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International Birth Defects Information Systems

International Birth Defects Information Systems


Topics: | Mercury |

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Studying the effects of Methylmercury
University of Rochester Research Team; Read Before the Senate Subcommittee on Clean Air, Wetlands, Private Property and Nuclear Safety, Committee on Environment and Public Works, October 1, 1998
Visitor Comments [for Professionals mainly]
The Seychelles Child Development Study (SCDS); The SCDS is a collaborative study carried on by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY and the Ministries of Health and Education in the Republic of the Seychelles. Funding has come from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the Food and Drug Administration, and the governments of Seychelles and Sweden. The study has been in progress for over 10 years. The Republic of the Seychelles is an island nation in the Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa ... The Seychelles was chosen partly because they have high levels of fish consumption ... Our studies in Iraq raised the possibility that MeHg exposure from eating fish might adversely affect development, but we do not believe the SCDS has demonstrated an adverse association through the first 5.5 years of life in this population ... Fish is an important source of protein in many countries ... Women in Seychelles eat fish daily and represent a sentinel population with MeHg levels 10 times higher than US women ... The SCDS used the same developmental and psychological tests used in most other developmental studies ...

Industrial Teratogens
Visitor Comments [Support Groups]
Arsenic ... Cadmium ... Lead ... Mercury

Mercury Found in Every Fish Tested, Scientists Say
Cornelia Dean, New York Times, August 20, 2009
Visitor Comments [for Professionals mainly] [for Families]
When government scientists went looking for mercury contamination in fish in 291 streams around the nation, they found it in every fish they tested, the Interior Department said, even in isolated rural waterways. ...

What You Need to Know about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish
Environmental Protection Agency
Visitor Comments [for Families]
... nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of mercury. For most people, the risk from mercury by eating fish and shellfish is not a health concern ... some fish and shellfish contain higher levels ... Frequently Asked Questions about Mercury in Fish and Shellfish ... What is mercury? ... I'm a woman who could have children but I'm not pregnant - so why should I be concerned about methylmercury? ... Is there methylmercury in all fish and shellfish? ... I don't see the fish I eat in the advisory. What should I do? ... What about fish sticks and fast food sandwiches? ... The advice about canned tuna is in the advisory, but what's the advice about tuna steaks? ... What if I eat more than the recommended amount of fish and shellfish in a week? ... Where do I get information about the safety of fish caught recreationally by family or friends? ...

Mercury in Fish Widespread
Associated Press,
Visitor Comments [for Professionals mainly] [for Families]
... The toxic substance was found in every fish sampled, a finding that underscores how widespread mercury pollution has become ... Mercury consumed by eating fish can damage the nervous system and cause learning disabilities in developing fetuses and young children ... highest levels in fish were detected in the remote blackwater streams along the coasts of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana, where bacteria in surrounding forests and wetlands help in the conversion. The second-highest concentration of mercury was detected in largemouth bass from the North Fork of the Edisto River near Fairview Crossroads, S.C. ...

Setting it Straight: Birth Defects
Huggins Applied Healing
... the State of California passed a law in 1992 that required dentists to warn patients that common "silver fillings" were really 50% mercury, and the mercury from those fillings could cause birth defects ...

New data on Infant Mercury Exposure
Institute for Vaccine Safety, June 2000
Two articles and an editorial on thimerosal in vaccines appeared in the May 2000 issue of The Journal of Pediatrics. The new data reaffirm the IVS position that for infants, preference should be given to vaccines that do not contain thimerosal as a preservative ... Stajich and colleagues reported the results of testing premature and term newborns for a blood mercury levels before and after a single dose of hepatitis B vaccination using vaccines that contain thimerosal. Both groups showed significant rises in blood mercury concentrations ... The AAP and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended waiting until infants weighed 2000 grams in 1994. In July 1999 the cut point was changed to 2,500 grams.) Stajich et al noted a mean blood mercury concentration of 7.36 mcg/L 48-72 hours after immunization (range of 1.3 to 23.6 mcg/L). These infants received an average dose of 16.7 mcg/kg of mercury. The smallest infants who receive only all thimerosal-containing vaccines at 6-8 weeks could receive up to 20 mcg/kg on a single day ...

