Human Health Effects of Methylmercury Exposure

  • Sergi Díez
Part of the Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology book series (RECT, volume 198)

1 Introduction

Mercury (Hg) has caused a variety of significant and documented adverse effects on human health and the environment throughout the world. Mercury and the compounds with which it combines are highly toxic, particularly to the developing nervous system. The toxicity mercury imposes on humans and other organisms is dependent on the chemical form, the amount, the pathway of exposure and the vulnerability of the person exposed. Human exposure to mercury may occur via a variety of pathways, including consumption of fish, occupational and household uses, dental amalgams and mercury-containing vaccines.

Mercury has received special attention because it has proven toxic effects on multiple species. In particular, methylmercury (MeHg), the most toxic form of mercury, can cause severe neurological damage to humans and wildlife (Clarkson et al. 2003; Grandjean et al. 1999). The primary means by which humans are exposed to mercury are through contact with dental amalgams (mercury...


Fish Consumption Mercury Level Scalp Hair Inorganic Mercury MeHg Concentration 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sergi Díez
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Chemistry DepartmentIDAEA-CSICJordi GironaSpain
  2. 2.Environmental Geology DepartmentICTJA-CSIC, Lluis Solé i Sabarís, s/nSpain

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