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Mercury and compounds - 299 entries found

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  • Mercury and compounds


CIS 12-0226 Tomicic C., Vernez D., Belem T., Berode M.
Human mercury exposure associated with small-scale gold mining in Burkina Faso
In Burkina Faso, gold ore is one of the main sources of income for an important part of the active population. Artisan gold miners use mercury in the extraction, a toxic metal whose human health risks are well known. The aim of this study was to assess mercury exposure as well as to understand the exposure determinants of gold miners in small-scale mines. The study population was composed of 93 persons who were directly and indirectly related to gold mining activities on eight sites. Work-related exposures were evaluated based on the specific tasks carried out. Urinary samples were collected and participants were examined by a local medical team for possible symptoms related to the toxic effects of mercury. Mercury levels were high, with 69% of the measurements exceeding the ACGIH biological exposure index of 35 ¿g per g of creatinine (¿g/g-Cr) (prior to shift) while 16% even exceeded 350 ¿g/g-Cr. Various symptoms related to mercury toxicity were observed. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, June 2011, Vol.84, No.5, p.539-546. Illus. 23 ref.
Human_mercury_exposure_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]

CIS 11-0228 Svendsen K., Hilt B.
The agreement between workers and within workers in regard to occupational exposure to mercury in dental practice assessed from a questionnaire and an interview
The correct assessment and classification of exposure is essential in epidemiology. The validity of exposure data obtained by the use of questionnaires is, however, seldom evaluated. This study on the possible health effects from mercury exposure in dental practice compared answers on exposure from a job-specific questionnaire with answers to the same questions given at an interview 6 to 18 months later. The concordance between workers was examined by comparing answers to the questionnaire given by persons working in the same clinics during the same time spans and the agreement within workers by comparing answers to the same questions from a questionnaire and from an interview. Other aims were to see if there was a difference in the answers to the questionnaire across job titles and to study the impact of missing information on the response rate in a detailed questionnaire. There was a marked difference between the pairs of employees working in the same clinic regarding the start and termination years for the different preparation methods, and this was partly independent of their occupation. The results of this study indicate that a mailed questionnaire will cause misclassification of exposure. The observed occurrence of false positive exposure classifications from the questionnaire compared to the interview was higher than for false negative. This is important and may result in serious bias if the prevalence of exposure is low. Due to missing information, detailed questionnaires may also be inefficient if the goal is to construct exposure measures from combinations of several answers in the questionnaire.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 2011, No.6:8, 8p. 12 ref.
The_agreement.pdf [in English]

CIS 10-0854 Svendsen K., Hilt B.
The agreement between workers and within workers in regard to occupational exposure to mercury in dental practice assessed from a questionnaire and an interview
In epidemiological studies, the validity of exposure data obtained from questionnaires is seldom evaluated. When conducting a study on the possible health effects from mercury exposure in dental practice, this study compared answers on exposure from a job-specific questionnaire with answers to the same questions given at an interview 6 to 18 months later. The concordance between workers was evaluated by comparing answers to the questionnaire given by persons working in the same clinics during the same time spans and the agreement within workers by comparing answers to the same questions from a questionnaire and from an interview. Other aims were to see if there was a difference in the answers to the questionnaire across job titles and to study the impact of missing information on the response rate in a detailed questionnaire. The results of this study indicate that a mailed questionnaire will cause misclassification of exposure. The observed occurrence of false positive exposure classifications from the questionnaire compared to the interview was higher than for false negative. This is important and may result in serious bias if the prevalence of exposure is low. Due to missing information, detailed questionnaires may also be inefficient if the goal is to construct exposure measures from combinations of several answers in the questionnaire.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Mar. 2011, 22p. 12 ref.
The_agreement_between_workers.pdf [in English]


CIS 11-0395 Kobal A.B., Grum D.K.
Scopoli's work in the field of mercurialism in light of today's knowledge: Past and present perspectives
The mercury mine at Idrija, Slovenia, in continuous operation from 1490 to 1994, appointed its first physician, Joannes Antonius Scopoli, in 1754. Most of his descriptions of mercurialism are still relevant today. This study highlights Scopoli's observations on the interaction between elemental mercury and alcohol, on the appearance of lung impairment, insomnia, and depressive mood in mercurialism. This presentation is based on Scopoli's experiences presented in his book, De Hydrargyro Idriensi Tentamina, together with current knowledge and experience acquired through health monitoring of occupational exposure to mercury. Some studies have confirmed Scopoli's observations that alcohol enhances mercurialism and that exposure to high concentrations of mercury causes serious lung impairment. Neurobiological studies have highlighted the influence of mercury on sleep disorders and depressive moods observed by Scopoli. Although today's knowledge provides new perspectives of Scopoli's work on mercurialism, his work is still very important and can be considered an integral part of occupational medicine heritage.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2010, Vol.53, p.535-547. Illus. 95 ref.

CIS 10-0379 Svendsen K., Syversen T., Melø I., Hilt B.
Historical exposure to mercury among Norwegian dental personnel
Due to public concern in Scandinavian countries about the health situation of dental nurses, the Norwegian Ministry of Labor and Social Inclusion initiated a project to look at previous exposure to metallic mercury and its possible effects on dental personnel. The aims of this part of the study were to describe Norwegian dental personnel's exposure to mercury during the last 50 years, develop a model for scoring that reflects the cumulative exposure on an individual basis and relate the calculated score to earlier measured levels of mercury in urine. Questionnaires were mailed to lists of previous and current dental employees in both the private and public sector, concerning their working conditions. Responses were received from 655 dental nurses and 452 dentists. Urine mercury levels measured between 1970 and 1990 were also obtained for 143 of the dental nurses and 130 of the dentists. The results revealed a widespread exposure to mercury in both the individual exposure score and the measured mercury values in urine. For most respondents, however, the level of exposure to mercury seemed to be low. The use of copper amalgam, which is heated before it is applied, is of particular concern as a significant source of mercury exposure in dental personnel.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, May 2010, Vol.36, No.3, p.231-241. Illus. 32 ref.


