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Mercury Contamination in Humans in Upper Maroni, French Guiana Between 2004 and 2009


We measured hair mercury concentration in Amerindians between 2004 and 2009 in Upper Maroni, French Guiana. Hair samples were collected from 387 residents (males: 153, females: 234). Average hair mercury concentration was high (males: 9.4 ppm, females: 9.9 ppm). We examined fish consumption by 37 residents. There was a significant correlation between hair mercury concentration and fish consumption. We also measured mercury concentration in polluted fish in upper reaches of the Maroni River. Muscle mercury concentrations were high in the fish. These results indicate that current high hair mercury concentrations in Amerindians remain linked to fish consumption.

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We are grateful to Yukari Tomozoe, Noriko Tanaka, Shigemi Onitsuka, Ayumi Onitsuka, Miki Shirasaka, Ryoko Yamaguchi, Kazumi Ichiura, Ikuko Sonoda and Michiaki Kindaichi for their excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by the National institute for Minamata Disease, Japan.

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Correspondence to Masatake Fujimura.

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Fujimura, M., Matsuyama, A., Harvard, JP. et al. Mercury Contamination in Humans in Upper Maroni, French Guiana Between 2004 and 2009. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 88, 135–139 (2012).

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  • Mercury pollution
  • Human exposure
  • Upper Maroni
  • French Guiana