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Abstract Title: Childhood (0 to 5 years old) mercury exposure in the Atrato River Basin, Colombia
Presenter Name: Pamela Gómez-Corrales
Company/Institution: University of C¢rdoba, Colombia
Session: Human Exposure and Risk Assessment of Hg
Co-Authors: Pamela Gómez-Corrales,Javier Ruiz-Guzmán,Clelia Rosa Calao Ramos,Roberth de Jesus Paternina Uribe,José Marrugo-Negrete

Abstract Information :

Objective: To evaluate the exposure to total mercury (THg) in children from 0 to 5 years old, riverside inhabitants of the Atrato River, and its relationship with the frequency of fish consumption. Methodology: Information on fish consumption was collected, and blood, urine, and/or hair samples were taken from 363 infants between 0.03 and 4.98 years old, inhabitants of the municipalities of Quibd¢, Medio Atrato, Bojay , Vig¡a del Fuerte, Murind¢, Riosucio, and Ungu¡a, for the determination of THg. This sample is part of a probabilistic study under Contract 849-2018 funded by Minciencias-Colombia in response to the court judgment (T622 of 2016 HCC, Colombia). Results: THg concentrations ranged from 0.23 to 68.48 æg/L in blood, 0.28 to 5.26 æg/L in urine, and 0.11 to 21.81 æg/g in hair. In all municipalities, THg concentrations in hair and blood were higher than the reference values-RV (Hair = 1 æg/g and Blood = 5 æg/L), in percentages between 23.4% and 94.6%, and 33.3% and 96.3% for hair and blood, respectively; while all THg concentrations in urine were lower than the RV (7 æg/L). Significant positive correlations were recorded between weekly frequency of fish consumption and THg concentrations in hair (r Spearman = 0.182, p = 0.005) and blood (r Spearman = 0.361, p = 0.001); and a significant difference (p = 0.001, Mann-Whitney U Test), with higher THg concentrations in blood in infants who consume fish (median = 4.47 æg/L, n = 304), compared to those who do not (median = 1.53 æg/L, n = 59). Conclusion: There is a dangerous exposure to Hg in the populations studied, where fish consumption is one of its main sources. Keywords: Children, fish, blood, urine, hair.

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