CIS 11-0484 Salgueiro Barboni M.T., Feitosa-Santana C., Zachi E.C., Lago M., Antunes Teixeira R.A., Taub A., da Costa M.F., de Lima Silveira L.C., Fix Ventura D.
Preliminary findings on the effects of occupational exposure to mercury vapor below safety levels on visual and neuropsychological functions
The objective of this study was to evaluate whether there are visual and neuropsychological decrements in workers with low exposure to mercury (Hg) vapour. Visual fields, contrast sensitivity, color vision, and neuropsychological functions were measured in 10 workers chronically-exposed to Hg vapour (duration 4.3±2.8y; urinary Hg concentration 22.3±9.3μg/g creatinine). For the worst eyes, altered visual field thresholds, lower contrast sensitivity and color discrimination were found compared with controls. There were no significant differences between Hg-exposed subjects and controls on neuropsychological tests. Nevertheless, duration of exposure was statistically correlated to verbal memory and depression scores. Chronic exposure to Hg vapour at currently-accepted safety levels was found to be associated with visual losses but not with neuropsychological dysfunctions in the sample of workers studied.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 2009, Vol.51, No.12, p.1403-1412. Illus. 48 ref.

CIS 09-1301 Skoczyńska A., Poręba R., Steinmentz-Beck A., Martynowicz H., Affelska-Jercha A., Turczyn B., Wojakowska A., Jędrychowska I.
The dependence between urinary mercury concentration and carotid arterial intima-media thickness in workers occupationally exposed to mercury vapour
The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between urinary mercury concentration and carotid intima-media thickness to find the best markers of mercury cardiovascular toxicity. The study included 154 workers of a chemical factory exposed to mercury. A positive linear relationship was found between occupational exposure to mercury vapour and early, asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis. This dependence was clearer among non-smokers and furthermore strongly related to high-density lipoproteins. Other findings are discussed.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 2nd quarter 2009, Vol.22, No.2, p.135-142. Illus. 29 ref.


CIS 09-573 Moen B.E., Hollund B.E., Riise T.
Neurological symptoms among dental assistants: A cross-sectional study
The aim of this study was to evaluate neurological symptoms among dental assistants likely to have been exposed to mercury from work with filling material. All female dental assistants still at work and born before 1970 in a region of Norway were invited to answer a questionnaire on demographic variables, life-style factors, and musculoskeletal, neurological and psychosomatic symptoms; 41 responded (response rate 68%) together with 64 randomly-selected assistant nurses in the same age group serving as controls. Data were subjected to logistic regression analyses, after controlling for age, education, alcohol consumption, smoking and personality traits. Dental assistants reported significantly-higher frequencies of neurological and psychosomatic symptoms, problems with memory, concentration, fatigue and sleep disturbance. It is argued that these symptoms may be related to previous exposure to mercury amalgam fillings.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, May 2008, Vol.3, No.10, 7p. 37 ref. [in English]


CIS 09-416 García Gómez M., Caballero Klink J.D., Boffetta P., Español S., Sällsten G., Gómez Quintana J.
Exposure to mercury in the mine of Almadén
The objective of this study was to describe the historical exposure of workers in a mercury mine in Spain. Data on each workplace, together with historical data on production, production process changes and biological and environmental values of mercury were collected and used to build a job-exposure matrix. A cumulative exposure index was calculated for each worker. Findings are discussed. The exposure of the workers to mercury was very high. The extremely high mercury content of the ore explains the high concentrations of mercury in workplace air, which together with inadequate working conditions, explains the high mercury levels found in blood and urine during the study period.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2007, Vol.64, No.6, p.389-395. Illus. 29 ref.

CIS 08-651 Iwata T., Sakamoto M., Feng X., Yoshida M., Liu Y.J., Dakeishi M., Li P., Qiu G., Jiang H., Nakamura M., Murata K.
Effects of mercury vapor exposure en neuromotor function in Chinese miners and smelters
Hand tremor and postural sway were measured in 27 miners and smelters in China occupationally exposed to mercury vapour and in 52 unexposed subjects. Urine samples were collected and total mercury and creatinine concentrations were determined. Data of the tremor and postural sway were analyzed using the fast Fourier transformation. The geometric means of the urinary mercury level (UHg) were 228µg/g creatinine for the exposed workers and 2.6µg/g creatinine for the unexposed subjects. Total tremor intensity and frequency-specific tremor intensities at 1-6 and 10-14Hz were significantly larger in the exposed workers than in the unexposed subjects, but they were not significantly related to the UHg among the exposed workers. In contrast, there were no significant differences in any postural sway parameters between the above two groups, but the transversal sway with eyes open was positively related to the UHg among the exposed workers.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2007, Vol.80, No.5, p.381-387. Illus. 41 ref.

CIS 08-73 Lindbohm M.L., Ylöstalo P., Sallmén M., Henriks-Eckerman M.L., Nurminen T., Forss H., Taskinen H.
Occupational exposure in dentistry and miscarriage
The objective of this Finnish study was to investigate whether dental workers are at an increased risk of miscarriage. The study was conducted among exposed women (dentists and dental assistants) and a control group of women occupationally unexposed to dentistry materials. Data on occupational exposure were obtained using postal questionnaires. The study population included 222 cases of miscarriage and 498 normal births. An occupational hygienist assessed exposure to acrylate compounds, disinfectants and solvents. Exposure to other agents was assessed on the basis of the questionnaire data. Odds ratios and confidence intervals were estimated using conditional logistic regression. In general, no strong association or consistent dose-response relationship was observed between exposure to chemical agents in dental work and the risk of miscarriage. A slightly increased risk was found for exposure to mercury amalgam and to some acrylates, solvents and disinfectants.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2007, Vol.64, No.2, p.127-133. 40 ref.


