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Behavioral and neurological effects of mercury. Terminal progress report.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1981 Jan; :1-7
Epidemiological studies of the behavioral and neurological effects of mercury (7439976) (Hg) were conducted. A total of 147 workers in chloralkali factories were administered a memory scanning test at selected intervals. Monthly urine specimens were analyzed for Hg over a 12 month period. The 12 month average urinary Hg concentration was 0.0 to 0.41 milligrams per liter (mg/l). A statistically significant trend toward slowed memory scanning was correlated with increasing Hg exposure. The data was treated by regression analysis and showed an increase in memory scanning time of 4.9 milliseconds per item for each 0.1mg/l increase in urinary Hg. Sixty workers were administered the 50 percent threshold test and their urinary Hg concentrations were determined monthly for 12 months. The 12 month average of urinary Hg was 0 to 0.258mg/l. A significant reduction in the 50 percent threshold span occurred which was correlated with urinary Hg concentrations. Some 138 workers who had average urinary Hg concentrations of 0.15mg/l were given neurological and nerve conduction examinations. Mild sensory neuropathy was observed in most of these workers. The author notes that effects on short term memory function could occur at concentrations below 0.25mg/l Hg.
NIOSH-Grant; Heavy-metal-poisoning; Biological-effects; Medical-surveys; Dose-response; Industrial-medicine; Employee-exposure; Health-hazards; Occupational-medicine
Final Grant Report
NTIS Accession No.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Michigan
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division