    • v.45 no.6
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    • pp.344-352
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    • 2012
  • Mercury is a toxic and non-essential metal in the human body. Mercury is ubiquitously distributed in the environment, present in natural products, and exists extensively in items encountered in daily life. There are three forms of mercury, i.e., elemental (or metallic) mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. This review examines the toxicity of elemental mercury and inorganic mercury compounds. Inorganic mercury compounds are water soluble with a bioavailability of 7% to 15% after ingestion; they are also irritants and cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Upon entering the body, inorganic mercury compounds are accumulated mainly in the kidneys and produce kidney damage. In contrast, human exposure to elemental mercury is mainly by inhalation, followed by rapid absorption and distribution in all major organs. Elemental mercury from ingestion is poorly absorbed with a bioavailability of less than 0.01%. The primary target organs of elemental mercury are the brain and kidney. Elemental mercury is lipid soluble and can cross the blood-brain barrier, while inorganic mercury compounds are not lipid soluble, rendering them unable to cross the blood-brain barrier. Elemental mercury may also enter the brain from the nasal cavity through the olfactory pathway. The blood mercury is a useful biomarker after short-term and high-level exposure, whereas the urine mercury is the ideal biomarker for long-term exposure to both elemental and inorganic mercury, and also as a good indicator of body burden. This review discusses the common sources of mercury exposure, skin lightening products containing mercury and mercury release from dental amalgam filling, two issues that happen in daily life, bear significant public health importance, and yet undergo extensive debate on their safety.

Postoperative Systemic Dissemination of Injected Elemental Mercury

  • Kang, Suk-Hyung;Park, Seung-Won;Moon, Kyung-Yoon
    • Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society
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    • v.49 no.4
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    • pp.245-247
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    • 2011
  • There were only a few reports of mercury on pulmonary artery. However, there is no data on surgery related mercury dissemination. The objective of the present article is to describe one case of postoperative injected mercury dissemination. A 19-year-old man presented severe neck pain including meningeal irritation sign and abdominal pain after injection of mercury for the purpose of suicide. Radiologic study showed injected mercury in the neck involving high cervical epidural space and subcutaneous layer of abdomen. Partial hemilaminectomy and open mercury evacuation of spinal canal was performed. For the removal of abdominal subcutaneous mercury, C-arm guided needle aspiration was done. After surgery, radiologic study showed disseminated mercury in the lung, heart, skull base and low spinal canal. Neck pain and abdominal pain were improved after surgery. During 1 month after surgery, there was no symptom of mercury intoxication except increased mercury concentration of urine, blood and hair. We assumed the bone work during surgery might have caused mercury dissemination. Therefore, we recommend minimal invasive surgical technique for removal of injected mercury. If open exposures are needed, cautious surgical technique to prohibit mercury dissemination is necessary and normal barrier should be protected to prevent the migration of mercury.

Impact of Sodium Copper Chlorophyllin on Mercury Absorption Using an in Vitro Digestion with Human Intestinal Cell Model

  • Hwang, Han-Joon;Shim, Soon-Mi
    • Food Science and Biotechnology
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    • v.17 no.3
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    • pp.564-568
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    • 2008
  • The effects of sodium copper chlorophyllin (SCC) on bioaccessibility and uptake of mercury from fish were investigated using an in vitro digestion coupled with a Caco-2 cell. Fish along with SCC was subjected to a simulated in vitro digestion, which simulates both the gastric and small intestinal phase in vivo. Mercury bioaccessibility, the amount of mercury released from fish to aqueous phase following a digestion, was measured. Various amounts of SCC (0.1-25 mg) significantly reduced mercury bioaccessibility in a dose dependent manner by 49-89% compared to the negative control (fish without SCC) (p<0.05). Mercury bioaccessibility in varying molar ratios of mercury to positive control, 2,3-dimercapto-1-propane sulfonate (DMPS) was between 24 and 52%. Mercury uptake by Caco-2 cells from test media containing aqueous phase following in vitro digestion was measured after 6 hr incubation at $37^{\circ}C$. Cellular mercury uptake with increasing amount of SCC ranged from 0.352 to $0.052\;{\mu}g$ mercury/mg protein, while those in DMPS treatment were between 0.14 and $0.27\;{\mu}g$ mercury/mg protein. Our study suggests that SCC can reduce mercury absorption following fish consumption and may be efficient as a synthetic chelating agent for long term chronic mercury exposure in fish eating populations.