CIS 07-628 Varona M., Díaz S., Toro G.
Effects of mercury poisoning
Efectos de la intoxicación por mercurio [in Spanish]
This article presents the findings of a study on health impairment caused by exposure to mercury. Main topics addressed: classification of mercury compounds; physical and chemical properties; modes of entry; clinical symptoms at low concentrations; acute poisoning; diagnosis.
Salud, Trabajo y Ambiente, 3rd Quarter 2006, Vol.13, No.49, p.8-12. Illus. 18 ref.

CIS 07-169 Hurtado J., Gonzales G.F., Steenland K.
Mercury exposures in informal gold miners and relatives in southern Peru
Subjects working in or living near informal gold mining and processing in southern Peru were studied to determine mercury exposures from two tasks: amalgamation and amalgam smelting. The authors collected 17 airborne and 41 urinary mercury levels. The mean urinary levels were 728 (range: 321-1,662) and 113 (45-197)µg/L for working in smelters and living near smelters, respectively. A third group working in amalgamation had a mean 18µg/L (range 8-37). People living in the mining town but with no mining activities had 8µg/L (5-10), while a control group outside the town had 4µg/L (2-6). Mean airborne mercury exposure was 2,423µg/m3 (range 530-4,430) during smelting, 30.5µg/m3 (12-55) during amalgamation, and 12µg/m3 (3-23) in the mining town. Smelters are highly contaminated with mercury, as are the people living around smelters.
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, Oct.-Dec. 2006, Vol.12, No.4, p.340-345. Illus. 25 ref. [in English]

CIS 06-1407 Guthrie G., Dilworth M., Sen D.
Reducing mercury exposure in fluorescent lamp manufacture - A workplace case study
Based on job observations and exposure evaluations in a fluorescent lamp manufacturing plant, this study concludes that there is considerable risk of mercury exposure of workers. By virtue of its volatility and a tendency for spilled metallic mercury to break up into small globules, thereby increasing the surface area available for vaporization, controlling exposure at the workplace can be difficult. Although the study focused on a single workplace, the findings and recommendations apply equally well to other workplace settings where mercury is used and handled in its metallic form, for example, the repair and manufacture of thermometers and gauges.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, Feb. 2006, Vol.3, No.2, p.D15-D18. Illus. 16 ref.

CIS 06-909 Spiegel S.J., Savornin O., Shoko D., Veiga M.M.
Mercury reduction in Munhena, Mozambique: Homemade solutions and the social context for change
The health and environmental impacts of artisanal gold mining are of growing concern in Munhena, Mozambique, where more than 12,000 people are involved in such activities. Gold is extracted using mercury amalgamation, posing a considerable threat to human and environmental health. A pilot project ascertained the feasibility of reducing mercury use and emissions by promoting control measures utilizing local resources. Retorts were fabricated with local materials. Training workshops introduced the homemade retorts, and a portable mercury monitor revealed effective mercury reduction. Barriers to widespread technology adoption include poverty, lack of knowledge and trust, and the free supply of mercury from private gold buyers. Homemade retorts are inexpensive and effective, and miners could benefit by building community amalgamation centers. The government could play a greater role in gold purchasing to reduce mercury pollution. [Abstract supplied by the journal]
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2006, Vol.12, No.3, p.215-221. Illus. 18 ref. [in English]

CIS 06-908 Counter S.A., Buchanan L.H., Ortega F.
Neurocognitive screening of mercury-exposed children of Andean gold miners
Performance on Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) test of visual-spatial reasoning was used to evaluate the effects of mercury (Hg) exposure on 73 Andean children aged 5 to 11 years (mean: 8.4) living in the Nambija and Portovelo gold mining areas of Ecuador, where Hg is widely used in amalgamation. Mean levels of Hg found in blood (HgB), urine (HgU), and hair (HgH) samples were 5.1 µg/L (SD: 2.4; range: 1-10 µg/L), 13.3 µg/L (SD: 25.9; range: 1-166 µg/L), and 8.5 µg/g (SD: 22.8; range: 1-135 µg/g), respectively. Of the children in the Nambija area 67-84.9% had abnormal RCPM standard scores (i.e.≤ 25%tile), depending on the test norm used in the data analysis. Higher standard scores for Peruvian (t=4.77; p=<0.0001) and Puerto Rican (t=4.51; p=<0.0001) norms than for U.S. norms suggested a linguistic influence. No difference was found between Peruvian and Puerto Rican norms (t=0.832; p=<0.408), which showed a significant positive correlation (r=0.915, p=<0.0001). Children with abnormal HgB and HgH levels had significantly lower scores on the RCPM subtest B than did children with nontoxic Hg levels (t=-2.16; p=<0.034). These results suggest that a substantial number of Hg-exposed children in the Nambija study area have neurocognitive deficits in visual-spatial reasoning. [Abstract supplied by the journal]
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, July-Sep. 2006, Vol.12, No.3, p.209-214. Illus. 33 ref. [in English]


CIS 06-114 Counter S.A.
Neurophysiological anomalies in brainstem responses of mercury-exposed children of Andean gold miners
Brainstem auditory-evoked responses (BAER) were measured as biomarkers of mercury-induced neurological impairment in children of Andean gold miners living in the Ecuadorian gold mining settlement of Nambija, where mercury (Hg) exposure is prevalent. Thirty-one children in the study group were found to have a mean blood mercury (HgB) level of 23.0µg/L, which was significantly higher than the mean HgB level of a reference group of 21 Ecuadorian children (4.5µg/L) and in excess of the health-based biological limits for the U.S. (10µg/L). Brainstem neural conduction times suggested that some of the Hg-intoxicated children in the study group have subtle neuro-physiological anomalies that may be more manifest at higher BAER stimulus rates, and that the Hg-exposed children of gold miners are at risk for neuro-developmental disabilities.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2003, Vol.45, No.1, p.87-95. Illus. 37 ref.

