- 一般社団法人 日本微量元素学会
- Biomedical Research on Trace Elements (ISSN:0916717X)
- vol.24, no.3, pp.170-175, 2013 (Released:2013-10-29)
This survey aimed to determine the levels of mercury in the scalp hair of residents of Hachinohe City in relation to their fish/seafood consumption to assess the risk of methylmercury exposure among the population. A total of 363 individuals (73 males and 290 females) residing in Hachinohe City (Aomori, Japan) provided scalp hair samples and completed a questionnaire. The geometric mean levels of mercury in the scalp hair were 2.52 and 1.91 μg/g in males and females, respectively, and 1.36 μg/g in females aged 15-49 years (n=80). The percentage of females of this generation with a hair mercury level above 2.2 μg/g (corresponding to the WHO's provisional tolerable weekly intake for methylmercury) was 21%, which was lower than the mean of 25% for residents of 10 regions across Japan. The Hachinohe residents consumed a mean of 108 g/day of fish/seafood (which was higher than the mean of 80.2 g/day for the overall Japanese population), consisting mainly of salmon, squid, mackerel, saury, and Atka mackerel. These results demonstrated that the hair mercury level of the residents of Hachinohe City was not so high as the higher consumption of fish/seafood compared with the national average, indicating that the risk of methylmercury exposure through increased fish/seafood consumption among Hachinohe City residents is not particularly high compared with the national level.