The Study on the Relationships Between Inhalation Volume and Exposure Duration and Biological Indices of Mercury among Workers Exposed to Mercury (수은 폭로 근로자들의 생물학적 폭로지표와 호흡량 및 폭로 기간과의 상관성에 관한 연구)

  • Park, Hye-Kyung;Park, Jong-Tae;Lee, Eun-Il;Yum, Yong-Tae
    • Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
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    • v.27 no.3
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    • pp.597-608
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    • 1994
  • This study was conducted to evaluate the relationships between the environmental exposure and biological monitoring among workers exposed to metallic mercury We interviewed each workers to get the medical history including previous hazardous occupational history. We measured the respiration rate and tidal volume of each worker in order to calculate the 8-hour inhaled mercury of workers. And we wafted to evaluate the effect of exposure duration to mercury concentrations in blood and urine as biologic exposure indices of metallic mercury. The regression and correlation analysis were done to the relationships of 8-hour inhaled mercury and mercury in blood and urine. The results were as follows; 1. The subjects were 35 fluorescent lamp manufacturing workers. The mean age of subjects was .24.8 years old, and the mean work careers of workers was 1.19 years. 89% of the total was consisted man. 2. The correlation coefficients between 8-hour inhaled mercury and mercury in blood and urine were higher than that of only considered air mercury concentration. 3. The correlation coefficients of 8-hour inhaled mercury and mercury in blood and urine were above 0.9 in workers who had exposed to mercury more than 1 year 4. The R-square value and -value of regression analysis between the 8-hour inhaled mercury and mercury in blood and urine was also higher in workers who had exposed to mercury over 1 year than in workers who had less than 1 year working experience. The important results of this study were that relationships between the 8hr-inhaled mercury and mercury in blood and urine was very high than that with air mercury concentration only. And the results were very apparent when considering workers 1 year or more. Therefore we concluded that the work career and respiratory volume of each individuals should be considered in evaluation the, results of biological monitoring of workers exposed to metallic mercury.

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Health Effects of Mercury Exposure through Fish (어패류를 통한 수은 노출과 건강영향)

  • SaKong, Joon
    • Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine
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    • v.28 no.2
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    • pp.105-115
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    • 2011
  • Mercury is a toxic, persistent pollutant that bioaccumulates and biomagnifies through food webs. People are exposed to methyhnercruy mainly through their diet, especially through the consumption of freshwater and marine fish and of other animals that consume fish (e.g., marine mammals). All humans are exposed to low levels of mercury. Dietary patterns can increase exposure to a fish-eating population where the fish and seafood are contaminated with mercury. The primary toxicity targets of mercury and mercury compounds are the nervous system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. It is generally accepted that developing organ systems are most sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. The fetal-brain mercury levels appear to be significantly higher than the maternal-blood mercury levels, and the developing central nervous system of the fetus is currently regarded as the main system of concern as it demonstrates the greatest sensitivity. The subpopulation that may be at greater risk for mercury toxicity are those exposed to higher levels of methylmercury due to carnivorous fish, including sharks.

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Dental Hygienists' Knowledge on Dental Amalgam Mercury and Its Treatment Practice (치과위생사의 치과용 아말감 수은에 대한 지식 및 행위)

  • Shin, Kyoung-Hee;Yang, Ji-Yeon;Kwon, Ho-Keun;Shin, Dong-Chun
    • Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology
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    • v.22 no.3
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    • pp.247-254
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    • 2007
  • This study was performed with the questionnaire survey on mercury knowledge and mercury exposure avoidance behavior, which was conducted among 1076 dental personnel in September, 2004. As for the factors effecting the mercury knowledge, it seems that they are closely related with the personnel's educational backgrounds, and their understandings of causing environmental hazardousness in the dental offices. And also, the factors effecting the behavior of mercury exposure avoidance are strongly connected with the knowledge points on mercury, the knowledge of air states in the dental clinic offices, the use of pincettes and gloves in squeezing, and rubber dam and gloves in mulling, the experience of environmental education on mercury, etc. In the survey, the higher points in mercury knowledge is closely related with the higher points in the behavior of mercury exposure avoidance. Nevertheless, the very fact that the lower points in the behavior among personnel takes on the aspect of the relatively higher points in knowledge on mercury may be understood that the generally acquired knowledge on mercury cannot be the critical factor of the behavior of mercury exposure avoidance.

