Inorganic and organic mercury in blood, urine and hair in low level mercury vapour exposure
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Fourteen Japanese females exposed to elemantal mercury vapour of concentration; 0.001–0.019 mg Hg/m3, were examined for inorganic and organic mercury concentrations in red blood cells, plasma, urine, and hair. Examinations were conducted the times; at 0,4 and 8 months of mercury exposure. No significant change of inorganic and organic mercury in urine was observed for three examinations. Both inorganic and organic mercury in plasma, and only organic mercury in red blood cells, increased significantly after commencement of mercury work. The hair organic mercury values stayed constant. The intake of organic mercury was judged as constant from the constancy of hair mercury values, and the change of organic mercury concentrations in plasma and red blood cells must have been elicited from the intake of elemental mercury. The reason why the increase of plasma mercury values did not reflect to urine mercury values was discussed.
Key wordsLow level exposure of mercury vapour Inorganic mercury Organic mercury Mercury in urine Mercury in red blood cells Mercury in plasma Mercury in hair
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