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Abstract Title: Blood mercury levels in women of childbearing age in a population of the Atrato river basin, Colombia
Presenter Name: Dixon Erazo Carre¤o
Company/Institution: Faculty of Basic Sciences, Universidad de C¢rdoba, Carrera 6 No. 76-103, Monter¡a, C¢rdoba, Colombia
Session: Human Exposure and Risk Assessment of Hg
Co-Authors: Dixon Erazo Carre¤o,Clelia Rosa Calao Ramos,Roberth de Jesus Paternina Uribe,J‚sus Marrugo-Negrete

Abstract Information :

Introduction. Mercury (Hg) is a toxic element that has generated worldwide concern due to its effects on the environment and human health. In many countries, Hg is still used in gold mining processes during the amalgamation process to obtain or extract gold. In order to protect human life and the environment, the Minamata Convention seeks to reduce and monitor mercury concentrations in the environment. One of the areas in Colombia with a high level of mercury contamination from artisanal and small-scale mining activities is the Atrato River basin, which is home to large mining settlements that have played an important role in gold extraction. Objective. This study evaluated blood mercury concentrations in women of childbearing age from 18 to 38 years in the Medio Atrato municipality (Choc¢ Department, Colombia). Materials and methods. 40 whole blood samples were collected from the exposed population of the Medio Atrato municipality, and blood mercury concentrations were measured using the EPA method 7473. Results. Blood mercury concentrations with an average of 12.4ñ10.7?g/L with a maximum value of 43.3 ?g/L were obtained, exceeding in many cases the permissible limit (5 ?g/L) established by the World Health Organization (WHO, 2008). The concentrations were related to the frequency of contaminated fish consumption with Hg. Conclusion. Women of childbearing age with high contaminated fish consumption are at risk of affecting their health since this metal is a potent toxic for humans and can affect the central nervous system; in the case of pregnant women, it affects the developing fetus months after the mother's exposure. Funding: grant 849-2018, University of Cordoba-Minsciences.

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