Piscivorous Mammalian Wildlife as Sentinels of Methylmercury Exposure and Neurotoxicity in Humans
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of how piscivorous (fish-eating) wildlife can be used to complement existing public health strategies to assess the neurotoxic risks of methylmercury. A brief introduction concerning the use of wildlife as model sentinel organisms in the field of environmental neurotoxicology is provided. Next, selected scientific examples are detailed that illustrate how data from piscivorous wildlife may provide pertinent, real-world information on the bioavailability of methylmercury and environmental exposures. Information concerning methylmercury’s subclinical (e.g., perturbations in brain neurochemistry and neuroendocrine hormones) and clinical (structural and functional deficits) neurological effects across organisms is also discussed.
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