CIS 03-1786 Schach V., Jahanbakht S., Livardjani F., Flesch F., Jaeger A., Haïkel Y.
Risks from mercury in dental practices: Past history or near future?
Le risque mercuriel dans les cabinets dentaires: histoire ancienne ou futur proche? [in French]
Mercury is the cause of mercurialism, an occupational disease recognized as such in the schedule of occupational diseases. Furthermore, it has been established that this metal is an important pollutant, both for the atmospheric and marine environments. This literature review examines occupational hazards caused by the inhalation of mercury in the dental profession. Contents: evaluation of the exposure to mercury among dentists; epidemiological studies among dentists; causes of pollution by mercury in dental practices; prevention (substitution, local exhaust, housekeeping, personal hygiene); medical supervision; compensation; French regulations.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 1st Quarter 2003, No.93, p.7-23. Illus. 52 ref.

CIS 03-1817 Mercury - Prevention of mercury poisoning
Le mercure - Prévention de l'hydrargyrisme [in French]
Mercury poisoning affects primarily the central nervous system. Symptoms include headaches, mood changes, memory lapses and at more advanced stages, tremors, intellectual decline and cerebellum damage. Aimed at users of mercury and its compounds, this booklet presents the main protective measures for preventing occupational mercury poisoning and for decontaminating work premises and laboratories polluted by mercury, while at the same time protecting the environment. Replaces CIS 79-1379
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité (INRS), 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris cedex 14, France, 5th ed., Dec. 2003. 59p. Illus. 14 ref. Price: EUR 7.30.$FILE/ed546.pdf [in French]

CIS 03-1295 Peltier A., Elcabache J.M.
Used battery waste processing: A study in specialized undertakings
Traitement des déchets des piles et accumulateurs usagés - Enquête dans des entreprises spécialisées [in French]
Occupational exposures of 380 workers in fifteen enterprises specialized in the recycling of electrochemical batteries was evaluated. The survey shows that there is a high risk of lead exposure during the shredding and melting of lead batteries, a potential risk of mercury poisoning during pyrometallurgical processing, and that during the treatment of Ni-Cd batteries, air purification is not effective. The constant wearing of air purifying respirators is a measure that must remain temporary. Cadmium smoke and dust emissions need to be captured at the source. Appendices include schedules of occupational diseases caused by lead, mercury, cadmium and their compounds.
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 3rd Quarter 2003, No.192, p.5-19. Illus. 11 ref.

CIS 03-1091 Fisher J.F.
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Elemental mercury and inorganic mercury compounds: Human health aspects
Conclusions of this criteria document: mild subclinical signs of central nervous toxicity can be observed among workers exposed to elemental mercury at a concentration of 20µg/m3 or above for several years. Neurological and behavioural disorders have been observed following inhalation of elemental mercury vapour or dermal application of inorganic mercury-containing medicinal products. The primary effect of long-term oral exposure to low amounts of inorganic mercury compounds is renal damage; immunological effects have also been shown. Data from animal studies indicate that mercuric chloride has some carcinogenic activity in male rats; parenteral administration of inorganic mercury compounds is embryotoxic and teratogenic in rodents. Inorganic mercury compounds seem to interact with and damage DNA in vitro.
World Health Organization, Distribution and Sales Service, 1211 Genève 27, Switzerland, 2003. iv, 61p. 298 ref. [in English]


CIS 03-541
Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals (IOMC)
Global mercury assessment
This report contains extensive information on a number of topics relevant to the adverse impacts of mercury on human health and the environment, together with options to reduce these impacts. Contents: scope an purpose of the report; chemistry of mercury; toxicology; current mercury exposures and risk evaluation for humans; impact of mercury on the environment; sources and cycling of mercury to the global environment; current production and use of mercury; prevention and control technologies and practices; initiatives for controlling releases and limiting use and exposure; data and information gaps; options for addressing any significant global adverse impacts. The appendix gives an overview of existing and future national actions relevant to mercury, including legislation.
UNEP Chemicals International Environmental House, 11-13 chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine, Genève, Switzerland, 2002. viii, 258p. Illus. 427 ref. (report); 71p. (appendix). [in English]

CIS 02-872
Health and Safety Executive
Mercury and its inorganic divalent compounds in air
This guidance sheet describes diffusive badge and pumped sorbent tube methods for the determination of time-weighed average concentrations of mercury and its inorganic divalent compounds in workplace air. Contents: legal requirements; health effects, safety and health precausions and exposure limits; principle and scope of the method; method performance; sampling equipment; laboratory apparatus; analytical instrumentation; sampling and sample preparation; calculations; test report.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Apr. 2002. 32p. Illus. 40 ref. Price: GBP 17.50.


