Aims: This paper reviews the studies, both in vivo and in vitro, carried out for the project on low-dose effects of inorganic mercury, financed by the Italian Ministry of Universities and Scientific and Technological Research. Results, Comments and Proposal: The results offer both innovative aspects and potential practical applications. Particular attention is drawn to the reliability of biomarkers of exposure [mercury in urine (HgU) and blood (HgB), possibility of speciation] as well as to the availability of guidance values for risk assessment (reference value, action level, biological threshold value). In the general population, HgU and HgB levels are significantly related to the presence of dental amalgams and to fish consumption; nevertheless, such exposure levels do not elicit adverse health effects on renal, immune and nervous functions, according to the markers evaluated in the studies. The present biological threshold values for occupational exposure appear adequate to prevent health effects, considering the immune system, kidney and central nervous system as the target organs. However, possible effects of low doses of mercury on immune and neuroendocrine functions should be further examined; moreover, consideration should be given to the risk of consuming fish species with high Hg content, particularly concerning the renal and central nervous system effects. Finally, further studies should be planned on other potentially important effects, that could not be considered in this study, such as those on prenatal development, the cardiovascular system and the thyroid gland.
|Titolo:||Evaluation of the effects following low doses of inorganic mercury from environmental and occupational exposures|
|Autori interni:||CHIESARA, ENZO (Ultimo)|
|Parole Chiave:||Early effects; Environmental exposure; Low doses; Mercury; Occupational exposure|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore BIO/14 - Farmacologia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2002|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|