Exposure to mercury increasing, cumulative

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Inorganic mercury builds up in the body over time, U.S. researchers suggest.

Study author Dan R. Laks, a neuroscience researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues analyzed government data on more than 6,000 U.S. women that indicates deposition of mercury within the human population due to chronic mercury exposure is increasing over time.


The researchers examined data of blood inorganic mercury levels of women, ages 18-49, in 1999-2000, 2001-02, 2003-04 and 2005-06.

The study, published online in Biometals, finds inorganic mercury was detected in the blood of 30 percent of women studied in 2005-06, up from 2 percent of women in the 1999-2000 study.

In a separate statistical analysis, Laks finds older women had more inorganic mercury in their blood than younger women.

Numerous studies have associated chronic mercury exposure with elevated risks for autism, mental impairment and Alzheimer's disease, Laks says.

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