CIS 03-787 Symanski E., Sällsten G., Chan W., Barregård L.
Heterogeneity in sources of exposure variability among groups of workers exposed to inorganic mercury
Given the utility of different modelling approaches when assessing exposures, assumptions of homogeneity of variance within and between workers using both random- and mixed-effects models were investigated. In this study of four groups of workers exposed to inorganic mercury (Hg) at a chloralkali plant, there was no evidence of significant heterogeneity in the levels of variation over time or between workers for air Hg levels. For the biological monitoring data, however, the findings indicate that groups did not share common levels of variability and that it was not appropriate to pool the data and obtain single estimates of the within- and between-worker variance components. Classification of job group as a random or fixed effect had no effect on the results. Although the probability that workers' mean exposures exceeded occupational exposure limits for air, urine and blood Hg was generally low (<10%) for all groups except maintenance workers, the estimated values sometimes varied depending upon the particular model that was applied. Given the growing use of random- and mixed-effects models that combine data across occupational groups, additional studies are warranted to evaluate whether it is reasonable to assume common variances and covariances among measurements collected on workers from different groups.
Annals of Occupational Hygiene, Nov. 2001, Vol.45, No.8, p.677-687. 37 ref.

CIS 02-1362 Rojas M., Drake P.L., Roberts S.M.
Assessing mercury health effects in gold workers near El Callao, Venezuela
Report on the health status of 40 gold workers in Venezuela with occupational exposure to mercury (Hg). Use of protective equipment was limited, and environmental concentrations of Hg and Hg concentrations in the hair and urine of workers were above occupational guidelines. The workers were found to be generally healthy and without symptoms of mercury poisoning. Despite substantial exposure among a number of subjects, few adverse health effects were found with a possibly connection to Hg exposure.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 2001, Vol.43, No.2, p.158-165. Illus. 42 ref.

CIS 02-820 Lee J.Y., Yoo J.M., Cho B.K., Kim H.O.
Contact dermatitis in Korean dental technicians
This study investigated the frequency, characteristics and causative factors of contact dermatitis in 49 Korean dental technicians. 22 (44.9%) subjects had contact dermatitis, present or past, and the site involved was the hand for all of them. Metals, including potassium dichromate (24.5%), nickel sulfate (18.4%), mercury ammonium chloride (16.3%), cobalt chloride (12.2%) and palladium chloride (10.2%), showed high positive rates in patch test results. 7 positive reactions to the various polyacrylates were found in 3 subjects.
Contact Dermatitis, July 2001, Vol.45, No.1, p.13-16. Illus. 13 ref.

CIS 02-309 Drake P.L., Rojas M., Reh C.M., Mueller C.A., Jenkins F.M.
Occupational exposure to airborne mercury during gold mining operations near El Callao, Venezuela
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a cross-sectional study during gold mining operations near El Callao, Venezuela to assess mercury exposures and mercury-related micro-damage to the kidneys. Mercury was used to remove gold by forming a mercury-gold amalgam. The gold was purified either by heating the amalgam in the open with a propane torch or by using a small retort. 38 workers participated in this study. Mercury exposure was monitored by sampling air from the workers' breathing zones. These air samples were used to calculate time-weighted average (TWA) mercury exposure concentrations. Results showed that 20% of the TWA airborne mercury exposure measurements were above the NIOSH recommended exposure limit of 50µg/m3, and 26% exceeded the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists Threshold Limit Value of 25µg/m3. Recommendations were made for improving retort design, for ventilation in gold shops, for medical surveillance and for educational programs.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2001, Vol.74, No.3, p.206-212. Illus. 35 ref.


CIS 02-1099
Committee for Compounds Toxic to Reproduction
Mercury and its compounds - Evaluation of the effects on reproduction, recommendation for classification
Recommendations for the classification and labelling of mercury and its compounds based on the evaluation of studies on their effects on reproduction. Effects on fertility: no classification of mercury, methylmercury, phenylmercury acetate, mercuric chloride and mercuric nitrate due to lack of data. Teratogenic effects: category 2 (substances which should be regarded as if they impair fertility in humans) and R61 labelling for metallic mercury; category 1 (substances known to cause developmental toxicity in humans) and R61 labelling for methylmercury; no classification for phenylmercury acetate, mercuric chloride and mercuric nitrate due to lack of data. Effects during lactation: lack of appropriate data for mercury, phenylmercury acetate, mercuric chloride and mercuric nitrate; R64 labelling (may cause harm to babies) for methylmercury. Summary in Dutch.
Gezondheidsraad, Postbus 16052, 2500 BB Den Haag, Netherlands, 2000. 55p. 70 ref.


CIS 00-52
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
Toxicological profile for mercury: Update
Contents: public health statement; health effects; chemical and physical information; production, import, use and disposal; potential for human exposure; analytical methods; regulations and advisories; glossary. Health hazards include: respiratory symptoms (dyspnoea, cough, reduced vital capacity, pulmonary oedema, pneumonia, fibrosis); cardiovascular effects; gastrointestinal effects (stomatitis, colic, diarrhoea, nausea); haematological effects (leukocytosis); musculoskeletal effets (tremors, muscle pain); hepatotoxic effects; nephrotoxic effects; erythema; immunotoxic effects; neurotoxic effects; reproductive effects (spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, congenital malformations, menstrual disorders, infertility); effects on child development.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology, Toxicology Information Branch, 1600 Clifton Road NE, E-29, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA, Mar. 1999. xx, 617p. Illus. approx. 1280 ref.


CIS 99-877 Woods J.S., Martin M.D., Leroux B.G.
Validity of spot urine samples as a surrogate measure of 24-hour porphyrin excretion rates
This study tested the validity of using the spot urine sample as a surrogate measure of 24h porphyrin, mercury and creatinine concentrations among 146 dentists exposed to low levels of mercury vapour. Results support the view that spot urine samples may be used to derive reasonably accurate estimates of 24h porphyrin and mercury excretion rates in male subjects. In contrast, time of day appears to be of considerably greater importance when spot samples are used as 24h estimates of either porphyrin or mercury excretion rates among females. Additionally, time of day may be an important consideration in studies involving serial (repeated) porphyrin or mercury measurements using spot urine samples, irrespective of gender distribution of study subjects. Topics: mercury; cohort study; coproporphyrins; creatinine excretion; dental services; determination in urine; porphyrin metabolism; porphyrins; sex-linked differences; urinary excretion.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dec. 1998, Vol.40, No.12, p.1090-1101. Illus. 34 ref.

