Maternal transfer of mercury to the developing embryo/fetus : is there a safe level?

Brown, Ian A. and Austin, David W. 2012, Maternal transfer of mercury to the developing embryo/fetus : is there a safe level?, Toxicological and environmental chemistry, vol. 94, no. 8, pp. 1610-1627, doi: 10.1080/02772248.2012.724574.

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Title Maternal transfer of mercury to the developing embryo/fetus : is there a safe level?
Author(s) Brown, Ian A.
Austin, David W.ORCID iD for Austin, David W.
Journal name Toxicological and environmental chemistry
Volume number 94
Issue number 8
Start page 1610
End page 1627
Total pages 18
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2012
ISSN 0277-2248
Keyword(s) mercury
placental transfer
mercury in fish
Summary Mercury (Hg) exposure is ubiquitous in modern society via vaccines, fish/crustacea, dental amalgam, food, water, and the atmosphere. This article examines Hg exposure in the context of primary exposure to pregnant women and secondary exposure experienced by their unborn babies. Babies in utero are particularly at risk of higher Hg exposure than adults (on a dose/weight basis through maternal Hg transfer via the placenta), and are more susceptible to adverse effects from mercury and its biologically active compounds. It is, therefore, critical that regulatory advisories around maximum safe Hg exposures account for pregnant women and secondary exposure that children in utero experience. This study focused on standardized embryonic and fetal Hg exposures via primary exposure to the pregnant mother of two common Hg sources (dietary fish and parenteral vaccines). Data demonstrated that Hg exposures, particularly during the first trimester of pregnancy, at well-established dose/weight ratios produced severe damage to humans including death. In light of research suggestive of a mercuric risk factor for childhood conditions such as tic disorders, cerebral palsy, and autism, it is essential that Hg advisories account for secondary prenatal human exposures.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/02772248.2012.724574
Field of Research 179999 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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