Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 156, Issue 1–3, pp 29–35 | Cite as

Mercury in Scalp Hair Near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) in Relation to High Fish Consumption

  • H. C. Vieira
  • F. Morgado
  • A. M. V. M. Soares
  • S. N. Abreu
Article

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential risk of mercury contamination near the Mid-Atlantic Ridge relating total mercury (THg) concentrations in the human scalp hair (n = 110) and high fish consumption levels. THg was quantified in human scalp hair, and volunteers were questioned about age, gender, and smoking habits being subsequently grouped in categories based on the individual average intake of fish meals per week. THg concentrations ([THg]) in hair samples ranged from 0.05 to 2.24 μg g−1, and significant differences were found according to age (p < 0.05) and also among volunteers presenting different fish consumption rates (p < 0.001) being the highest [THg] observed on the adult population and also on volunteers that indicated consuming five or more meals of fish per week. Results indicate a pattern of increased mercury accumulation with increasing fish consumption. Despite mercury availability and a potential mercury intake of up to seven times, the WHO provisional tolerable weekly intake of mercury value, in consequence of high fish consumption, mercury concentrations in scalp hair are comparatively low regarding recommended levels by WHO.

Keywords

Azores High fish consumption Mercury bioaccumulation Mid-Atlantic Ridge Scalp hair 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Sizenando Abreu received an individual postdoctoral grant ref. BPD/UI88/2911/2013 within the “Projeto CENTRO–07/ST24/002033 MARES—Sustainable Use of Marine Resources,” co-financed by QREN, Mais Centro-Programa Operacional Regional do Centro e União Europeia/Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional.

