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Biomonitoring of Mercury in Hair among a Group of Eritreans (Africa).


ABSTRACT: Small-scale or artisanal mining, using gold-mercury amalgamation to extract gold from ore, is a significant source of exposure for the workers and nearby populations. Few studies on hair mercury (Hg) have been conducted in Africa despite the fact that Africa has several gold deposits. No studies have been conducted in Eritrea that is one of the emerging gold producing countries in Africa. The aim of the study was to assess the Hg concentration in hair samples (n = 120) of a population living in Asmara, capital of Eritrea, and to evaluate the influence of some factors on the Hg levels in hair. Information on age, height, weight, occupation, smoking and fish consumption of participants were collected via questionnaire. Hair Hg concentration was significantly higher among women compared to men (p < 0.001) and among women preparing spicy products in Medeber market compared to those who did other jobs (p = 0.010). These results highlight the need for routine biomonitoring surveys and for health promotion campaigns devoted to local decision makers and workers.

SUBMITTER: Astolfi ML 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7143335 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.5251/ajsir.2010.1.2.158.163

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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