CIS 99-573 Donoghue A.M.
Mercury toxicity due to the smelting of placer gold recovered by mercury amalgam
Case-report of a worker who developed tremor in both hands and fatigue after starting work at a placer mine where he was exposed to mercury-gold amalgam. Seven weeks after removal from this work, the tremor had almost resolved and the urinary mercury concentration had fallen. The principal exposure to mercury was considered to be the smelting of retorted gold containing previously unrecognized residual mercury. The peak air concentration of mercury vapour during gold smelting was 0.533mg/m3 (TLV 0.05mg/m3). Several engineering and procedural controls were instituted. Topics: mercury; case study; determination in air; determination in urine; gold mining; melting; poisoning; tremor.
Occupational Medicine, Sep. 1998, Vol.48, No.6, p.413-415. 6 ref.

CIS 99-521 Maloney S.R., Phillips C.A., Mills A.
Mercury in the hair of crematoria workers
Topics: atomic absorption spectrometry; mercury; case-control study; determination in hair; funeral services.
Lancet, 14 Nov. 1998, Vol.352, No.9140, p.1602. 4 ref.

CIS 99-181 Soleo L., Pesola G., Vimercati L., Elia G., Michelazzi M., Gagliardi T., Drago I., Lasorsa G.
Amalgam fillings and urinary mercury excretion in workers exposed to low levels of inorganic mercury
Amalgami dentari ed eliminazione urinaria di mercurio in lavoratori esposti a basse concentrazioni di mercurio inorganico [in Italian]
Topics: mercury; dental services; determination in urine; diet; exposure evaluation; manufacture of fluorescent tubes; mercury alloys; non-occupational factors; questionnaire survey; respiratory impairment; smoking.
Medicina del lavoro, May-June 1998, Vol.89, No.3, p.232-241. 27 ref.


CIS 02-552 Mercury and its mineral compounds
Mercure et composés minéraux [in French]
Chemical safety information sheet. Update of data sheet already summarized in CIS 90-45. Acute toxicity: skin absorption; respiratory tract irritation; encephalopathy; renal damage. Chronic toxicity: mercury poisoning; tremor; peripheral neurological disorders; loss of teeth; mercurialentis; eczematous dermatosis; sensitization; chromosome changes and spontaneous abortions. Exposure limits (France): TWA = 0.05mg/m3 (mercury vapour); 0.1mg Hg/m3 (inorganic compounds). EEC numbers and mandatory labelling codes: No.080-001-00-0; T; R23, R33, S7, S45, 231-106-7 (mercury); No.080-003-00-1; T+; R28, R34, R48/24/25, S36/37/39, S45, 231-299-8 (mercury dichloride). The complete datasheet collection on CD-ROM has been analysed under CIS 01-201.
Institut national de recherche et de sécurité, 30 rue Olivier-Noyer, 75680 Paris Cedex 14, France, CD-ROM CD 613, May 2000. Rev.ed. 6p. Illus. 36 ref.

CIS 00-1025 Gout D.
From gold fever to good industrial practice
De la fièvre de l'or à l'industrie [in French]
Topics: mercury; clay; earthmoving; French Guiana; gold mining; hazard evaluation; landslides; manual handling; small enterprises.
Travail et sécurité, July-Aug. 1997, No.562-563, p.2-7. Illus.

CIS 00-314 Factories (Medical Examinations) (Amendment) Regulations 1997 [Singapore]
Topics: arsenic and compounds; arsenic; asbestos; benzene; bitumen; cadmium; tetrachloroethylene; pitch; lead; manganese; mercury; vinyl chloride; silica; trichloroethylene; compressed air; cotton industry; creosote; dust; exposure; law; lead and compounds; medical examinations; medical supervision; mercury and compounds; mists; noise; organophosphorus compounds; Singapore; smoke.
Photocopy, 13p. On file at CIS.

CIS 99-724 Swedish legislation on chemicals
Compilation of acts and ordinances in the area of chemicals control, as of May 1997. Topics: biological insecticides; cadmium and compounds; chemical products; compendium; directive; genetically modified organisms; law; mercury and compounds; motor fuel; neighbourhood protection; notification of dangerous substances; organic solvents; pesticides; polychlorinated biphenyls; Sweden.
Kemikalieinspektionen, Box 1384, 171 27 Solna, Sweden, June 1997. 171p.

CIS 97-1977 Elghany N.A., et al.
Occupational exposure to inorganic mercury vapour and reproductive outcomes
Pregnancy outcomes were investigated among 46 women production workers exposed to inorganic mercury vapour and 19 unexposed controls. There were 104 recorded pregnancies during the period 1948-1977. A higher frequency of adverse reproductive outcomes, especially congenital abnormalities, was observed among women exposed to inorganic mercury at levels at, or substantially lower than, 0.6mg/m3; no significant differences in stillbirth or miscarriage rates were noted between the two groups. The increased risk observed was not statistically significant.
Occupational Medicine, Aug. 1997, Vol.47, No.6, p.333-336. 15 ref.