A Study on Mercury Exposure Levels among Schoolchildren and Related Factors in High Mercury Exposure Areas in Korea (수은 고노출 지역 초등학생의 수은노출수준과 노출요인 연구)

  • Kim, Dae Seon;Kwon, Young Min;Chung, Hee-Ung;Nam, Sang Hoon;Yu, Seung Do
    • Journal of Environmental Health Sciences
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    • v.41 no.4
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    • pp.231-240
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    • 2015
  • Objectives: Blood mercury levels among adults living in certain areas of the Gyeongsang Provinces have been shown to be very high (Kunwee County $29.6{\mu}g/L$, Yeongcheon-city $26.7{\mu}g/L$). The purpose of this project was to determine mercury exposure levels in schoolchildren and factors related with their mercury levels in high mercury exposure areas identifyed by the 2007 Korea National Environmental Health Survey. Methods: From June to September 2010, 1,097 students from grades 3 to 6 at 19 elementary schools participated in this study, including 294 students from 10 elementary schools in Kunwee County, 529 students from Yeongcheon City, 122 students from two elementary schools in Pohang City, North Gyeongsang Province, and 152 students from two elementary schools in Ulsan Metropolitan City. Biological samples from schoolchildren, including whole blood, urine and hair, were collected to measure total mercury at the time of a health check up. Information about children was collected by questionnaire. Total mercury concentrations in blood were measured using the Direct Mercury Analyzer 80 with the gold-amalgam collection method. Results: The mean mercury levels were $2.70{\mu}g/L$ in 1,091 blood samples, $2.25{\mu}g/g-creat.$ in 820 urine samples and $1.03{\mu}g/g$ in 1,064 hair samples. Blood mercury levels in the schoolchildren was slightly higher than the result of $2.4{\mu}g/L$ from a 2006 survey of elementary school children on exposure and health effects of mercury by the National Institute of Environmental Research. However, 0.3% and 4.5% of participants exceeded the reference level of blood mercury by CHBMII ($15{\mu}g/L$) and the US EPA ($5.8{\mu}g/L$), respectively. The reference level of urine by CHBMII ($20{\mu}g/L$) was exceeded by 0.4% of participants. As factors, residence period in the study areas, residence type, father's education level and income all showed significant associations with mercury level in the biological samples. The number of dental amalgam sides showed an association with urine mercury. Fish intake preference and fish intake frequency were important factors in mercury levels. In particular, intake of shark meat and recent intake of shark meat were associated with higher mercury levels. In this regard, participation in the performance of an ancestral rite showed a relation with higher mercury levels. Conclusion: The intake of shark meat was very important factor to high mercury exposure level. It is recommended to monitor and manage students with high mercury exposures who exceeded CHBM II and EPA guidelines, and include blood mercury testing in the Children's Health check up for this province.

Environmental Working Status of Mercury using Industries in Korea (수은 취급사업장 작업환경 실태에 관한 조사연구)

  • Chung, Mu Soo;Hwang, Kyu Yoon;Ahn, Kyu Dong;Lee, Byung Kook
    • Journal of Korean Society of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
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    • v.1 no.2
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    • pp.128-135
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    • 1991
  • To obtain the basic information of environmental working status in mercury industries in Korea, 26 mercury industries were investigated with mercury concentration in air and various factors affecting on workplace environment. The results were as follows : 1. The mean air concentration of mercury was $0.046{\pm}0.035mg/m^3$ in 26 mercury industries. 2. The highest mean air concentration of mercury among 26 mercury industries classified by type of product was found in sodium hydroxide manufacturing industries ($0.054{\pm}0.020mg/m^3$) and the lowest mean was found in mercury battery manufacturing industries ($0.003{\pm}0.002mg/m^3$). 3. While the highest' mean air concentration of mercury was found in manual method ($0.061{\pm}0.041mg/m^3$) among the types of operation method, lowest one was found in automatic method ($0.035{\pm}0.025mg/m^3$). 4. While the mean air concentration of mercury was $0.023{\pm}0.018mg/m^3$ in good clean status of workshop, the mean air concentration of mercury in bad clean status was $0.06{\pm}0.033mg/m^3$. Among various factors affecting on th e air concentration of mercury, clean Iiness of workshop showed statistically significant difference with air concentration of mercury, and automation of workshop and local exhaust ventitlation also played important role in control the air concentration of mercury in the working environment.

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A Study on Mercury Emission Factor for Environmental Impact Assessment of Municipal Waste Incinerator (소각장 환경영향평가시 수은 배출 계수에 관한 연구)

  • Chun, Mee-Kyung;Park, Seok-Soon
    • Journal of Environmental Impact Assessment
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    • v.7 no.2
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    • pp.113-125
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    • 1998
  • The amount of mercury emitted from an incinerator depends on the properties of waste, combustion condition, and control devices. Mercury concentration in air proportionates to the increase of incinerator installation. The purpose of this study is to provide a method for determination of mercury emission factor which can predict the amount of mercury emitted from each incinerator specifically. Case study was performed for N municipal waste incinerator. Based on the method presented in this paper, we obtained mercury emission factor as 1.85~1.95 g Hg/t at N Municipal Waste Incinerator and this result was regarded as reasonable when compared with existing mercury emission factor in reference cases. Fluorescent lamps turned out to be the most important source(44.4%) of mercury in municipal waste and its amount will tend to increase, while batteries become less significant. In addition, medical waste is one of the major source of mercury.

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