Mercury in Fish: Cause For Concern?
FDA Consumer Magazine, September 1994
large predatory fish ... 6,000 tons of mercury are released annually into the atmosphere naturally by degassing from the Earth's crust ... coal ... Cooking does not appreciably reduce ... concentrations in hair and blood ... 8 parts per billion (ppb) in blood and 2 ppm in hair ... 50 ppm in hair ... The japanese studies did not ... what levels of ... effect the fetus and infant ... 30 percent higher in fetal red blood cells than in those of the mother ... lateness in walking ... a study by the University of Rochester ... Seychelles Islands, off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean ... less than 0.2 ppm .... weekly limit of fish (2.2 pounds) ... 10 times lower than the lowest levels associate with adverse affects. (paresthesia) ... shark; 0.3 - 3.52; 0.84: Tuna (fresh and frozen); ND 0.76; 0.38 ...

Mercury Study Report to Congress: Overview
United States Environmental Protection Agency, August 7, 2007
This Mercury Study is a Report to Congress prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ... Mercury cycles in the environment as a result of natural and human (anthropogenic) activities. The amount of mercury mobilized and released into the biosphere has increased since the beginning of the industrial age. Most of the mercury in the atmosphere is elemental mercury vapor, which circulates in the atmosphere for up to a year, and hence can be widely dispersed and transported thousands of miles from likely sources of emission ... Mercury accumulates most efficiently in the aquatic food web ... Nearly all of the mercury that accumulates in fish tissue is methylmercury ... U.S. emissions ... Roughly 87 percent of these emissions are from combustion sources ... humid locations have higher deposition than arid locations ... Dietary methylmercury is almost completely absorbed into the blood ... it also readily passes through the placenta to the fetus and fetal brain ... Fish consumption dominates the pathway for human and wildlife exposure to methylmercury ... Because the developing fetus may be the most sensitive to the effects from methylmercury, women of child-bearing age are regarded as the population of greatest interest ... 1 and 3 percent of women of child-bearing age eat sufficient amounts of fish to be at risk from methylmercury exposure ... The largest remaining identified source of mercury emissions are coal-fired utility boilers ...

Mercury Information Page
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Mercury (also known as quicksilver) is a silvery white, poisonous, metallic element which is an extremely heavy liquid at room temperature ... Metallic Mercury is highly toxic ... Mercury contamination results from exposure to mercury through air, water, food, soil or direct contact ... Elemental mercury and mercury compounds pose an extreme health hazard, particularly to developing fetuses, young children and frail persons of any age. Organic mercury from eating contaminated fish or grain may cause greater harm ...

Prenatal Methylmercury Exposure and Children: Neurologic, Developmental, and Behavioral Research
Gary J. Myers and Philip W. Davidson; Environmental Health Perspectives 106, Supplement 3, June 1998
MeHg readily crosses the placenta and the blood-brain barrier and is neurotoxic ... No adverse associations have been found in the Seychelles, where exposure is mainly from fish consumption. In the Faroe Islands where exposure is primarily from consumption of whale meat and not fish, adverse associations have been reported.

Prenatal and Postnatal Methylmercury Exposure and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes
Christopher Cox, PhD et al; Vol.282 No.14, October 13, 1999; JAMA
To the Editor: The Seychelles Child Development Study is a longitudinal study of the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposure to methylmercury from fish consumption on children's development.1 A cohort of 740 mother-infant pairs was enrolled at 6 months of age and examined with age-appropriate developmental tests at 6, 19, 29, and 66 months ... No adverse effects have been found through the 66-month evaluations ...

FDA Should Warn Pregnant Women To Prevent Birth Defects From Mercury-Tainted Seafood
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA); For Immediate Release, January 11, 2001
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should warn pregnant women and parents of young children about the risks associated with methylmercury-contaminated fish, urged a broad-based consumer coalition today. In a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna Shalala, the groups stressed that methylmercury-contaminated seafood may be causing neurological problems in as many as 60,000 children born each year, according to a report issued by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) last July ...

Mercury in the Environment
Minnesota Department of Health
Mercury evaporates from rock, soil, and water into the air. Mercury then returns to earth attached to small airborne particles or as a water-soluble form washed out of the air by rain or snow ... 75 percent of newly deposited mercury comes from human activities ... sources ... includes fungicides in latex paints ... burning of coal and other fossil fuels ... Methylmercury builds upto high levels in predatory fish .... Fetuses are especially susceptible to methylmercury ... interferes with the way nerve cells move into position as the brain develops. As a result, the brain does not develop normally ...

