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Yeungnam Univ J Med > Volume 28(2); 2011 > Article
Yeungnam University Journal of Medicine 2011;28(2):105-115.
DOI:    Published online December 31, 2011.
Health Effects of Mercury Exposure through Fish.
Joon Sakong
Department of Preventrive Medicine and Public Health, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.
Mercury is atoxic, persistent pollutant that bioaccumulates and biomagnifies through food webs. People are exposed to methylmercury mainly through their diet, especially through the consumption of freshwater and marine fish and of other animals that consumefish (e.g., marinemammals). All humans are exposed to low levels of mercury. Dietary patterns can increase exposure toafish-eating population wherethefish and seafood arecontaminated with mercury. The primary toxicity targets of mercury and mercury compounds are the nervous system, kidneys, and cardiovascular system. It is generally accepted that developing organ systems are most sensitive to the toxic effects of mercury. The fetal-brain mercury levels appear to be significantly higherthan the maternal-blood mercury levels,and the developingcentralnervoussystem of the fetus is currently regarded as the main system of concern as it demonstrates the greatest sensitivity. The subpopulation that may be at greater risk for mercury toxicity are those exposed to higher levels of methylmercury due to carnivorous fish, including sharks.
Key Words: Mercury, Fish, Health effects
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