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Hair Mercury Levels Detection in Fishermen from Sicily (Italy) by ICP-MS Method after Microwave-Assisted Digestion.

Giangrosso G, Cammilleri G, Macaluso A, Vella A, D'Orazio N, Graci S, Lo Dico GM, Galvano F, Giangrosso M, Ferrantelli V - Bioinorg Chem Appl (2016)

Bottom Line: Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01).There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05).The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia "A. Mirri", Via Gino Marinuzzi 3, 90129 Palermo, Italy.

ABSTRACT
A number of ninety-six hair samples from Sicilian fishermen were examined for total mercury detection by an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. The mercury levels obtained were compared with mercury levels of 96 hair samples from a control group, in order to assess potential exposure to heavy metals of Sicilian fishermen due to fish consumption and closeness to industrial activities. Furthermore, the mercury levels obtained from hair samples were sorted by sampling area in order to verify the possible risks linked to the different locations. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the population of fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g(-1), with a highest value in a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g(-1)). Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Histograms of the total Hg level distribution within the hair of fishermen (b) and the control population (a).
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fig2: Histograms of the total Hg level distribution within the hair of fishermen (b) and the control population (a).

Mentions: The recovery of total Hg was 98.9% for the three concentration levels. All the examined hair samples reached a total Hg concentration over the LOD. The hair mercury concentration distributions of fishermen and control populations are shown in Figure 2. The data obtained did not follow a log-normal distribution. About 40% of the fishermen's samples exhibited total Hg concentrations within the range of 14–16 μg g−1, with a maximum value on a sample from a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g−1), whereas for the control group about 68% of the samples were within the range of 0.01–0.05 μg g−1. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g−1. The overall mean concentration in the control group was 0.23 ± 0.4 μg g−1. Wilcoxon test confirmed that the total hair Hg concentrations of fishermen were significantly higher than control group (W = 1592; p < 0.01, Figure 1). Those who ate fish more than five times a week had significantly higher hair mercury concentrations than those who ate fish less than three times a week. The results suggest high fish consumption and marine environment to be the major pathways of mercury into people's bodies. The hair Hg concentrations distribution according to sampling areas is shown in Figure 3. The lowest mean concentration was obtained in hair samples of Messina while the highest was obtained in samples from Siracusa (Table 3). The Kruskal-Wallis test revealed no significant differences between sampling areas (Kruskal-Wallis chi-squared = 7.2, df = 5, p > 0.05), suggesting that the following results do not depend on the environmental conditions of the different areas. However, hair samples that came from the southeast side of Sicily, where the density of industrial activities is greater (Syracusan petrochemical pole, Sciacca chemical pole, etc.), revealed the highest Hg concentrations. The average concentration of total Hg in fishermen of this study was much lower than the Portuguese fishermen of Madeira (39.76 μg g−1 [14]); this large difference may be related to the different typologies of fishes consumed by the two fishermen populations. The most common fish consumed by Madeiran fishermen (Aphanopus carbo) have very high content of total mercury (0.90 ± 0.27 μg g−1 [15]); on the contrary, recent study by Naccari et al. [16] has detected levels of total mercury in Mediterranean fishes between 0.132 ± 0.108 and 0.458 ± 0.059 μg g−1 reducing the risk of exposure to heavy metals to fishermen. Indeed, the results obtained from this study were very close to the mean Hg concentration in the hair of fishermen from Aeolian Archipelago (southern Tyrrhenian Sea; 5.64 ± 3.73 μg g−1 [17]) suggesting a strong correlation between type of fish consumed and mercury levels in the hair. All the fishermen investigated in this study have declared the consumption of Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. M. galloprovincialis is recognised as one of the major Hg accumulators in Mediterranean ecosystems, probably due to its ecology and feed strategy [18–20]. For this reason Mytilus galloprovincialis can be one of the principal routes of Hg uptake for humans. Unfortunately, there are very few studies on the Hg levels assessment of seawater from south Mediterranean Sea. Bagnato et al. [21] have verified the distribution and evasion flux of mercury at the atmosphere/sea interface in the Augusta basin (SE Sicily, southern Italy), detecting that the intense industrial activity of the past has led to a high Hg pollution in the bottom sediments of the basin.


Hair Mercury Levels Detection in Fishermen from Sicily (Italy) by ICP-MS Method after Microwave-Assisted Digestion.

