著者
苅田 香苗 北田 真理
出版者
一般社団法人日本衛生学会
雑誌
日本衛生学雑誌 (ISSN:00215082)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.73, no.3, pp.322-329, 2018 (Released:2018-09-29)
参考文献数
21

Although the birthrate greatly declined from the 1960s to the mid-1970s amongst many developed countries, the downturn has steadily been reversed by promoting women’s rights and reviewing family policies in some European countries such as Sweden and France. The current total fertility rate in Sweden or France is approximately around 1.9 children per woman. The favorable state can be partly explained by the active family policies of these countries. The government of Sweden has implemented a wide range of measures including tax allowances, childcare services, and other subsidies, as well as an18 month parental leave to be shared between mothers and fathers. The government of France has expanded childcare and provided incentives by increasing childcare/family benefits with each subsequent child.In Japan, the fertility rate has changed from a downward trend to an upward trend, but only very slightly over the last decade. The legislative systems and enforcement remain totally inadequate to maintain stable a fertility rate. The Japanese government should try to change the social security/labor policies into more active and generous ones, with enhancement of economic support and promotion of work-life balance. Other attempts including removing barriers to encourage the youth to start a family are needed to overcome declining birth rates in Japan.
著者
苅田 香苗 坂本 峰至 吉田 稔 龍田 希 仲井 邦彦 岩井 美幸 岩田 豊人 前田 恵理 柳沼 梢 佐藤 洋 村田 勝敬
出版者
日本衛生学会
雑誌
日本衛生学雑誌 (ISSN:00215082)
巻号頁・発行日
vol.71, no.3, pp.236-251, 2016 (Released:2016-09-30)
参考文献数
136
被引用文献数
8

More than sixty years has passed since the outbreak of Minamata disease, and high-level methylmercury contaminations now seem nonexistent in Japan. However, mercury has been continuously discharged from natural sources and industrial activities, and the health effects on children susceptible to methylmercury exposure at low levels, in addition to mercury contamination from mercury or gold mining areas in developing countries, become a worldwide concern. In this article, we provide a recent overview of epidemiological studies regarding methylmercury and mercury. The following findings were obtained. (1) Many papers on exposure assessment of methylmercury/mercury have been published since the Minamata Convention on Mercury was adopted in 2013. (2) The most crucial problem is child developmental neurotoxicity resulting from prenatal exposure to methylmercury, but its precise assessment seems to be difficult because most of such effects are neither severe nor specific. (3) Several problems raised in birth cohort studies (e.g., whether IQ deficits due to prenatal methylmercury exposure remain when the children become adults, or whether the postnatal exposure at low levels also causes such adverse effects in children) remain unsolved. (4) Concurrent exposure models of methylmercury, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, aresenic, and organochlorine pesticides, as well as possible antagonists such as polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium, should be considered in the study design because the exposure levels of methylmercury are extremely low in developed countries. (5) Further animal experiments and molecular biological studies, in addition to human studies, are required to clarify the mechanism of methylmercury toxicity.