References

  1. 1.
    Agah H, Leermakers M, Elskens M, Fatemi S, Baeyens W (2007) Total mercury and methyl mercury concentrations in fish from the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Water Air Soil Pollut 181(1):95–105. doi: 10.1007/s11270-006-9281-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Al-Majed NB, Preston MR (2000) Factors influencing the total mercury and methyl mercury in the hair of the fishermen of Kuwait. Environ Pollut 109(2):239–250. doi: 10.1016/s0269-7491(99)00261-4 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Palma C, Lillebo AI, Valenca M, Pereira E, Abreu MP, Duarte AC (2009) Mercury in sediments of the Azores deep sea platform and on sea mounts south of the archipelago—assessment of background concentrations. Mar Pollut Bull 58(10):1583–1587. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.07.012 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Renzoni A, Zino F, Franchi E (1998) Mercury levels along the food chain and risk for exposed populations. Environ Res 77(2):68–72. doi: 10.1006/enrs.1998.3832 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Afonso C, Lourenço HM, Dias A, Nunes ML, Castro M (2007) Contaminant metals in black scabbard fish (Aphanopus carbo) caught off Madeira and the Azores. Food Chem 101(1):120–125. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.01.030 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Magalhães MC, Costa V, Menezes GM, Pinho MR, Santos RS, Monteiro LR (2007) Intra- and inter-specific variability in total and methylmercury bioaccumulation by eight marine fish species from the Azores. Mar Pollut Bull 54(10):1654–1662. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2007.07.006 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Harmelin-Vivien M, Cossa D, Crochet S, Bănaru D, Letourneur Y, Mellon-Duval C (2009) Difference of mercury bioaccumulation in red mullets from the north-western Mediterranean and Black seas. Mar Pollut Bull 58(5):679–685. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2009.01.004 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Holsbeek L, Das HK, Joiris CR (1996) Mercury in human hair and relation to fish consumption in Bangladesh. Sci Total Environ 186(3):181–188. doi: 10.1016/0048-9697(96)05110-8 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fang T, Aronson K, Campbell L (2012) Freshwater fish—consumption relations with total hair mercury and selenium among women in Eastern China. Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 62(2):323–332. doi: 10.1007/s00244-011-9689-4 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Dover CL (1995) Ecology of Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vents. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 87(1):257–294. doi: 10.1144/gsl.sp.1995.087.01.21 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Desbruyères D, Biscoito M, Caprais JC, Colaço A, Comtet T, Crassous P, Fouquet Y, Khripounoff A, Le Bris N, Olu K, Riso R, Sarradin PM, Segonzac M, Vangriesheim A (2001) Variations in deep-sea hydrothermal vent communities on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge near the Azores plateau. Deep-Sea Res 48(5):1325–1346. doi: 10.1016/S0967-0637(00)00083-2 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kádár E, Costa V, Martins I, Santos R, Powell J (2005) Enrichment in trace metals (Al, Mn, Co, Cu, Mo, Cd, Fe, Zn, Pb and Hg) of macro-invertebrate habitats at hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Hydrobiologia 548(1):191–205. doi: 10.1007/s10750-005-4758-1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rousse N, Boulegue J, Cosson RP, Fiala-Medioni A (1998) Bioaccumulation of metals within the hydrothermal mytilidae Bathymodiolus sp. from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Oceanol Acta 21(4):597–607. doi: 10.1016/s0399-1784(98)80042-x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kádár E, Santos RS, Powell JJ (2006) Biological factors influencing tissue compartmentalization of trace metals in the deep-sea hydrothermal vent bivalve Bathymodiolus azoricus at geochemically distinct vent sites of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Environ Res 101(2):221–229. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2005.08.010 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Carr RA, Jones MM, Russ ER (1974) Anomalous mercury in near-bottom water of a Mid-Atlantic Rift valley. Nature 251(5475):489–490CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Martins I, Costa V, Porteiro FM, Colaço A, Santos RS (2006) Mercury concentrations in fish species caught at Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal vent fields. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 320:253–258. doi: 10.3354/meps320253 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Charlou JL, Donval JP, Douville E, Jean-Baptiste P, Radford-Knoery J, Fouquet Y, Dapoigny A, Stievenard M (2000) Compared geochemical signatures and the evolution of Menez Gwen (37°50′N) and Lucky Strike (37°17′N) hydrothermal fluids, south of the Azores Triple Junction on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Chem Geol 171(1–2):49–75. doi: 10.1016/S0009-2541(00)00244-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Groisillier A, Guillou L, Massana R, Valentin K, Vaulot D (2006) Genetic diversity and habitats of two enigmatic marine alveolate lineages. Aquat Microb Ecol 42:277–291CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Douville E, Charlou JL, Oelkers EH, Bienvenu P, Jove Colon CF, Donval JP, Fouquet Y, Prieur D, Appriou P (2002) The rainbow vent fluids (36°14′N, MAR): the influence of ultramafic rocks and phase separation on trace metal content in Mid-Atlantic Ridge hydrothermal fluids. Chem Geol 184(1–2):37–48. doi: 10.1016/S0009-2541(01)00351-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Southward