Giangrosso G, Cammilleri G, Macaluso A, Vella A, D'Orazio N, Graci S, Lo Dico GM, Galvano F, Giangrosso M, Ferrantelli V - Bioinorg Chem Appl (2016)

Histograms of the total Hg level distribution within the hair of fishermen (b) and the control population (a).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4835620&req=5

fig2: Histograms of the total Hg level distribution within the hair of fishermen (b) and the control population (a).
Mentions: The recovery of total Hg was 98.9% for the three concentration levels. All the examined hair samples reached a total Hg concentration over the LOD. The hair mercury concentration distributions of fishermen and control populations are shown in Figure 2. The data obtained did not follow a log-normal distribution. About 40% of the fishermen's samples exhibited total Hg concentrations within the range of 14–16 μg g−1, with a maximum value on a sample from a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g−1), whereas for the control group about 68% of the samples were within the range of 0.01–0.05 μg g−1. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g−1. The overall mean concentration in the control group was 0.23 ± 0.4 μg g−1. Wilcoxon test confirmed that the total hair Hg concentrations of fishermen were significantly higher than control group (W = 1592; p < 0.01, Figure 1). Those who ate fish more than five times a week had significantly higher hair mercury concentrations than those who ate fish less than three times a week. The results suggest high fish consumption and marine environment to be the major pathways of mercury into people's bodies. The hair Hg concentrations distribution according to sampling areas is shown in Figure 3. The lowest mean concentration was obtained in hair samples of Messina while the highest was obtained in samples from Siracusa (Table 3). The Kruskal-Wallis test revealed no significant differences between sampling areas (Kruskal-Wallis chi-squared = 7.2, df = 5, p > 0.05), suggesting that the following results do not depend on the environmental conditions of the different areas. However, hair samples that came from the southeast side of Sicily, where the density of industrial activities is greater (Syracusan petrochemical pole, Sciacca chemical pole, etc.), revealed the highest Hg concentrations. The average concentration of total Hg in fishermen of this study was much lower than the Portuguese fishermen of Madeira (39.76 μg g−1 [14]); this large difference may be related to the different typologies of fishes consumed by the two fishermen populations. The most common fish consumed by Madeiran fishermen (Aphanopus carbo) have very high content of total mercury (0.90 ± 0.27 μg g−1 [15]); on the contrary, recent study by Naccari et al. [16] has detected levels of total mercury in Mediterranean fishes between 0.132 ± 0.108 and 0.458 ± 0.059 μg g−1 reducing the risk of exposure to heavy metals to fishermen. Indeed, the results obtained from this study were very close to the mean Hg concentration in the hair of fishermen from Aeolian Archipelago (southern Tyrrhenian Sea; 5.64 ± 3.73 μg g−1 [17]) suggesting a strong correlation between type of fish consumed and mercury levels in the hair. All the fishermen investigated in this study have declared the consumption of Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. M. galloprovincialis is recognised as one of the major Hg accumulators in Mediterranean ecosystems, probably due to its ecology and feed strategy [18–20]. For this reason Mytilus galloprovincialis can be one of the principal routes of Hg uptake for humans. Unfortunately, there are very few studies on the Hg levels assessment of seawater from south Mediterranean Sea. Bagnato et al. [21] have verified the distribution and evasion flux of mercury at the atmosphere/sea interface in the Augusta basin (SE Sicily, southern Italy), detecting that the intense industrial activity of the past has led to a high Hg pollution in the bottom sediments of the basin.

Bottom Line: Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01).There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05).The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.).

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia "A. Mirri", Via Gino Marinuzzi 3, 90129 Palermo, Italy.

ABSTRACT
A number of ninety-six hair samples from Sicilian fishermen were examined for total mercury detection by an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method. The mercury levels obtained were compared with mercury levels of 96 hair samples from a control group, in order to assess potential exposure to heavy metals of Sicilian fishermen due to fish consumption and closeness to industrial activities. Furthermore, the mercury levels obtained from hair samples were sorted by sampling area in order to verify the possible risks linked to the different locations. The overall mean concentration in the hair of the population of fishermen was 6.45 ± 7.03 μg g(-1), with a highest value in a fisherman of Sciacca (16.48 μg g(-1)). Hair mercury concentration in fishermen group was significantly higher than in control group (p < 0.01). There was no significant difference in hair total mercury concentrations between sampling areas (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate a greater risk of exposure to mercury in Sicilian fishermen, in comparison to the control population, due to the high consumption of fish and the close relationship with sources of exposure (ports, dumps, etc.).

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus