What are the signs and symptoms of low-level organic mercury exposure?

Updated: Nov 05, 2018
  • Author: David A Olson, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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Low-level organic mercury exposures have been controversial. A study of 129 residents of fishing villages in Brazil reported that higher hair mercury levels were associated in a dose-dependent manner with reduced response inhibition and manual dexterity. [67]

In addition, elevated blood mercury levels were associated with significantly reduced visual recall but improved manual dexterity in 474 elderly people in Baltimore, Md. Other tested domains were unaffected, and because of the disparate results, these researchers concluded that study provided no "compelling evidence" that blood mercury levels influenced the neurobehavioral status of their subjects. [68]

In 240 adults living near an abandoned chlor-alkali factory in Taiwan, those with the higher blood methylmercury levels had significantly worse memory and mental manipulation abilities than did those with lower methylmercury levels. [69]

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