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Environmental Protection
Mercury is viewed by many ... as a significant environmental issue ... Pregnant women who eat contaminated fish can pass mercury to their unborn children ... These disturbing findings have led several states, including ours, to issue statewide health advisories warning pregnant women to limit or avoid native freshwater fish in their diets ... The mercury problem in Massachusetts and elsewhere is attributable to industrial releases of the heavy metal ... are the largest source category, emitting slightly more than 6,000 pounds of mercury per year ... The mercury emitted from solid waste combustors and medical waste incinerators comes from ... batteries, fluorescent lamps, thermometers, thermostats and diagnostic reagents ... Combustion of fossil fuels, including oil and coal, generated approximately 3,223 total pounds of mercury emissions in Massachusetts in 1995 ... Women who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant in the near future should heed the warning from DPH and avoid eating freshwater fish taken from Massachusetts lakes, ponds and streams ...

Of the 341 tons of mercury emitted annually into the air in the U.S. because of human activities, most common from four sources: Coal-fired power plants, 117 tons Medical waste incinerators, 64.7 tons Municipal waste incinerators, 63.5 tons Oil-fired industrial boilers, 22.5 tons ... Studies show a dramatic rise in mercury found in water, alligators, fish, and panthers, thus affecting the traditional Seminole communities.

Autism: A Unique Type of Mercury Poisoning (Hypothesis)
Albert Enayati, B.S et al; Copyright (c) 2000 by ARC Research 14 Commerce Drive
A review of medical literature indicates that the characteristics of autism and of mercury poisoning (HgP) are strikingly similar ... For these children, the exposure route is childhood vaccines, most of which contain thimerosal, a preservative which is 49.6% ethylmercury by weight. The amount of mercury a typical child under two years receives from vaccinations equates to 237.5 micrograms, or 3.53 x 1017 molecules (353,000,000,000,000,000 molecules) ... mercury (Hg) is widely considered one of the most toxic substances on earth (Clarkson, 1997). Instances of Hg poisoning or "mercurialism" have been described since Roman times. The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland was a victim of occupational exposure to mercury vapor, referred to as "Mad Hatter's Disease." ... Humans and animals exposed to mercury develop unusual, abnormal, and "inappropriate" behaviors ... "Restlessness" has already been noted ... exhibit agitation, crying for no observable reason, grimacing, and insomnia ... Vaccine injections are a known source of mercury (Plotkin and Orenstein, 1999), and the typical amount of mercury given to infants and toddlers in this manner exceeds government safety limits, according to Neal Halsey of the American Academy of Pediatrics (1999) and William Egan of the Biologics Division of the FDA (1999) ... Since at least 1977 clinicians have recognized thimerosal as being potentially dangerous ... in July 1999, the CDC asked manufacturers to start removing thimerosal from vaccines and rescheduled the Hepatitus B vaccine so it is given at 9 months of age instead of at birth (CDC, July 1999). In November 1999, the CDC repeated its recommendation that vaccine manufacturers move to thimerosal-free products (CDC, November 1999) ... Individual differences in susceptibility to mercury are said to arise from genetic factors ... In the past, hair, urine, or blood tests from autistic subjects have mostly found lead rather than mercury ... Medical literature demonstrates that mercury can induce autism-spectrum traits ...

Lo que usted necesita saber sobre el mercurio en el pescado y los mariscos
Environmental Protection Agency
Visitor Comments [for Families] [Spanish]
Aviso de la EPA y la FDA de 2004 para:
Las mujeres en edad fértil, las mujeres embarazadas,
las madres lactantes y los niños pequeños ... El pescado y los mariscos son una parte importante de una dieta saludable ... Por tanto, las mujeres y los niños pequeños en particular deben incluir el pescado o el marisco en sus dietas debido a sus muchos beneficios nutricionales. ... Sin embargo, casi todos los pescados y mariscos contienen algunos rastros de mercurio ... algunos pescados y mariscos contienen altos niveles de mercurio que pueden perjudicar a un bebé que no haya nacido o puede afectar adversamente el sistema nervioso en vías de desarrollo de un niño pequeño ... tres recomendaciones ... No coma carne de tiburón, pez espada, caballa, o lofolátilo ... Puede comer hasta 12 onzas (dos comidas promedio) a la semana de una variedad de pescado o mariscos que sean bajos en mercurio ... bajos en mercurio son los camarones, el atún enlatado claro, el salmón, el gado y el pez gato ... PREGUNTAS FRECUENTES ...


Last Updated: 2009/8/20


American Medical Association