CIS 97-1253 Lühmann D., Strubelt O., Kirchner H.
Effects on the human immune system of occupational exposure to metallic mercury
Einfluss gewerblicher Exposition gegenüber metallischem Quecksilber auf das menschliche Immunsystem [in German]
Mercury (Hg) concentration in blood samples taken from 12 male workers in a mercury recovery plant were compared with that from two groups of controls. The mean Hg concentration in the mercury workers' blood (9.84µg/L) was almost 6 times higher than that in the control groups. The Hg concentration in the urine of exposed workers (9 to 340µg/L) was also considerably higher than that in the control groups (around 1µg/L). However, no correlation between Hg concentration in the blood and immunological parameters could be found. The somewhat higher concentration of leucocytes and neutrophilic granulocytes in the blood of exposed workers was due to the higher percentage of smokers among the workers than among the controls (70% versus 30% and 20%). Smoking is also seen as the cause of the slightly lower percentage of T-lymphocytes in the blood of exposed workers. The somewhat lower serum IgM concentration in the exposed workers than in control group 2 is explained by the presence of women in that control group. No differences among the 3 groups were found with regard to other immunological parameters. No evidence of an effect of mercury exposure on the immune system was found.
Zentralblatt für Arbeitsmedizin, Arbeitsschutz und Ergonomie, Feb. 1996, Vol.46, No.2, p.49-57. Illus. 39 ref.

CIS 97-596 Cavelier C., Foussereau J.
Contact allergy to metals and their salts
Allergie de contact aux métaux et à leurs sels [in French]
The principal topics of this information note are: allergy tests and allergological investigations; chromium; nickel; cobalt; mercury; palladium; other metals; differential diagnosis. In annex: hard metals; metal plating; alloys; basic data on corrosion; table of concentrations used in tests for allergies to various metallic salts.
Documents pour le médecin du travail, 3rd Quarter 1996, No.67, p-199-238. approx. 400 ref.

CIS 97-594
Health and Safety Executive
Mercury: Medical guidance notes
This data sheet describes the toxic effects of mercury and provides guidance on the monitoring and protection of exposed workers. Contents: occupational exposure limits (0.025mg/m3 8h TWA elemental mercury vapour or divalent inorganic compounds); sources of exposure; adsorption and elimination; clinical effects (acute and chronic poisoning, effects on the central nervous systems and kidneys, skin sensitization); control of exposure; notification of mercury poisoning; health surveillance before and during work with mercury; information of employees; exposure to organic mercury compounds.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, Oct. 1996. 5p. 7 ref. Price: GBP 4.00.

CIS 97-245 Hoet P., Lauwerys R.
Mercury and its inorganic compounds
Mercure et composés inorganiques [in French]
Mercury (Hg) exists in its metallic form, as well as part of monovalent and bivalent inorganic compounds (mercurous chloride and mercury chloride, etc.) and organic compounds. These compounds have different toxic properties, and in this article only metallic mercury and its inorganic compounds shall be considered. Points discussed in this information note: physical and chemical properties, utilization and exposure sources, metabolism, toxicity (acute and chronic); biological monitoring (in blood and urine); treatment. Exposure limits and recommendations: WHO, ACGIH, BAT and MAK concentrations in Germany, VME in France. Table of legal measures applicable in France.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 2nd Quarter 1996, No.111, 7p. 101 ref.

CIS 96-938
Health and Safety Executive
Mercury and its inorganic divalent compounds
Contents of this guidance note: occurrence, properties and use of mercury and its inorganic divalent compounds; effects on health following inhalation or skin contact (neurotoxic effects, kidney damage, irritation of the eyes, skin and respiratory tract, allergic skin reactions); risk assessment; prevention and control of exposure (substitution, engineering controls, work planning and housekeeping, personal protective equipment, skin protection, respiratory protection); maintenance, examination and testing of control measures; monitoring exposure; health surveillance; information and training; emergency procedures.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, Mar. 1996. 6p. 21 ref. Price: GBP 4.00.


CIS 97-940 Porcella D.B., Huckabee J.W., Wheatley B.
Mercury as a global pollutant
Proceedings of the third international conference on mercury as a global pollutant held in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, 10-14 July 1994. Papers cover: mercury and human health; mercury sources and transport; atmospheric mercury; atmospheric reactions and deposition of mercury; mercury dynamics in watersheds; lake and reservoir mercury; mercury in Arctic lakes, estuaries and oceans; mercury methylation and reduction processes; mercury in fish and wildlife; aquatic cycling of mercury in biota and sediments; mercury in soils; mercury risk assessment and management of anthropogenic sources; mercury measurement methods.
Kluwer Academic Publishers, Spuiboulevard 50, P.O. Box 17, 3300 AA Dordrecht, The Netherlands, Feb. 1995. xiv, 1336p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Index. Price: DFL 495.00, USD 349.00, GBP 224.00.

CIS 96-1267
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (Worksafe Australia)
Guidelines for health surveillance
These guidelines are intended for appointed medical practitioners when planning and implementing a programme of health surveillance within enterprises. Such programmes should be instituted when a workplace assessment of health risks, conducted according to the National Model Regulations for the Control of Workplace Hazardous Substances (NOHSC 1005: (1994), see CIS 95-274), has determined that workplace exposure represents a significant risk to health. Contents of the 18 booklets: 1 - Introduction (basic aspects of health surveillance, extracts from the Model Regulations and the National Code of Practice (NOHSC: 2007 (1994), see CIS 95-274 as well), list of substances subject to control, criteria for determining whether a substance should be scheduled as requiring health surveillance). 2 - sample respiratory questionnaires to be administered to workers. 3-18: Specific substances (for each substance: information on health surveillance at time of employment, during exposure to a process where the substance is present and at termination of employment; data sheet with information on substance in question). The substances are: acrylonitrile, inorganic arsenic, asbestos, benzene, cadmium, inorganic cadmium, creosote, isocyanates, inorganic mercury, MOCA, organophosphate pesticides, pentachlorophenol, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, crystalline silica, thallium, vinyl chloride.
Australian Government Publishing Service, GPO Box 84, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia, 1995-1996. 18 booklets in a ring binder. Bibl.ref. [in English]