AJ (1998) New observations on barnacles (Crustacea: Cirripedia) of the Azores region. Arquipélago Life Mar Sci 16A:11–27Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dolbec J, Mergler D, Larribe F, Roulet M, Lebel J, Lucotte M (2001) Sequential analysis of hair mercury levels in relation to fish diet of an Amazonian population, Brazil. Sci Total Environ 271(1–3):87–97. doi: 10.1016/s0048-9697(00)00835-4 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Cizdziel JV, Gerstenberger S (2004) Determination of total mercury in human hair and animal fur by combustion atomic absorption spectrometry. Talanta 64(4):918–921. doi: 10.1016/j.talanta.2004.04.013 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    USEPA (1997) Mercury Study Report to Congress Volume IV. An Assessment of Exposure to Mercury in the United States. EPA-452/R-97-006. Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards and Office of Research and Development, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    WHO (1990) Environmental health criteria 101—Methylmercury. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Branco V, Vale C, Canário J, Santos MN (2007) Mercury and selenium in blue shark (Prionace glauca, L. 1758) and swordfish (Xiphias gladius, L. 1758) from two areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Environ Pollut 150(3):373–380. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.01.040 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    EU (2005) Regulation (EC) No. 78/2005. JO L16, 19.01.05 (pp. 43–45).Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    EU (2001) Regulation (EC) No 466/2001. JO L77, 16.03.01 (pp. 01–13).Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Cortes Toro E, De Goeij J, Bacso J, Cheng Y-D, Kinova L, Matsubara J, Niese S, Sato T, Wesenberg G, Muramatsu Y, Parr R (1993) The significance of hair mineral analysis as a means for assessing internal body burdens of environmental pollutants: Results from an IAEA Co-ordinated Research Programme. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 167(2):413–421. doi: 10.1007/bf02037199 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Costley CT, Mossop KF, Dean JR, Garden LM, Marshall J, Carroll J (2000) Determination of mercury in environmental and biological samples using pyrolysis atomic absorption spectrometry with gold amalgamation. Anal Chim Acta 405(1–2):179–183. doi: 10.1016/S0003-2670(99)00742-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Kosatsky T, Przybysz R, Armstrong B (2000) Mercury exposure in Montrealers who eat St. Lawrence River Sportfish. Environ Res 84(1):36–43. doi: 10.1006/enrs.2000.4073 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Akira Y, Miyuki M, Masako Y, Noriyuki H (2004) Current hair mercury levels in Japanese for estimation of methylmercury exposure. J Health Sci 50(2):120–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nakagawa R (1995) Concentration of mercury in hair of diseased people in Japan. Chemosphere 30(1):135–140. doi: 10.1016/0045-6535(94)00383-6 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kim N-Y, Ahn S-J, Ryu D-Y, Choi B-S, Kim H, Yu I-J, Park J-D (2012) Effect of lifestyles on the blood mercury level in Korean adults. Hum Exp Toxicol. doi: 10.1177/0960327112467041 Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    McKelvey W, Gwynn RC, Jeffery N, Kass D, Thorpe LE, Garg RK, Palmer CD, Parsons PJ (2007) A biomonitoring study of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the blood of New York City adults. Environ Health Perspect 115(10):1435PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Agusa T, Kunito T, Iwata H, Monirith I, Tana TS, Subramanian A, Tanabe S (2005) Mercury contamination in human hair and fish from Cambodia: levels, specific accumulation and risk assessment. Environ Pollut 134(1):79–86. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2004.07.015 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Hajeb P, Selamat J, Ismail A, Bakar F, Bakar J, Lioe H (2008) Hair mercury level of coastal communities in Malaysia: a linkage with fish consumption. Eur Food Res Technol 227(5):1349–1355. doi: 10.1007/s00217-008-0851-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Díez S, Montuori P, Pagano A, Sarnacchiaro P, Bayona JM, Triassi M (2008) Hair mercury levels in an urban population from southern Italy: fish consumption as a determinant of exposure. Environ Int 34(2):162–167. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2007.07.015 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Olivero J, Johnson B, Arguello E (2002) Human exposure to mercury in San Jorge river basin, Colombia (South America). Sci Total Environ 289(1–3):41–47. doi: 10.1016/s0048-9697(01)01018-x PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Kowalski R, Wierciński J (2007) Determination of Total Mercury Concentration in Hair of Lubartów-Area Citizens (Lublin Region, Poland). Pol J Environ Stud 5:59.55Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Shao D, Kang Y, Cheng Z, Wang H, Huang M, Wu S, Chen K, Wong MH (2013) Hair mercury levels and food consumption in residents from the Pearl River Delta: South China. Food Chem 136(2):682–688. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2012.08.059 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Salehi Z, Esmaili-Sari A (2010) Hair mercury levels in pregnant women in Mahshahr, Iran: fish consumption as a determinant of exposure. Sci Total Environ 408(20):4848–4854. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.06.027 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. Vieira
    • 1
  • F. Morgado
    • 2
  • A. M. V. M. Soares
    • 2
  • S. N. Abreu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Biology & CESAMUniversity of AveiroAveiroPortugal

Personalised recommendations