Journal of Environmental Health 2013 Abstracts - page 4

January/February 2013
Abstracts (75.6)
Copyright 2013, National Environmental Health Association
Fish Consumption Patterns and Mercury Exposure Levels Among Women of
Childbearing Age in Duval County, Florida
Sharleen Traynor, MPH
Mayo Clinic
Jacksonville, Florida
Greg Kearney, MPH, DrPH, RS
East Carolina University
David Olson, PhD,
National Center for Environmental Health
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Aaron Hilliard, PhD
Duval County Health Department
Jason Palcic, PhD
, Bureau of Laboratories, Florida Department of Health
Marek Pawlowicz, PhD
, Bureau of Laboratories, Florida Department of Health
Consumption of fish containing methylmercury can pose serious health concerns
including neurotoxic effects in adults and toxicity to the fetuses of mothers exposed
during pregnancy. In the study described in this article, the authors examined fish
consumption patterns and measured hair mercury levels of women of childbearing age in
a coastal county in Florida. Women from the community participated in a risk factor
assessment survey (
= 703). Hair samples (
= 698) were collected and analyzed for
mercury. The authors identified 74.8% below detection limit; 25.2% had detectable limits
of mercury, while 7% exceeded 1 µg/g. Hair mercury levels increased with fish
consumption and age. Race, income, and education levels were also associated with
increased hair mercury levels. Women of Asian/Pacific Islander origin had the highest
levels. Although reported fish consumption exceeded the recommendations for women of
childbearing age, the study population had lower mercury levels than other comparative
studies in Florida and at national levels.
Lead Detection in Food, Medicinal, and Ceremonial Items Using a Portable X-Ray
Fluorescence (XRF) Instrument
Ginger Reames,
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, California Department
of Public Health
Valerie Charlton, MD, MPH,
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, California
Department of Public Health
The authors evaluated a Niton XLp303A X-ray fluorescence (XRF) instrument,
used to identify lead hazards in housing, to determine its effectiveness to screen food,
medicinal, and ceremonial items during lead poisoning investigations. Fifty-eight suspect
exposure items were tested for lead by XRF and then sent to the laboratory for
confirmation. A lead content cut-point of 10 parts per million (ppm; the lower level at
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