CIS 96-1373 Magos L.
Mercury vapour kinetics and toxicology
Experiments were carried out to determine why inorganic mercury salts are renotoxic and mercury vapour is neurotoxic. Investigations involved use of radiolabelled mercuric salt for the labelling of mercury vapour, separation of elemental and mercuric mercury in blood, intravenous injection of elemental mercury and mercuric mercury into rats, and estimation of mercury vapour in exhaled air. Results indicate that elemental mercury is taken up by the blood by diffusion and owing to a delay between uptake and oxidation, part of the inhaled mercury vapour is able to reach and cross the blood-brain barrier.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 1995, Vol.1, No.4, p.319-326. Illus. 21 ref.

CIS 96-285 Cross H.J., Smillie M.V., Chipman J.K., Fletcher A.C., Levy L.S., Spurgeon A., Fairhurst S., Howe A., Mason H., Northage C., Wright A.
Health and Safety Executive
Mercury and its inorganic divalent compounds: criteria document for an occupational exposure limit
Acute toxicity (respiratory tract irritation and feverish symptoms) has been observed following exposure to high concentrations of elemental mercury vapour. Elemental mercury vapour has produced both non-allergic and allergic dermatitis in exposed individuals; divalent mercury compounds have produced skin sensitization. Psychomotor effects indicative of central nervous system toxicity have been reported for mercury levels of 20µmol/mol creatinine in urine and 45nM in blood. Kidney toxicity has been reported in workers following long-term exposure to high levels of elemental mercury. No clear conclusions can be drawn regarding mutagenic, carcinogenic or antifertility effects. Recommended exposure limit: 25µ/m3 (8-h TWA).
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 6FS, United Kingdom, 1995. v, 96p. approx. 230 ref. Price: GBP 25.00.

CIS 96-226 Aks S.E., Erickson T., Branches F.J.P., Naleway C., Chou H.N., Levy P., Hryhorczuk D.
Fractional mercury levels in Brazilian gold refiners and miners
A study of 30 subjects working in or living near a gold mining and refining region of Brazil revealed that those with recent exposure (less than 2 days since last exposure) had higher blood and urine mercury levels than those with intermediate exposure (less than 60 days) or remote exposure (greater than 60 days). The remote exposure group showed the highest fraction of organic mercury and also reported more symptoms than the other groups. Results indicate a significant exposure to mercury; symptoms may be persistent and low levels of blood and urine mercury do not exclude remote or cumulative toxicity.
Journal of Toxicology - Clinical Toxicology, 1995, Vol.33, No.1, p.1-10. Illus. 33 ref.

CIS 95-1789 Richter-Politz I.
Safety first - Protection of workers examining contaminated sites
Sicherheit hat Priorität - Arbeitsschutz bei der Erkundung kontaminierter Standorte [in German]
On the premises and in the vicinity of a chemical plant in Germany the mercury concentrations in ambient air, precipitation, soil and groundwater were measured. In addition, they were determined in the atmosphere inside the plant and on the equipment. The measurements became necessary because the 50-year-old chemical plant had been scheduled to be shut down. Mercury-contaminated sites needed to be cleaned up, for which the extent of the contamination had to be determined. The measurement methods are described. For taking these measurements and for the ensuing cleanup and demolition work personnel were supplied with a disposable overall, protective helmet, rubber boots, protective gloves and an air-purifying respirator when the mercury content in the air was higher than 25µg/m3.
Entsorgungs-Technik, Mar.-Apr. 1995, Vol.7, No.2, p.38-41. Illus. 1 ref.

CIS 95-1812 Simonsen L., Midtgård U., Lund S.P., Hass U.
Nordic Council of Ministers
Occupational neurotoxicity: Evaluation of neurotoxicity data for selected chemicals
Previously determined criteria for evaluating published data on the neurotoxicity of chemicals (see CIS 95-000) were applied to the literature on 79 common industrial chemicals. Data were too sparse to permit classification of 28. Of the rest, eight were classified as probably and 16 as possibly neurotoxic, and the following 27 as definitely neurotoxic: acrylamide, acrylonitrile, aluminium, arsenic, sodium azide, borax, boric acid, carbon monoxide, carbon disulfide, potassium cyanide, ethanol, ethylene oxide, hexachlorophene, manganese, mercury, methanol, methyl bromide, methyl butyl ketone (2-hexanone), methyl chloride, methyl methacrylate, n-hexane, nitrous oxide, styrene, thallium, toluene, trichloroethylene, triorthocresyl phosphate.
National Institute of Occupational Health, Lersø Parkallé 105, 2100 København Ø, Denmark, 1995. 119p. Bibl.ref.


CIS 98-1389 Toxicological profile for mercury: Update
Topics: antifertility effects; cardiovascular disorders; mercury chloride; chloromethylmercury; mercury sulfide; mercuric acetate; phenylmercury acetate; mercuric chloride; colic; criteria document; determination in biological matter; diarrhoea; exposure evaluation; gastric disorders; glossary; haematological effects; health hazards; hepatic disorders; immunotoxic effects; legislation; limitation of exposure; literature survey; menstrual disorders; mercury and compounds; musculoskeletal diseases; mutagenic effects; neurotoxic effects; renal damage; respiratory diseases; respiratory impairment; skin eruption; teratogenic effects; toxic effects; toxicity evaluation; toxicology; USA.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology, Toxicology Information Branch, 1600 Clifton Road NE, E-29, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA, May 1994. xvii, 357p. Illus. Bibl.ref.

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